Progressive scan question

Will a progressive scan dvd player work with any tv or do you need some special inputs on the tv? Does it make the picture noticebly better? Any recommended dvd models?
Thanks in advance.
It will work with any TV, but you would probably want component or s-video inputs on the TV to realize any benefit. Some progressive scan players are better, others not, its not the technology but the application.
In response to your questions:
1. Your TV must be able to accept progressive scan inputs. HDTV-ready models will do this, and some other "regular" TV models will also (such as the Sony WEGA XBR series). If your TV is not equipped to accept progressive scan, there is no need to buy a DVD that provides progresssive scan.
2. I have found that progressive scan does make a noticeable difference on some TV models. Interestingly, I have NOT found that progressive scan makes a BIG difference on the Sony WEGA model, since it's picture quality is already very good. As a comparison, the improvement in picture quality with progressive scan is like going from regular VHS videotape to Super VHS. In my experience, the improvement is not nearly as dramatic as going from VHS videotape to DVD. Is this a round-about way of saying that progressive scan is over-rated? Not exactly, since it seems to be somewhat TV-dependent, but do not expect progressive scan to deliver a HDTV-quality picture.
3. There are a number of good DVD players with progressive scan on the market, and prices have fallen substantially. I think the least expensive, good DVD with progressive scan is the Toshiba 434. Stepping up a bit, I can strongly recommend the DVD that I currently own, the Pioneer Elite DV-37. It has progressive scan, excellent build quality, fine audio and video quality, and has 24/96 and DVD-Audio output. It can be purchased for $650-700 from various Internet dealers.
After I posted my comments, I noticed that Swampwalker had also made a post. His remarks need clarification. A progressive-scan DVD player will WORK with any TV, in the sense that it is compatible. However, unless the TV is equipped to SUPPORT progressive scan (480-progessive as well as 480-interlaced), the progressive scan image will only be shown as an interlaced image. You could buy a progressive scan DVD player now, and use it with your 480-interlaced TV, and upgrade later to a TV that is equipped to accept 480-progressive scanning.
Thanks for your responses, I need a little more clarification, Sd what do you mean by 480-progressive and 480-interlaced? Is this just like a line doubler? Is it digitally created? I have a 2 year old 32" Sony but not a Wega, it has a s-video input. I will upgrade to HDTV but not for a year or two 'til the broadcast become more popular and the sets cheaper. It sounds like your saying the progressive scan dvd players are not worth the money with a regular TV. If thats true then I'll wait 'til I get the TV and just continue to upgrade the audio end of it. Thanks again.
To reap the benifits of progressive scan, your tv must be able to scan at the rate of 31. Your non hdtvs scan at 16. HDTVs have their own line doubler built in and most times they aren't as good as the outboard ones. Compatability is an issue on some hd sets. Many require the set top box; some of those don't have component in.All sources from 'svhs- in' (dvd & sat.) are doubled(on hd sets) If one doesn't have an HDTV set;keep your present dvd player. 480 interlaced is standard. This means the lines of resolution you are watching are just 1/2 the field alternating. 480 progressive /is the 480 full time./ having been doubled.
Even if you can't use progressive scan today if you upgrade your TV in the future you might want it. Most players have a simple switch to toggle between progressive & interlaced. My Panasonic DVD A310 did not have progressive scan & I did not like the DVD picture I was getting on my new TV so I got a JVC XV-D723 & got the picture quality I was looking for.
Interlaced vs. progressive scan refers to the way in which the CRT "gun" lays down the lines across the screen. A 480-line interlaced pattern means that half of the picture (240 lines) is laid down on the first pass, and the second half of the picture is laid down in the gaps between the lines from the first pass. Imagine holding your fingers of your left hand out in front of you -- that's the first pass -- and then fit the fingers of your right hand between the fingers of the left hand -- that's the second interlaced pass. One complete interlaced picture has now been scanned on the screen. With progressive scan, both of these passes occur simultaneously. Since both passes are made at the same time, the detail is improved, artifact problems with line-crawl (also known as dot creep) are reduced, etc. However, as I said before, your TV must be capable of scanning in the progressive mode -- i.e., lay down both lines simultaneously -- or you will not be able to use the progressive feature of the DVD player.

