Viewing photos (JPEGs) using DVD/HDD machines


Active Member
I have a Pioneer DVR-420H and am considering a replacement.
I'm scanning a load of 35mm slides on a good scanner, and getting high quality results, so I want to put them on CD or USB sticks for viewing on the TV. The scans are 1680x1080, 14x9 aspect ratio cropped from the originals 3x2. I also use a digital camera and run of the mill images are 2048x1536. The 420 does a pretty good job on a Sony 32" CRT TV and happily zooms the images.

Looking at the specs of the Pioneer 550 it will go up to 5120x3840 pixels, and no mention of zoom restrictions, and the LX60D has a USB slot.

The Sony DVD/HDD 560 and 910 manuals state that images larger than 720x480 will be scaled down; the Panasonic EX77 and 87 won't zoom images larger than 640x480 and no USB.
The Toshiba RD85 only displays 4:3 images, which is OK for digital cameras but undue cropping for slide scans.
What are these guys playing at as HDTV screens go to 1080 vertical resolution and are 16:9 format which many digital cameras now support , or am I missing something?

If my impressions are correct it looks like a one horse race for Pioneer.
I'd appreciate any comments on this seeming odd situation, which would also affect images from decent digital cameras.


Active Member
OK - Sony are forgiven. The HXD-870 970 etc. support JPEGs up to 5120x3840, seems to have no zoom restriction and has USB. (I just found the on-line manual after a couple of days of it seeming to be missing).
This is identical to the Pioneer spec. I wonder if it's coincidence or are they using the same processor? Even the JPEG viewer screens look similar - page 109 Pioneer and 123 Sony manuals.


Panasonic Spec [ EX77 - EX87 ] for JPEGs:

Disc (MP3/JPEG)
Maximum of folders: 300 (including root folder).
Maximum number of MP3 files: 3000.
Maximum number of JPEG files: 3000.
Total number of recognizable files including MP3,JPEG and other files types is 4000.

JPEG Format:
Format: ISO9660 level 1 or 2 (except for extended formats), Joliet.
Compatible pixels: between 34x34 and 6144x4096 pixels, Sub sampling 4:2:2 or 4:2:0.
Thawing Time: approx. 3 sec (6M pixels).
This unit is not compatible with MOTION JPEG.

Compatible Media: SD Memory Card, miniSDTM Card (a miniSDTM Card adaptor needs to
be inserted), Multi Media Card.
Number of pixels: 34 x 34 to 6144 x 4096.
Thawing Time: Approx. 3sec (6M pixels).
Format: FAT12, FAT16 / JPEG conforming DCF / Sub sampling 4:2:2, 4:2:0 /
TIFF (Uncompressed RGB chunky) / DPOF Compatible.


Well-known Member
I had the same concerns and was surprised that the Pan EX77 only shows jpegs in SD over HDMI (scaled down to 480p) :confused:

What I would like to know is do ANY of the current HDD/DVD recorders show jpegs at high definition?

The Pioneer may well accept resolutions of 5120x3840, but what does it output as? I'd say good old SD 720x526, (SCART would be SD for sure) which won't do your photos any justice.

Fortunatley I have three other sources that will output my jpegs in 'high def' to TV (Pan PV500, res 1024x768)..

(in order of pref)

1. LapTop via HDMI
2. SD/PC card slot on the TV itself
3. Xbox 360 CD/DVD via component (but noticeable horizontal flickering with some pics, especially with water).


Active Member
The Pioneer may well accept resolutions of 5120x3840, but what does it output as? I'd say good old SD 720x520, (SCART would be SD for sure) which won't do your photos any justice.
I think you are right - but I'd rather the DVD machine didn't just scale down regardless so that there is no possibility of using the higher res JPEGs.

I've just resized 3 images of varying content from 1680x1080 to 840x540 and put the new versions on the CD so they appear immediately after the originals and I can flip back and forth with the remote.
At first glance the lower resolution seemed marginally sharper. But on inspecting the TV screen closely it turned out that the smaller images were showing with a slight halo around the sharp edges - the effect you get with over-sharpening in Photoshop. On the PC LCD display with both image zoomed to the same size the smaller one quickly shows the jaggedness of the bit structure.
I'm tempted to say the Pioneer 420 is making a better job of resampling the larger image for the TV scart than the smaller one; there is definitely a difference.
It would be interesting to do the comparison on a large LCD or plasma TV from a DVD machine with RGB or or HDMI connections compared with scart. But I doubt if I'd find a dealer ready to mess around like that :(


Well-known Member
What TV are you using? a CRT?

I've viewed jpegs (approx 2400+ wide) on various CRTs from various DVD players and always found that the higher the res the worse the (scaled down) image looked on screen.
I started to resize them right down to a resolution more akin to SD where the images looked MUCH better and also loaded a lot faster.
Like you I ended up with a CD with two sets of images (orig and resized for TV)
But that was several years ago and I assume the Pioneer 420 does a better job in re-sampling down (?).

All this becomes redundant and irrelevant when you get a high def display as you will you output them from a 'high def' source like a laptop/PC, games console or card slot on the TV.
I now just view them direct from Laptop to Plasma.

