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I now have an HD DVD player - some basic questions

  1. Aug 29, 2008 #1

    GCT

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    1) Would the HDMI connection increase the resolution?

    2) Does the DVD player perform worse as it ages with respect to the HD capabilities?

    3) Are there any other features that I should know about to optimize the HD?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2008 #2

    jtbell

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    Do you mean a player that plays HD DVDs (the format that lost to Blu-Ray), or a player that upconverts ordinary DVDs to HD resolution?

    Versus a component-video connection (red/green/blue jacks), the resolution is the same, but there may be differences in crispness, brightness or color. The results vary depending on which particular player and which TV you're connecting. Sometimes HDMI is significantly better. Sometimes the differences are very small. Try both for a while and see which one gives better results on your system.

    A composite-video connection (yellow jack) or S-video (round multi-pin jack) can pass only SD (480i), so either HDMI or component video will produce significantly better results on a HDTV.

    I've never heard of that happening.

    If you haven't done so, learn how to adjust your TV's picture controls (brightness, color, etc.) to optimize the picture. Most TV's come "out of the box" set to what many people call "torch mode" which is too bright, with oversaturated colors, etc. There are calibration DVDs that can help with this, or you can do it by eye with a lot of patience while watching movies or TV shows that have natural lighting and color. (Many movies and TV shows use unnatural lighting and color effects for artistic reasons.) If the brightness or color is too high, it can make the picture appear less sharp because of "bleeding" effects at edges of objects.
     
  4. Aug 29, 2008 #3
    Most likely yes. Some players and discs will not permit high definition output from the component cables. This is due to the (paranoid, IMO) belief that people would use $10,000 professional-grade hardware to tap into the component signal, re-digitize it, and pirate the film.

    So usually you have to use HDMI (or DVI if your player supports it) with HDCP to ensure you are always getting HD 100% of the time. Otherwise it might "down-rez" and you won't even know it.

    Useless side note: I tried to convince the DOJ to launch an anti-trust action against the MPAA over this because people with older HDTVs (which didn't have HDCP) can get screwed because of this, and back in 2001 when they were talking about this it was a big deal. They weren't interested, and now almost all TVs have HDMI so it's not an issue.

    No more so than any other piece of electronic equipment. It's suceptible to wear and tear like anything else.

    Make sure your player is actually set to the same resolution as your TV - 720p, 1080i, or 1080p. Sometimes players will default to 480i or 480p output without telling you.
     
  5. Aug 29, 2008 #4

    GCT

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    jtbell, it's an HD DVD player which was recently bought on Ebay - Toshiba.

    Thanks for the excellent advice with respect to both of you. Btw what's an HDCP?
     
  6. Aug 29, 2008 #5

    mgb_phys

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    High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection - it encrypts the digital signal between the dvd player/computer and the TV.
    It closes the analogue hole - the idea that however well they restrict showing the movie they think that someone would connect a digital scope to the cable and capture GB of data to copy a movie.
     
  7. Aug 30, 2008 #6

    GCT

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    Thanks. So would I need to buy a particular HDMI cable or is it universal?
     
  8. Aug 30, 2008 #7

    mgb_phys

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    No the software built into the player and the TV the data works with any HDMI cable.
    It isn't a feature of standalone DVD players but is in Windows Vista and Blu-Ray - in which case your TV needs to support it.
     
  9. Aug 30, 2008 #8

    jtbell

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    For standard DVD players, this is true. Few if any standard DVD players upconvert via the component-video output, only via HDMI. With HD DVD players, the situation is different. They do deliver HD output from HD DVDs via both component-video and HDMI. However, they refuse to upconvert standard DVDs via component-video, just like standard DVD players!

    I've used my HD DVD player with a component-video connection for a little while, just to see that it works that way. I normally have it connected via HDMI.

    By the way, the "quality" of the HDMI cable shouldn't matter unless you need 25 feet / 8 m or more. And unless you're in a hurry, don't pay the astronomical prices that most bricks-n-mortar stores charge for HDMI cables (or any cables, for that matter). Use an online dealer that has good prices. You can get good cables up to 10 ft (3 m) or so for less than $10.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  10. Aug 30, 2008 #9

    russ_watters

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    The data on digital media and the devices that process them do not progressively degrade with time as the media and devices physically degrade.
     
  11. Aug 31, 2008 #10

    GCT

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    Great, thanks to all, I'm probably going buy the cable on Ebay.
     
  12. Aug 31, 2008 #11
    Whether it down-rezes component is up to the disc manufacturer. And often times you might not even know it's happening. But trust me, they can do it, and if a cheap HD analog-digital converter ever was devised, they'll start.
     
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