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Blu Ray vs Upconvert

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Old 11-19-2008, 04:03 AM   #1  
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Default Blu Ray vs Upconvert

I know this has probably been asked and answered before, but I could not find the answer after trying a number of searches.

I have a Panasonic 720p Plasma and a Sony DVD player with upconvert capability.

Would a Blu Ray player, playing a Blu Ray movie, produce a better picture than an upconverted DVD version of the same movie? I know the TV will convert 1080p to 720p to make it compatible, but my assumption is that the 1080p signal the upconverter produces is not as good as the true 1080p Blu Ray output, so in the end I should get a higher quality picture. Is there any validity to my thinking?
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:39 AM   #2  
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I know this has probably been asked and answered before, but I could not find the answer after trying a number of searches.

I have a Panasonic 720p Plasma and a Sony DVD player with upconvert capability.

Would a Blu Ray player, playing a Blu Ray movie, produce a better picture than an upconverted DVD version of the same movie? I know the TV will convert 1080p to 720p to make it compatible, but my assumption is that the 1080p signal the upconverter produces is not as good as the true 1080p Blu Ray output, so in the end I should get a higher quality picture. Is there any validity to my thinking?
You are correct that the 720p picture will not look quite as good as a 1080p picture. However, Blu-ray will still look much better on your 720p Plasma than any upconverted SD DVD ever could. My father-in-law has a 768p Plasma and it could almost pass for a 1080p display.
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:54 PM   #3  
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You are correct that the 720p picture will not look quite as good as a 1080p picture. However, Blu-ray will still look much better on your 720p Plasma than any upconverted SD DVD ever could. My father-in-law has a 768p Plasma and it could almost pass for a 1080p display.
I agree!

Before I updated my main display to a 1080p plasma, I had a 50" 720p DLP display and I compared many movies that I already had on SD DVD to the HD DVD or BD version I bought or rented and with most HD movies the PQ was much better when compared back and forth between them on my 720p display. I was surprised on some of them just how much better they looked, because most of them had very good PQ on the SD DVD and I didn't expect that much improvement from memory of how good the SD DVD version was.

The improvement from SD to HD on my 720p display was much bigger than the improvement going from 720p to 1080p with HD movies. The area where HD shines and really shows the improvement is that the background on the screen is much sharper than it is on the SD version and this lends itself to a much better 3D like image.

It is the rare HD movie that isn't much better than the SD version, and AFAIK, there is NOT ONE SD version that is as good or better than even the worst HD movie in PQ. Add in the SQ improvement and we are really getting to a fully engrossing experience that IMO beats going to the theater.
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Old 11-19-2008, 07:16 PM   #4  
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hi just purchased a sony 350 and i used it with my sanyo z1projuctor it only has 1080i hdmi the picture is kind of grainy i have a 110 in. screen should the blu ray picture look good at 1080i? thanks anyone?
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:26 PM   #5  
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Did some thinking about my original question, and have another slant on this.

An SD DVD outputs 480i, so an upconvertor has to make 2 jumps to get to 1080i, 480i to 720i and then 720i to 1080i. When playing a Blu Ray DVD connected to a 720p TV, the TV only has to make one jump down to get from 1080p to 720p. Seems like the HDTV has a much simpler task than the upconvertor so the resulting PQ should be better.

Does my conclusion have any validity, or am I way off base?
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:09 PM   #6  
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hi just purchased a sony 350 and i used it with my sanyo z1projuctor it only has 1080i hdmi the picture is kind of grainy i have a 110 in. screen should the blu ray picture look good at 1080i? thanks anyone?
Try turning down the sharpness and get a calibration disc like DVE for BD. Sharpness should be at the zero or neutral position where now sharpness is added especially with HD sources.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:28 PM   #7  
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Originally Posted by aed55 View Post
Did some thinking about my original question, and have another slant on this.

An SD DVD outputs 480i, so an upconvertor has to make 2 jumps to get to 1080i, 480i to 720i and then 720i to 1080i. When playing a Blu Ray DVD connected to a 720p TV, the TV only has to make one jump down to get from 1080p to 720p. Seems like the HDTV has a much simpler task than the upconvertor so the resulting PQ should be better.

Does my conclusion have any validity, or am I way off base?
What size is your Panasonic plasma? Is it 768 X 1366 or 768 X 1024. It is not a TRUE 720 plasma (it is 768). Some DLP sets are actually 720 X 1280-- and a good 720P feed produces as good a picture as you could ever get. But on some 768 X 1366 plasmas, the picture is better with a 1080i (X 1920) signal than a 720P X 1280-- always try both (usually you will not discern any difference.)
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Old 11-28-2008, 11:47 PM   #8  
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I think the difference in the two depends on what screen size you're watching, as well as whether it's a 720 or 1080 set.

I have a 32" Sharp 720p set and my PS3 upconverted discs look 95% as good as my Blu-Ray discs.

However, on my 47" Vizio 1080p set, there is a very noticeable difference.


I own both SD and BR versions of Cloverfield. In the scene where the Statue of LIberty's head rolls down the street, the upconverted version looks fine. Then, you watch the BR version and you can see every little scratch on the object.

If you've never seen 1080p (many people haven't- since nobody broadcasts it), then upconverts will seem fine. If you own a Blu-Ray player, you're going to have a problem watching upconverts without feeling like you're missing out.
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:25 AM   #9  
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I think the difference in the two depends on what screen size you're watching, as well as whether it's a 720 or 1080 set.

