Are you ready for HI-DEF?

Hi-def hardware are getting cheaper and affordable. Last week we see a Toshiba HD-DVD player for $98 plus some free HD-DVD movies. Blu-ray camp also lowered their price (the cheapest still PS3 $399 though). Other hi-def hardware are also down in price ie HDTV, AV Receivers with HDMI switching etc.

Media, hmm… still not cheap compare to DVD media. But from $29 a piece last year, now you can get for $10 or less for a 15/25GB media. And they are available in 50packs!

Movies… HD broadcast is available for quite a while from cable or fiber optics channels. You can get Blu-ray and HD-DVD to buy or to rent.

The format war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD still continues though, but don’t worry we can get the best of both worlds with a combo drive. For PC you can get LG Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive combo. For standalone there are Samsung and LG combo among others.

And… black friday is coming.

So are you ready for hi-def?
Or are you waiting for the right time, or are you all settled?

Let’s hear!

What Pioneer BD/HD-DVD combo drive are you referring to? Or am I mistaken that you meant to refer to one?

Also, don’t forget the XBox HD-DVD drive which can be used on a PC. It’s still about the cheapest option.

3D/4D TV would be a better idea. I’m tired of the 2D i have now :bigsmile:

[QUOTE=CDan;1926156]What Pioneer BD/HD-DVD combo drive are you referring to? Or am I mistaken that you meant to refer to one?

Also, don’t forget the XBox HD-DVD drive which can be used on a PC. It’s still about the cheapest option.[/QUOTE]
Pioneer BDC-202 (OEM) and BDC-S02B (retail) Blu-ray only though, but do write to DVD recordable and CD recordable.
Review here http://www.cdfreaks.com/reviews/Pioneer-BDC-S02BK-Blu-ray-Combo-Drive-Mini-Review

[quote=CDan;1926156]What Pioneer BD/HD-DVD combo drive are you referring to? [/quote]Sorry my mistake. As Dee-27 mentioned, the current Pioneer is BD only so first post edited to avoid confusion.

~

For me, I’m slowly going hi-def. First purchase early this year was 42" Samsung plasma (got it for half the retail price), looks small now, lol.

Then when my son wanted a PS3 for his birthday last month I immediately approve. :bigsmile:

Now I’m thinking to upgrade my AV receiver since wife always complains about using 3 remotes. Been eyeing on the Onkyo TX-SR805 with 3 HDMI inputs and waiting for the price to drop.

I am holding out for Black Friday. As soon as I see a BluRay Player for 300.00 or less I am pulling out the credit card. I have a Samsung 46inch HD TV and when I watch a movie on it even through my upscaling player there is no comparison with the BluRay movies playing on the same TV up at BestBuy.

Not until the picture is good enough to justify the switch. I have seen every system out there and I am not impressed. Maybe hologram will be enough of an improvement. I may have to wait for that.

[QUOTE=slytrans69;1930805]Not until the picture is good enough to justify the switch. I have seen every system out there and I am not impressed. Maybe hologram will be enough of an improvement. I may have to wait for that.[/QUOTE]Can i ask which systems you have seen?

A 1080P movie, viewed on a 1080P TV is a vast improvement on a normal DVD movie played on the same set.

Got the TV and the Blu-ray player but still have to get a HDMI 1/3 compatible AV receiver. Was looking at a Harmon Kardon but it was $999.99 so I will hold off, although I would like to compare the 5.1 uncompressed sound to the standard 5.1… When the price drops on the LG combo player I will probably jump at it.:iagree:

@slytrans69. You must be very picky. 1080P is a truly impressive picture.:iagree:

[quote=crossg;1930865]Got the TV and the Blu-ray player but still have to get a HDMI 1/3 compatible AV receiver. Was looking at a Harmon Kardon but it was $999.99 so I will hold off, although I would like to compare the 5.1 uncompressed sound to the standard 5.1… When the price drops on the LG combo player I will probably jump at it.:iagree:

@slytrans69. You must be very picky. 1080P is a truly impressive picture.:iagree:[/quote]
I wanted to hold off until I could get a burner that burned both formats, but that does not seem to be happening. So I will get a Player both Bluray and HD and just play from my Hdd to my TV.

