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Which blu-ray player will do the best upconverting my DVD's?

by the99inbr / July 27, 2008 6:41 AM PDT

Now that the format war is over between blue-ray and HD-DVD, I'm looking to upgrade my DVD player. The question I have is, which blu-ray player will work best with my system? My tv is a Sony KDS-R50XBR1 which I believe can only display up to 1080i. My AV receiver is a Pioneer VSX-1016TXV. I'm primarily looking for a player that will 1) produce the best picture and sound from blu-ray discs, 2) do a great job upconverting all my DVD's, and 3) load movies quickly. My budget is in the $400 - $600 range. I've read several reviews online, but as the subject line suggests I still have a lot of questions about which player will do the best upconverting DVD's consistent with my tv and receiver.

Thanks for the help!

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well
by jostenmeat / July 27, 2008 7:46 AM PDT

I think the PS3 might be best for you. Its the fastest loading (though some say others can be as fast, or nearly so. The issue is that DVD playback is said to be average. My Panasonic is the worst, by far, in this regard.

The best chips for DVD playback are Reon as far as current BD players, and I think of Samsung. I wouldn't go for that line yet, for certain reasons.

I say PS3. If you need better DVD playback, you can price some Oppos, even on the used market if you have to. Some decent entry Denons can be had for solid deals on classifieds. Etc.

You may not because either 1. PS3 is plenty good for you. 2. You do like me, and forgo standard def viewing altogether.

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......

I have the samsung bd-p1200, it has the HQV chip & does a VERY good job at upscaling BUT samsung has been not very good with their updates, the last one fixed many problems I was having with BD & one with DVD's that another update made.
Samsung is coming out with a new HQV bd player in Sept, ? on price, it will also decode DTS-HD & DDtrue through analogs (7.1) + it is a 2.0 player (bd-live & all that)

on the PS3 - Onething to keep in mind, the PS3 ONLY has 2.0 analogs outs & your reciever is Just Passthrough, so if you want that good HD audio, your limited to 2.0 PCM. I would Not get one in your place because on that & a few other reasons.

Look for a player that has 5.1 or 7.1 analogs out (depending on your reciever & speaker set-up) that can also interaly decode DTS-HD + DDtrue & bitstream out via analogs so you can get DTS-HD, DDtrue & PCM in 5.1 or 7.1. Off hand - Sony bd 350 or 550, panisonic 50k, Samsung 1400 (not 1500) or samsung bd-p2500

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I agree with Jostenmeat...

that the PS3 would be best for you. It is the fastest loading, most future proof, and obviously performs many other functions besides video playback.

Where I disagree with him is when he says that the DVD upscaling is just average. It is actually rather good. Not on par with a high end upscaler, but as good as most others.

The one snag in this might be the audio end as givenname said, depending on your current setup. If you are using optical audio now, then you could continue to do that with t6he PS3. You would be able to listen to a better sounding version of the same Dolby and DTS Digital 5.1 audio that you have been listening to. The downside is that you would not be able to listen to the HD audio tracks.

You could go with the PS3 and live without the HD tracks, but benefit from all of the other advantages that the PS3 offers over other Stand alone BD players.

Or, you could go with the PS3 and upgrade your receiver to one of the cheap, but excellent performing and feature rich Onkyo's, and get the HD tracks through HDMI.

Or, you could go with a stand alone that offers multi channel analog outputs as givenname suggested, and make concessions in the areas of upgrade ability, loading time, possible DVD upscaling, and losing all of the other features that the PS3 offers aside from video playback.

It is basically a question of what are your priorities and what can you spend.

Are you interested in games?
Are you interested in using the PS3 as a media PC?
Do you need the HD audio tracks or will you be OK with the upgraded Dolby and DTS 5.1 as long as you have the great HD visuals?
If you need the HD audio, are you willing to upgrade your receiver for one of the Onkyo HDMI receivers (probably run you $300-400 if you either buy online or can get your local store to match one of the cheaper online prices)?

If you can answer those questions, then you will know which direction to go?


Good luck

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