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PAL/HDTV Techy Question...

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by dan360, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    Hi all,

    I'm researching a new television since my old CRT is @ the end of its life and since I seem to have acquired quite a lot of other home cinema gubbins.

    Story is that I'm fully international - regionless multisystem DVD player with an extensive collection of both region 1 NTSC and region 2 (both NTSC Japan and PAL UK) DVDs. I also have a PAL/NTSC laserdisc player (the only format with Dolby Digital Star Wars etc - and yes I know it is not in any way cool to have a laserdisc player).

    My current TV is a multisystem CRT, but I'd like to upgrade to a HD rear projection. I've started a bit of a search and like the look of the Sony XBR Grand Wega rear projection TVs. I'd consider the "full plasma", but having looked at both I think the rear projection screens are comparable but a great deal cheaper (like 2-3K). However obviously these sets are NTSC/HDTV only - no multisystem. I've looked into Multisystem TVs but only monolithic 4:3 rear projectors in the large screen sizes. The nice thing about the new range of rear projectors is they're only 4" deep, so will fit nicely in my room without the "full shrine to TV" effect.

    So therefore I've started looking into converters. Basic PAL/NTSC converters seem the wrong option since I'd lose resolution (NTSC being 525? vs 625? on PAL - I forget the exact numbers). That leaves me with more esoteric choices.

    I've found a thing called a Video Scaler (http://www.tvone.com/csc-1600hd.shtml) - this ain't cheap @ 950USD, but I'd still be better off than on a plasma cost.

    This it would appear would allow me to take my PAL source and play back on HDTV with better resolution that a straight PAL-NTSC conversion.

    Now what I'd like to know is does anyone here have any similar experience with this problem/solution or feedback on this idea?

    One other question is about broadcast resolutions - I've found out what 1080i (1920x1080) and 720p (1280x720) mean, but I'm baffled as to what US broadcasts are made in.

    TIA for any feedback.

    Dan
     
  2. Artherd

    Artherd F1 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2002
    6,587
    Bay Area, CA
    Full Name:
    Ben Cannon
    Hey ! Who says it's not cool to own LD gear? ;) (pic of my Theta Data-III)

    DVD finally caught up, but it took several years before the quality was even equal. I still enjoy my LDs for what they are.


    Anyway, onto your questions.

    The best way to ensure true multi-standard compatability is to drive your 'tv' like a computer monitor, using an external scalar/doubler like you found. DVDO and Runco make good units, while Faroudja made the first, and still makes the best.


    US HDTV broadcasts are in either 720P and/or 1080i, with 1080i being the most common.

    I recomend anyone looking into HD today get a set capable of at least accepting up to 1080p (doubled 1080i) so one can still use a doubler.

    Best!
    Ben.
     
  3. BigDog

    BigDog Formula 3

    Nov 1, 2003
    1,285
    under the sea!
    i'm currently in a similar situation right now.... setting up a dedicated hometheater room....

    if you really want to go for the true theater experience, def. look into a Front Projector setup (marantz has some VERY nice ones)... plasma displays aren't really all they're hyped to be... indeed they look very nice... sort of a space ship look... but the quality of picture is lacking a bit when compared to other setups
     
  4. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    9,193
    Dan: good questions about multisystem. Actually I am in need of a multisystem (NTSC, PAL, Secam) dvd player and tv for a small-scale application, and haven't found anything that looks of appropriate caliber.

    --Dan
     
  5. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    Thanks for the response guys - I'm saving the front projection for the next iteration when I can afford to do a dedicated room, this time I'm going to stick to rear projection/flat panel.

    I'll take a look @ the other scalar/doubler brands you suggest - its time for bed now though!

    The cool looking sony's seem to support 1080i but not the 1080p suggested so I'll do a bit more digging before making a decision.

    Dan
     
  6. Artherd

    Artherd F1 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2002
    6,587
    Bay Area, CA
    Full Name:
    Ben Cannon
    Dan- Not that I'm endorseing this or anything, but this Philips unit will play any region DVD, either NTSC or PAL, on ordinary NTSC TVs. Haven't gotten any up-close time with this unit though.

    http://www.dvdcity.com/codefree/philips-dvd724.html

    If it is like the other Philips players in it's family, once you turn off all the picture enhancement garbage, it's pretty decent.

    Best!
    Ben.

    Second the recomendation for a front projector. I have a 9" AMPRO 3-gun, and it's an absolute ***** to install (175lbs) but still throws the best picture you will ever see this side of 70mm film.
     

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