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Television Media Hardware

DVD Player With DVI Output 355

Posted by timothy
from the firewire-would-be-nice-too dept.
ffierling writes "Why are there no big name DVD Players with digital video outputs? With all the available digital displays (LCD, plasma, DLP, etc) and the obvious benefits of an all-digital connection, it's easy to conclude the threat of litigation from copyright holders is holding up the big name manufacturers. So how is it V Inc. can sell their Bravo D1 DVD Player with DVI output? Are they below the MPAA's radar, or just quicker to market?"
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DVD Player With DVI Output

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  • sweet (Score:3, Informative)

    by squarefish (561836) * on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:48PM (#6495828)
    and it's only $199. very nice!
  • by molo (94384) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:50PM (#6495845) Journal
    Fool! DVI is an encrypted data stream!

    See this PDF for more information:

    [ddwg.org]
    http://www.ddwg.org/if/data/0830991.pdf

    -molo
  • Another Review (Score:5, Informative)

    by NeoMoose (626691) <neomoose@noSpAm.despammed.com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:53PM (#6495865) Homepage Journal
    If you pick up last month's Official Xbox Magazine they did a review and gave it a 9.0 out of 10 score. Apparently they loved it. If you want more information on it, track down someone with the magazine.

    The main problem I have with this DVD player is that it DOESN'T seem to be available in many, if any, retail outlets.
  • SDI hacks (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:55PM (#6495878)
    There are additional boards [www.jvb.nl] available to hack most decent DVD's players so they output SDI, which is a raw professional 270Mbps standard for digital interconnects. Most broadcast quality Plasma screens include an SDI input, and companies like Delphi [electrographdelphi.co.uk] produce them for the consumer market, and I've seen DVB-s digital tv set-top-boxes also hacked for SDI output, they look very good since the needless D>A>D process is removed.
  • Other DVI Players (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:55PM (#6495881)
    Not true - Samsung has the DVD-HD931 which has been out on the market for a few months now. It has DVI output.

    The Bravo D1 is better, but hey.

    Expect other large consumer electronics manufacturers to have their models out within a few months.
  • by abischof (255) * <alexNO@SPAMspamcop.net> on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:01PM (#6495918) Homepage

    To some of us following the home theater scene, the Bravo D1 may be old news ;), but I can understand that it may not be common knowledge. In any case, the Home Theater Forum [hometheaterforum.com] is a great resource in general and it has a couple [hometheaterforum.com] threads [hometheaterforum.com] on this player as well. Of note from that second link is that the Bravo is not the only DVI player on the market:

    The only DVI-out DVD players on the market at the moment are the V Inc. Bravo D1, the Samsung 931, and the Momitsu DV-880. If you will not be using the DVI-out on these players, all of them are said to give relatively subpar quality via all the analog outputs.

  • by goombah99 (560566) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:02PM (#6495926)
    I use a projection (dlp) video system. I can play my DVD movies either as DVI, VGA (RGB) or as S-video using my mac powerbook the s-video has the resolution of a VCR or ordinary television. But the VGA output is massively better, roughly 8 to 16 times the independent pixel density (4 X spatially and 2x in time and another 2x for truly independent pixels). Unfortunately I cant use the DVI out becaue my lowly projector does not have DVI input.

    However even if it did I dont expect the result to be much superior than the analog RGB VGA output for the simple reason that the DVD disk doesn't have any more info than that.

    for example if you try to play a dvd on an XGA or SXGA system it looks WORSE(!) than on the lower resoultion SVGA. the reason is very simple , the dvd has to interpolate the pixels and does a bad job when the image is changing quickly. SVGA is optimal for DVD , and XGA is optimal for HDTV.

  • wrong conclusion (Score:5, Informative)

    by poptones (653660) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:06PM (#6495953) Journal
    the "industry agreement" is that no DVD players will have RGB outputs - and this one doesn't have those, either. DVI is "secure" and component has been on players for ages. And it would be pretty well pointless to have a high rez player (as this one is obviously intended) that wouldn't support contemporary hi rez displays.

    What's most funny is that no one today would likely think of "ripping" a DVD from a capture card, just because all it takes is a $50 DVD drive and a braindead piece of software. And yet the manufacturers stick by their "no RGB" guns as if it actually means something.

