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Home recorded DVDs and High Definition TV


rover27
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I have recorded many black and white movies to disc on my DVD Recorder over the last several years. They look fine on my older 32" tube-type TV. Lately, I've been considering joining the 21st century and getting a HDTV.

 

The problem is that I've watched these black and white DVD recordings on my HD computer monitor, and they look worse than on my old CRT TV. Kind of fuzzy and somewhat out-of-focus looking.

 

I also watched one of my recorded DVDs on a friend's Samsung HDTV and got that same slightly fuzzy, unsharp picture. Commercially-made classic B&W DVD movies seem to be better.

 

Does this mean my collection of home recorded DVDs are not compatible with HDTV? Or are there HDTVs that would show a sharper picture of these recordings?

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The problem may be with the recording speed. The movies we record one to a DVD with a two-hour recording time are crisp and clear on our HDTVs. The movies we record with several on one DVD with a four or six-hour recording time are fuzzy. We have one DVD of many movies with a twelve-hour recording time and the best that can be said of it is that the audio is good.

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> {quote:title=SansFin wrote:}{quote}The problem may be with the recording speed. The movies we record one to a DVD with a two-hour recording time are crisp and clear on our HDTVs. The movies we record with several on one DVD with a four or six-hour recording time are fuzzy. We have one DVD of many movies with a twelve-hour recording time and the best that can be said of it is that the audio is good.

The bulk of my recordings are at the two-hour(SP) speed. I have some four-hour recordings, but the ones I've watched on HDTV and my HD monitor are two-hour.

 

I'm hoping there are some HDTVs that are able to show a crisper picture. The Samsung I watched the recorded DVD on was an LCD. Maybe an LED would look better.

 

I'd like to hear others thoughts. Especially if they had a somewhat similar situation: Regular standard definition DVD recordings shown on high definition TV.

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The fuzzy appearence is due to low resolution which is a tradeoff for longer recording time. I use 4 hour recordings on my DVD's, its the perfect compromise to save storage space.

I only use DVD-RW's which allows me to re-record them later on if I want the sharper 2 hour format. Generally I buy pre-recorded films if I like them a lot.

 

My HDTV will never be over 40" so the poorer quality that stands out with very large sets will never be a problem. So far I have no need for Blu ray. The DVD recorders upconverter compensates quite nicely and it seems to give a good fit without any problems.

 

Still got a lot of VHS tapes and have no desire to replace them.

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You want to put the HDTV on 4:3 setting so it doesn't expand the movie to fit the widescreen TV, at least that is how I view them on my HD TV. You may ask your friend if you can try this before you give up on an HDTV.

 

I think if you play the DVD in a Blue-ray player it will upscale the movie to higher def but I am not certain of that as another possibility. Between that and a 4:3 setting they should look much better I would think.

 

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> {quote:title=MovieMadness wrote:}{quote}You want to put the HDTV on 4:3 setting so it doesn't expand the movie to fit the widescreen TV, at least that is how I view them on my HD TV. You may ask your friend if you can try this before you give up on an HDTV.

>

> I think if you play the DVD in a Blue-ray player it will upscale the movie to higher def but I am not certain of that as another possibility. Between that and a 4:3 setting they should look much better I would think.

The HDTV and the HD monitor I played the DVDs on were set to 4:3. They had the black bars on the sides. The picture wasn't stretched out.

 

The other thing I notice besides the lack of sharpness, whenever there is motion(running, dancing, etc.) the picture deteriorates even more. Almost to the edge of breaking up or "tiling", as the IP called it when it was a problem a few years ago on our cable system.

 

My neighbor has a blu-ray player and an LED HDTV. I'll have to see how it looks on that setup.

 

I hate to think 200-300 DVD recordings would look so inferior if I got a HDTV when they look fine now on my tube-type TV.

