TALK STORY

Technical question for, well...tech heads...

POSTED BY: CHRISISALL
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 07:43
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:58 PM

CHRISISALL


I just got a 720 LCD TV & Serenity looks GREAT on it. Will it look even better if I get an upconvert DVD player too?


The laughing Chrisisall

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:03 PM

YELLOWJACKET


Yes. Send your old dvd player to me.


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:21 PM

SIMONWHO


Possibly. Remember, your TV upconverts to a certain degree itself so it's really about whether your putative DVD upscaler is significantly better than your TV upscaler. You might consider finding a second hand HD DVD player - they upscale, they'll play the HD DVD of Serenity at a native 1080p and they're cheap as chips in most places.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:29 PM

KIRKULES


I would skip the upscale DVD and save the money for a Blu Ray player. I doubt you would see much improvement from an upscaler unless you're using a projection TV with a screen bigger than 72".

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:00 PM

OPTIMUS1998


Not sure if you'd wanna classify me as a Tech Head, or a Smeg Head, but, as the owner of:
a) a 32" 720p TV (Sony KDL-32ML130)
b)an up converting DVD player (Pioneer DV-400V)
3)a Blu-ray Player (LG BD370)
4)the original Serenity DVD
5)The Serenity Collectors Edition DVD
6)The Serenity Blu-Ray

I am hard Pressed to see a whole lot of difference

i tried head to head comparisons of both Serenity and The 5th Element when i first got the Blu player. while the Blu Versions may have been a little sharper, IMHO it wasn't drastic enough to make me want to start replacing my dvds with their blu counterparts (with a few exceptions of course)

would it be more noticeable on a bigger screen? most likely. (what size is your screen?)

my up converting dvd does a fantastic job, but the blu player does an even better job of up converting.

there's my 2 cents. take from it what you will.

Make Cartoons, Not War
- Sue Blu
Once, while having sex in a tractor-trailer, part of Chuck Norris' sperm escaped and got into the engine. We now know this truck as Optimus Prime.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:12 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


I'm not a tech head, but remember to use a HMDI (cheap is OK-they either work or don't) cable between your upconverting DVD or Blu-Ray player and the TV.



http://fireflyfaninnc.livejournal.com/








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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:16 PM

OPTIMUS1998


Quote:

Originally posted by ncbrowncoat:
I'm not a tech head, but remember to use a HMDI (cheap is OK-they either work or don't) cable between your upconverting DVD or Blu-Ray player and the TV.



I knew i forgot something! both of my players are of course hooked up via HDMI

www.monoprice.com rocks for inexpensive cables and mounts and what not.

you can get 6 foot HDMI cables as cheap as $2

Make Cartoons, Not War
- Sue Blu
Once, while having sex in a tractor-trailer, part of Chuck Norris' sperm escaped and got into the engine. We now know this truck as Optimus Prime.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:19 PM

KIRKULES


Another thing to consider is that a Blu Ray player will also play standard DVDs and up-convert also.

You will definitely want to use an HDMI cable, either why you chose to go.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:26 PM

KIRKULES


Quote:

Originally posted by optimus1998:

www.monoprice.com rocks for inexpensive cables and mounts and what not.

you can get 6 foot HDMI cables as cheap as $2



Thanks for the link. I need to buy a 30ft HDMI and their prices are half what I've been seeing.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:47 PM

OPTIMUS1998


kirk, you could also consider an HDMI extender -

uses 2 cat 5, or cat 6 Network cables to send the signal between 2 boxes. up to 50 meters.
if you are talking an in wall type install might i suggest:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10425&cs_
id=1042501&p_id=5403&seq=1&format=2


Just make sure your cat 5 cable is rated for in wall instillation

Make Cartoons, Not War
- Sue Blu
Once, while having sex in a tractor-trailer, part of Chuck Norris' sperm escaped and got into the engine. We now know this truck as Optimus Prime.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 3:56 PM

BIGRICHARD


It will all depend on how big your TV is.
I would be against buying a new DVD player at this stage, simply because it's getting to the point where you may as well buy a BluRay, as you can then play both.