    BTW my "DVD player" does have RGB outputs. It also has a macrovision-less s-vid output.

    Duh...

  • There are others (Score:5, Informative)

    by cheinonen (318646) <cheinonen.hotmail@com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:06PM (#6495954)
    Samsung, for instance, makes their 931 player which has DVI w/ HDCP output and can upconvert to either 720p or 1080i with the DVI output (but only 480p thru the component outputs). However, the main reason I think other manufacturers are holding back is because while HDCP is a standard, it doesn't seem to work perfectly yet. The Samsung 931 won't work correctly in 1080i mode with Sony or Toshiba HDTV's currently, though I believe it does work in 720p mode with the Samsung DLP sets.


    The reasoning behind using DVI and upconversion is that many HDTV's will upconvert 480p to 1080i or 720p internally (this is most common on DLP, LCD, Plasma, LCOS and other non-CRT technologies). By converting it internally before the digital stream is converted to analog, you should get a better conversion, or in theory you can add an external scaler (say an iScan or anything from Faroudja) and output a digital 480p signal for it to scale instead of an analog one.


    The Bravo D1 is the first, and currently has better quality than Samsung, but it won't be the last for long. Popular rumor has Denon coming out with a universal DVD player (DVD, DVD-A, SACD) with DVI output (with HDCP) by the end of the year, but if the HDCP compatibility issues keep up, I wouldn't be surprised to see it be delayed. Of course, HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) is what I can't wait for. One cable the size of a USB connector that can carry an HDTV signal and 8 channels of audio, so long cable mess!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:06PM (#6495955)
    You can find the pertinent information here: Samsung DVD-HD931 [samsungusa.com]
    Retail price is $299
  • by Osty (16825) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:08PM (#6495968)

    Lovely! Those links are referred right back to Slashdot. That's one way to avoid a slashdotting.


    Other good home theater sites:

    • AVS Forum [avsforum.com]
    • Home Theater Spot [hometheaterspot.com] (some useful reviews and links, but more importantly a great set of forums)
    • Digital Connection [digitalconnection.com], the place to find high-end PC/home theater equipment.
    • Magnolia Hi-Fi [magnoliahifi.com]. Okay, I only threw this one in here because it's my preferred place to buy A/V equipment.

  • by dschuetz (10924) * <[gro.tensad.divad] [ta] [hsals]> on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:10PM (#6495975) Homepage
    Fool! DVI is an encrypted data stream!

    Fool! DVI is an all-digital video connection standard, that supports optional encryption! (well mostly all-digital, if you ignore the optional analog compatibility connection)

    (though I will agree that most likely any DVD player supporting DVI will be using encryption).

    I think it's called HDCP, or High Defintion Copy Protection, or somesuch.

    More interesting is a DVD player that up-converts to 1080i -- I've read conflicting reports on whether those are "allowed" by the DVD manufacturer's agreement. But get that, and support for the MS (ugh) HDTV-lite codec (like on the new T2 disc) and you're in busines. Sort of.

  • by InsaneGeek (175763) <slashdot@insanegee[ ]com ['ks.' in gap]> on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:13PM (#6495992) Homepage
    Technically, just because DVI's involved doesn't mean that it's encrypted. When it's boiled down, DVI isn't encrypted it's the medium the encryption (HDCP) travels on, almost like SSL travels on ethernet.
  • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:14PM (#6495997) Homepage Journal
    From what I've seen, the Bravo doesn't implement HDCP on Macrovision signal, or anything for that matter. It technically should though but that break compatibility with a lot of things.
  • Re:There are others (Score:2, Informative)

    by rmostad (9491) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:28PM (#6496073)
    "The Samsung 931 won't work correctly in 1080i mode with Sony or Toshiba HDTV's currently, though I believe it does work in 720p mode with the Samsung DLP sets."

    Call Samsung they have a firmware upgrade (CDR) that will upgrade the unit to work with Toshiba and Sony DVI sets.
  • Re:1920x1080??? (Score:2, Informative)

    by sahonen (680948) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:34PM (#6496111) Homepage Journal
    TVs are actually analogx525, at least in NTSC (PAL is something like 600 lines, I forget, since I don't work with it). Due to the way color is added, horizontal resolution is limited to about 720, which is why that's the resolution we work with when we digitize NTSC video.

