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HDMI vs DVI; am I screwed?

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January 8, 2007 8:29:10 PM

I purchased a Sharp XV-Z2000 projector a little less than a year ago and I'm already worried that I might be screwed.

The back has a DVI connection, but no HDMI. It also only goes up to 1080i/720p, and doesn't support 1080p. Here's my dilemma.

I'm thinking of buying an upscaling DVD player and right now the Oppo group looks like they seem to be getting the best reviews. However, I'm mixed between the OPPO DV-981HD vs the OPPO OPDV971H. The 971H seems to be the better immediate fit as it has a DVI port and goes to 1080i/720p. But the 981 seems to be the better "future" unit as it has the HDMI port and goes up to 1080p. The cost difference is only about $20.

Should I get the 981 and get a DVI->HDMI connector? Does that kind of connector cause a lot of data loss? Does having that connecter break HDCP compliance (causing the whole unit to shut down?)? I don't have an HDMI AV receiver, but it's conceivable that I might get one sometime in the next 5 years or so, so I don't want to get caught leaning the wrong way again.

More about : hdmi dvi screwed

January 8, 2007 8:57:33 PM

DVI/HDMI are compatible, and you should suffer no loss. 1080p sounds great,
but it'll be time to replace your projector by the time it's fully realized anyways, so don't fret.

I use an upconverting DVD player with my projector, and you'll only notice an
improvement on DVD's that have been digitally remastered, or were originally
filmed in digital. Stars Wars III, for instance, looks slightly better on DVD this
way than on HBO HD!
January 8, 2007 9:06:09 PM

Some DVI components are HDCP compliant. You might want to check if yours are. Your projector doesn't support 1080p, so HDMI is pretty useless for you. Buying a 1080p HDMI compliant DVD player will do you no good if you stick with your current projector.
Only thing is, as BluRay and HDDVD become available, you'll be stuck with a lower-grade picture as ALL components need to be HDCP compliant to enjoy full 1080p (but even if your DVI components are HDCP compliant, you cannot achieve 1080p because of your hardware limitation).
Hope this helps!
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January 8, 2007 11:23:36 PM

Thanks for the initial replies.

I double-checked the specs on my projector; the DVI input for the Sharp XV-Z2000 is indeed HDCP compliant. As I indicated, unfortunately, the projector only goes to 720P/1080I. Also unfortunately, the projector cost me quite a bit so I'm going to be stuck with it for a long time.

To be fair, it has a good picture, even w/ plain old 480I DVD. I'm just wanting to improve my short-term viewing with the Oppo.

The reasoning (and please tell me if I'm thinking flawed) is by getting a 1080P DVD player (which can go down to 720P/1080I) means that it will be more "future-proof". In other words, eventually when the projector gets replaced (hopefully the damned expensive screen will still be good), I won't have to replace the DVD player itself (which would also be good if/when I ever get a HDMI AV amp). And yes; I think both Oppo units are also HDCP compliant (though again, if I'm wrong, please let me know).

Regarding BluRay/HDDVD; I initially going to get one of these once the standard sorted itself out (I refuse to buy multiple players and muddle with multiple DVD formats). I'm now wanting to get a upscaling DVD player because it looks like this won't be sorted out for quite a while unfortunately.
January 9, 2007 12:20:16 PM

The 1080p format on disc is only provided through a BluRay, HDDVD or combo player. I suggest you stick with a good progressive scan DVD player for now and wait for the dust to settle on the format war, because the price of 1080p players is out of this world right now and it would be cash literally thrown out the window in your case, since you could not display 1080p.
January 9, 2007 3:42:39 PM

Right now, I don't even have progressive scan DVD; I'm using a very old DVD/LD player (Pioneer DVL-909). These days, one can get a progressive scan unit for about $50 or so at any Wal-Mart. However, I've generally heard good things about the Oppo line of upscaling DVD players.

