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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 @08:48PM (#6495828)
    and it's only $199. very nice!
  • Forgive (Score:2, Interesting)

    by desenz (687520)
    The ignorance, But why is that such a bad thing for the movie companies? Are they worried someone will use the signal from the DVD player to rip it?
    • My prediction (Score:2, Insightful)

      by $calar (590356)
      Get it while it lasts, whatever your motive is, because it is only time before this becomes controversial. I'm surprised that the company is willing to risk it. I'm sure the EFF is on their side, which is a great thing.
    • Yeah, the thing that the movie companies might not like is a pure digital stream off their precious DVDs, this means that you could concievably rip the film to Divx or similar without there being any Analogue conversion anywhere along the line... pure digital makes for easier compression, cleaner image, better all round for the rippers...

      Or, you could do a digitally near perfect copy of the DVD to another DVD... which is probably more to the point as the small difference in visible quality would be lost in
      • Yeah, the thing that the movie companies might not like is a pure digital stream off their precious DVDs, this means that you could concievably rip the film to Divx or similar without there being any Analogue conversion anywhere along the line... pure digital makes for easier compression, cleaner image, better all round for the rippers...

        Which for the record you can already do thanks to DeCSS and its kin. For instance mplayer can do it pretty easily, in fact to me the 3 pass encoding with mencoder looks

  • by molo (94384) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:50PM (#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
  • Macrovision? Pshaw. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Speare (84249) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:50PM (#6495848) Homepage Journal

    When this thing is offered in the USA with Macrovision disabled, all regions playable at any time, and no forced chapters, then I'll whip out my VISA and buy one. But not until then.

    • When this thing is offered in the USA with Macrovision disabled, all regions playable at any time, and no forced chapters, then I'll whip out my VISA and buy one. But not until then.

      If you're worried about Macrovision then this product isn't for you. Macrovision only affects analog outputs. Why would you pay extra for a DVD player with DVI output if your TV doesn't have DVI input capability?
      • Macrovision only affects analog outputs. Why would you pay extra for a DVD player with DVI output if your TV doesn't have DVI input capability?

        With Macrovision disabled you can take the composite video out of a DVD player and send it into an AV input on a bog standard VHS machine. If you already have TV RF piped through the house, you can now tune into the video channel and watch DVDs in any room.

        Even if you don't plan on using analog outputs on your main set up, it's worthwhile to not have them cripple

      • by Mister Transistor (259842) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:00AM (#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.

  • I have one (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jardine (398197) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:52PM (#6495855) Homepage
    I have a DVD player with DVI out. The fan is a little noisy and the case is kind of ugly. Also I don't have anything with DVI in.
  • by evil_roy (241455) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:53PM (#6495858)
    As usual, Homer says it best.

    "I'm a White male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are." -Homer eating Nuts 'n' Gum

    If the market demands it, the features will be there.
    • Re:Market Demand (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BiggerIsBetter (682164) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:04PM (#6495945)

      No, that's the problem with cartels like the MPAA. People with often accept "good enough" if their preferred features are too hard.

      MPAA makes it too hard for consumers to get region free DVD players (yes Geek Boy, your PC will do it just fine with DeCSS), and even out-of-region DVDs are very hard to find off the shelf, due to their strongarm tactics against stores renting them. Most folks will just go and rent something in-zone from their local, and play it on the DVD player they bought locally too.

      I think your free-market faith is a little misplaced. Traditional market forces don't really apply when the market is essentially controlled by one supplier.

      • And not just any supplier - a supplier that can afford to purchase legislation to get its way in the United Corporations of America(tm)(c)(patent pending).
    • "I'm a Simpsons writer. I ran out of ideas six years ago, and people still watch our show, despite all our efforts. Go figure!"
  • by BiggerIsBetter (682164) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:53PM (#6495860)
    Not anymore...
  • Another Review (Score:5, Informative)

    by NeoMoose (626691) <{neomoose} {at} {despammed.com}> on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:53PM (#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.
  • maybe (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ArchieBunker (132337)
    because I want to watch movies on a 35" tv and not a 17" LCD thats comparable in price to a 93 honda civic.

  • SDI hacks (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:55PM (#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 @08:55PM (#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.
    • DVD-HD931 (Score:3, Informative)

      by djupedal (584558)
      Details here... [samsung.com]

      More on that unit... [1-877camcorder.com]
    • It would probably be worth noting that Samsung has started making a name for themselves with having the good stuff first. The 931 is actually their second DVD player with DVI out. The first one was a bloody pile of money for a DVD player, but it existed a year ago.

