TVs & Home Theaters forum

General discussion

Upconverting DVD Player

by thumper99 / May 2, 2007 8:06 AM PDT

I recently purchased a 42 inch LCD HDTV with 720p. Is it worth purchasing an upcoverting DVD player with HDMI output?
Does it make significant difference in picture quality?

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Yes
by givemeaname / May 2, 2007 8:16 AM PDT

$150 will get you a nice player & $15-25 for a HDMI cable.

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(NT) Ditto. You'll be pleased with money well spent.
by NM_Bill / May 2, 2007 9:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes
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Upconverting player is way better!
by andrewbaggins / May 4, 2007 12:04 PM PDT

Upconverting your DVD movies can significantly improve the picture. There are two basic things needed to get the improved picture quality.

First, you must use an HDMI cable to connect from the DVD player to your HDTV. A Component Video connection will NOT provide an upsampled picture.

Second, you must choose a good quality upsampling DVD player. There are a few very inexpensive ones that are simply not worth having! The cheapest one I've seen that does a good job is aSony DVP-NS75H. There are many others I'm sure.

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HDMI not necessary
by froasier / May 4, 2007 3:43 PM PDT

You shouldn't need HDMI--component is perfectly capable of a 720p signal. It is possible that some players will disable upconverted output over component (like the Xbox 360 does) so I would check for each player, but even if none of them support component it is still possible over VGA or DVI depending on your hardware. This is not to say HDMI is bad, but if an upconverting player you're looking at doesn't have it, that shouldn't be an automatic turnoff as long as you know it's a quality player.

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Should you buy an upconverting DVD player
by JCipo / May 4, 2007 2:24 PM PDT

I've got something better. Purchase an upconverting DVR that has an HDMI connection (or 2). The Panasonic DVR has a DVD player and burner. It has a VHS player and recorder. It has a hard drive that acts like a TIVO and can record in upconverting mode. And it transfers back and forth in all three modes for recording (like tape to hard drive).
Watch out for the Sony model, they have had problems that can result in schedule loss.

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It really depends what kind of HDTV you have!
by infosky / May 4, 2007 2:51 PM PDT

The current DVD format is 480i. And, your TV has a resoluton of 720p. They are 3 times difference in amount of information.

(1) Image path 1:

If you hook up your current DVD player to the 720p TV via component (analog signal), the electronics of your new TV will sample the analog signal into digital signal and upconvert the image to 720p before it is displayed.

(2) Image path 2:

When you play the DVD (480i) by the upconversion DVD player, it will convert the image directly from digital signal as it is read from the DVD and upconvert it to 702p. Then, via HDMI (digital signal), the data is transmitted to your 720p and the image is displayed.

So, it appears that (2) is better than (1) because it is ditigal signal all the way. However, it is not always.

I have compared video from both paths and concluded that it depends on the TV you have.

If your new TV is relatively inexpensive one, both paths may be the same unless you purchase an expensive upconverting DVD player.

But, if our new TV is a high end TV which comes with very good signal processing chip (for example Sony's grand waga), both paths will give the similar results because the TV electronics is doing the artifact reduction work.

Most of LCD TV, because of price pressure, have cut the corners so much that their electronics only do the bare minimum. In this case, it makes sense to buy a high-end DVD upconverting DVD player.

So, the steps for you to check:

(1) Does your TV come with artifact reduction graphics chip? If the price of your TV is at or below market average, chances are it does not. If it does, you don't need to spend extra money for upconversion. You already paid for it.

(2) If (1) is negative, you may consider purchase a high-end upconverting DVD player. Again, if the price is at or below market averge, it is probably not worth the money. Buy a really good one.

Finally, you may ask "what the artifacts you are talking about". This discussion will quickly turn into too technical. Most of the people even don't know the existence of these artifacts due to MPEG compression used by DVD. But, if you care about the smoothness and sharpness of fast moving video, the money is well spent.

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small correction
by froasier / May 4, 2007 3:59 PM PDT

480i is Standard Definition, which is used for many full-screen DVDs and full-screen special features, but most if not all widescreen DVDs feature Enhanced Definition, which is 480p. These widescreen DVDs will provide the best quality for your HDTV, even with a player that's only progressive scan capable and not upconverting.

So, if you have an HDTV, at least get a progressive scan player and use component cables, and make sure to get the widescreen versions of DVDs whenever possible. As said in the above post, the quality of your TV's image processor will probably determine whether an upconverting player is worth it.

If you want to see what DVDs look like on your TV with upconversion, you can plug your TV into your computer using a VGA cable, set it to its native resolution, and then play DVDs on your computer--virtually all modern computers will upconvert progressive scan DVDs with fairly high quality.

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Yes - big difference1
by bob strongstein / May 4, 2007 10:45 PM PDT

should see significant improvement - just upgraded to Oppo DV 981HD for 1080P upconvert - try the OPPO 970hd - comes with HDMI cables - see CNET reviews - WELL WORTH IT!!

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Which DVD player to connect to Samsung LN40A630?
by Ver6.9 / November 15, 2008 2:02 PM PST
In reply to: Yes - big difference1

infosky, I too am looking to purchase either an upconverting or progressive DVD player, which will be connected to the following;
Samsung LN40A630 LCD TV with native resolution of 1080p and enhanced Auto Motion Plus 120Hz. Is this the same as an artifact reduction graphics chip? Also which DVD player (up convert or progressive) would I benefit from, when conncted to this particular TV? Your help as well as your time is appreciated.
Thank you.

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$250 for a Sony BD player at BB.
by ahtoi / November 16, 2008 1:40 AM PST

About $100 for an upconverted dvd player. If the money is not too tight, I would go for the BD player.

