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Mad Scientist
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Topic # 28660 8-Dec-2008 08:39
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As prices may rise as much as 40% it's time to get a BDR player. Question is - what are pros and cons and special features of available ones on the market.

PS3-
The thing i'd like to know is about the ZOOM function - please tell me ps3 owners, when you press zoom -
Does it convert a 2.35:1 picture to 16.9:1 picture for:

1) Blu rays
2) DVDs
3) DIVX
please tell me coz i really want to know.
What does it do to 4:3 DVDs?


Samsung BD-p1400
Apparently can't play DVDs properly. Has analogue 5.1 out which is cool for those without a receiver to process digital audio.
Can't play other media?
Load time 15s

Panasonic DMP-BD30GN-K
No reviews available! Apparently it does not have 24fps - whatever does that mean??? Arent all the frame rate standard?
Has analogue 5.1 out.

Sony BDP-S350
apparently not many flaws. no analogue audio out. same price as ps3.


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  Reply # 182676 8-Dec-2008 09:34
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Went through this myself just recently and opted for the ps3.  You get a bluray player, games console, meadia streamer etc for just a few hundred more than a stand alone player.  No infrared port so difficult to integrate into a universal remote, ($19 off trademe for a usb/IR remote), but there is the official bluetooth bluray remote for around $39 on special at Dick Smith also.

Main things for me were:
PS3 has lots of graphics hardware and is firmware upgradeable, so is a good choice to cover future developments in the bluray format.  Also ethernet enabled as well.
Possible option to add PlayTV freeview dual tuner add on if it ever gets adapted for our newer broadcast standard.
Hard drive upgradeable so will work as a decent PVR if PlayTV arrives.

Downsides are it can only do audio out via one digital out at a time, so either via hdmi or optical but not together.  Minor hassle for me.
No analogue outputs of surround signals.  This really is a problem with my now dated recevier as it can't do hdmi or the newer true HD audio tracks on Bluray so not really the PS3's fault.  HDMI is the future.

Up to you though as if you honest never want to play any games, use as a media streamer from another computer, view internet on tv, use as a PVR in future etc then it's not worth the extra dollars.  PS3 does a great job of bluray playback and also has a lot of real options for DVD upscaling etc so it really at movie playback.

Sorry, can't help on the 4:3 DVD handling in the PS3.

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  Reply # 182679 8-Dec-2008 09:44
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Hi,
You might find this interesting:http://whathifi.com/Reviews/Home-cinema-Reviews/Blu-ray-players-Reviews/

In particular, it seems that the Panasonic 30 has just been replaced by the 35 (which does have 24fps), and also won their recent group test against the other players you are looking at.
I wouldn't worry about analog out, as long as you can feed audio into your system over HDMI.
24fps is the cinema frame rate and is supposed to provide a smoother view in some cases. Your screen will need to be able to run at this speed too. I have never actually been able to detect a difference personally.

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  Reply # 182685 8-Dec-2008 10:14
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I have a Panasonic BD-35 hot from Panasonic NZ, it can do 24fps.

Doesn't have analog 5.1 out though, except stereo. Has Composite video, Component video, both of which donot allow upscaled DVD or BD at HD when the flags donnot allow it(as most BD players are), which pretty much makes those connections useless. Shame about component.
There is an digital optical out for sound as an option.

All the fundimental design is focused on HDMI connections, sound can be sent via bitstream or PCM with a few options around that aswell.

There is the standard configurations for image scales, auto, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
It did however choose the wrong scaling for my AE900E on Auto, it choose 1080i, where 720p arguably offers a better image with this projector and one less rescale to display an image. ie source(1080) convert to 1080i, too PJ, PJ converts to 720.
Or Source(1080) convert to 720, Too PJ, displays as is. Thus less processing when setup to manual 720p output and the better BD35 processor doing the down scaling job.

It has a number of configuration possibilites for imagery to match a system, something the PS3 lacks and fundimental reason why I havent bought one.

The BD35 has a different processer to the BD30 and there is substantual differences in upscaling of DVD and HD content.


My only real gripe, but this covers all these players for the current generation, is why bother with legacy composite and component outs when they are neutered. It would be much better to have 2 HDMI outs where multible displays can be configured.
Because I have 2 displays, the PJ is a 720 type and my DTV is a 1080 type and because it didn't quite choose the option I wanted for my PJ means I have to manually configure output for the DTV or PJ when viewing on each. Although I pretty much leave it on 720 for the family. I use a 1m HDMI cable to a CYP 1 to 2 Splitter, one 1m cable to the DTV and a 10m cable to the projector. No imagery loss. btw $270 for the HDMI cables and splitter from a NZ source, not trade price.

Overall happy with the BD35.




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  Reply # 182727 8-Dec-2008 13:13
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Panasonic BD30 does definitely do 24 FPS. I think that it was part of a firmware update a little while ago.
Great picture and sound quality. Reviews suggest better than a PS3. Not so great with upscaling DVD's though. I still use a Denon 2910 for standard DVD's.

Review also suggest that Panasonic BD35 audio and picture quality very similar to BD30. BD35 is much better with standard DVD's though.