I have a 32" Sharp 720p set and my PS3 upconverted discs look 95% as good as my Blu-Ray discs.

However, on my 47" Vizio 1080p set, there is a very noticeable difference.


I own both SD and BR versions of Cloverfield. In the scene where the Statue of LIberty's head rolls down the street, the upconverted version looks fine. Then, you watch the BR version and you can see every little scratch on the object.

If you've never seen 1080p (many people haven't- since nobody broadcasts it), then upconverts will seem fine. If you own a Blu-Ray player, you're going to have a problem watching upconverts without feeling like you're missing out.
I have always felt exactly the same since I got into HD. Once you have tasted HD you really don't want anything else.
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Old 11-29-2008, 05:31 PM   #10  
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Here is a thought. I have a 50 inch LG Plasma 720p. I ran a little test to see if I am imagining all this. I purchased Planet Earth on Blu-Ray and also Planet Earth on DVD. On my Oppo up converting DVD player I could not notice any difference from 6 feet away from DVD to BLu-Ray.
So, I call my two of my friends over to ask some advice and played 30 minutes of Planet Earth on DVD. They said how crisp and bright everything looked and how great Blu-ray looks on my plasma and that they notice not one iota of difference between their 1080p panny's and my 720p LG on BLu-ray. What of course I did not tell them was that what they were watching was Planet Earth on DVD upconverted on my oppo dvd player. This leads to me to believe what I have always been thinking and that is that we love to think BD is always better, but the proof is in the pudding. Nobody noticed. I told them afterwards and they could not believe what I was telling them. I needed to do this test to set the record straight about a few things.

I'm convinced they would have noticed quite a bit of difference in PQ on a 60 inch set, but nobody picked it up on my 50inch set.

Last edited by okdude123; 11-29-2008 at 05:37 PM..
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:47 PM   #11  
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Here is a thought. I have a 50 inch LG Plasma 720p. I ran a little test to see if I am imagining all this. I purchased Planet Earth on Blu-Ray and also Planet Earth on DVD. On my Oppo up converting DVD player I could not notice any difference from 6 feet away from DVD to BLu-Ray.
So, I call my two of my friends over to ask some advice and played 30 minutes of Planet Earth on DVD. They said how crisp and bright everything looked and how great Blu-ray looks on my plasma and that they notice not one iota of difference between their 1080p panny's and my 720p LG on BLu-ray. What of course I did not tell them was that what they were watching was Planet Earth on DVD upconverted on my oppo dvd player. This leads to me to believe what I have always been thinking and that is that we love to think BD is always better, but the proof is in the pudding. Nobody noticed. I told them afterwards and they could not believe what I was telling them. I needed to do this test to set the record straight about a few things.

I'm convinced they would have noticed quite a bit of difference in PQ on a 60 inch set, but nobody picked it up on my 50inch set.
I think you are mistaken in some form or fashion. I see a very large difference at 8.5 feet away on my 1080p Sanyo LCD between SD DVD and BD/HD DVD. I even saw a large difference between the two when I had my 1080i Toshiba CRT in my living room.
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:16 PM   #12  
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I think you are mistaken in some form or fashion. I see a very large difference at 8.5 feet away on my 1080p Sanyo LCD between SD DVD and BD/HD DVD. I even saw a large difference between the two when I had my 1080i Toshiba CRT in my living room.
There seems to be quite a difference on CRT and LCD between BD/DVD but nobody could pick it up on my plasma TV. My cousin has an LCD and BD looks far better than DVD on it. There must be something to this as my satelite installer came back to adjust something and I had an upconverted DVD playing and he was certain it was a BD. Just like cars or bikes or anything for that matter, not all are created equal and results will vary from TV to TV I guess. I bought my wife a year ago an NEC truebrite style computer monitor and none of my other computer monitors come close the the crispness of it. Right now I am really enjoying my DVD collection on my 50 inch plasma.

Last edited by okdude123; 11-29-2008 at 07:39 PM..
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:42 PM   #13  
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I also would like a answer to the 720p vs 1080p plasmas when watching Blu-Ray. I am in the market to switch over from my 50 inch CRT to a Plasma 50 inch. From what i have heard, from a Panasonic rep at BB there really is not much diference that the eye can see from 10 feet away on a 720 vs. 1080p. He said that 1080p is really for gamers who want to sit up close. So my question really is ,is 1080p worth the extra money if you just watch Blu- Ray and HDTV. How much of a improvment will a 1080p Plasma give over a720p. There are some great prices now on 720p Plasmas.
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:55 PM   #14  
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I also would like a answer to the 720p vs 1080p plasmas when watching Blu-Ray. I am in the market to switch over from my 50 inch CRT to a Plasma 50 inch. From what i have heard, from a Panasonic rep at BB there really is not much diference that the eye can see from 10 feet away on a 720 vs. 1080p. He said that 1080p is really for gamers who want to sit up close. So my question really is ,is 1080p worth the extra money if you just watch Blu- Ray and HDTV. How much of a improvment will a 1080p Plasma give over a720p. There are some great prices now on 720p Plasmas.
I've been told the exact same thing that 1080p is for the gamers who are much closer to the screens.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:24 AM   #15  
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I've been told the exact same thing that 1080p is for the gamers who are much closer to the screens.
This is definitely a misnomer. A 1080p display will look at least 1.5 times better at normal viewing distances (8-10 feet) than a 720p. This is also assuming that you have 20/20 vision/corrected vision. Also, be sure to make certain that your HDTV is calibrated via DVE or through some other venue.
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