      Oh, and if you're out and about, be sure to check out Samsung's DLP rear projection TV. It's head and shoulders above the other rear projection sets out there. It doesn't really have any of the downsides of the normal rear projections TVs (gl
  • by abischof (255) * <<alex> <at> <spamcop.net>> on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:01PM (#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 WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:02PM (#6495922) Journal
    To add an extra output a manufacturer has to incorporate additional technology, redesign circuitry and the backpanel, test the whole setup, etc.

    This isn't a fantastic amount to do - after all, this is probably a minor upgrade to most manufacturers - but it is rather pointless if 99.99 percent of your target audience won't even know what the port can be used for, let alone actually use it.

    And why spend the time and effort incorporating an $5 (for argument's sake) upgrade if it makes next to no difference on how many units you'll sell? Right now, that $5 pe4r unit is lost profit in what's already a very cut-throat industry.

    As DVI is a fairly new development (at least to the average home electronics consumer) it'll be a while before there's a major demand for DVI outputs on DVD players, etc. Gradually though, the major manufacturers will add DVI support, initially at the top of their ranges, then later throughout their catalogues.

    In the end, it comes down to supply and demand. Right now, there's very little demand for DVI support. But you can bet the farm that by the time there actually is critical mass demand for DVI support it'll be there across the board.
  • Um... (Score:5, Funny)

    by eMartin (210973) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:03PM (#6495931)
    "Why are there no big name DVD Players with digital video outputs?"

    You mean like a computer?
    • yeah, yeah, but most need fans, and unless in 1U format, a little too big IMO. There is also NO software DVD player that can deinterlace video source DVDs unless you call bluring or comb deinterlace methods like InterVideo tries to pretend they are so good at.

      Computer software works fine for progressive scan coded DVDs, but the Bravo D1 and Samsung 931 both have far better deinterlacing algorithms.

      In short, if you are watching a TV series or a movie where the DVD wasn't progressive encoded, you are bett
  • This looks to me like the Apex-style DVD players. Looks like they modified a PC DVD player and added a modified video card and voila!

    Why not use your computer? Now if I could find 50' cables, it would be nice...
  • wrong conclusion (Score:5, Informative)

    by poptones (653660) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:06PM (#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...

    • I've got one of the "first run" Apex 2600's, and it has RGB composite outputs, as well as that wonderful "you should not be here" hidden menu that got it pulled off the shelves just after mine came home with me. (can turn off microvision and set region to everyone's favorite: "bypass") The only issue with this one is it has coaxial digital audio out, and it wasn't exactly trivial to find a receiver that had a coaxial digital audio-in port.

      If I recall correctly, the digital streams have a "do not copy" f
      • www.m-audio.com sells a cheap coaxoptical S/PDIF converter. If you have a reciever that you liek that speaks optical and another component that speaks coax, this is for you. Seems to work fine with AC3 streams too.
      • Hmm. My Sony receiver has coax and optical and can automatically determine which is used. So if I turn my Sony DVD player on, it lights up "COAX". If I turn on my PS2, it says "Optical". Most receivers that I've seen can do both.
      • I've got one of the "first run" Apex 2600's, and it has RGB composite outputs, as well as that wonderful "you should not be here" hidden menu that got it pulled off the shelves just after mine came home with me. (can turn off microvision and set region to everyone's favorite: "bypass") The only issue with this one is it has coaxial digital audio out, and it wasn't exactly trivial to find a receiver that had a coaxial digital audio-in port.

        I had one of these models as well - the picture quality was horri
    • And the stupid thing is why worry about the RGB outputs? RGB is already lossy from the source (4:2:0 Y'CbCr). SDI output from DVD would be far more worrysome, since that'll give you the exact output from the MPEG-2 decoder in its native pixel space.

      Of course, as you point out, DeCSS rather opened the barn door on this one!
    • Re:wrong conclusion (Score:3, Interesting)

      by evilviper (135110)

      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.

      It means a hell of a lot actually.

      If you have unencrypted access to the data, you can legally make a copy of the DVD. If you don't, then you cannot legally copy the DVD. The technical ability to make a copy doesn't bother them, only the leg

    • Re:wrong conclusion (Score:3, Interesting)

      by radish (98371)
      the "industry agreement" is that no DVD players will have RGB outputs

      I'm sorry but that's complete rubbish - virtually every DVD player ever sold in europe has RGB outs - it's totally standard over here. And all TVs from the last few years have RGB in. You're actually less likely to get s-video outs (although I'd guess 90% have both). Even outside europe I know RGB is common place in Aus, and I've seen it on US players too.
  • There are others (Score:5, Informative)

    by cheinonen (318646) <cheinonen@nOsPam.hotmail.com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:06PM (#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!

