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I watched X-Men on DTheater tonight. Awesome. I spent the whole movie looking for problems, and saw only one. A short moment where it looked like Storm's white hair (fine and backlit) seemed to be pixelating. It could have been the encoding.

Otherwise, it was pretty close to perfect except for a couple of obvious blow-ups showing 35mm grain (a flaw in the source, not the recording).

Afterword I pulled out the DVD and did some comparisons. First off, the Toshiba does a damn fine job displaying 480p DVD source. It really is very, very good. I certainly won't be compelled to generally start replacing my DVDs.

But the DTheater does beat it handily. Mostly the sharpness and more vibrant colours.

A couple of examples:

In close ups, you can actually see detail in the pores of people's skin. You can concentrate on detail in Wolverines beard. The way the light is shining off an individual hair. A little flake of skin. YIKES!

An early scene when Wolverine first wakes up in the school/lab and he is lead by Xavier to an office where Xavier is ending a class. There is a blackboard with drawings and printing.

On the DVD the lettering is a bit blurry and washed out.
On DTheater is absolutely sharp and clear. You can easily read everything on the blackboard from the comfortable viewing distance.


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A neat discovery:

The manual says the optical out will only carry a digital stream for D-VHS playback, not for S-VHS/VHS.

But, when the deck is used as a tuner, it DOES output a PCM bitstream! It seems it is always doing the audio encoding it would need for D-VHS recording.

I suddenly noticed that my receiver was reporting 96KHz PCM when I turned to City-TV to watch Enterprise. Cool!

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I've been wondering about the use of the JVC deck as a video receiver. The MPEG-2 video equivalent to a DD/DTS receiver.

Since the deck can record and decode an input IEEE stream, it could serve as a high-end MPEG-2 decoder for many input sources.

A very interesting test will be to see which generates a better decode, the 3250HD's built in decoder, or the JVC deck thru the IEEE input.

Is a pure OTA ATSC tuner (no decoder) available? Extract a stream, and send it to the JVC for decoding. How cheap could that be?!

Tuner, demodulator, IEEE circuitry. That's about all it would need. Right?

Gary
 

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dialog_gvf said:
Is a pure OTA ATSC tuner (no decoder) available? Extract a stream, and send it to the JVC for decoding. How cheap could that be?!

Tuner, demodulator, IEEE circuitry. That's about all it would need. Right?
I think the Samsung OTA tuners would fit this bill possibly but not in Canada (yet). The ST-160 and ST-165 are the models I believe, with maybe the ST-165 only having the IEEE1394, but both have optional DVI I believe. I can dig up the exact models if you are still interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
bolmsted said:
dialog_gvf said:
Is a pure OTA ATSC tuner (no decoder) available? Extract a stream, and send it to the JVC for decoding. How cheap could that be?!

Tuner, demodulator, IEEE circuitry. That's about all it would need. Right?
I think the Samsung OTA tuners would fit this bill possibly but not in Canada (yet). The ST-160 and ST-165 are the models I believe, with maybe the ST-165 only having the IEEE1394, but both have optional DVI I believe. I can dig up the exact models if you are still interested.
I have looked at the ST-165. It is an ATSC receiver.

A pure tuner wouldn't have any analogue or DVI outputs, because it wouldn't have a decoder or video subsystem.

It seems a bit silly to keep paying for the decoders and video. A pure tuner should be < $200.
 

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dialog, I love reading your posts but after reading this one, I'm getting mad because I want one :cry:
 

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Is a pure OTA ATSC tuner (no decoder) available?
Yes, but they are meant as test instruments for broadcasters. Very expensive.

I've always thought that there should be one box to do video decoding, and then multiple boxes as sources (DVD transport, ATSC receiver, digital cable receiver, etc), all interconnected via Firewire. Perhaps an A/V receiver would be a good place to put the decoding? It'll never happen though! Why sell you one MPEG2 decoder when we can sell you three?!
 

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Random thoughts

human said:
dialog, I love reading your posts but after reading this one, I'm getting mad because I want one :cry:
Then my work here is done :D

In addition to be extremely thrilled by this new format and experience, I want other people to think about it too. The selection of content I get is obviously going to be determined by how many fellow videophiles get into the format.

And, as I think I said, some decent sales of the DTheater decks can't but help improve and speed up the arrival of HD-DVD, which of course is ultimately where we want to be for pre-recorded movies.

Here's a recent review from another site wondering why the studios and JVC haven't done more yet:DTheater

I think he's being a bit unfair. Many people didn't know about LaserDisc 20 years into the format's existence. Videophile stuff doesn't tend to get the press. It gets the effort and quality.

Really DTheater was in test the waters mode until a few months back. I expect it to explode (relatively) next year. But, if it even gets 1% penetration that would be mind boggling.

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In previous messages I pointed out that both Lucas and Spielberg have released spectacular extremely low run special editions for LaserDisc (LD) in the past. ET was a planned 8000 unit run.

Scorcese and Cameron are two other big wheels that can drive amazing things in home video. The Abyss, Aliens, and T2 special editions were all done specifically for LD. In fact, the T2 Special Edition on VHS (movie only) was taken from the master for Pioneer laser (as noted on the slipcase). The T2 Special Edition has been transformed into the Ultimate Edition DVD. But, it is basically the same thing.

If a director likes a format, and it is shown that 25000 - 50000 sales can be expected, I think people will be amazed what becomes available.

The Star Wars original trilogy will have to wait. But, it wouldn't surprise me to see Episodes I & II as well as Spielberg's Universal films come out on the format within the next year.

It is almost a given that the Spielberg Dreamworks catalogue in on its way. The man is the co-owner, and made the decision to support the format!!!

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I was thinking recently of a message I left on Usenet soon after DVD came out. I thought that Pioneer, who had had a 20-year profitable run with Laserdisc, should have immediately begun developing HDLD. At that time, although impressed with the quality, I pointed out that DVD only hit the maximum resolution of NTSC equipment. It really didn't move video forward into HD.

With minor changes to the transport technology, and an upgrade to a red laser, an 12-inch LD sized disc at the same density as DVD would hold eight times t\he storage of DVD. Easily enough for DTheater content.

I'm still amazed that a company that thrived selling hardware AND software for the videophile market, abandoned the concept to slug it out with the mass marketers.

Really, DTheater should have been on HDLD, if Pioneer had had the forethought.


Gary
 

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Consumers don't want bulky discs such as LD anymore, they want a small format that you can put in your hand, and multiple layers at different wave lengths lets them do this. The technology wasn't at the point where Pioneer could have made a HDLD at the time and the standards for HD in North America were not complete.
 
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