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DVD quality?

03-16-2006, 05:28 PM
(I have a progressive scan dvd player)
(using composite video)
Why is it so hard to find a good quality dvd movie?
I tried all my movies and only four of them look great! The others just suck.
Is it my dvd player? Or is it just the way it was recorded?

Thanks in advanced

Sony Dvp-ns50P
Aspect 51m200 (Hitachi) 540P, 720P, 1080i

03-16-2006, 09:22 PM
Did you mean you're using Component Video?

If not, the problem is you are using Composite Video--the oldest and worst of all the interfaces. You're also not seeing a progressive image as Composite Video doesn't support progressive signals, you have to use at least Component Video.

03-16-2006, 09:46 PM
DVD's are 480p, in other words 480 verticle line displayed progressivly.

HDTV is atleat 720p.

This is why many DVD's will look bad.

2 Suggestions:
1. Buy an Up-convert DVD player. This will up-convert your DVD from 480p to 720p. The difference is noticable. Also, these players require and HDMI or DVI cable, which is the best type of connection to date, better than component HD cables.

Toshiba upconvert DVD player, $79 at Best Buy
Samsung upconvert DVD player $99 Best Buy

2. Check out some Superbit DVD's. The selection is very limited, but the DVD's come with double the frame rate of a normal DVD. Combine this with the upconvert DVD player and you will get a pretty damn good looking movie (still shy of real HD though).

I have 'The Fifth Element" on a regular DVD and in the Superbit version, the Superbit version of the movie is drastically improved. I also have Black Hawk Down in superbit and the Spiderman 1 and 2 in superbit.

03-17-2006, 02:57 AM
yes im using Component Video, sorry I was wrong on my first post.
thanks for the info on all this. as you can tell im a newbe :confused:

03-17-2006, 09:32 AM
Your display is already upconverting the 480p signal from the DVD player to HD. While an upconverting player might do a better job than the display, that will depend totally on the player and the display. Have you tried the various setup functions: "Magic Focus", Color System, Virtual HD, etc.

I watch DVD's from a 480i DVD player using component video on my Toshiba 30HF83, which performs reverse pull-down, progressive conversion and HD upscaling and it looks great on all the DVD's we've ever watched. Granted it's only a 30" widescreen, but visitors routinely comment on how good the picture looks on DVD's. It looks very much like film and drastically better than SD.

The other question is, what exactly looks bad? If you see alot of blockiness and pixelation, these are artifacts of the MPEG2 compression used to fit the movie on the disc. Some discs have better MPEG compression than others and some DVD players have better MPEG decoders than others, but some amount of distortion is inevitable.

03-17-2006, 03:00 PM
DVD's are 480p, in other words 480 verticle line displayed progressivly.


I would like to correct this information..as it is incorrect. DVD's are encoded 480i. All DVD's are encoded 480i. Progressive scan DVD players take this information and reformat it to 480p. Upscaling DVD players take the 480i information and reformat/scaleup the data to 720p, or 1080i. The "progressive" 480p, as well as the upscaling to 720p or 1080i are all actions done in the machine, or display to the 480i data that is encoded on the disc.

03-17-2006, 03:28 PM
DVDs do vary considerably in PQ. First of all most anamorphic (enhanced for widescreen TVs) use the full width of the 16:9 screen and the full height (for 1.85:1) when you set your TV to Full Screen. The non-anamorphic letterboxed have to be zoomed-in to fill the screen or left as a picture with black bars on all four sides; so when you zoom in it looses definition.

If you like old movies or TV progs you may find the quality to be somewhat lacking either because it was poorly filmed in the first place or it was poorly transferred to DVD.

In my experience DVDs of recent movies tend to be anamorphic and with good PQ - there was a time when many DVDs of major movies were not anamorphic, eg Titanic which has only just been re-released as an enhanced version.

However just when you think you should be able to pick the good ones you will find that some movies are anamorphic but do not indicate it anywhere on the case!

It's a jungle out there!

Incidentally my TV seems to do a pretty good job of converting to 1080i over component cables so I won't be looking for an up-converting player anytime soon.

03-19-2006, 10:45 PM
thanks ja2935 for your post!! good info to know
I'll just have to buy and hope for a good copy!!

03-20-2006, 08:56 AM
..863 - you can research different DVD versions in this site http://www.imdb.com/ this is usually quite accurate and sometimes warns of incorrect labelling etc.