    Some of the 525 lines don't carry picture info and are cut off by your TV. They occasionally carry program information, or in some cases, Macrovision stuff designed to fool the auto gain correction on your VCR. In any case, the lines that aren't recorded end up making 480 a good vertical resolution to use for digital NTSC video.
  • Re:1920x1080??? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:34PM (#6496116)

    Actually, televisions are not like 640x480. Televisions are not digital, at least not completely. The electron gun starts at the top of the frame and paints one line at a time. By the time it hits the bottom, it's painted about 240 lines (in NTSC, that is). While painting a line, it's demodulating an analog signal into analog values of red, green, and blue. The horizontal resolution is NOT in terms of pixels or anything shaped like a dot; it's an analog signal whose resolution simply depends on the bandwidth available.

    Vertical resolution is a different story. It is actually discrete and it's fair to express it as a specific integer. This is because, once the electron beam has finished traveling across the screen painting one line, it travels across again and paints another. There is a fixed number of these per frame. (And, there is an extra quirk -- you always have 60 frames per second, but you have the option of having 30 of them in a slightly different vertical position than the others, so that the two sets of horizontal lines interlace with each other.)

    My point in all this is that the DVD's 720 pixel horizontal resolution is perfectly reasonable and perfectly compatible with traditional NTSC televisions -- it's not necessarily an improvement at all. Some (most) TVs will not have the bandwidth in the signal to convey that many separate pixels, but even so the result is just a little horizontal blurring of pixels. You can even think of that as a DVD being a little overengineered and using a higher sampling rate than necessary to reproduce the analog signal.

    Having said all that, the day is coming when the only reasonable thing will be to record the movie at some high resolution (like 2048x1536, or maybe the 1920x1080 standard that Star Wars, episode II used) and throw only that on the disc. Then, the data can be transferred to the TV; if it doesn't have that many pixels on the screen, it can include a chip that allows it to scale and smooth the image. Of course, televisions will have to be rated in pixels, but they already are in some sense: HDTV implies 1920x1080, actually, IIRC...

  • by PetWolverine (638111) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:43PM (#6496146) Journal
    However even if it did I dont expect the result to be much superior than the analog RGB VGA output for the simple reason that the DVD disk doesn't have any more info than that.

    The point of the digital connection is not that it transmits more information, but that it loses less information during the transfer. Analog signals degrade over the length of a cable. In fact, the more information is being sent, the faster it degrades, which may be why XGA looked worse on your projector than SVGA.
  • below radar? (Score:4, Informative)

    by di0s (582680) <cabbot917@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:45PM (#6496162) Homepage Journal
    Are they below the MPAA's radar
    Uhm, not anymore.... (that's assuming MPAA reads /.)
  • DVD-HD931 (Score:3, Informative)

    by djupedal (584558) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:49PM (#6496174)
    Details here... [samsung.com]

    More on that unit... [1-877camcorder.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @11:03PM (#6496261)
    Interesting theory. I've tested it out with a 25 foot cable. I cant see any difference between the SVGA and XGA image even after a 25 foot video cable.*** The reason the XGA is worse is not the static image being distorted.

    rather its the dynamic changing image that has a problem. because the signal is interlaced the odd row pixels are slightly different in time than the even row pixels. thus when the XGA tries to interpolate vertically to fill in the extra pixels odd things happen. its really noticable when fast moving sharp edges move across the screen (a car door slams or text scrolls). you get this zigizag unstable edge.

    in contrast with svga these is no interpolation. yes the interlace images are still out of sync. but all the projector has to do is show the pixels as god or the person who made the dvd intended. no interpolation. it works well.

    I would expect that if there is a place where the difference between DVI and RGB will show up its not in the resolution. rather it will be in the color saturation and the contrast ratio. However, projection video systems under $5000 dont have adequate contrast or saturation to detect the difference. you can however see the difference on an LCD screen.

    ***experimental details: display the image on an xga projector. find sharp details and view them up close and from far away. next project an svga signal either on a true svga projector or on the XGA projector in non-interpolated mode (use the zoom lens to resize the screen). look at the same details. I've tried all of these configurations. I've alsoe tried different sources like computers, prgressive scan dvd players and non-progressive scan ones.

