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Video playback quality: DVD/BLU-ray players versus graphics cards which wins?

Home Theatre Systems

Video playback quality: DVD/BLU-ray players versus graphics cards which wins?

  • DVD/Blu-ray player/AV receiver

    Votes: 13 61.9%
  • high-end graphics cards

    Votes: 4 19.0%
  • Both are equally good

    Votes: 4 19.0%

  • Total voters
    21

bhanja_trinanjan

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Hi,
We all know that sound-quality wise, home AV equipment wins because of better DAC/amplification/speakers.

How about video quality?

Here, I assume that an up-scaling DVD player/BLU-ray player/High-end AV receiver is driving a HD television via HDMI.

Consider the same TV being driven by a RADEON HD4XXX/GEFORCE GT2XX via HDMI. We are using the best possible drivers/playback software on the PC.

So which option wins, in terms of sheer image quality? The PC playback hardware is definitely cheaper than a high end AV receiver/video player.

How do the two options stack up to each other?
 

reju

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Hi,
We all know that sound-quality wise, home AV equipment wins because of better DAC/amplification/speakers.

What makes you say this? Have you never heard about high end sound cards??
They can do a wonderful job when you connect to your HT.

Speak for yourself and not for others;)
 

bhanja_trinanjan

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Yes, I have taken high-end soundcards into account

What makes you say this? Have you never heard about high end sound cards??
They can do a wonderful job when you connect to your HT.

Speak for yourself and not for others;)

Yes.. I know about high-end soundcards.

However, if you are connecting your soundcard via digital-out to your AV receiver, then the AVR's DAC and NOT the soundcard's DAC is doing the Digital to analog conversion.

A lot of soundcards suffer from electromagnetic interference on analog outputs from the motherboard.

Yes, Asus XONAR cards have electromagnetic shielding, but then again, most standalone high end audio gear have better DACs.

Video output via HDMI should be a more level playing field.
 

alladinkachirag

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Even if you take into EMI etc then also an Asus SONAR Essence STX etc or any other comparable soundcard wins hands down when you compare the stereo sound to that on an entry level or even mid-level onkyos..
 

suprateep

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Even if you take into EMI etc then also an Asus SONAR Essence STX etc or any other comparable soundcard wins hands down when you compare the stereo sound to that on an entry level or even mid-level onkyos..

between a 10k soundcard and a 30k receiver I will have to go with the 10k SC for better DACs. And regardign noise, etc - I may agree with say onboard sound cards suffering from this problem - a dedicated good quality soundcard with good analog outs is not prone to noise.

In fact my borrowed xonar's DAC gives but better output that many budget CD players from NAD, CA 540, marantz 6 series etc.

BTW (i might be taken to the slaughterhouse for saying this) - the XONAR STX is cold, totally neutral - all y studies have shown most AV equipment addign a lil bit of their signature to the music - which have their takers. So for e.g. NAD has a nice soundstage, pushed bass (me loves), CA has pronounced highs and mids, marantz details but pushing high end a lot more and so on. IMHO a good sound card with neutral/default settings gives the best sound - best is subjective.
 

bhanja_trinanjan

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Let's focus on the video part...

Ok guys and gals... Let's set sound aside and focus on video quality....

High end DVD/Blu-ray Player/AV Receiver HDMI output versus High-end Radeon/Geforce HDMI... pros and cons of each when it comes to video quality... :)
 

smedhavi

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For video, a Blu-ray player still beats a computer. Mostly because I have still not seen HDMI 1.3 graphics cards that can do all the stuff a Blu-ray player does, including great upscaling of DVDs.

I would love to hear first hand experience from someone who has such card playing into a 1080P display.

What happens to the control signal?

------------

Hi,
We all know that sound-quality wise, home AV equipment wins because of better DAC/amplification/speakers.

Yes, but not on this forum ;)

What makes you say this? Have you never heard about high end sound cards??
They can do a wonderful job when you connect to your HT.

Speak for yourself and not for others;)

So you believe: HT gear = high-end audio? :rolleyes:

between a 10k soundcard and a 30k receiver I will have to go with the 10k SC for better DACs.
Absolutely true, because a 30K receiver will have a 1K sound card. HT receivers do a lot more than just digital to analog audio conversion for stereo music. You cant beat them on a 5.7/7.1 movie soundtrack, especially if it is in HD audio.

regards,
Sharad
 

suprateep

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Re: Let's focus on the video part...

Ok guys and gals... Let's set sound aside and focus on video quality....