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No, you can't make them look better. Remember, a HDTV is using a lot more pixels, so a DVD-R recording with its smaller pixels amount is leaving a lot of gaps. Think of it this way, let's say you have 100 pennies and lay them out on a 100 coin board in even rows of ten each, each coin touching the sides, top and bottom of the coins around it. That's your old TV and looks fine. Now put the same 100 coins on a board that has room for several hundred coins and you have to spread out the coins to fill the area. A lot of gaps with info missing.

 

There is one thing you will be glad about, you will notice it less when you get used to it. But it will never equal a HD Blu-ray disc.

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Interesting discussion.

 

I'd like to add my own personal observations.

 

I had a 32 inch tube TV, and when I bought my new HDTV I noticed a big increase in image sharpness.

 

I do notice the fuzziness of slow-speed DVD recordings; however, I didn't notice that on the tube TV, but that was because the tube TV naturally had a fuzzy image, when compared to the HDTV.

 

The situation was, I had gotten used to the fuzzy image of the old tube TV, so I didn?t notice the fuzziness of my slow-speed DVDs. :)

 

That might be what you are encountering. I don't think you could see a sharper slow-speed DVD image on your old tube TV. If the HDTV has a sharper image, then you notice that your slow-speed DVDs are fuzzy, but you didn't notice it when you were watching them on your old tube TV because because your tube TV image was also naturally fuzzier. :)

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> {quote:title=MovieMadness wrote:}{quote}You want to put the HDTV on 4:3 setting so it doesn't expand the movie to fit the widescreen TV, at least that is how I view them on my HD TV. You may ask your friend if you can try this before you give up on an HDTV.

>

> I think if you play the DVD in a Blue-ray player it will upscale the movie to higher def but I am not certain of that as another possibility. Between that and a 4:3 setting they should look much better I would think.

I took one of my home recorded DVDs over to a neighbor who has a 55" Smart TV and played it on a Blu-Ray player. The picture seemed much better than it did on another friend's HDTV LCD/regular DVD player combo. Also better than on my HD computer screen.

 

I tried to get the salesperson at Best Buy to play it on a BLU-Ray/HDTV combo, but they had trouble getting it to play. I might try them again.

 

The Blu-Ray player might be making the difference in picture quality.

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I have several thousand DVDs recorded in SP, from Comcast cable SD channels. I have a 56" DLP HDTV. My SP recordings are almost identical to the original broadcast quality. The quality of recordings does vary from brand to brand, and from model to model, of DVDR.

 

As you have noted, playback quality, apart from original recording quality, is strongly dependent on the TV, and the DVD player. Some TVs do a better job with upscaling SD to HD than others. Most TVs will upscale better than a cheap DVD player. A high quality DVD player, or high quality Blu-Ray player will give much better upscaling, and make ALL of your DVDs look better, including the ones you made.

 

The best upscaling players are made by OPPO. Their Blu-Ray model 93 was recently discontinued, and is going to be replaced by the 103, for the same price as the 93. It is an amazing machine, which will do a lot more than you probably need, but will make all of your DVDs look way better than any other player any where near the same price. A friend of mine bought one, and he is amazed what it does to DVDs.

 

http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-103/

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It also partially has to do with the bitrate your DVD recorder makes a recording at in SP mode...I'm on my second DVD recorder, and the recordings are actually a little better than my old recorder because it records at a higher bitrate than my old one did.

 

One technique which helps is if your recorder can record on dual-layer discs, start by recording that way...even if it's a shorter movie that runs a little over one hour (the most one can record on a single-layer DVD in HQ/1 hour mode)...allowing the recorder to go from one disc layer to the next....then finish it on your computer using DVD Shrink to remove the layer break. You end up with a better quality recording than if you had used a single-layer disc in SP mode.

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> {quote:title=ValentineXavier wrote:}{quote}I have several thousand DVDs recorded in SP, from Comcast cable SD channels. I have a 56" DLP HDTV. My SP recordings are almost identical to the original broadcast quality. The quality of recordings does vary from brand to brand, and from model to model, of DVDR.

