I think I would call Pioneer, distributor and/or place where you bought it. Something doesn't sound right.
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I tried to connect the player to the TV and see no difference. There might be a few problems why the regular DVD movies don't look so good.
1. I am testing out a DVD movie that was made about 13 years ago. "Twister" with Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt.
2. My TV does not put out 1080p. My TV I believe puts out only 720p or 1080i.
3. I am using stock HDMI cables that came with the player. I ordered Monster Cable and see if it will make a difference.
The blu-ray movies looks really good though. Than again, all blu-ray movies will always looks better than a regular DVD movies.
Actually, there is another number:
4. It is called a BLU-RAY player and NOT a DVD player. HA HA HA
I am thinking maybe all blu-ray players just don't do so well with regular DVD movies.
When I tested out my regular DVD player which has the same 1080p output with HDMI connection, my regular DVD player out performed the video quality against the blu-ray player. I am still using the same movie "Twister" with Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt.
I have this player feeding through an Elite 07 receiver then onto an Elite FD151 display. DVD's look better than they did with my old system but that's hardly a fair comparison. I saw very little, if any, difference between high dollar Audio Quest HDMI and my current Blue Jean HDMI cable.
If DVD's look worse than you previous player I'd guess there's a problem with the 05 player.
Alright, I found the problem. My TV picture setting was all off. My 3 year old girl must of push around the remote buttons and got everything messed up.
Once I put back on the original picture settings back on the TV, BAM, everything looks terrific!!!!
Picture is the clearest I have ever seen on a regular DVD movie.
So, it's not the HDMI cable, it's not the blu-ray player or the receiver.