    • Re:There are others (Score:2, Informative)

      by rmostad (9491)
      "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.
      • Ah, that's fairly recent then. However, it still shows the reason that other manufacturers are holding off on DVI, since many consumers will take it home, it won't work, and they'll take it right back to the store without bothering to check for firmware updates.
  • by psoriac (81188) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:06PM (#6495956)
    Until a large percentage of TV's start having DVI input, DVI output for consumer grade DVD players (or any other video player) is pointless from the economic standpoint.

    In addition, component optical output is already far and away high enough quality to render the need for DVI moot.

    The only TV-class displays that I know of which feature DVI inputs are flatpanel LCD and some flatpanel plasma displays... which are far more expensive than I can justify when compared to a comparably priced rear projection or CRT set.
    • My Sony 40" Trinitron (40KV-XBR800) has DVI input, as do most hi-definition sets manufactured in the last few years.

      IMO, you would be foolish to buy a new HDTV without DVI-HDCP as most set-top boxes are moving to this format as a method of copy protection (encrypting the signal between the set-top box and your TV in order to eliminate video capture and upload to the net).
  • by -tji (139690) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:16PM (#6496012) Journal
    As other have mentioned, firewire can be copy restricted, using and encrypted in transport. Also, it's a high bandwidth, uncompressed data stream, which is not easy to copy.

    The MPAA still does exert some control here, as you can tell from the lack of DVD players with FireWire interfaces. mitsubishi has been talking about them for years, to fit into their cool Havi [mitsubishi-tv.com] system. But, because of the all the MPAA usage restriction hysteria, they can't bring one to market.

    Also, they block any analog outputs over 480P (e.g. component video, YPrPb, outputs at 720P or 1080i). These are analog outputs, which are not easily copied (try recording your VGA out). But, they still won't allow them because of the CSS license restrictions and lack of Macrovision.

    This is also closely related to why you cannoy buy an HDTV DirecTV receiver with a Firewire output, and thus cannot record HDTV programs off satellite. The technology has been viable for years, D-VHS recorders are available and cheap, but the content providers prevent DirecTV from adding this feature. This slows down the adoption of HDTV, and stifles innovation. Don't you just love the MPAA?
    • The MPAA still does exert some control here

      That is incredibly understated.

      For you to make a DVD player, you have to get permission to use CSS. For you to get permission to use CSS, the MPAA can make you sign any sort of contract they want, or you don't get to use CSS legally. That's all there is to it.

      I don't think there is any "threat of litigation" keeping DVD players back, I believe it much more simple and direct than that.
      • Here's a thought. Why can't some manufacturer use DeCSS or qrpff or one of those bad boys.

        Because it's in a consumer player, with no mass storage or connectivity save the A/V outputs, the MPAA would have a damn hard time making the argument that it's piracy. And they wouldn't have to pay the license fee to the DVD-CSS consortium either!
    • by -tji (139690) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:24AM (#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.
  • Well well well (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I suffer from a disease known as Munchausen syndrome by open proxy. It causes me to accept stray network packets, and purposely inject crc errors, just to get the NAK attention that I crave. But this is no worse than suffering from the affliction that ffierling struggles against. We read that since there are not (yet) many DVI capable dvd players, "it's easy to conclude the threat of litigation from copyright holders is holding up the big name manufacturers."

    Easy if you're a paranoid tin-foil hat wea
  • There's this little yellow hole labeled "Video our" on the back of my TV with a little red hole and white hole below that. I seem to have matching holes on the back of my video capture card. Can someone clue me in as to what they are for?
  • I also find it interesting there are no digital televisions. There are lots of HDTV and DTV monitors, but just try to find a television (Not NTSC but DTV). My 14 year old TV is awaiting a replacement, but none are to be found. I don't want a home theatre system. I want a TV that will work in a motorhome. Am I stuck with NTSC or a DISH subscription? I just want clear 11:00 news.
    • I also find it interesting there are no digital televisions. There are lots of HDTV and DTV monitors, but just try to find a television (Not NTSC but DTV). My 14 year old TV is awaiting a replacement, but none are to be found. I don't want a home theatre system. I want a TV that will work in a motorhome. Am I stuck with NTSC or a DISH subscription? I just want clear 11:00 news.