By the way, in my earlier post I misquoted a model number. The DV-434 is a Pioneer brand, not a Toshiba (must have had a minor brain fart). The DV-434 was listed on sale in my local Sunday paper for $250, making it the cheapest progressive scan unit that I have seen. There is also a Pioneer Elite model now available I had not seen before, the DV-36 -- it's a step down from the DV-37 that I own, and sells for $450-500.
SDcampbell, if you're looking for killer DVD, wait for the release of the Pioneer Elite DVS10A, it's the progressive scan version of the DV-09, not yet available in this country but getting rave reviews already in Japan....

Or, wait for the MSB upgrade for the DV 09 to progressive, both I'm sure will be the best buy DVD made!
Sdcampbell is correct. While we're on the subject, I am looking to upgrade my DVD (Panasonic A310. I do not need progressive scan as my Loewe has a built in doubler. Looking for recommendations for best video quality, non-progressive scan model. Audio playback not an issue, since my HT and audio systems are separate.
Beware, all progressive scans are not equal. You need 3/2 pulldown for the best quality. The Pioneer DV-434 does not have it. The DV-37 does. Swampwalker, I have seen the Loewe TV's, and they are gorgeous, but correct me if I am wrong, even a great line doubler is not as good having 3/2 pulldown, and progressive scan inputs. If the Loewe does not have prog. scan inputs, why not get a DVD player that does, just in case you change TV's in a few years. You never know!
Bmpnyc- now you've gone beyond my knowledge (I have no idea what 3/2 pulldown is) but have seen the term and would love an explanation. But I do know that the Loewe has an RGB/VGA input that I believe can accept a progressive scan signal. Anyways, I'm not ready to spend $1k and thought that a good quality non-prog scan model might be considered last generation technology and could be picked up at a good price on the used market. So any and all thoughts appreciated.
Hi Sd, I'll give it my best shot: Unlike a "simple" line doubler which can be artifact prone, 3/2 pulldown compensates for the differences in film and video frame speeds. 24fps for film and 30fps for video (DVD)
This is a more complex technique, but it offers an improvement over the best line doubling. I'll try to go into more detail a bit later, gotta run.
Swampwalker, It took me a few minutes to find, but I new that I had seen an article that explained progressive scan in detail.Check this out.
A simpler explanition of 3/2 pull down: movies are shot at one rate/ your tv scans at a different rate of speed/frames per second.
Thanks Bmpnyc and Avguy.
Unfortunately, the Pioneer DV-434 is not 2:3 and therefore not true progressive scan. I understand that on an HDTV you can see a little flickering.
I've got another possible complication. I was looking at the Loewe Aconda in a shop the other day, and the salesfella said that it's not really important to get a progressive scan DVD player with it because the progressive scan onboard the TV (and the 2:3 pulldown) is better than any he's seen on a DVD player, and since it is applied to all incomming signals, there is no point in duplicating it on the DVD player. Indeed, he said that the Loewe folks suggested using one type of input (where the progressive scan info won't be passed from the DVD player to the TV) as opposed to one where it will (ok, forgive my ignorance, but I don't remember which is which -- although the TV does indeed have both (x3) along with a few others) for just this reason--the TV does it anyway, and the TV does it better. This reasoning makes the Pioneer DV-09, which may be selling for less these days precisely because it does not have progressive scan, a real good idea for the TV. As an aside, I do trust this guy, he's sent me elsewhere when he thought I could do better for a partcular need at a different shop--and that counts for a lot in my book--but somehow this progressive scan equation doesn't seem to add up right. Have I got it right? Thanks.
It could be possible, but I would check the details out with Loewe. It doesn't sound right to me. Your friend is saying that the same 2/3 pulldown circuitry that is in a progressive scan player is in the TV? I think that he is probably referring to the bullt in line doubler. It would be rather impressive if it was in the TV, but even then, you would want to compare the quality of Loewe 2/3 with a progressive scan DVD player anyway, and pick the winner. If I can, I'll check with a friend who is a Loewe dealer for you. Bye for now.