  • by voxel (70407) on Monday July 21, 2003 @11:24PM (#6496400)

    The cable I CAN plug into my "box", is DVI. I have a new ATI All In Wonder Radeon. it has DVI OUT. Imagine that.

    Also, there is a reason to stay digital as LONG as possible. You want the analog distance to be kept SHORT.

    If you do have to have a D->A->D process, keep the A part SHORT. Use lots of long digital wires if you need to, you'll get a better picture in the end.

    Take it to the extreme... Send an analog signal around the world on a copper pair.... Look at the result... Now send a digital signal around the world on a copper pair (or anything else), look at the result.. Ohhh, Digital is pretty picture.

    - Voxel.
  • by ferrocene (203243) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:10AM (#6496785) Journal
    I'm guessing the reason it looks worse is that your projector can't handle those resolutions, therefore it's the PROJECTOR which is trying to down-scale the image to fit it to SVGA, etc.

    I have a XVGA DLP and it looks much better @ 1024x768 than at 800x600 because PowerDVD does a very nice job upscaling the image. If I try to send 1600x1200 to the 1024x768 DLP then it looks like ass, not because of the player, but because of the DLP down-conversion.

    ALWAYS watch at the NATIVE resolution of your DLP for the best picture quality. Period.
  • by -tji (139690) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:24AM (#6496819) Journal
    Typo Correction: the first line should read "As other have mentioned, DVI can be copy restricted, using and encrypted in transport. Also, it's a high bandwidth, uncompressed data stream, which is not easy to copy." (substiture DVI for Firewire).

    The difference being: DVI is an uncompressed digital output - for connection to a display device. Since it's uncompressed, it runs at gigabit/second speeds, and is difficult to copy.

    Firewire runs at 400Mbps (the new apple PC's have 800Mbps firewire), and is typically used for transferring compressed data streams (usually MPEG2) and for general networking between devices. Some displays have built-in HD tuners, and take firewire as input. For example, the Mitsubishi HDTV's. In this case, DVI is not needed, because the HDTV stream is sent over the firewire, and decoded in the internal tuner. It is then passed internally to the display, so protected DVI is not needed.

    If the display does not have an internal tuner, it would have an external HD Set Top Box (STB). The STB is connected to the TV via DVI, and connected to a recorder, or other A/V devices, via firewire.
  • Re:sweet (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:34AM (#6496857)
    I think they own the DVD standard, logo or something that you need to get their permission to use. I don't think they give you permission if they don't like you or your product.
  • by Mister Transistor (259842) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @02:00AM (#6496998) Journal
    Not true. If you look at the spec for Macrovision, it encompasses about 7 or 8 layers (features) some of which are analog in nature (twisting chroma phase, screwing with the black level) and some are purely digtal and are present as detectable signatures in a decoded stream of digital video. Take a look if you don't believe me.

  • Re:Why (Score:3, Informative)

    by jcoleman (139158) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @09:08AM (#6498379)
    Arnie actually said "pair bonding." He just has that weird accent. :)
  • by terpia (28218) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:28PM (#6500457) Homepage
    This is quite possibly the the dumbest thing I've heard in quite a while:
    "for example if you try to play a dvd on an XGA or SXGA system it looks WORSE(!) than on the lower resoultion SVGA."


    Suuuure buddy. Keep on feeling good about your low res setup. Nothing wrong with it after all. But if you've ever actually seen a truly high end home theatre digital projector, you'd know that they ARE NOT 800x600. And you'd notice that DVDs look pretty fucking good at higher resolutions as long as you aren't using a low quality business projector with a video processor designed by for $300 by grad students over a short weekend. Video processing is key.

  • Re:sweet (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jucius Maximus (229128) <zyrbmf5j4x@snRED ... com minus distro> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @02:57PM (#6502294) Homepage Journal
    "Firewire might be able to pass it (although 270 megabit for uncompressed video seems low, but I'm too lazy to do the math) but what do you have that can record at 270 megabit? You need quite a computer to keep up with that."

    That 270 megabit speed is just 33.75 megabytes per second. The latest Seagate SATA 7200 RPM drives are have a sustained write speed of 32 to 58 megabytes per second. See the PDF spec [seagate.com] for more information. These drives are not exactly speed demons and most 7200 RPM IDE drives from the last few years will be able to handle that fairly easily.

    This is not the stretch you seem to be making it out to be.

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