      It sounds like what you want is a smaller-sized CRT set with a built-in HDTV tuner, correct? I don't think this is completely u
  • how much did you pay for this 'undercover' internet marketing blitz?

    Let's hope they fire off a few units before their mailbox gets DDOS'ed by RIAA lawyers.
  • It's funny how even if the manufacturers don't bother to encrypt the DVI output with HDCP, I can't think of a solution that will capture a raw, uncompressed DVI video stream to disk. You would need an insane amount of SCSI RAID storage in order to do it. If I remember correctly it's something like hundreds of megabytes per second of data in a 1080i feed. But, I guess this time the manufacturers aren't waiting for technology to outflank the content industry (see RIAA for examples of this ;-)

    The real ques
  • Q: Why not FireWire? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by daveschroeder (516195) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:40PM (#6496133)
    A: Because the movie/tv industry is deathly afraid of it.

    The promise of FireWire is a single cable, and an intelligent system, connecting all of your electronics devices together. Not just final output (like DVI), or tied to a host (like USB), but a peer-to-peer, universal, high speed bus that can carry content as well as control data. Any of your devices can communicate with one another, and, where applicable, control or send information to one another - all the while sending pristine digital content.

    DVI is more attractive to some because it's a final output format, with less fundamental chance of being manipulated or captured by anything else. And copy protection can be enforced in the "monitor" or display device, if need be...FireWire could connect all of your equipment, including your computer, appliances, and more. It could even do it wirelessly.

    Imagine one single, intelligent cable chain connecting all of your entertainment equipment - no more rat's nest of endless cabling, no more dumb devices unaware of anything but themselves...that is one of the purposes, and the promise, of FireWire.
    • thats an excellent summary of firewire, and its very well written. thanks for the post! I was sorely disappointed when I found out USB was a PC-to-device-only technology.
    • My DVD player [pioneerelectronics.com] has firewire output, it just has some sort of encryption on it. My TV only has component ins, and I don't have a matching receiver, so they're useless to me, but firewire for A/V use exists and is available for sale at your local stereo shop.
      • Unfortunately, I think the Firewire (i.Link) interface on this DVD is only for audio only, not video. It doesn't seem that this DVD player conforms to HAVI standards which would allow it to connect to a Mitsubishi Firewire enabled projection television for digital-to-digital transfer for the MPEG stream from the DVD player to the television.

        I have a Firewire/HAVI enabled Mitsubishi rear projection television and would love to find a HAVI compliant DVD player. Unfortunately, I don't know of one yet -- not
  • below radar? (Score:4, Informative)

    by di0s (582680) <cabbot917@g m a i l .com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:45PM (#6496162) Homepage Journal
    Are they below the MPAA's radar
    Uhm, not anymore.... (that's assuming MPAA reads /.)
  • Why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by heli0 (659560) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:58PM (#6496229)
    SGtHT did a review with a couple of DVD players using DVI. Their conclusion: for 480p it just doesn't matter.

    When DVD's are 720p or 1080i, then it may.
  • DVI Output? (Score:4, Funny)

    by horati0 (249977) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:12PM (#6496322) Journal
    DVI output from a DVD player? What kind of CUPS [cups.org] driver do you need for this thing? But more importantly, how much paper would you need?
  • DVI Discussion (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mia'cova (691309)
    I recently (Saturday) purchased a rather nice 46" sony projection TV. It's 1080i (HDTV) compatible and has a single DVI input. I'm planning on attempting to configure my computer to output DVI to the TV before I resort to s-video. Apparently it's difficult to get one's computer's DVI output to sync properly with a TV's input. Does anyone know of any resources to help plan this? Or any tips?

    Also, the other thing I'm wondering. I've heard that the DVI inputs that are now being placed on most "high end" (lets
  • Check out the DP-500 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zorglubxx (513559) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @04:06AM (#6497514) Homepage
    I dont think this player is that hot. Check out the KiSS DP-500 [kiss-technology.com] which additionally supports DVD-RW and DVD+RW (the Bravo only supports DVD+-R), OGG and Divx 3.11, 4 and 5. The DP-500 also comes with a 10/100 ethernet port so that you can stream audio, video and jpegs directly from your computer. There's also a webradio feature to stream directly from the internet.

    Yes there are still a few bugs in the software, as someone mentioned above, but they are slowly being worked out with new software releases.

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