I would definitely advise against getting an HD DVD player, even if they are cheap, as it's pointless, that format is gone.

I have a...47"? I think? 47" LCD, and I can definitely tell the difference between DVD and BluRay. Definitely. Also have a 5.1 Surround set up, and the sound leap from DVD to BluRay is even more impressive than the visuals I'd say.

So yes, it depends what size your TV is, I'd say anything over 40" and it would almost definitely be worth buying a BluRay player, especially since you do seem to notice that the quality could be better.

And don't stress about 'replacing' your DVD's with BluRay's. BluRay players play both, so you can still keep watching your DVD's.
I just buy films that I think are visually amazing. I so far have:

30 Days of Night
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Firefly
Harry Potter OotP
Hellboy 2
Serenity
Wall-E.

And I want to get films like The Fountain, Pan's Labyrinth and Children of Men.

All, in my opinion, are films that look simply astounding.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 7:23 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


You have not stated your screen size.
I have a 32 inch LCD.
Comparing regular DVD to upconvert DVD player, seemed better image.
Playing the SD Serenity and Firefly DVDs on upconvert versus the Bluray player, not much difference I saw (when both were HDMI).

The upconvert player is about $30, whereas the bluray player lowest price was $200. Without having bluray disks, not much better to get the bluray player until it gets under $50, but the upconvert player is well worth it (for such a cheap price).
Keep in mind also that 42inch screens are now down to $500, so you might be inkling towards an upgrade in that area as well.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 7:31 PM

BIGRICHARD


Again, it really all depends on circumstances.

Regular DVD compared to upconverted is definitely going to give you a better image, obviously.

Upconvert compared to BluRay will all depend on how big the TV is. (I have both, both HDMI, and BluRay is definitely better on 47")

But yes, this does all depend on whether you're interested in BluRay or not.
Obviously BluRay is more expensive, but it will also probably last longer, not to mention that you often get more special features.

I guess the best decision would be don't buy either right now. If you spend money on a good upconverting dvd player, that's money you could've spent later on a BluRay player. But then you may also want to wait a while until BluRay players come down, if $200 or so is too much for you to be paying.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 4:54 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
You have not stated your screen size.

26"- I sit relatively close to my TV.
And I'm cheap.


The laughing Chrisisall

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 7:23 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


One point I was trying to make was that, with such relatively low prices on the upconvert players, one could buy that now - the price is unlikely to get much lower than that - and use it, then when bluray prices come down, the upconvert can be used for your other TVs - you DO have one in your bedroom, right?

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 11:10 PM

BIGRICHARD


Good point jsfan. If you've got the money and another TV in the house, buy the upconvert now and replace it later.

Although, on a 26" screen, I'd just go with an upconverting DVD player, it'll make a difference at that size, and you probably won't see all that much of a difference between that and BluRay, if any.

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Friday, May 22, 2009 3:20 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
you DO have one in your bedroom, right?

No, just a one-TV house here.


The laughing Chrisisall

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Friday, May 22, 2009 3:21 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by BigRichard:

Although, on a 26" screen, I'd just go with an upconverting DVD player, it'll make a difference at that size, and you probably won't see all that much of a difference between that and BluRay, if any.

That was my thinking on this, thanks Rich.


The laughing Chrisisall

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Friday, May 22, 2009 3:39 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by BigRichard:
BluRay is more expensive, but it will also probably last longer, not to mention that you often get more special features.


With the exception of commentary on John Carpenter/Kurt Russel movies & Jackie Chan outtakes, I generally have no real use for special features anyway.

MAN! The picture on this TV is INCREDIBLE!!! Serenity looks a whole new level of REAL!!!!

*falls down*


The laughing Chrisisall

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Friday, May 22, 2009 3:46 AM

BIGRICHARD


ohhh take it from me, just wait till you get a 47" LCD and watch Serenity on BluRay. Even on DVD. IT'S SERENITY AT 47" IN YOUR LIVING ROOM!!
Mind you..I have to sit fairly far away from mine, so yours might be 'bigger'.

