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John Duncan's picture
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RE: What exactly differentiates Blue Ray players?

I'm the wrong person to ask about comparative Blu Ray performance, tbh, since I don't have the 'revealing' TV that might allow me to spot any differences.  Subjectively, I think that motion is smoother on the Cambridge than it is on the Sony, but it takes me five minutes to flip between the two so a valid comparison isn't really possible.

In some other areas, the Cambridge trounces the Sony - upscaled DVDs, for example, look stunning and it's a fantastic CD player in its own right.  It's easy to explain those two away with higher quality upscaling chips and better analogue output stages though.  I can't compare HD sound between the two, sadly, because I have a non-HDMI receiver and the Sony doesn't have 5.1 outputs.

Consider this though: I can perfectly imagine the mechanical difficulties of getting data off a bluray disc; it's spinning at about 5000rpm, and the pit a laser has to read is about 0.3μm.  So pure mechanical tolerances of the disc mechanism and isolation would, I expect, have a great deal to do with whether a player can get a good digital signal to the rest of the machine.  Whether, once a signal has been read from a disc, it is subsequently immune from transformation, I refuse to speculate at this time...:-D

EDIT - googling something like 'blu ray benchmark performance' came up with some interesting sites for you to investigate.

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RE: What exactly differentiates Blue Ray players?

Forumites are divided into two camps on this issue:

1) those who claim there is no difference between BDPs because binary data will be transported identically by all players.

2) those who, largely anecdoctally rather than based on detailed technical knowledge, state that differences in performance between players are clear.

For the record, I fall squarely into the latter camp, but it's a subject that's been debated endlessly here.

Like others, I can't offer a detailed technical explanation of differences between individual players and their workings. I would only suggest you get some auditions under your belt if you're thinking of changing your BDP. If you feel there's an appreciable difference between players then go for the one you're happiest with. If, on the other hand, your question is purely hypothetical, you may be waiting for some time to receive anything approaching a satisfactory answer. 

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RE: What exactly differentiates Blue Ray players?

strapped for cash wrote:

Forumites are divided into two camps on this issue:

1) those who claim there is no difference between BDPs because binary data will be transported identically by all players.

2) those who, largely anecdoctally rather than based on detailed technical knowledge, state that differences in performance between players are clear.

For the record, I fall squarely into the latter camp, but it's a subject that's been debated endlessly here.

Like others, I can't offer a detailed technical explanation of differences between individual players and their workings. I would only suggest you get some auditions under your belt if you're thinking of changing your BDP. If you feel there's an appreciable difference between players then go for the one you're happiest with. If, on the other hand, your question is purely hypothetical, you may be waiting for some time to receive anything approaching a satisfactory answer. 

 

To be honest, and for now, it's hyperthetically. My PS3 is every bit as good as my BD50 which now sits gathering dust (because it can't play Fifa 12).

Sound...identical

Picture...identical...on Blu Rays...On DVDs the PS3 is better IMO. 

It isn't so important as I have a squeezebox for the music. I can imagine the higher end players being pretty good CD players, but I use the aforementioned squeezebox through my Yamaha 667 for downstairs music. And it sounds just great.

I am more trying to get a grasp on what actually happens inside the machine itself. If it's digital only, then any differences will be insignificant as far as I care; if it does other stuff, then who knows?

 

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RE: What exactly differentiates Blue Ray players?

I was lucky enough to be involved in the Big Question for WHFSV a couple of months ago, when we got to compare three different blu-ray players "head-to-head", playing through some higher-end kit (big Samsung screen, KEF surround system etc).

The differences between the players in both sound and picture were extremely significant, though a smaller screen and humbler surround would have brought them all close together. 

My conclusion, just like with any type of technical kit, is that the greater the magnification/size required, the better the resolution and source  equipment need to be. Small screen and small sound - don't bother spending much money. Big screen and big sound - money well spent.

 

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RE: What exactly differentiates Blue Ray players?

DandyCobalt wrote:

I was lucky enough to be involved in the Big Question for WHFSV a couple of months ago, when we got to compare three different blu-ray players "head-to-head", playing through some higher-end kit (big Samsung screen, KEF surround system etc).

The differences between the players in both sound and picture were extremely significant, though a smaller screen and humbler surround would have brought them all close together. 

My conclusion, just like with any type of technical kit, is that the greater the magnification/size required, the better the resolution and source  equipment need to be. Small screen and small sound - don't bother spending much money. Big screen and big sound - money well spent.

 

So what is a small screen?

How was everything connected whereby you noticed the "extremely signifcant" differences?

What was the comparitive kit?

Again, I'm not after subjective conjecture, but simple, technical facts.

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RE: What exactly differentiates Blue Ray players?

Ok. After more digging, it seems that the colour data on a blu ray disk is held in a lossy format, and that there can be a difference in reforming that.

Some info here.

http://www.spearsandmunsil.com/articles/choosingacolorspace.html

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RE: What exactly differentiates Blue Ray players?

Also, the argument that all Blu-ray players perform equally when data is sent via HDMI is predicated on the assumption that any data loss will result in no picture -- either all the information on a disc is transported, or no information is transported at all.

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RE: What exactly differentiates Blue Ray players?

Though i think snivilisationism was clear in wanting to leave that variable out of the equation (T*FT). I think his link (and, presumably, the post in the forum where he found it, same as me) is informative, and at least gives a very good indication that what is on a disc categorically does not go 'straight to screen', but involves player-dependent processing and interpretation on the way.

Do you read it that way too, snivilisationism?

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RE: What exactly differentiates Blue Ray players?

John Duncan wrote:
Though i think snivilisationism was clear in wanting to leave that variable out of the equation (T*FT). I think his link (and, presumably, the post in the forum where he found it, same as me) is informative, and at least gives a very good indication that what is on a disc categorically does not go 'straight to screen', but involves player-dependent processing and interpretation on the way. Do you read it that way too, snivilisationism?

 

It's rather a lot to take in though.

 

But yes, it does seem to suggest that there may be differences (in picture). Kind of like there are differences when creating a compressed (lossy) audio file with different codecs. 

Although it seems the consensus is that the differences only show up appreciably on larger (projector?) screens.

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RE: What exactly differentiates Blue Ray players?

John Duncan wrote:
Though i think snivilisationism was clear in wanting to leave that variable out of the equation (T*FT). I think his link (and, presumably, the post in the forum where he found it, same as me) is informative, and at least gives a very good indication that what is on a disc categorically does not go 'straight to screen', but involves player-dependent processing and interpretation on the way. Do you read it that way too, snivilisationism?

Agreed, which is why I suggested data loss is potentially a further mediating factor. When discussing HDMI, I merely wanted to indicate that we were discussing digital reproduction (anologue conversions of course introduce a whole other set of variables).

Apologies, but I couldn't decode the T*FT acronym.

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RE: What exactly differentiates Blue Ray players?

snivilisationism wrote:

Although it seems the consensus is that the differences only show up appreciably on larger (projector?) screens.

In a darkened room Smile

That makes sense, but I've no experience of box-swapping on big screens so can't say, and my 32" isn't good enough to tell - certainly not in terms of colour depth etc, but as I say I think that the Cambridge handles motion better than the Sony.  Why that might be, don't know and care rather less Biggrin

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