>

> As you have noted, playback quality, apart from original recording quality, is strongly dependent on the TV, and the DVD player. Some TVs do a better job with upscaling SD to HD than others. Most TVs will upscale better than a cheap DVD player. A high quality DVD player, or high quality Blu-Ray player will give much better upscaling, and make ALL of your DVDs look better, including the ones you made.

>

> The best upscaling players are made by OPPO. Their Blu-Ray model 93 was recently discontinued, and is going to be replaced by the 103, for the same price as the 93. It is an amazing machine, which will do a lot more than you probably need, but will make all of your DVDs look way better than any other player any where near the same price. A friend of mine bought one, and he is amazed what it does to DVDs.

>

> http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-103/

Earlier I said I'd watched a disc I'd recorded on my DVD Recorder on a Samsung LCD/regular DVD player combo and the quality was poor. And I'd watched the same DVD on a Samsung Smart TV/good Blu-Ray player combo and it was good quality.

 

I found out later that what I thought was a regular DVD player was a Blu-Ray with the Samsung LCD. So apparently just a Blu-Ray player isn't the answer.

 

Either the quality of the HDTV or the quality of the Blu-Ray player made a difference. Or a combination. I'll have to try and get some of the video stores to let me try to let me play the DVD on their Blu-Ray/HDTV to see what kind of picture I get.

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It was the quality of the upscaling that made the difference. That can be done either by the TV, or the DVD/Blu-Ray player, and depends on which does the better job. If you set the DVD player to output 480p (or 480i), the TV will do the upscaling. If you set the DVD player to output at the native resolution of your TV, which can be 720p, 1080p, or 1080i, the player will do the upscaling.

 

Good DVD players and good Blu-Ray players will do good upscaling, but aren't the cheapest you will find. The one I recommended is excellent at upscaling. It uses a chip that is found in separate video processors that cost $2000 or more. The player does cost $499. You can get it with free shipping from Amazon, but that's the only deal you can get on it. There are cheaper players with decent upscaling, but don't expect one that costs $100 to do it well.

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I tried one of my DVD recordings of the "Big Sleep" at a couple of stores yesterday. At the first store, it was played via blu-ray on a 55 in. $2,500 LG LED/LCD Smart TV with 240Hz. Also thru a blu-ray on a 40 in. LCD with 60 Hz(I think that's the same set up as a friends that gave me such poor results. The $2,500 set was similar to another friends $2,500 Samsung Smart TV that gave very good results).

 

This time the much cheaper LCD gave a MUCH better picture than the expensive Smart TV. I think the Blu-Ray players were of similar quality. No Blu-Ray players in the store were much over $100.

 

The other store let me play it on a 42 in. LED/LCD at 120 Hz. The results were about half way between what I got at the first store.

 

So I'm not getting any good answers as to why I get a good picture on one TV/Blu-Ray combo and not another.

 

I definitely wouldn't spend $500 on a Blu-Ray player, so I might have to take the plunge on a TV/Blu-Ray combo and hope for the best. And return it if it doesn't work out and buy a used 32" tube TV.

 

I do see that Sony has what's called a 4K Blu-Ray player that upscales to twice the resolution of 1080p. But that still costs $250.

 

It would be cheaper to buy commercial copies of the DVDs I've recorded, but a lot of them aren't available on commercial DVD.

 

 

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I believe the size of the television plays a major role. Most of our home-recorded DVDs look sharp and crisp with good contrast on our primary television which is thirty-two-inch-class and it does not matter greatly if they are played on the Sony upscaling DVR through the special cable or Magnavox disposable DVD player with simple RCA plug video.

 

All of our movies looked blocky or choppy or washed-out on a sixty-inch flat panel and it did not matter the source. Only Blu-Ray disks gave an excellent picture. It is fortunate the television died quickly and the retailer could not replace it with the same model and so refunded our money.

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> {quote:title=SansFin wrote:}{quote}I believe the size of the television plays a major role. Most of our home-recorded DVDs look sharp and crisp with good contrast on our primary television which is thirty-two-inch-class and it does not matter greatly if they are played on the Sony upscaling DVR through the special cable or Magnavox disposable DVD player with simple RCA plug video.

