A bit about the wiring first of all: an older Hitachi 57XWX20B (1080i) was connected via component cable (Monster for those of you keeping track of the score at home) to HK DVD 25 and connected HDMI to DVI to PS3. More on this ĎXí factor laterÖ
First, audio tests were performed:
Standard Audio CD: No noticeable difference was found between the two players.
DTS Audio: PS3 was unable to play back 5.1 DTS audio CD. Perhaps it was missing firmware, I donít know. We moved on.
Next, video tests were performed:
Standard DVD on HK DVD 25 vs. same disc on PS3 (X-Men): There may have been improved color, but I must say that it was questionable. If there was an improvement, it was barely perceptible.
Black Hawk Down Superbit DVD on HK DVD 25 vs. Black Hawk Down Blu Ray on PS3: I expected a huge improvement here. Frankly, I didnít see it. Marginal improvements in detail and slight improvements in color. I was not blown away. I wasnít even impressed. Actually, I was impressed. By the HK DVD 25 and Superbit. I knew it was good, but I didnít think it would be comparable.
Blu Ray only movies on PS3: Ghost Rider and Underworld 2. These movies looked good. They didnít look as good as I know they can. They arenít much better than a good DVD transfer on the HK DVD 25.
Now, before the flames come flying in, there are two factors that I know play into these comparisons:
1) The TV is only 1080i. Further, itís a RPTV and has convergence issues that todayís technology TVs do not have. This is the weak link in the video comparisons.
2) The video is only as good as its source. Its my opinion that the Blu Ray makers may have cheated and used the same transfer for the Blu Ray as the Superbit DVD. I speculate, but clearly like DVD, not all Blu Ray movies are created equally.
Iíve got a tough choice looming ahead of me. A new TV is not in the cards anytime soon, so the advantages I gain from Blu Ray seem diminished. I do want to get into Blu Ray if only because I know in the future I will have a TV that can make the most of the format, but thatís a long time from now. Iím glad I was able to test Ė I would have had a huge let down without doing so.