Question about TV and DVD players

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Question about TV and DVD players

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:20 pm

As some of you have read, I went out and bought a new 42" 1080p TV this week. I have a Philips DVP642/37 DVD player hooked up to it using the composite (video) input (single yellow plug), and I also have a Toshiba HD-A30 HD DVD player hooked up to it with an HDMI cable. I notice when watching regular DVD's that are in widescreen, there are large black borders at the top and bottom of the screen when I use the old Philips player. But when I play the same discs with the Toshiba HD-DVD player, the bars are much smaller at the top and bottom of the screen. If I was to get component cables for the Philips player instead (the video plug with three ends), would this solve the problem of the large black bars at the top and bottom of the screen? Thanks!
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Re: Question about TV and DVD players

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:26 pm

Composite sucks. Why don't you use the HD-A30 for DVD's?
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Re: Question about TV and DVD players

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:45 pm

Does the image look in proportion in both cases other than the size of the bars? i.e. Do people in the film look squashed or stretched in either case? It sounds like the aspect ratio controls are set differently for the different inputs. If the bars are smaller using HDMI but the image is otherwise undistorted in both cases, then it sounds like the TV is set to "zoom in" with the HDMI source in an attempt to fill the screen, but presumably you're losing some of the picture at the sides. This assumes that the film is in a wider aspect ratio than the TV (2.35:1 for example). You probably want to try to turn that off so you're not missing out on the whole picture (unless you prefer it like that).

If the image is squashed as well as having bigger black bars in the case with the DVD player, but correct proportions with HD-DVD, then the problem is different: the TV is incorrectly changing the aspect ratio of the composite input.

Usacomp2k3 is right, though: composite is horrible. If you want to keep using the DVD player for some reason, go for a better quality connection standard. HDMI > component > s-video > composite. But given that HD-DVD players reportedly have good quality scalers, it would seem to make more sense to use that for DVD as well.
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Re: Question about TV and DVD players

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:04 pm

D'oh! I feel like an idiot now. The reply you gave me, MrJP, reminded me that I can change both the angle and zoom on my Philips DVD player itself! You are right that the TV also offers the the option of changing the aspect ratio. I will play with the DVD player controls and see what results I get. Thanks for both the responses. I will likely upgrade from my composite input if I am happy with how the DVD player looks after playing with the angle on it. I would like to use it for the bulk of my DVD viewing because HD DVD players are now discontinued and I don't want to overuse it. I should consider a regular upconverting DVD player to supplement the HD DVD player.
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Re: Question about TV and DVD players

Postposted on Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:49 pm

PetMiceRnice wrote:I would like to use it for the bulk of my DVD viewing because HD DVD players are now discontinued and I don't want to overuse it. I should consider a regular upconverting DVD player to supplement the HD DVD player.

That's kinda what I was guessing. Cool 8)
Let us know what you find.
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Re: Question about TV and DVD players

Postposted on Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:41 pm

Don't zoom 2.35:1 content, please. It's supposed to be framed at 2.35:1. You are literally cutting out a third of the picture when you zoom to "fill your TV screen".

Set your DVD player to 16:9, and set your TV's aspect ratio to a setting that says "normal" or "full". The black bars are your friends.

See this great article for more info.
http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/764
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Re: Question about TV and DVD players

Postposted on Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:43 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
PetMiceRnice wrote:I would like to use it for the bulk of my DVD viewing because HD DVD players are now discontinued and I don't want to overuse it. I should consider a regular upconverting DVD player to supplement the HD DVD player.

That's kinda what I was guessing. Cool 8)
Let us know what you find.
I wouldn't worry about overusing it. DVD players last a good, long time, and there's no reason to think HD-DVD players would be any different. But, it's your choice.
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Re: Question about TV and DVD players

Postposted on Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:07 am

The problem turned out to be a simple thing I overlooked...I went into the setup menu of the Philips player and had previously forgotten to change the aspect ratio of the display from 4:3 to 16:9! :oops:

For sure, I will try avoiding the use of zoom, and will undoubtedly get myself a component cable for this player!

Thanks very much for the help and advice!
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Re: Question about TV and DVD players

Postposted on Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:57 am

PetMiceRnice wrote:For sure, I will try avoiding the use of zoom, and will undoubtedly get myself a component cable for this player!

If you have a spare set of RCA A/V cables (yellow, red, and white) I've used those in the past as 'component' cables. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for long-term use or for the best quality, but they work as a stop-gap.
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