[QUOTE=crossg;1930865]Got the TV and the Blu-ray player but still have to get a HDMI 1/3 compatible AV receiver. Was looking at a Harmon Kardon but it was $999.99 so I will hold off, although I would like to compare the 5.1 uncompressed sound to the standard 5.1… When the price drops on the LG combo player I will probably jump at it.:iagree:

@slytrans69. You must be very picky. 1080P is a truly impressive picture.:iagree:[/QUOTE]

You don’t really need HDMI 1.3, unless you have a burning desire for lossless 7:1 audio over HDMI. There are currently no sources for video that requires HDMI 1.3.

If you just want HDMI switching, the Yamaha 661 is a raging good value and does allow 5 ch PCM over HDMI.

Hopefully LG set a standard when they introduced the the Combo HD-DVD / Blu-ray player. One would think or hope the burner should not be far behind.:slight_smile:

[quote=CDan;1930880]You don’t really need HDMI 1.3, unless you have a burning desire for lossless 7:1 audio over HDMI. There are currently no sources for video that requires HDMI 1.3.

If you just want HDMI switching, the Yamaha 661 is a raging good value and does allow 5 ch PCM over HDMI.[/quote]
Thanks. Looks like a nice receiver. To be honest I had to google HDMI switching to find out what it meant. Lots of reading to do just have to get the time. With the HDMI 1.3 I just didn’t want to bottle neck myself with a new system but like I said I have a lot of catching up to do.:wink:

[QUOTE=Dee-27;1930836]Can i ask which systems you have seen?

A 1080P movie, viewed on a 1080P TV is a vast improvement on a normal DVD movie played on the same set.[/QUOTE]

I’m not sure I would go with “vast improvement,” especially when compared to upper end standard definition Denon players such as the 3930ci and a very good DVD with a original source from 35mm or 65mm film. I personally use a commercial grade ED plasma with native widescreen DVD resolution, and I find it blows me out of the room with many standard DVDs. Mind you, not all DVDs are made from prestine masters, so I’d agree if you are comparing to aging circa 1986 film transfers to 1" analog video or material shot directly on video.

For me the issue mainly is that most material I watch is not available on HD-DVD yet, and most older programming tends to be 4:3 which is an annoyance in HD due to the pillar bars on the sides. I’ve yet to find a cost-effective solution for de-pillarbarizing HD material like you can with SD with smart-stretch. The only solutions I’ve seen for working with HD are $3K standalone boxes like the Lumagen.

[QUOTE=crossg;1930979]Thanks. Looks like a nice receiver. To be honest I had to google HDMI switching to find out what it meant. Lots of reading to do just have to get the time. With the HDMI 1.3 I just didn’t want to bottle neck myself with a new system but like I said I have a lot of catching up to do.;)[/QUOTE]

Why you don’t need HDMI 1.3

Most better receivers now have some HDMI inputs and switch to monitor output. Generally they pass the video untouched. Some have upscaling of analog video to HDMI, though these are not always the best upscalers. In a receiver, the primary use for HDMI is to get digital audio into the unit from a HD-DVD or BD player. Optical lines don’t have enough bandwidth for lossless “HD” audio. Although most folks are not unhappy with optical audio, it’s not the best that high-def discs have to offer. The different HD players have different approaches to getting HD audio out over optical, most will down-convert it to one form or another. Best current approach is a receiver that can accept 5-ch PCM over HDMI, and that can apply whatever decoder to that input that you wish. Then you set your player to decode whatever audio stream you choose to 5-ch PCM over HDMI. PCM is lossless. While it’s not necessary to apply any decoder to the 5-ch PCM stream, cause it’s already decoded, if you want 7-ch audio you will need to be able to do this with one of the available 7-ch decoders like DD PLIIx or DTS 6:1. So the receiver takes the lossless 5:1 and extracts back surround info from the surround tracks, creating 7:1. It’s cool. :cool:

Thanks for the article over at avs CDan. They indeed have lots of good reading. I was reading TrueHD vs PCM thread last week. (If you found more good articles and post it here I appreciate it.)