>

> All of our movies looked blocky or choppy or washed-out on a sixty-inch flat panel and it did not matter the source. Only Blu-Ray disks gave an excellent picture. It is fortunate the television died quickly and the retailer could not replace it with the same model and so refunded our money.

The neighbor's HDTV that I got such good results on was a 55 in Smart TV. The HDTV that i got really poor results on in the store was a 55 in. Smart TV. Different brands, but both selling for $2,500. And everything I've watched them on(including my computer monitor) has been connected with HDMI.

 

Not sure what to think, but I can't be the only person that's got movies from DVD Recorders that they play on HDTV.

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Many in this thread are talking such ridiculous nonsense simply because they either didn't get the right equipment or didn't have something hooked up correctly, etc.

 

My Blu-ray player ( a Panasonic model) we got over a year ago...and for under $100.

Why the heck are people talking about $500 machines?? SHOP AROUND, fools! :0

 

It also has upconverting...which greatly helps the quality of ANY regular DVD I play in it....recorded or manufactured....BUT you DO have to have it connected with the HDMI connection/HDMI cable. That's the whole POINT of HDMI...it's a higher qualty digital connection. Any connection other than the HDMI is NOT going to look as good.

 

Our Panasonic HDTV is a few years old and has served us WELL since we got it, and once we went Blu-ray player, HDMI, and always use the upconverting (upscaling....whatever you like to call it), I don't see any problems with anything DECENT I play on it. naturally if I play something in lower, poorer quality it's NOT going to look as good.....so when you make a recording try using the BEST settings for the best quality of the recording.

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> {quote:title=SonOfUniversalHorror wrote:}{quote}

> Many in this thread are talking such ridiculous nonsense simply because they either didn't get the right equipment or didn't have something hooked up correctly, etc.

 

Not all televisions are created equal nor are all DVD players or Blu-Ray players created equal.

 

They must all meet minimum standards so that they are compatible. Most go beyond the standards but which performance issues are better than average varies greatly.

 

Picture and audio quality will vary greatly in different matches of televisions and players. The picture quality will be good even when the television does not recognize the enhanced portions of the player's output and it is not receiving appropriate levels for which it was optimized. The picture quality will be fantastic when the player provides what the television needs and can use above and beyond the technically required minimum.

 

This is evident in the display at any store. Televisions of similar size and quality will not have identical pictures. A good store will allow the customer to switch the inputs so they can see what the picture is like with various popular players as well as the local cable system.

 

The picture quality on our thirty-two-inch-class television with an upscaling DVD player is much better than the sixty-inch television and Blu-Ray player we had when playing a standard DVD. I can assure you that all cables were of highest quality and properly attached as Capuchin is not a videophile but he has been using such equipment since his time flying reconnaissance in the USAF.

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SonofUniversalHorror wrote:

<< My Blu-ray player ( a Panasonic model) we got over a year ago...and for under $100.

Why the heck are people talking about $500 machines?? SHOP AROUND, :0 fools! >>

 

If its a high end piece of equipment, $500.00 is not too bad.

LOOK at these prices!

http://www.audioadvisor.com/products.asp?dept=240

 

I try to buy high quality equipment at the best price. My stand alone JVC HR-S99OOU VCR I got in the 2000's cost me $500.00 The Panasonic DVD recorder was $400.00

Have no regrets.

 

Some of us don't like buying Wal Mart crap.

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Indeed. You get what you pay for. The $500 OPPO will give you dramatically better upscaling, a dramatically better picture from SD DVDs. But, as I mentioned much earlier, and is mentioned by another below, you MUST have you DVD/BD player set to output 480i and 480p sources (SD DVDs) to the native resolution of your TV, to get the benefits of upscaling from your player. Otherwise, the TV will do the upscaling. Some TVs will upscale better than some players, and vice-versa.

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