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Simple ? best dvd player but with.....for a 42" LCD

davedds
08-06-2006, 06:27 AM
ok read alot so far here and on avs, boy is this stuff confusing!!!

I am looking for a good but not too expensive dvd player or dvd player/recorder for my new 42" LCD with HDMI inputs....would like to have "Up-converting" to 1080i. The ability to make it region free with some easy hack, and also macrovision free....Now I know there are some "older" sammy's that can be found on e-bay that will fit me but would like something I can buy direct (Eg. oppo) or at a retailer....

everything I read so far, about dvd players are so confusing, and "buyers" guide on cnet and other just don't get into technical stuff. So please help me and point me in the right direction!!!

Thank IA

d6500k
08-06-2006, 07:30 AM
As far as DVD's go, these guys tell it like it is... Not sure they'll give you much about the hack although.

Check the "benchmark" area.
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/main.html

Good viewing,

Doug k

Tango
08-06-2006, 07:51 AM
I just bought a 42" plasma this weekend, my first. While I have a nice nice Marantz home theatre, it's 5 years old and buying progressive scan back then was pointless; so I needed a new DVD player.

The gang in the Magnolia studio at my Best Buy were very accommodating and hooked up a couple of upconverting players and a couple of progressive scan players. Even the cheapest progressive scan players have noticeably better pictures than the upconverters. Since I figure in 24 months or so I'll be looking into high-def format players, I opted for the Denon 1720. Inexpensive. Nice quality... I'll have more thoughts on it in a few of weeks after the install, calibration and using it for a bit.

rwb1921
08-08-2006, 06:56 PM
I just bought a 42" plasma this weekend, my first. While I have a nice nice Marantz home theatre, it's 5 years old and buying progressive scan back then was pointless; so I needed a new DVD player.

The gang in the Magnolia studio at my Best Buy were very accommodating and hooked up a couple of upconverting players and a couple of progressive scan players. Even the cheapest progressive scan players have noticeably better pictures than the upconverters. Since I figure in 24 months or so I'll be looking into high-def format players, I opted for the Denon 1720. Inexpensive. Nice quality... I'll have more thoughts on it in a few of weeks after the install, calibration and using it for a bit.

I am confused a bit, doesn't upconverting DVD players have progressive scan also? My Sony you can set to 480p, or 720p or 1080i or Auto. Seems to me the picture on it is very good regardless of setting. I am still testing and seeing how different DVD's work on it. But so far, I see a great picture even on Auto setting which upconverts. Better than my 4 year old Pioneer. I am just leaving my Sony (DVP-NS71HP) on Auto for now and see how it works.

Iain1974
08-12-2006, 10:44 AM
ok read alot so far here and on avs, boy is this stuff confusing!!!

I am looking for a good but not too expensive dvd player or dvd player/recorder for my new 42" LCD with HDMI inputs....would like to have "Up-converting" to 1080i. The ability to make it region free with some easy hack, and also macrovision free....Now I know there are some "older" sammy's that can be found on e-bay that will fit me but would like something I can buy direct (Eg. oppo) or at a retailer....

everything I read so far, about dvd players are so confusing, and "buyers" guide on cnet and other just don't get into technical stuff. So please help me and point me in the right direction!!!

Thank IA

Great question. I'm in a similar position to you. I purchased a Westinghouse 42 inch a few weeks ago when BB dropped the price.

I'm thinking of a Philips 5960/37 from BestBuy. I have a Philips 642 at the moment and it was easy to hack. Most DVD players (apart from Sony) can be easily hacked.

I'd like to know if the upconvert feature really makes a difference? The reviews I read seem to think it's a nice feature to have but it's not going to blow you away.

For $80-100 it's not a massive deal of course but I don't want to just throw it away of course.

Jerry1808
08-12-2006, 11:03 PM
If you have a fixed pixel hd display like your lcd or plasma its native resolution will be 720p, 768p or 1080i/p. Lets say you have a 720p set. Every signal you feed it no matter what the resolution, will be converted by the set to 720p.

If you buy an upconverting player and set the output to 1080, the set will just downconvert it to 720. If you set the player to 720 out then the player will have done the conversion and goes through the tv without further alteration. Picture quality then becomes a matter of which has the better converters, the player or the tv. If it's a toaster priced dvd player, chances are the tv will be better.

Keep in mind that upconversion can only be done through hdmi. If you connect via components the player is restricted to 480p because of hdcp security encoding on virtually all commercial dvds.

Upconverting just interpolates between the lines and basically fakes information that isn't there. I personally feel that a good 480p player can produce the same or better quality than upconverting just because the image is going through fewer layers of processing.

It really comes down to the quality of equipment being used (player and tv) and how they interact with each other. Try the different dvd outputs and just use the one that looks best. If they all look bad, try a different player but odds are you won't see much difference between 480p and upconversion.

PFC5
08-13-2006, 12:00 AM
Very well said Jerry!!!

That pretty much sums up the whole upconverting questions, or should.

One note is that several CHinese upscalers DO in fact allow upscaling over component, but this is in contradition of the SD DVD forum specs.

Iain1974
08-13-2006, 01:15 PM
Thankyou Jerry.

So it's really not likely to make much of a difference then.

Currently I'm using the components which give a decent picture but is shamed by proper HDTV. I've got my Westinghouse on the wall and would prefer to hide all the cables which will be easier with HDMI wall plugs so I'm still leaning in the direction of an upconverting player but I might just hang on for a BR or HDDVD till the prices get more sensible (probably after the PS3 launch).

Again, thanks for your resonse.

Jerry1808
08-13-2006, 05:38 PM
No problem. I can see why you'd want hdmi if you're going to wall mount the set. (They don't show that big steel mount and all the cables on the commercials do they?) For that reason alone you might want an hdmi player, but no I don't think you'll see much if any picture difference.

I bought the Toshiba XA1 hd-dvd player and it puts out an amazing picture plus sd quality is at least equal to my $1.2K Pioneer Elite dvd. At $500 or less it's a bargalin for what it does. Just something to consider.

Iain1974
08-15-2006, 06:35 PM
No problem. I can see why you'd want hdmi if you're going to wall mount the set. (They don't show that big steel mount and all the cables on the commercials do they?) For that reason alone you might want an hdmi player, but no I don't think you'll see much if any picture difference.

I bought the Toshiba XA1 hd-dvd player and it puts out an amazing picture plus sd quality is at least equal to my $1.2K Pioneer Elite dvd. At $500 or less it's a bargalin for what it does. Just something to consider.

That was the player in a BB display hooked up to the Westy that swung me to get the Westy. It was the first time that HDTV had made my eyes pop! The media doesn't seem too expensive, in fact it seems well priced but the 'format war' puts me off for the time being.

I appreciate the advice though.