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  1. #1

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    Default Best high-def player

    I've been researching HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players for a while and was wondering, what do you guys recommend for a high-def player?

    I don't want to be stuck with a player that has lost the format war. As a result, I'm thinking about the PlayStation3 - if BluRay loses at least the PlayStation can still play video games, right?

    Or should I go with one of the budget HD-DVD players?
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  2. #2

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    Personally I went with a budget HD-DVD player since it is an excellent upconverter as well and will downconvert HD audio to 1.5meg DTS for those of us without HDMI inputs on our AVR's or Pre/Pros.

    That being said - The PS3 is supposed to be an excellent gaming system and the fact it plays blu-Ray is a definate bonus. I have heard (but not experienced) that it is not that great of an upconverting player though if you are interested in that sort of thing....

    Everything right now is pointing to blu-ray winning. (Right down to the point that I purchased an HD-DVD) but no one really knows who will win in the end. I am guessing that a year from now - we will still have both formats.

    Sitting 12'-13' away from my 50" screen, I cannot see a big difference in picture between HD-DVD and upconverted SD-DVD. (the audio really is much better though) I have seen them on projector though and if your image is large (or you sit close) there is a pretty huge difference.

    Michael
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

  3. #3

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    PS3 or cheap HD-DVD player. If how it looks in your AV rack is important I would stay away from PS3 though. On the positive side it is a gaming machine as well, and pretty decent media centre player (although it has very limited number of codecs, your only lossless format is WAV).

  4. #4

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    IMO, it's too early to tell which format is winning. But I'd like to go with something that would survive at least a year or so of the format war.
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  5. #5

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    I was in the same boat you are and ended up buying a toshiba hd-a2 off a-gon for 160.00 shipped brand new. The sound quality alone was worth the purchase for me. On my modest 32' lcd some movies look simply amazing and some don't. A lot of sd dvds look just as good as some hd dvds. But with the added sound quality and the movies that look amazing make it seems like a no brainer for $160.00 I have also notice the newer the movie the better PQ on HD. So I can only assume it is only going to keep getting better. I don't know if the studios are starting to shoot with actual HD cameras or they are just doing a better job finalizing the movies. What ever it is. It just keeps getting better. This will definitaly hold me over unitll I can afford a blue ray player. I would just assume have both considering it doesn't look like they are going to choose just one format yet. Just my $0.02

  6. #6

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    There is no winner or one close to tell. Budget players are smart to get into the format. but buying a player that does more then just HD is also smart.

    Ps3 is a wise Blue ray if you game and like a media center. xbox360 is also good if you game and media etc. This is the route I went but I would like to get a combo player like the Samsung which should be out any time now.

    Sony es and Pioneer Elite make reference Blue players which are better then everything else. not to mention play dvd very well. nice.

    Dan
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  7. #7

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    I went HD DVD first and after seeing all the good movies Blu offered bought into it as well. A stellar HD DVD player would be the XA2 from Toshiba, which you maybe able to get around 300-400 though I havent checked prices in awhile. I also have the A2 running in my bedroom setup and its a nice player also. As for going blu the PS3 seems to be the big one out there, so many features have been added to thing over firmware upgrades its unreal. If you decide against that and just want a reliable player the Sony S300 should do the trick.
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  8. #8

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    There's nothing wrong with the upconversion of the ps3. You may or may not be able to tell the difference in an A/B test against the best out there. But it's no slouch.

    The upconversion was a firmware upgrade as well as the just updated profile 1.1 abilities of the blu-ray player. It internally decodes all the lossless codecs (TrueHD and uncompressed LPCM) except DTS-HD MA. But this may come in a firmware upgrade as well. If it happens, it will be the most capable player on the market only missing the ability to bitstream the lossless codecs for decoding at a pre/receiver (look at the sammy and panny units if you need this).

    It has a huge list of abilities as a media center as well and can stream from a PC major audio and video formats. The latest firmware added new codecs here as well. It is about $100 more than the sony and sammy dedicated players ($299 street), but what you get in upgradability, game potential, and media center capabilities more than makes up for this IMHO...
    Last edited by cheddar; 12-23-2007 at 09:26 PM.

  9. #9

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    I've got both and so far, I'd give the PQ edge to neither, but the HD DVD seems to have an edge in SQ. I doubt a winner will be clear for years. I've also heard that another format is supposed to be revealed at CES that will displace both BR and HD DVD. We'll see.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ND13 View Post
    I doubt a winner will be clear for years. I've also heard that another format is supposed to be revealed at CES that will displace both BR and HD DVD. We'll see.
    Wouldn't that just chap some of our asses. I also own both formats and for me, I find both equally the same, both are amazing. In my opinion, I could care less who wins the war I just wish the price of the disc would come down, not buying near as many movies at one time now as I would be if there were just SD like it used to be.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by McLoki View Post
    Personally I went with a budget HD-DVD player since it is an excellent upconverter as well and will downconvert HD audio to 1.5meg DTS for those of us without HDMI inputs on our AVR's or Pre/Pros.

    That being said - The PS3 is supposed to be an excellent gaming system and the fact it plays blu-Ray is a definate bonus. I have heard (but not experienced) that it is not that great of an upconverting player though if you are interested in that sort of thing....

    Everything right now is pointing to blu-ray winning. (Right down to the point that I purchased an HD-DVD) but no one really knows who will win in the end. I am guessing that a year from now - we will still have both formats.

    Sitting 12'-13' away from my 50" screen, I cannot see a big difference in picture between HD-DVD and upconverted SD-DVD. (the audio really is much better though) I have seen them on projector though and if your image is large (or you sit close) there is a pretty huge difference.

    Michael
    Anyone give a quick tutorial on HD DVD audio. Does the higher quality audio have to use the HDMI out put from the player? I can only run that to the TV, though I could run the TV out to the AVR, but I think I would then degrade the signal. In other words, you don't get the AQ improvement on HD if you use the digital output and inputs? Michael (also)
    Last edited by NeilGabriel; 12-25-2007 at 09:41 AM.

  12. #12

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    Typically for HD audio - to get the HD audio format benefit from it, you have to hook it up via HDMi or via pre-outs on the player to the 7.1 inputs on your AVR or Pre/Pro.

    In the case of the A2 that I purchased, it will downconvert the HD audio stream into a 1.5mbs DTS audio stream that will transmit via optical to my Pre/Pro. It is still not true HD audio, but it is much better than the typical audio stream that comes on most SD disks. (would be similar, I would expect, to the audio stream you get from the best DTS audio on some SD disks)

    One other side effect of hooking up via HDMi to your TV, you can listen to the audio via your TV or will have to turn down the volume on your TV when you play a movie or you get an odd echo type effect from both your 5.1 system playing and your TV playing the audio at the same time.

    Michael
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

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