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$250 for a Sony BD player at BB
by Ver6.9 / November 16, 2008 2:00 AM PST

ahto, thank you for your reply. I appreciate it. How is the Sony BD in comparison to the Oppo DV-981HD or DV-983H? Again, thank you for taking the time to reply.

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I just saw this at CC.
by ahtoi / November 16, 2008 2:25 AM PST

A Toshiba upconvert dvd player (XDE) for $100 (with $50 discounted). This is new; it maybe as good as the Oppo.

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I just saw this at CC
by Ver6.9 / November 16, 2008 4:24 AM PST
In reply to: I just saw this at CC.
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I guess the review wasn't all that great;
by ahtoi / November 16, 2008 5:33 AM PST
In reply to: I just saw this at CC

But it does have hdmi connection.

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I guess the review wasn't all that great
by Ver6.9 / November 16, 2008 6:48 AM PST

My apologies. I misread the article. No "HDMI cable" is included. The illustration does show HDMI input as well. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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Toshiba Upconvert XDE E500
by gweegee / February 21, 2009 1:57 AM PST

I'd like to warn you on the Toshiba..I got one for Christmas and it's been in the box since yesterday (FEB 20) when I finally got my Samsung LN40A750.
I plugged it in, hooked up with HMDMI, and it played the worst signal I've seen for about a minute, would not take commands from the remote, then died....I mean DEAD....the toll free number is useless...so how's this for a review?
So I'm looking to buy an Upconvert model...one that has a direct drive and HDMI output...so I'm ripe for suggestions...I know I'll get the usual 'buy a BlueRay', but I think there's a cheaper alternative out there that will last more than a minute...suggestions?

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Sorry to hear that. Is it too late for a return?
by ahtoi / February 21, 2009 3:00 AM PST

I didn't believe the review, hehe, and went to BB last week and bought one of them. I better connect it up and see.

I have been using a Philips DVP5960 for awhile now but it only upconvert to 720P though.

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Toshiba Upconvert XDE E500 Still Dead
by gweegee / February 21, 2009 4:42 AM PST

I bit the bullet and ordered a Samsung BD-P2500 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player...the reviews are stellar...especially the upconversion, so why not spend a few more bucks and have BD capability?
Got it from Amazon for less than 300. It will talk to the Samsung TV, and TV will respond to the BD remote...so if I can get Tosh to replace the dead one bought from the defunct Circuit City and given as a present, I'll probably give it to a family member...cheers!
I'll update on the Samsung BD when it arrives....supposedly has the best upsampling for the money...

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I have an LG - 42LH40 what DVD upconversion works best?
by AlisaRiv / March 26, 2010 11:56 PM PDT

I've been reading everyone's comments and not sure what would best for my full HDTV 1080p? Would a progressive scan or Oppo work best? Will appreciate your guidance. Thank you.

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Forget about the progressive scan thing.
by ahtoi / March 27, 2010 1:46 AM PDT

The question is about dvd player vs. bru-ray player, and from what I heard Oppo is in the top price bracket. So I guess you can go wrong with it. Of course with the price dropped I see Panasonic and Sony BD player going for around $150.

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forget DVD players. Get a bluray player.
by jostenmeat / November 16, 2008 5:45 AM PST

because bluray players upconvert to 1080p already.

I've seen, hooked up, players from Oppo, Denon, Toshiba, Panasonic.

My Tosh HD-A35 is one of the very best upconverting DVD players out there. My Panasonic BD-30 is one of the worst upconverting DVD players out there. I've compared them, and there's some difference.

This difference compared to native 1080p bluray, or HD-DVD for that matter, is miniscule.

Regardin Auto Motion Plus... I don't know if that's similar to the graphics chip.

Its Samsung's term for Frame Interpolation. Some people love it, some people hate it. Google frame interpolation.

It will be more successful with slow moving scenes. If its too fast, VP can't keep up. Reports of three footballs in the air instead of one. Or my friend was watching a cartoon, Meet The Robinsons, and when the kid was running, the shoe looked messed up.

OTOH, some people LOVE frame interpolation.

Not me.

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Why not skip upconverting and buy BD?
by Dan Filice / November 16, 2008 6:03 AM PST

As someone mentioned, you can buy the Sony BD player at BB for $250. I think the same one is at Costco for less. The Sony BD player upconverts standard DVDs PLUS it plays BD discs. If you think the upconverted DVD image is good, wait until you see the BD image on your new TV!! You will need to use the HDMI connection. Buy a BD disc of the same movie that you have already in standard DVD, watch it in upconvert mode, then watch the BD disc. Why only go part way on image quality when you can go all the way? Even though your TV won't be able to take advantage of the full 1080p of a BD disc, the image will look stunning in 720p, and yes, it will look better than the upconverted image.

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Samsung LN40A630
by Ver6.9 / December 10, 2008 9:25 PM PST

Thanks for the additional info regarding DVD players. I have recently purchased the Oppo DV-981HD DVD player, and awaiting delivery. Now, with regard to the Samsung LN40A630, does this set have a digital comb filter or 3D motion adaptive filter? I thought the 120 Hz refresh rate was the same as having a motion adaptive filter, but may be incorrect. I couldn't locate additional info on Samsung,s website.

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Toshiba Upconvert XDE E500 Still Dead
by Ver6.9 / February 21, 2009 9:32 AM PST
In reply to: Samsung LN40A630

gweegee, thank you for posting your experience (even though it was an unfortunate one). I've yet to receive the Oppo DV-981HD due to shipping issues. Once received, I will post details.

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