Upconverting DVD Players anyone? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Upconverting DVD Players anyone?

11-10-2005, 12:22 PM
Can anyone gve me some personal opinions/experience on upconverting players?
I have a 60" Sony LCD with HDMI/DVI capabilities.

Denon, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, ? - Are they worth the hassel to change over?

I currently own a Denon DVD-2200.


11-10-2005, 01:04 PM
Worth the hassle, worth the money? I'll go against my nature, which is to be noncommital about other people's financial and emotional thresholds, and give a qualified "no"--not because I don't believe that an upconverting player can improve the picture on a microdisplay. Under the right circumstances (not CRT), an upconverter may well deliver a noticeably superior picture for two reasons: (1) The HDMI or DVI output that upconversion requires is inherently less prone to artifacts than analog component, and (2) it relieves the TV of having to upscale 480 to its own native resolution, which usually isn't as effective due to its place in the chain of events. Upconversion that matches perfectly--720p to a 720p display--stands to be the best, though leaving the TV to scale 48 pixels (to 768p) shouldn't be much of a problem.

Since execution is part of the deal, a DVD player's success at upconversion isn't always assured. The Samsungs, for example, used a PC greyscale instead of a video greyscale, thereby crushing blacks mercilessly. Moreover, since the color space of HD is different from the color space of NTSC DVD, upconverting DVD to a pseudo-HD resolution could sometimes cause either the DVD player or the target device to use the wrong color space--an inappropriate HD color space instead of the proper one for DVD. The results weren't necessarily terrible--maybe a 20% decrease in green saturation--but on some displays, they might be more evident than on others. Moreover, upconverting the signal on the DVD player could conceivably exacerbate any instrinsic flaws that the player exhibits--say, compression errors like macroblocking.

Okay, that said, the degree of difference is enough in question to make the hassle of switching from a perfectly good DVD player with analog outs to another one for its digital output unappealing. The fussy, meticulous, gotta-have-it types are going to do it no matter what might befall; those sane people who have to ask whether it's worthwhile probably could save their money these days. Whatever lies in store within the next couple of years as DVD's next step will most certainly feature digital output. Can you wait for the next wave? If not, the Denons are pretty good, as are the Sonys, at least the last time I checked. The Bravo D2 may not do much else very well, but it sure can upconvert. Bargains might be available. I'd avoid the Samsungs unless they get the seal of approval somewhere, maybe in the AVS thread.


11-11-2005, 08:08 AM
I'd avoid the Samsungs unless they get the seal of approval somewhere, maybe in the AVS thread.

Ed's right. I can honestly say the Samsung upconverting DVD player I had for a very short while was the worst I've ever owned. As a matter a fact I went through 3 of em. It would skip during play and decide to play a SACD song 2 minutes after I pressed play. After the third return I gave up and went with Denon. No problems since.