My 5 years old Yamaha receiver supports PCM (as well as others up to DTS 6.1) but it does not support the new format DTS-HD, TrueHD etc and no HDMI input. I was wondering if there is any difference “listening” the PCM over HDMI and Optical cable? Also I guess you need a good speakers to hear the glory of the new TrueHD etc?

[QUOTE=zevia;1931370]
My 5 years old Yamaha receiver supports PCM (as well as others up to DTS 6.1) but it does not support the new format DTS-HD, TrueHD etc and no HDMI input. I was wondering if there is any difference “listening” the PCM over HDMI and Optical cable? Also I guess you need a good speakers to hear the glory of the new TrueHD etc?[/QUOTE]

PCM is lossless. I don’t have the actual bit rates available, but HDMI has massive bandwidth compared to optical. HDMI 1.3 is off the charts for bandwidth, and will allow 7-ch PCM. I think the highest bit rate used over optical is around 1.5 Mb. The players down-convert the HD audio to either DD or DTS, (depending on player) to send over optical. Bit rates of the down-converted optical audio range from 640Kb(DD) to 1.5Mb (DTS). Again depending on the player. With PCM over HDMI, they simply decode and send it lossless. Your average DVD DD 5:1 is 384 Kb.

So, all of the above can sound wonderful. But whether you HEAR a difference depends on the source material. GIGO. There are precious few HD discs that have serious 7-ch audio at high bit rates, most are nothing more than the usual 5:1, but with higher bit rates. Some discs offer a choice, but most do not. If a HD disc has gone through serious re-mastering of the audio, the higher bit rates make a difference. Consider the difference between average bit rate MP3 and lossless audio CDs.

I just updated from an older Yamaha 5:1 receiver to the new 661, and even with slightly less power, I hear a difference in the PCM audio over HDMI. You’ll get more actual use out of the newer DD and DTS decoders for 6-ch than you would from the HD decoders, since only a couple of HD player can send HD audio un-decoded over HDMI. I use the DD PLIIx 6-ch decoder to matrix rear surrounds from 5:1 sources, and it works very well. It also does wonders with older 2-ch Dolby Surround.

All I know is I have to get HD-DVD and Blu-Ray player. I can deal with watching them from my hdds to my TV , and then when the media becomes a little cheaper I will start to burn. LOL.

Ok, I was looking at hidefdigest for example Cars Blu-ray (http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/630/cars.html), the loseless PCM 5.1 is 6.9mbps while DD5.1 is 640kbps.

Anyway, in PS3 there is an Audio option to select Linear PCM or Bitstream. If the source is PCM and in PS3 I chose LPCM, the Yamaha receiver will indicate “PCM” in the display, when I choose Bitstream it will show DD5.1 (or 6.1). So even in that case I guess I will loose few mbps of audio bandwidth since I ran optical from PS3 to the receiver. :frowning:

The Yamaha RX-V661 looks good but it doesn’t support DTS HD/MA and TrueHD? My old one is HTR-5560. I was thinking to upgrade with Onkyo however, with at least 3 HDMI inputs (wanted 4 HDMI inputs if I can found one, ie from PS3, FIOS set top box, HTPC and one more for spare - HD-DVD player maybe).

[quote=alan1476;1931471]All I know is I have to get HD-DVD and Blu-Ray player. I can deal with watching them from my hdds to my TV , and then when the media becomes a little cheaper I will start to burn. LOL.[/quote]That’s one of the downside of current new formats, the media is still expensive. I talked to one of expert in this area and he suggested that if the blu-ray/hd-dvd burners can be purchased at around $80-100, not like today $300-500, then the demand for BD/HD DVD media will increase significantly and media manufactures can mass product and eventually price of media will drop.

There are few guides online that can “convert” blu-ray and hd-dvd to DVD media, mostly useful for older movies. But new movies are release in a better picture quality hence more space, ie 20GB and up for only the AVC video stream. Plus the audio stream (whether lossless PCM or Dolby Digital audio) you will need 3-4 DVD DL media. I think it’s still better this way if you don’t have a blu-ray burner, but if you do have a burner, I don’t mind spending 3 dollars more (1 BD-R vs 3 DVD+R DL) and we don’t need to switch DVDs in the middle of an action.