Just wondering why you would want to zoom a 2:35:1 picture to fill your screen though. You will lose a lot of side picture information to gain a little top and bottom. Directors have carefully framed a 2:35:1 picture so I can't understand why you would want to chop off a sizeable chunk of the picture.

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  Reply # 182740 8-Dec-2008 14:20
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Ha MarkX I was thinking exactly the same.  I've always thought it's a bit silly to be concerned hugely about the picture quality when you're going to go and lop off 1/4 of the picture by zoom/crop or vertically stretching it.



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Reply # 182753 8-Dec-2008 15:15
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well in my eyes (the eyes of the beholder), the gain is much more than others think. my peripheral vision, being a guy, is non existant and all the action is in the middle - it gives me shivers down the spine to see the action up close and i really don't mind 'sacrificing' bits that my brain never registers. the only way i will watch the whole thing is if the tv is made in 2.35:1 ... or if it doesnt allow me to recompose the picture i guess ... obstinate huh.

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  Reply # 182770 8-Dec-2008 15:49
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Joker 97 you are correct.  Mate it's what works for you, it's your gear and your setup.


I prefer to see everything as the creator intended, (sounds religious aye!)

If you have periphial vision issues, a 2.35:1 TV will still not help, you'll just not have the black bars you hate.

I think 2.35 has real impact and allows for not having to have all the action in a box in the middle of the screen.





I'll check what the zoom options are for you on the PS3 when I get a chance tonight.


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  Reply # 182779 8-Dec-2008 16:04
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Hey quick check, does your TV offer a zoom function at 720 or 1080 resolutions? 
If it does you could use this instead of the player.



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  Reply # 182813 8-Dec-2008 18:20
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THE SEARCH HAS ENDED.

PS3 it is. An i was amazed despite my high expectations. Upscaler did not distort the picture but rather improved it. Like CSI. Hmm... :)!!!!

I was wrong about the zoom function. There is no zoom function on the blu ray remote. Oh well only cost $40. Sorry about saying there was!

Also to my amazement despite my TV saying it has a 1280x768 resolution it does 1080i !! ??Huh! I thought the resolution meant it couldnt do more than 720p. Again another bonus! I must say the i makes it look jerky-ish. But much better than 720p.

Thanks guys. With a 3-year extended warranty hopefully there will be lots of fun!

Now gotta figure out how to install VLC onto the PS ;p (want to play all my mkv files)

Thanks again.

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  Reply # 182819 8-Dec-2008 18:32
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joker97: THE SEARCH HAS ENDED.
..


Now gotta figure out how to install VLC onto the PS ;p (want to play all my mkv files)

Thanks again.


You wont be able to do that unless possibly you boot up Linux on the PS3 and find VLC for Linux that is compiled for that distribution. Best way to play MKV on the PS3 is to use MKV2VOB which just transcodes the output so the PS3 can play it.

Another way is to use a media server like Tversity though not sure it can transcode MKV on the fly (check it tou)




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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  Reply # 182827 8-Dec-2008 19:18
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oh i see. linux huh. oh well :)

and jaxson, yes my tv can do zoom. thanks for all your help. glad i took the plunge. no regrets!



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  Reply # 182903 9-Dec-2008 08:37
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just some notes i'd like to make about doing blu ray on a non full HD tv.

1) the ps3 DOES have zoom function BUT only with divx/divx-like media files, pictures, internet. no zooming with blu ray. did not check with dvd.

2) my 50" tv has 1.2 million pixels apparently (the tv says it does 1280x768 - but 1440x810 is what i'd calculated). it can take up to 1080i. there is this age old debate of whether 720p is better than 1080i. firstly with 720p as you can see the tv needs to make up pixels to fill the screen, but you get progressive scanning (is that the same as saying 60fps?). with 1080i the tv needs to merge or remove some pixels, but you get interlaced scanning (effectively 30fps - is fps the correct term?).

however the brilliant scientist has decided that removing the top/bottom black bars from an output of 1080 lines will give you 756 lines, just nice to fit into my inferior tv screen. that is assuming however that the tv does not scale the picture prior to zooming.

after a few runs the eye of the beholder has decided. there is only little more than minute jerkiness with p vs i output even on 'fast' scenes. the picture from 1080i is slightly sharper in brighter scenes but slightly more fuzzy in darker scenes.

so - 1080i with tv zoom it is.

3) i am content. despite the fact that now i've bought it, murphy's law will mean that the price will drop from $699! but alas you can't win them all.


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  Reply # 182911 9-Dec-2008 09:27
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Glad you're happy.  I checked last night and no there is no obvious zoom ability with bluray/dvd discs.  You can set the upscaler on DVD to 'double' and this will slighly enlarge the picture for you, but that's it.  $699 is a good price.  Glad your TV can do the zoom for you, some can't on 720/1080 input signals. 

The 720 or hd ready bit refers to the physical pixels your tv has.  Most can accept an input signal higher than this, but will simply have to scale this down to the number of pixels your tv has to play with.  Sometimes though even this scale image does look better than the native input, go figure?!  It's whatever works for you though as it's your gear.

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  Reply # 182933 9-Dec-2008 10:26
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Glad to hear you're happy, love my PS3 to bits (even though I game more on the Wii).




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