And you've just given me a thought...I wonder if the Escape from NY/LA movies are out on BluRay yet...not sure how much better they'd look but I haven't watched them on the new big screen yet...



yeah, for the record, I often love special features. Especially on a lot of Joss' stuff. That man knows how to record a kickass commentary. And Robert Rodriguez, that dude usually has some cool special features.

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Friday, May 22, 2009 3:57 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


I doubt I'd really go after an upconverting DVD player at this point - UNLESS it were a really, really good deal. Like the one I found on Woot.com: Philips HDMI upconverting DVD player for $19.99, plus $5 shipping. Hard to go wrong with that...

I haven't hooked it up yet. My entertainment system is an absolute Frankensteinish nightmare of wiring, and adding ANYTHING can be a days-long ordeal. Right now, it's all working perfectly, so I'm reticent to mess with success.

What I've got at the moment:

42" Westinghouse LCD TV (4 HDMI inputs on the back really, really helps!), fed by...

1) TimeWarner HD DVR.
2) RCA home theatre surround sound system with DVD player
3) Philips DVD-R DVD recorder with 160GB hard drive.
4) PlayStation 2.
5) Wii.

So now I just need to figure out how to chain the new DVD unit in so that I get the high-def upconvert function AND get the sound through the surround system.

It's not much of a home theatre system, but it works well for my needs.

Mike

Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day...
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

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Friday, May 22, 2009 4:06 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by BigRichard:
just wait till you get a 47" LCD and watch Serenity on BluRay.

Actually, seen part of it on Blu at Buymore (sorry, Bestbuy ), and it didn't look much better than what I see at home now.


The laughing Chrisisall

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Friday, May 22, 2009 4:28 AM

BIGRICHARD


Fair enough. Maybe I've got the Placebo effect, but it just looks better to me. Maybe my eyes just kick your eyes' ass?

Eh, either way, it was worth it for the extra special features and to support the cause!

(also...on a seperate note...CHUCK IS COMING BACK YAY!! I know we've known this for a while now, but I'm just SO happy. Chuck, Castle AND Dollhouse! Who woulda thunk it?)

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Friday, May 22, 2009 5:50 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by BigRichard:
Chuck, Castle AND Dollhouse! Who woulda thunk it?

Yes, celebrations all around!!!
BTW, an upconvert & HDMI cable just brought it up to perfection.


The laughing Chrisisall

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Friday, May 22, 2009 6:54 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


I have a tech question too. I need an inexpensive (if there is one) sound system (no DVD player-already have one) for a 40" HDTV that sounds a bit tiney, even when tweaked.

I don't have much room for speakers as my living room layout is small. Is a sound bar the way to go?

http://fireflyfaninnc.livejournal.com/








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Saturday, May 23, 2009 6:57 AM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


I have a 37" LCD set, an HD DVR, a very good upconverting DVD player/recorder, and a PS3, all connected via HDMI.

There have been certain Blu-Ray discs that I didn't think were that much better than the regular DVD upconverted, that is until I did a test. I put in my Collector's Edition of Serenity in the upconverting player and the Blu-Ray in the PS3, then toggled back and forth between the inputs for those two players. The Blu-Ray is clearly superior in every detail, but most especially in the daytime, outdoor scenes. The darker, interior scenes were an improvement too, just not as much. But the dark shadows were not as muddied as on the regular DVD, and the color saturation and sharpness of detail in all scenes is superior on the Blu-Ray.

I think one of the reasons I was expecting more of a difference initially is that most of the really spectacular displays at Best Buy were on the largest plasma screens.



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Sunday, May 24, 2009 11:01 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by ecgordon:

I think one of the reasons I was expecting more of a difference initially is that most of the really spectacular displays at Best Buy were on the largest plasma screens.



Yes, good point.

