DVE, Blu-ray, Video Delay

Not Just for HDTVs
I own a Sony VPL-VW60 HD projector. Can I use Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics on Blu-ray to set it up, or is this only for HDTVs?

Tracy E. Lecrone

DVE: HD Basics will work just fine with your projector—it works on all high-def displays, regardless of technology.

Up to Speed
You have buyer's guides for everything except Blu-ray players. It would be nice to see a buyer's guide for them. I also have a question that everyone seems to dance around. Every review I read about dedicated Blu-ray players mentions the fact that it isn't a PS3. Why is that? I can't believe the output from dedicated units is worse than a gaming system. I also find it hard to believe that there isn't a unit out there that provides all the features like 7.1, Netflix, Pandora, BD-Live, etc.

Greg Phillips

We are about to launch a new buyer's guide that will include Blu-ray players, so stay tuned for that.

Most Blu-ray players are compared to the PS3 because the PS3 is so good at playing Blu-ray—not because the image looks better, but because it loads discs so quickly. It's Cell processor is extremely powerful in order to render games well, which provides the side benefit of loading Blu-rays very fast. The Oppo BDP-83 is the first dedicated player to challenge the PS3 in terms of load times; see our reviews here and here.

Most current players are capable of 7.1 playback and BD-Live, so I'm not sure where you got the idea that these features are rare—they used to be, but no longer. Also, there are now some players with access to online content, such as the Samsung BD-P3600 and LG BD300.

Video Delay?
I have a Sony KDL-52V5100, TiVo HD DVR, and Panasonic DMP-BD60 (thanks for the great review on this one, which led me to buy it). Both devices are connected to the TV with 30-foot HDMI cables. Video looks great, but the sound is a little bit behind the action. I can put up with the out-of-sync dialog, but when Steven Segal is banging pool sticks with some Chinese thugs, I really need the sound effects to match the onscreen actions. Can I compensate for this with any of the devices I already own, or do I need to purchase some other device to get things to match up?

Chris Gordon

First of all, 30 feet is pretty long for an HDMI cable, though I doubt this is the source of your problem. I'm surprised that the sound is behind the picture—usually, the video lags behind the audio due to image processing. As a result, many AVRs have an audio-delay function that lets you sync the sound to the video. Unfortunately, I don't know of any consumer devices that delay the video to sync with the audio.

Are you sure the audio is not slightly ahead of the video? Sometimes it's hard to tell. If that turns out to be the case, an A/V receiver with audio delay will fix the problem—just connect the TiVo and BD player to the AVR and the AVR's HDMI out to the TV, and use cables that are as short as possible. You'll also need a set of speakers, which will sound much better than the TV's onboard audio system.

If you have a home-theater question, please send it to scott.wilkinson@sorc.com.

Chris Gordon's picture

Thanks Scott. The HDMI cables are 30 feet long because they are run through the wall to the TV. So if I buy an HDMI aware receiver, I will still be connecting that to the TV with a 30 foot cable. Does that present a problem?I was really hoping that there was a Service Menu for the TV that would let me control that on a per input basis.

Scott Wilkinson's picture

Chris, just make sure the cables from the source components to the AVR are as short as possible, though even then, you might have a problem if the AVR can't drive cables that long. We don't test for this in our receiver reviews, so I can't tell you which AVRs work best with such long cables. You might need to add an HDMI booster at the AVR's output.

Matt Hunter's picture

Hi, I know this probably isn't the best place to ask but I really need help on this. I read the Picking the Right Size article on this site and is it gives you correct viewing distances for each size. For a while now I've wanted to get a 40" Samsung HDTV but when I heard that you can't really noticed the 1080p unless it's 46" or bigger, so now I've decided to get a more expensive 46". Am I making the right choice or can I still go for the 40"?

Scott Wilkinson's picture

Whether or not you can see a difference in detail between 1080p and lower resolutions depends on the screen size and the distance you sit from it. If you sit close enough to a 40" screen, you can certainly see the difference between 1080p and 720p, but you have to sit pretty close to a screen that small.Even if you can't theoretically see the increased detail of 1080p at the distance you're sitting from the screen, you might well see scaling artifacts on a 768p or 720p screen. Most broadcast HD and virtually all Blu-ray images are 1920x1080, so a 768p or 720p screen must scale the image to fit its native resolution, causing potentially visible artifacts such as softness and jaggies. Thus, I always recommend getting a 1080p display no matter what its size or your seating distance.Then there's the overall impact of the image, and in this regard, bigger is definitely better. I say if you can afford it, get the bigger set.

Kenny Kraly Jr.'s picture

Hello Scott I listen to you on the tech guy with Leo Laporte on XM 158 and twitlive. My question is I heard you talk about on the tech guy episode 502 about the print quallity when movies are restored for blu-ray. Can you explan what you mean by that also can sometimes studio's just slap on a bad trasfer of a film on blu-ray? And when can we expect to see some of the big blockbuster films on blu-ray like the back to the future trilogy , E.T. and the star wars saga on Blu-Ray?

Scott Wilkinson's picture

Kenny, thanks for your question. I'll discuss it in an upcoming Ask Home Theater.

Chris Brown's picture

Chris Gordon, I don't see how the length of the HDMI cable would cause a delay seeing how the sound and video both travel the same distance on the same cable to the TV. Is this how you have it hooked up: the Blu-Ray player playing video and sound directly to the TV on the same HDMI calbe and the TiVo playing sound and video directly to the TV on the same HDMI cable. If so, to make sure its is or is not the cable buy a shorter cable 6 foot or less, take the blu-ray player from it current location and hook it directly to the TV with the shorter cable. If the problem persist then its not the cable, if it gets better then it is a cable problem, could be a problem of the length or that the cable is inferior somehow for 30 feet and causing errors (that part is a total guess-I am not a cable physics expert). If the shorter cable does not fix it you have a problem somewhere elese, I would probably contact Sony if the problem occurs on the TiVo and Blu-Ray player.

larry v moore's picture

Hi i am setting up my new plasma panasonic G10 with dve disc not sure on some settings do you recommend to turn on 3:2 pulldown and 3d y/c filter. thanks larry

shawn's picture

i have a jvc hd1 projecor and i found a good deal on 116 Stewart videomatte 200 screen. with the high output of the projecto im worried this would not be the right gain choise 1.8. should i just go with the cineperf dalite screen with the proper gain that was originally planed. Thank for the input, your the only one i"ll listen too. Shawn

John Gilliam's picture

Another lip sync question! Too much video processing?!? I have the following: Pioneer 60" Kuro, ATT U-verse HD TV, Oppo BD universal player, DVDO Edge video processor, and a Lexicon DC-2 preamp. When all components are connected I have substantial video delay. Video is directed through a switcher to the display while audio is directed through the preamp. The preamp does not have HDMI connections. The preamp was state of the art in its day. Is it the weak link today? The Edge allows for some lip sync adjustment but it doesn't get it close. Is there an easy way to sync up the audio and video without buying a new preamp, do I take the Edge out of the video chain or must I bite the bullet and buy a new preamp?