• 04-14-2007, 04:59 AM
    Older High End vs. Newer Low End
    I recently purchased a new DVD player because it had received quite a good review (Sony NS75H) and it was only a hundred dollars or so - and I wanted to try the HDMI with my LG 62" DLP. I had bought one of the very first Progressive Scan DVD Players when it came out back in 98 or 99 - the Sony ES 9000 SACD/DVD player. I must say, even though it has only been a day or so, I don't see much of an improvement in image quality over the Progressive unit. As a matter of fact, the ES unit is much more responsive in navigating DVDs than the newer unit. On a side note, I had been having sporadic episodes with the ES unit - freezing up, not playing some discs, etc, so I bought the HDMI unit as a possible back up until this HD/BluRay thing settles down. I decided to do some DIY on the ES piece - took the cover off - accessed the transport unit (man, talk about build quality and over engineering - this thing must weigh 50 lbs - yes, a DVD Player) and blew out all the dust with compressed air, then lubricated the transport very carefully with vaseline (could not find white lithium grease). Seems to have helped - anyway, does anyone think that my opinion of the lack of appreciable image quality between prehistoric Progressive vs. newer HDMI is accurate? Come on ED, I know you are out there! he he he
  • 04-14-2007, 06:01 AM
    I'm not surprised. The Sony ES series has always been well regarded, and DVD playback technology per se hasn't advanced all that much since then. Video processing (as opposed to film processing) may have evolved, but reverse 2:3 pulldown, which constitutes the bulk of the processing that each deck has to do, is fairly straightforward. At this late stage in DVD's life, the trickle down of other properties and characteristics of playback could very well make these players all but indistinguishable, at least for video. HDMI's main purpose in life is to protect content from piracy; it just so happens that sharpness and color are often preserved better when a signal stays in the digital domain than when it has to take a detour through component analog, though not always visibly. By the way, progressive and HDMI aren't exclusive categories. HDMI signals are almost always progressive (i.e., processed); most DVD players confine the original 480i data to the analog outputs. The 9000 ES just happens to deinterlace via component, whereas the newer 75H can do so via HDMI or component. The HDMI on the 75H permits scaling presumably to 1080i or 720p, thereby sparing the TV from having to do the job, but there's no guarantee that its performance is appreciably better than the LG's. Often it takes close scrutiny of test screens to see any difference, though sometimes improvement is obvious at the outset. The 9000 ES might falter when given exotic cadences to deinterlace, but the 75H might, too. Yet, neither might ever have to deal with them, and even if they did, you might not notice the players having difficulty locking onto them. If you want to do an interesting experiment, get yourself the HQV test disk, which measures how well DVD players perform certain functions--both routine and complicated. As a by-product, this disk also exposes viewers firsthand to artifacts that they may have heard about but never noticed in actual viewing.
  • 04-14-2007, 06:21 AM
    Mr Peabody
    I thought this thread was going to be about audio gear, it's definitely been my experience that "high end" audio still beats the pants off low end newer gear. But I wasn't so sure on video. I guess the fact that your newer DVD player was only $100.00 or so still may have made your comparison a little unfair but I guess it does go to show that in most casess we get what we pay for. This is why I have to laugh a little at these guys that think their $200.00 CD player is as good as it gets. I have wondered if the bit rate on these DVD players mattered much, 10 vs 14 on newer machines. Your comparison shows it must not be as important as other factors. One thing that may have leveled the field is if your LG does upconverting. It's my understanding that upconverting of analog video is allowed but not on digital video like HDMI. My Sony tube HDTV does one of the best jobs of upconverting I've seen. There's noticeable differences between HD and SD but it is amazing what this set does for a VHS tape. I believe Ed feels there is upconverting via HDMI but I am not convinced.
  • 04-14-2007, 10:29 AM
    Thanks (again) Ed - and Mr. P.
    Ed, I can always count on you for the straight dope. Did that little Spyder unit ever get back home to you? I still use the calibration levels as my benchmark for all my inputs. I respect your opinion as you know - What do you feel will be the final outcome on the BluRay vs. HD DVD debacle?

    Respectfully - Hairsonfire
  • 04-14-2007, 11:55 AM
    Yes, the Spyder got home safely, and it's still doing its job--now for people closer to home. I have a review of the Spyder Pro somewhere in the Learning section if your're interested. I like it a lot. I used to think that Blu-ray would be unstoppable (at least for those who care about hi def on disk), even after it fizzled on entry, but now, given Universal's two-sided disk and LG's precedent of a dual-format player, I can see the battle continuing indefinitely. As many people seem to think, it might not resolve until some other delivery system steals the show. As far as PQ is concerned, when both formats are at the top of their game, no differences are apparent.

    Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad the Spyder worked out for you. Most people had good success with it.
  • 04-21-2007, 12:29 AM
    big difference on hdmi if you're watching HD or digital cable, not so much on DVD.
    I have a samsung upconverter going through a dvi/hdmi converter cable, and my TV has easy A/B capabilities, there are differences, but very slight.
    However the difference between componet and hdmi out on my motorola are significant.
    The color does seem a little better on hdmi, tho, and being able to hear my cable box with my receiver turned off is a nice conveience feature