The cost difference between their 1080I/720P (971H) and their 1080P/1080I/720P (981HD) is only $20 (for about a $200 purchase). Granted, my current projector won't see the 1080P, but it could produce 720P/1080I. Wouldn't that be better than the 480I I'm looking at now?
January 9, 2007 5:57:25 PM

Well, 720p sure would make a difference. I've never heard of the Oppo brand in my part of the world, but if their extrapolation algorythm is as good as you've heard, it may be a good investment for about 200 bucks.
January 9, 2007 7:24:40 PM

Thanks for all the help. After final digging, I think it's come down to the fact that the Oppo 971H is *not* HDCP compliant and the Oppo 981HD is HDCP compliant. Given the small price difference, and the fact that my project does have HDCP, the 981HD seems to be the way to go for better "future-proof". Eventually when I do get a new projector/TV/HDMI receiver/whatever, they will almost certainly all have HDCP, so keeping all purchase here forward to have HDCP seems to be the better way to go.
January 9, 2007 7:32:22 PM

Right, you are! :wink:
January 9, 2007 11:19:35 PM

My Panasonic DVD upconverter was $100 @ Circuit City. At 720p it looks better on
my 106" screen with a Mitsubishi 3000 than a normal progressive scan player
at 480p on my picture tube Toshiba HD upstairs.

I'd definately pull the trigger. Enjoy!
April 6, 2007 12:18:08 PM

I think there may be a mis-understanding of HDCP.

HDCP is essentially an encrypted signal, that when received by a display, specific restrictions are mandated on the use of the signal by the user. These restrictions are not something that the user generally wants or needs.

If you player does not emit HDCP, then the dispay (even one that supports HDCP), will display it without any extra restrictions.

HDCP is a thing like macrovision or region restictions, that there is a natural demand to disable. (as it prevents the user from doing useful things, like viewing the video,...). there are already some remote codes,,,

HDMI output mandates HDCP, while with DVI outputs, It is optional. If you want a HDCP-free player (without needing firmware/remote hacks), then you just need a one (like the 971H) with non-HDCP DVI output. (which you could attach a HDMI conversion cable to, if needed).
April 13, 2007 12:03:43 PM

If I were you I would go with the one that has HDMI if you have a receiver that can decode audio from the HDMI cable. The converter DVD box outputs to 720i/p and 1080i/p so you should have nothing to worry about. The other benefit of the HDMI box is it allows you to transfer audio over your HDMI if you have a capable receiver and another HDMI cable to go to you projector.

Since your projector is HDCP compliant all you will need is a HDMI-DVI converter that is HDCP compliant if you end out using a future formats at their full 1080i resolution.

If you do not have the capability to decode audio from HDMI through your receiver then I would suggest you go the route of the non HDMI (DVI) out box. Since there will be no benefit out of the HDMI cable that you can't get from DVI or Component cables video wise since your projector can only do 1080i max.
May 4, 2007 12:56:31 AM

Quote:
I think there may be a mis-understanding of HDCP.

HDCP is essentially an encrypted signal, that when received by a display, specific restrictions are mandated on the use of the signal by the user. These restrictions are not something that the user generally wants or needs.

If you player does not emit HDCP, then the dispay (even one that supports HDCP), will display it without any extra restrictions.

HDCP is a thing like macrovision or region restictions, that there is a natural demand to disable. (as it prevents the user from doing useful things, like viewing the video,...). there are already some remote codes,,,

HDMI output mandates HDCP, while with DVI outputs, It is optional. If you want a HDCP-free player (without needing firmware/remote hacks), then you just need a one (like the 971H) with non-HDCP DVI output. (which you could attach a HDMI conversion cable to, if needed).


So, if I have HDTV with DVI, but without HDCP I can not play any movies through upscaling DVD player with HDMI output and HDMI->DVI cable? Can't I?
May 4, 2007 5:37:40 AM

Upscaling DVD players do not use HDCP, HDCP is(at current) only used with Blu-Ray players/discs and HD-DVD players/discs. As of right now I do not know of many, if any movies that use HDCP yet, the idea of making sure you have HDCP compatible hardware now is so that when they begin to use HDCP you will not be SOL.

You should not have to worry about HDCP if you are just using an upscaling DVD player as not DVD's are HDCP. If you are playing HDCP content on a non HDCP compatible system the picture will be downconverted to 420P(standard DVD resolution) and audio will be downconverted to 5.1 if you are playing a 6.1 or higher source.

In short yo only need to worry about HDCP if you are using a Blu-Ray player or HD-DVD player(at least for now).
!