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Does the Samsung HT-Q80 "upconvert" Standard DVD?

by b33m3r / December 3, 2008 8:35 AM PST

From what I understand SD DVD is 720 x 480. I read nothing in my manual or specs for the Samsung HT-Q80 XM Ready Five-Disc DVD Changer Home Theater System (5.1 Channel) that says it "upconverts".

Why I am confused: I run the HT-Q80 to a Samsung LN-S3251D TV (through HDMI). The HT-Q80 properly registers the TV as 720p (that is what the display reads when it starts up) and when I play an SD DVD (lets say, Saving Private Ryan) and press the 'info' button on the TV's remote; the TV tells me it is in 1280 x 720 resolution. Which, according to my research, would only be possible if the HT-Q80 actually "upconverts", which, according to its documentation, it does not.

I'm debating on purchasing a Blu-ray player, but there would be little point in this if I'm already am getting the best picture possible via the Samsung HT-Q80 on this particular Samsung TV.

Any advice anyone can give me would be vastly appreciated, you can even have my first born child Cool

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upconvert
by lukster5 / December 3, 2008 6:59 PM PST

don't waste your money, you have the best possible setup already

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Upscaling....
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / December 4, 2008 6:02 PM PST

b33m3r,

Okay, here's the answer, and I'm betting my first born child that this information is solid, so either way, one of us is ending up with two kids! Happy

The specifications for component is that it is a progressive player.

In 2005-2006, we were partnering with an upscaler (DCDi) from Faroudja in our upconverting DVD players, which was a great upscaler (upconverter) that we were pushing, partly because if their dominance, picture quality and branding in the DVD Category. Faroudja remains a great processor even today!. It also had a premium price. High end receivers today use DCDi with Faroudja. But we used the technology, and touted the name, and they were great players.

Naturally, we already had our own Samsung upscaling processor that quietly went into the HT-Q80 (and Q70, and Q100) that could support, I believe the INTENT was up to 1080i, but only when HDMI was used. At that time, not many people had HDMI, much less 1080i televisions. We didn't bring much attention to the HDMI capabilities at the time, but it ended up being a benefit for most consumers who eventually opted for HDMI-ready televisions. And rather than advertise it as a 1080i upscaling DVD (when people with component cables and no HDMI inputs on their TVs would be stuck at the 480p limitation), it was marketed as a progressive scan DVD system.

In short, it didn't make sense to advertise it for what it actually was (1080i/HDMI) but what it could most honestly generally be used as (progressive 480p/component) and most easily understood for the benefit of <b>most consumers</b>. It would be another year before we brought the first Blu-Ray player to market where upconverting DVD players would get their first big push by people who wouldn't necessarily spend $999.99 on the debut of the BD-P1000, but would pay $129.99 for the upscaling DVD player that played all their current movies.

The next year's models also introduced HDMI-CEC (Today known as Anynet).

So congratulations. It is my firm belief that you have an upscaling DVD player. And the history of your player. Happy Now, I have no idea, but I'm wildly curious if you go into the HT-Q80's setup menu if you're able to select 720p or 1080i in the HT-Q80's output menu. It may be defaulted and hidden, but if you'd check, I'd get a kick out of that. If it IS hidden, it may have eventually been maxed out at 720p in production. Either way you're a winner, as it was touted as a 480p unit. Early HDMI devices were programmed to effectively deliver the most effective format by default.

Let me know!

--HDTech

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Wow, I'm kind of in shock here...
by b33m3r / December 5, 2008 1:08 AM PST
In reply to: Upscaling....

I'm a fairly well traveled and seasoned person, and I've had my fair share of tech and sales jobs. I have never had a response to an inquiry of this nature as thorough, honest, and straight forward as the one you just gave me. Granted I just woke up, but my brain is reeling from the smack down you just gave it. Any regrets I have had about purchasing the Samsung HT-Q80 and the LN-S3251D LCD (and there were not many to begin with) have just dissipated. You don't know how refreshing that response was in a world full of double talk and BS.

In response to your inquiry regarding the HT-Q80's output menu, I believe it is hidden and defaulted, though I will dig around the menus later on for you to be sure. Though I have never had anything else to compare it to, to be honest, I have never really felt the HT-Q80 upscaled all that well, particularly when using the 'EZ view' feature to get rid of those wide screen bars. It just makes the picture look more grainy and sometimes produces a bar effect down the screen. My only other complaint about the HT-Q80 is if I channel the sound (HDMI Audio) to the TV speakers only, it is crackly. These are just things I've noticed over time with the system, our overall experience with it has been great though. Our only complaint about the TV was really our fault, we should have thought on the decision more as we could have got a much bigger set for the same price at the time, my wife liked the way this one swiveled so I believe that's what sealed the deal.

We have decided to get a Blu-ray anyway because we just canceled Comcast (no bang for your buck, every channel plays the same thing and it's all repeats, really $70+ a month for reality TV? besides my hockey team seems to loose every televised game it plays!) so we are getting no HD content for our HD TV; there is a void in our viewing pleasure. Doing my research I realize my TV won't give me anything but 720p but as someone on another forum posted:

"You will most definitely enjoy an obvious improvement in image quality by stepping up to BD. The native resolution of SD DVD is 720 x 480 (345,600 pixels) vs. 1280 x 720 available from BD for your TV (921,600 pixels). That's an increase of 2.66 times the detail your TV has to work with."

The logic makes sense to me, also when we rented HiDef content OnDemand the picture was a lot better. So it makes sense.

So far we have mainly been looking at the Sony BDP-BX1 (the Panasonic DMP-BD35 has also been suggested to us) but my wife just called me because she was in Costco and saw the Samsung BD-P1500 for a decent price. I need to do the research on it though but I have to walk the dogs first.

I must tell you that regardless of what CNET, and Crutchfield (and possible forum posters) have to say about the BD-P1500, our current experience with Samsung products and your mind boggling response to my dilemma will weigh more heavily on our purchasing decision.

Seriously, you don't know how refreshing your response was. I hope this is company policy and that your are not just some rogue employee (though that is nice too!). In these economic times little things like straight forward honesty can mean so much more to a consumer. Thank you so so much.

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