I agree with Bmpnyc, you will have to compare the DVD's P.Scan to the Loewe's P.Scan regardless. To do this, Loewe just came out with a Transcoder to get the DVD's component out's to the Loewe's VGS input. Before this, I believe it wasn't possible to get a P.Scan DVD's signal into the Loewe.(Loewe's only acccept outside P.Scan signal thru it's VGA input). I've ordered a Loewe Transcoder (@$100) from Sensory Science and will let you know what I find.
The Pioneer DV-37 was given 5 stars ***** by The Perfect Vision, The DVP-9000ES was given four ****.
For under $700 the DV-37 looks like a good deal at this time, and is better than the "legendary" DV-09. This is not to suggest that magazines are the last word, only to say that you can get a very highly regarded progressive scan player at a little higher price than non-progressive, so why not go for it?
Dovetail- please post your results re: transcoder/p-scan DVD vs. interlaced DVD/Loewe doubler, or email me off-line. I am trying to get a handle on that situation right now.
Me too on the Loewe results. It would be much appreciated.
Sensory Science has come out with a transcoder that converts component video signals in to VGA signal out.I've spent a month or so using this transcoder and wanted to let you know what I think. Operating a Sony DVP-S9000ES using S-Video Cable(working in a non-progressive scan mode)viewing through a Loewe Aconda DTV with internal progressive scan I found the picture to be the best I've ever seen. Switching the Sony DVP-S9000ES to progressive scan mode and using the sensory science transcoder to convert to VGA into the Loewe Aconda DTV (bypassing the TV's internal progressive scan),the picture quality seemed a tad better. I believe for this comparison to be truly meaningful the TV set should have had levels readjusted after each cable change.Without changing any TV picture settings the TV image had slightly more color saturation in the component video/transcoder/VGA mode and seemed slightly more 3-D. All this said, the picture quality was so close in both arrangements that I would still recommend staying with the S-Video cable using the DVD player in the non-progressive mode utilizing the Loewe Aconda's built-in progressive scan. Save your money for a better s-video cable or a night out. The transcoder uses a wall wart and has a audible whistle (from the unit not the speakers)when plugged-in. During normal movie listening this won't be heard, but it is there. E-mail me if you have further questions or need more detail.
Interesting. Thanks for the update. I was planning on getting an Aconda this weekend, so you have captured my undivided attention. If I read you right, you'd say that the progressive signal from the Sony is a tad better than the onboard progressive scan hardware on the Loewe? (The trick being that it is no small feat to bypass the onboard hardware on the Loewe -- which can only be done by converting to VGA and going in that way)? I've got a Pioneer DV-37 and, for better or for worse, a component video cable, already. The pioneer runs a (switchable) progressive signal from the component outs. What happens when you run a progressive signal from the DVD into the component ins on the Loewe? Maybe put more clearly, is there a difference between a progressive out into a progressive in v. an interlaced out into a progressive in? I suppose it should be easy enough to find out for myself this weekend (if all goes as planned) with nothing more than the flick of a switch, but I was just curious whether you had any experience with it. (I expect that there would be no difference as, either way, you'll really be seeing the Aconda's processing, but I just don't know).
Mezmo, I don't think you can run a progressive scan signal into the Loewe through the component video inputs. Though I never tried it, if I remember right, someone here did and it created an unviewable picture. You will probably need to use the transcoder (approx $125) to see a DVD with the Pioneer DV-37 in its progressive mode. Also be aware there are different drawbacks to using different inputs on the Loewe. For instance, component video input defeats the automatic 16:9 detection.(Don't worry, there is a format button on the remote that allows you to scroll through 5 different formats). Using a VGA input defeats PIP. (I wouldn't use PIP when watching a DVD anyway). When you get the Loewe if you have any questions e-mail me. You should be able to use the component video cables with the DV-37 in it's interlaced mode and the picture should be incredible! I would be interested to hear what you think about the sound, picture, etc. Enjoy your Aconda! It's an amazing set!