What I don't understand is that with the latest DVD recorders, in the case of the Pan EX77 (which I have on order) why they can't scale hig hres jpegs down to 720 or 1080 via component or HDMI instead of SD 480 :confused:


Active Member
I'm using a 32" CRT at present, but I want to replace it and the Pioneer 420 in due course, and I want a combination of TV and DVD/HDD that makes the slide conversions look good.
With the 420/CRT the 1680x1080 definitely look better than the same pics resized to 840x540 because of the fringing I mentioned. I just don't want to waste my time producing decent JPEGs that a DVD & TV then mess up by bad resampling.
At present I scan as TIF images, do all the editing, cropping etc as TIFs, then finally convert to high quality JPEGs. They average out around 2meg per image. Maybe it is a bit over the top, but once the scan is done the image size doesn't make any difference to processing.
You mentioned SD cards. Can you write to these on a PC? I'm currently using Compact Flash in the camera, and have never tried writing to a card.
Thanks for your comments - definitely helpful.


Well-known Member
By 'SD' I mean Standard Defintion and not 'SD cards', sorry for the confusion.

Although my TV and DVD Recorder DO have an SD card slot, which I never use.


Active Member
Ah - I see. I thought that perhaps a photocard plugged into a TV might bypass all the processing of a DVD machine and its connections, and get straight to the TV.
But looking at the download manual for a Panasonic TV with the SD card slot, it seems as if it is could have problems with images created on PCs. Page 48 of TX-32LXD700 manual states:

• A JPEG image modified with a PC may not be displayed.
• Images imported from a PC must be compatible with EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) 2.0, 2.1, and 2.2

... and SD cards are a pretty expensive way of storing images compared with CDs

I may contact Pioneer and ask about how they re-scale JPEGs for output from DVD machines.


Active Member
I contacted Pioneer as follows:

"I see from the download manual for the DVR-550HX, for example, that it will accept JPEGs up to 5120x3840 pixels. But there is no mention of what rescaling occurs for the various outputs of the machine - SCART, HDMI, s-video. For example, I would expect the SCART output to be about 500 pixels vertically; horizontal resolution depending on JPEG and TV screen characteristics.
One of your competitors scales down all JPEGs larger than 720x480 on a model I looked at.
Could you explain what JPEG 'translation' occurs on the Pioneer machines please?"

I have received the following reply:

"Holding the horizontal to vertical ratio of JPEG file, DVR-550HX and DVR-LX60D up/downscale the JPEG file and output the following pixels according to the input line system when the JPEG file is selected.
525 system : 720 x 480 pixels
625 system : 720 x 576 pixels
When you select a JPEG file which has less pixels than the above, DVR will upscale the file,and DVR will downscale when you select a JPEG file which has much pixels than the above.

Best regards,
Pioneer Customer & Service support "

So it looks like all DVD machines are about the same.
As the Sony x70 range seems and the Pioneers seem to be near-clones, I assume the Sonys are the same.

This suggests that slide shows intended for CD/DVD --> TV display need not be better than 720x576 max.
I'm still slightly mystified as 720x576 is an aspect ratio of 5:4. I may do some experiments based around 720px wide and 576px high to see what happens. 16:9 is 720x405 (digression: who remembers 405 line TV?), so I wonder if a 720x405 JPEG will fill a 16:9 screen?


Active Member
It isn''s 16x9...have a read here

I know the 16x9 image in an anamorphic (I think that's the word) 4x3 - but I was just surprised that the Pioneer sizes were as they are.
It could be interesting to look at some of my transfers on a 4:3 TV
At least we now know the up- or down-scaling targets. Now I'll have to decide whether to speed up my scanning by going for a lower resolution.


Active Member
There is another important point to consider: how fast you can navigate the images? For example:-
- How fast can you navigate the directory structure
- How fast does it populate a new screen of thumbnails
- How fast can you move forwards through a lengthy slide show.
- How fast can you move backwards in a slideshow.

Some machines have internal buffering to speed things up, but it still might be nowhere near the performance you would expect from a PC. On the last few machines I tried, either the buffering only accommodated a dozen or so images, or there was no apparent buffering and it was simply too painful to use.

I don't know how the very latest machines would perform, but I recommend that you try this out for yourself before committing to a purchase.
as a side note as someone above mentioned the xbox 360, the playstation 3 does a wonderful job of slideshows of jpegs, I've done shows of photos from my 10Mpixel digital camera and every one is spot on, with smooth transition between them, even the option to play music behind it :smashin: top notch


Well-known Member
as a side note as someone above mentioned the xbox 360, the playstation 3 does a wonderful job of slideshows of jpegs, I've done shows of photos from my 10Mpixel digital camera and every one is spot on, with smooth transition between them, even the option to play music behind it :smashin: top notch

I used to use this method (via xbox 360) but noticed some 'shimmering' on the photos, which was particularly noticeable on photos with water/sea in. It actually looks like animated ripples in the water!

I have sinced upgraded (if you can call it that!) to an Xbox Elite and even using the HDMI cable, the shimmering is still there.

I now only view photos via my laptop to Plasma (DVI to HDMI) and the picture quality is MUCH better, more stable, NO 'shimmering' and streams a lot faster than from disk in the xbox.
I also only use Windows built in slideshow and NOT the AWFUL XP Media Center slideshow which degrades your photos terribly and makes them look like something from ITV !

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