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  1. #1

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    Default Review of PS3 Video Capabilities

    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.
    Do you hear that buzzing noise?

  2. #2

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    I think one of the biggest things people overlook in their decisions is the price of the software over time. If you're a renter, I suppose it doesn't make too much difference. But if you actually like to buy and keep your movies, then the cost of the software over time, even at dvd prices, will dwarf anything you spend on the player.

    Regular Amazon prices for blu-rays like I am legend and Cloverfield are like 15 bucks a pop. And even big collector's sets like Blade Runner came down to 15 bucks several times over the past few weeks from the regular price of $19. So figure if you're patient, you should be able to pick up good titles for no more than $20 or so and in many cases less.

    If you know you'll be upgrading eventually, do you want to keep buying dvds, or do you want to avoid double dipping on the titles you want the most? Or maybe paying the dirt cheap price on DVDs appeals to you while you wait. Just something to think about anyways. You will only benefit by waiting on the hardware as prices will drop, and features will increase on both HDTVs and blu-ray players.

    I also have an older HDTV. Because of some compatibility issues between my new pre and my TV, I recently reset my feed from 1080p to 1080i. I've got a reon chip in the pre doing the down converting from the ps3. So I thought I wouldn't be giving up too much. But even on a 45" screen, the resolution difference was horrible compared to a direct 1080p connection to the ps3. But I'll probably wait a while for prices to drop even further and for manufacturers to get things like 24 fps movie cadence in all their sets before I upgrade.

    One thing you might want to try:

    On Sony distributed blu-ray movies, you can use the ps3's green triangle button to bring up a set-up screen and enter the code "7669". This will start a set of calibration screens you can use to fine tune your set sent with 1080p resolution. Wait until the screen cycles to the test with all the fine lines arranged in circles, converging curves, and such. If any of the lines converge to muddy jaggies instead of crisp, laser sharp lines their entire length, you know that you aren't really seeing good blu-ray quality resolution and that a scaler chip somewhere in your set-up is doing bad things to the picture. In my 1080i down convert, the ends of the curves look like a muddy mess. Since I'm assuming that the 1080i down convert with the reon should be better than this, the scaler in my TV, reconverting the signal to the native 1080p of the panel is probably the culprit.
    Last edited by cheddar; 06-26-2008 at 10:37 AM.

  3. #3
    Spaceman Spiff
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    Hey Ched, will that calibration screen work on a 1080i FP setup? I'm running a Sanyo Z3 and this is the first I've heard of such a thing for the PS3.

    In my experience, even though I'm running at 1080i the image quality is huge with Blu over DVD. It's almost like going from VHS to DVD all over again. It's so much improved I cannot go back and watch DVD anymore, it looks terrible on my 7' screen; EE everywhere, muted colors, soft images lacking detail. With Blu the colors are much more natural and vibrant, black levels are much improved, sharpness, detail, it's all greatly improved over DVD and that again is at 1080i. I calibrate with AVIA as well. My goal is to get a 1080p Sanyo within the year.
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  4. #4

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    As long as you can enter the code 7669 on the player, it should work with any TV since it's just sending a 1080p picture to the set just like it would if it was playing a blu-ray. You can even pause the picture and such just like watching a blu-ray. Just make sure you've got a Sony blu-ray loaded. As blu-rays from Fox, etc. don't have the screens.

    Yes, I know 1080i should be better than this even with my 45" screen. I've seen what even my old lcd panel can do with 1080p and it's nothing short of stunning in picture quality. So that's why I think it's the old scaler in my set.

  5. #5

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    cheddar, helpful information - thanks!

    Ron-P, its fair to say then that our ezpereinces were totally different where the comparisons of DVD vs. Blu Ray are concened. It doesn't come as a surprise, after all we have different gear and likely used different testing methodology and source materials.
    Do you hear that buzzing noise?

  6. #6

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    My experiences with the PS3 for movies have been positive.

    Granted, I don't own any Superbit DVDs - just regular SD-DVDs.

    I did a direct A/B comparison of my PS3 using a BD and my Sony SD DVD player using Pirates of the Caribbean/Curse of the Black Pearl.

    Both hooked up to my AVR, manually synced the movies to start at the same time and then flipped back and forth between the two.

    PS3 was connected HDMI to my AVR.
    DVD was connected component to my AVR.
    Then HDMI from AVR to my 1080p 50" plasma.

    My AVR was set to 'pass thru' all signals
    PS3 -> pass thru 1080p all the way to plasma
    DVD -> 480i gets transcoded from component/analog to 480i over HDMI to plasma.

    At first I was watching the SD DVD and thought that the image quality was pretty darn good, then flipped to the PS3 BD and then - there was no comparison.

    The BD was sharper, colors mapped clearer, more detail in the image. Huge and instantly noticable difference in PQ.

    Like the OP said, there is a lot of dependency on the titles in question. POTC is a highly rated title for BD PQ - if you use a poor transfer title on BD, you could very well be underwhelmed with BD.

    I've got Fifth Element on SD DVD and BD (remastered version).

    Again, the difference is night and day in PQ on my setup.

    Obviously, ymmv,
    Erik

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  7. #7

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    I just got Fifth Element on BD and its like you have never seen the movie till you have seen the remastered BD, and i only have 1080i.
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  8. #8

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    I've done the same thing Erik has done, using a PS3 via HDMI and then an older SD-DVD player via HDMI. (Set up as HDMI 1 and HDMI 2 on my Onkyo 705; then HDMI to Samsung LN-T4665F 1080p LCD.) Even with the 480i signal unconverted to 1080p, it looks nothing like the original Blu-ray source.

    Source material: Kingdom of Heaven (SD-DVD and Blu-ray) sync'ed for the siege of Jerusalem.
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    Many places (even Walmart) have a demo of BD and SD differences. Have you seen those? Even on those small sets it's pretty clear difference. Granted the SD on the demos is not upconverted, but that's only a minor improvement over SD anyways.

  10. #10

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    I went a step further with my testing and used Superman returns on dvd, hd dvd and Blu ray. Blu ray was clearly the winner overall. Sound quality it jumped ahead and picture quality it was alot better then DvD and slightly better then HD dvd.

    There is no question that Blu Ray is superior to all other formats currently. I like Ron run in 1080i. I don't care to watch dvd if I don't have 2. Once you go blu.......

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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    I went a step further with my testing and used Superman returns on dvd, hd dvd and Blu ray. Blu ray was clearly the winner overall. Sound quality it jumped ahead and picture quality it was alot better then DvD and slightly better then HD dvd.

    There is no question that Blu Ray is superior to all other formats currently. I like Ron run in 1080i. I don't care to watch dvd if I don't have 2. Once you go blu.......

    Dan
    SQ and PQ slightly better then HD DVD???

    Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround track on the HD DVD and only Dolby Digital 5.1 track on BR. So not sure how BR is ahead HD DVD on that. HD DVD sounds so much better.

    PQ is Identical they both use the same encode 1080p/VC-1 video..
    Last edited by grif32; 07-02-2008 at 12:37 PM.

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