What about the SONY DVP-S9000ES? I heard it was the best DVD Player (with progressive scan) available for around U$ 1,500. Isn't it better than the Pionner models?
I paid $1050 for my Sony DVP-S9000ES. I know the Pioneer DV-37 can be had for around $750. As for which is better, I tried both units with the same monitor and I liked the Sony's Video better. (Comparing two units in a showroom is tricky because I feel the monitor should be recalibrated for each unit, which doesn't happen). On another note, Sony also can play SACD's. I've found the Sony needs "non-silver" interconnects for audio or else it tends to be too bright for my taste.(I use Van der Hull-The First, a carbon-type IC). The Sony also needs 200-400 hours of burn-in time on CD and SACD to reach its full potential. The question of which is better goes back to your system, your likes and dislikes in functions, and finaly, your ears and eyes. Some people say the DV-37 sounds better for normal CD's. Good Luck and enjoy, they are both great units!
Dovetail, my main concern is the picture quality, specially the black level management, considering that I own a Sony 42" Plasma Display (which doesn't have the best black level on the market). I'm looking for the best picture quality dvd player (with progressive scan), for around US$ 2,000. Someone also indicated me the EAD Theatervision P (which is a little more expensive). What do you think? My system is composed of the B&K Ref 30 Pre-Amp; B&K Ref 7250 5ch Amp; Martin Logan Aerius i, Cinema, Scripts; Velodyne HGS-10; Sony 42" Plasma Display.
Flavioleoni, The Sony DVP-S9000ES has a menu adjustment for black level that might help with your Sony Plasma TV. It is a simple on/off setup that helps with pictures that are too dark or pictures that are too whitest. There is also a Gamma Correction in the menu which allows you to adjust areas of the image that are too light or too dark. Whereas a brightness control would adjust the entire image, gamma adjustments are helpful for correcting a light or dark area. Frankly,I would probably go with the Sony because of the synergy with your Plasma TV. Hope this helps. Good Luck!
I really can't say how the Pioneer players stack up against the competition with any authority, so I won't waste your time guessing. However, I will mention that the DV-37 has more tweakable parameters on the video output than anything I have ever seen (something like 15). Truth be told, I have yet to figure out what even a third of them mean or do. That said, it is certainly a tweaker's delight in that there is really nothing about a picture that you shouldn't be able to tailor to you particular likings, whatever they may be. Personally, it gives far more control than I can ever imagine finding a use for but, then, I (still) haven't managed to get that Aconda and, with it, a dsiplay that might deserve / benefit from that degree of fine tuning. I'll surely do plenty of experimenting once it get it together. No SACD though, that's for sure.
Dovetail: thanks again for your input and I'd love to compare notes once I actually manage to get off my but and get the TV. As far as the sound on the Pioneer, I really haven't spent that much time with it. (The HT was an add-on to a two channel system, and I really haven't used the DVD player for anything but DVD's). Before I got the digital interconnect to run into my processor, I was running RCA's directly into my stereo preamp for a day or two, straight out of the box. Right away, it was clear that the Pioneer was tons more detailed than my CD player (AH!Tjoeb 99 with all the extras and NOS tubes). However, with Bryston and Thiels down the line, the last thing I needed was more finely-etched detail. Truth be told, I think I am pretty much addicted to the arguably sloppy romanticism I get from the tubes. So I threw in the digital interconnect and run the Pioneer only into the processor (which, for music, is simply not even in the running at all as a DAC--all part of the plan, really, why pay for a processor that can pull double-duty when you can get a decent HT processor for cheap and do two-channel seperately?). Anyway, now that the Pioneer has had plenty of time to break in, I may just have to try the old head-to-head again. I expect that the Pioneer may have warmed up a bit with use. By all accounts, it also makes a great transport with a decent outboard DAC, but that would be one more piece of equipment than I need. We shall see. Cheers.
What about the EAD Theatervision P? It is a "little" more expensive (around US$1k more) but I heard very good things about it. Specially about its progressive scan and picture quality. Does it worth it?