High end DVD/Blu-ray Player/AV Receiver HDMI output versus High-end Radeon/Geforce HDMI... pros and cons of each when it comes to video quality... :)

human nature makes us fiddle with stuff more - provided there is flexibility.

Ungli karna aadat hain............... (someone please translate it to English):p

Anyway unlike a BD player which is limited to the settings and calibration provided by HW experts from the manufacturing firm - a graphics card gives more options to play from. The SW is essential - use MPC-HC, VLC, KMplayer etc. MPC-HC can use its internal codecs, ffdshow (IMHO they look best with right settings - but there are n number of combinations) possible. Also newer graphics card 8 series nvidia and ati 3400 series onwards - are good enough for BD and HD rip playback. Even my inbuilt nvidia 8300 is good enough but it took 1 month and lot of reading to set things right, improve black levels using the right renderer etc.

After setting my HTPC up and going though the pain - i would say to a novice stick to a standalone CD plaer, DVD player, BD player - a HTPC can accomodate all well and match in quality etc but - setting up the right way and customization will take time and effort - which to many is PLAIN SIMPLE DIFFICULT AND NOT WORTH THE EFFORT.

TO THE TECHIES - MISSION POSSIBLE :eek:hyeah:
 

suprateep

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For video, a Blu-ray player still beats a computer. Mostly because I have still not seen HDMI 1.3 graphics cards that can do all the stuff a Blu-ray player does, including great upscaling of DVDs.

I would love to hear first hand experience from someone who has such card playing into a 1080P display.


yes I have a 1.3 compatible graphics card (inbuilt 8300 on asus m3n78em) - the latest drivers show its HDCP compliant with HW (panasonic PV8, Onkyo 606) - passes 8 channel LPCM. Does upscaling to 1080p - looks great with ffdshow (setting up is a pain and long drawn affair to improve black levels and colour reproduction).

Only problem is unlike a BD player - a HTPC is not plug and play.;)
 

bhanja_trinanjan

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For video, a Blu-ray player still beats a computer. Mostly because I have still not seen HDMI 1.3 graphics cards that can do all the stuff a Blu-ray player does, including great upscaling of DVDs.

I would love to hear first hand experience from someone who has such card playing into a 1080P display.

What happens to the control signal?

------------



Yes, but not on this forum ;)



So you believe: HT gear = high-end audio? :rolleyes:


Absolutely true, because a 30K receiver will have a 1K sound card. HT receivers do a lot more than just digital to analog audio conversion for stereo music. You cant beat them on a 5.7/7.1 movie soundtrack, especially if it is in HD audio.

regards,
Sharad

Absolutely, high end audio is a different animal.

And your high-end sound card will not do amplification, you still need the AV receiver for that and powered computer speakers suck.
 

sandeepmohan

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Well a lot depends on the configuration of the computer as well. No point having a killer graphics card hooked up to a old CPU. My vote is a dedicated DVD Player over a PC. Anyday.

I have yet to experience Blu Ray in my living room.

I guess a Mac will come trums up on my list for playing DVD on a computer.
 

square_wave

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A high end HTPC is not cheap. It will probably cost a lot more than a blu ray player.
Theoretically it is possible to assemble a HTPC which will beat most players out there.
 

suprateep

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COLD is not neutral.
Listen to live unamplified music. There is no coldness in the sound.

yes and no. I must add then the genres of music that was tested along with it along with my gear. You do understand that the environment and more so the components and the source material play a important role here.

Juts my take - unlike the NAD or the CA or the Maranzt (each one has its own characteristics overall - some push bass, some are very detailed in comparision, some push the high end etc) - xonar just seemed to play the music as is - well almost.

The same HW with foobar or winamp with asio sounded a little different - the same setup with CMP + CPlay seemed that way.

Hope it clears the reason behind my observations
 

thevortex

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I believe we are talking about a display card versus a Blu Ray player. In which case, rupee for rupee - there is no comparison. The display card always wins. No exceptions whatsoever.

I dont understand what confusion there is in this, to tell you the truth.

If you were to compare an entire HTPC - then the costs may be equitable. However, the HTPC is far more versatile than the Blu Ray player. Again no comparison, really.

Finally - to those friends who have not tried having the HTPC as the source or are hesitant to do so, I would definitely recommend doing that. Not for nothing are all sorts of aficionados recommending sound cards like the Xonar! With a Xonar-cPlay powered setup and with decent, revealing equipment, a HTPC (with an 80+ rated power supply) will make mincemeat of even mid-end CD Players.

The source equipment is of paramount importance. Even more so than the amplification. After all it is the first in the chain!
 
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