Perhaps some day I might get a PS3, and then I might dabble in Blu-Rays, but for now, on my 26" LCD, all is well. I'm buggin' to the definition.
Firestarter was incredible..the fire looked 3D...
Star Trek VI blew me away...
The non-anamorphics (Armageddon, Escape From LA, Accidental Spy) basically looked mostly the same- a bit brighter maybe.


The laughing Chrisisall

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Sunday, May 24, 2009 8:26 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by ncbrowncoat:
I have a tech question too. I need an inexpensive (if there is one) sound system (no DVD player-already have one) for a 40" HDTV that sounds a bit tiney, even when tweaked.

I don't have much room for speakers as my living room layout is small. Is a sound bar the way to go?




Well, I've been known as an audiophile, but WHAT is a sound bar?

Your best friend for sound quality is a decent Equalizer. 10 bands is good, 8 bands is ok. Helps if it has the pink noise generator and mic for the tuning/calibration. If not those, then borrow a friend's who has the pink noise and mic. This makes your room into the same sound fidelity as a recording studio. Getting one used is great.

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Monday, May 25, 2009 3:22 AM

NCBROWNCOAT


It's speakers in a bar that fit over or just below the TV, with a sub woofer, in the $250-$450 range. I looked at a couple yesterday.

My problem is my living room is small and narrow. My TV is in a corner, caty cornered to the sofa. The sofa is in front of a large window and near the front door so running wires and positioning speakers is problematic.

http://fireflyfaninnc.livejournal.com/








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Monday, May 25, 2009 3:30 AM

NCBROWNCOAT


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Quote:

Originally posted by ecgordon:

I think one of the reasons I was expecting more of a difference initially is that most of the really spectacular displays at Best Buy were on the largest plasma screens.



Yes, good point.

Perhaps some day I might get a PS3, and then I might dabble in Blu-Rays, but for now, on my 26" LCD, all is well. I'm buggin' to the definition.
Firestarter was incredible..the fire looked 3D...
Star Trek VI blew me away...
The non-anamorphics (Armageddon, Escape From LA, Accidental Spy) basically looked mostly the same- a bit brighter maybe.


The laughing Chrisisall



A little bit of trivia. Firestarter was one of the first movies filmed in my hometown of Wilmington, N.C.

My Mom taught 3rd grade and one of her students, who showed horses, was the "stunt double rider" in the horse back scene for Drew Barrymore.

I also love to spot local areas I'm familiar with in that movie and the other movies and TV series filmed there.

http://fireflyfaninnc.livejournal.com/








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Monday, May 25, 2009 7:06 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by ncbrowncoat:
It's speakers in a bar that fit over or just below the TV, with a sub woofer, in the $250-$450 range. I looked at a couple yesterday.

My problem is my living room is small and narrow. My TV is in a corner, caty cornered to the sofa. The sofa is in front of a large window and near the front door so running wires and positioning speakers is problematic.




I don't understand why running wires or positioning speakers is a problem in this situation.
Your large window is creating your tinny sound, and the EQ will be able to fix that.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:00 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


I just noticed something on my bluray Serenity viewing. All the bluray DVD threads are buried, so here it lands.

At the end of River's My Turn scene, the operative has had SWAT stand down, and there is a closeup of River, with BDH in background. River turns from looking at SWAT to the opposite way, looking at BDH/Mal. During this head turn, the camera focus zooms from extreme near River Closeup focus to focus on Mal in background. During this zooming in, as the focus range moves, every piece of dust hangin in the air at the range that the focus is at for each split second is perfectly visible when the focus is at that range.
wow. I don't think this is CGI, and I have not seen it before. Not on other DVD, and I don't think I saw it on the silver screen either. I'll check during CSTS, but maybe others can check as well. I've heard that CSTS will not be using the film because they were destroyed, so if they use SD DVDs we may not see a decent picture either.
My screen is only 32".

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009 7:43 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
I have not seen it before.

In Blade Runner in the first scene at Holden's office I saw Leon, in the boom shot coming down, at the far right, for a moment, searching the door numbers for the correct office...never saw that before, even in the 15 times I saw it in the theatres.


The laughing Chrisisall

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