Home Theater/DVD-Blu Ray

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Question
I was about to buy a Blu Ray player yesterday when I ran across an article from Consumer Reports that mentioned this: "don't buy a new DVD player simply to get the upconverting feature. An LCD or plasma set automatically upconverts the video from any DVD player to match its native screen resolution. The main benefit to using an upconverting player is to have the option of seeing whether it does a better job of upconverting than your TV."  I have a 60" Panasonic 1080P TV that just came out last year.  I was going to use my older Sony Progressive Scan (480p) non-upconverting DVD player that only has a Component Video (R+G+B) connection, which I know isn't digital, but very close to digital.  I thought I needed to upgrade to a Blu Ray player so that regular DVD's would look better on the TV.  I don't intend to really watch any Blu Ray discs, only standard discs.  Then I ran across the above mentioned article, along with many others on the internet that says that it really doesn't matter what kind of DVD player you have, whether it does upconverting or not, because most TV's handle the upconversion.  They will take a 480p image and upconvert it to 720p or 1080p, or whatever your TV does.  I guess this makes sense.  The thing that makes me somewhat doubt this is I don't have an HDMI connection from the DVD player to the TV.  Maybe I'm losing some image quality with that.  Would not having a Blu Ray player to play standard DVD's, or not having an HDMI connection, make a huge difference with image quality that will be very noticeable? Thanks for any advice you may have.

Answer
I'm going to agree with what Consumer Reports has said - if you aren't interested in Blu-ray, there's no point in another player, as your TV will handle it as described. Quality will be as good as you'll get from DVD (which is likely to be quite good, assuming the title you're watching was well made). No need to worry about HDMI either; YPbPr (which is quite analog - and analog isn't a four letter word) will send a very good picture out, and the TV will scale it up from there. Just ensure that the player is set to 16:9 output as well. With anamorphic content, you may need to enable a "Wide" or "Cinema" mode on the TV, to ensure that the content is appropriately scaled up. 4:3 content should play pillar-boxed natively (you can of course use the TV to stretch it, but native is going to be proportionally correct).

-bob

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Bobbert

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Questions regarding HTPC integration to home theaters, and general purchasing advice regarding home theater and audio systems, including headphones. Please no car audio or over the top PA systems.

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General enthusiast, ~10 years as an audio and electronics hobbyist

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Engineering student, various DIY experiences, personal hobby

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