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Customer Discussions > High Definition forum

Why do my old DVDs looks so grainy on my new HDTV even with the PS3?

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Showing 1-25 of 73 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 30, 2008 4:08:02 PM PST
KittyCat says:
I just had my new Samsung 46" 1080p and PlayStation 3 installed. I thought the PS3 was supposed to upconvert my old DVDs to 1080p. ? My old DVDs look grainer and worse then they did on my old 32" Sony TV. What's my problem? Thank you!!! AC

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2008 6:23:49 PM PST
are you hooked up HDMI? that is the only way to get up convert.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2008 6:43:20 PM PST
KittyCat says:
Thank you so much for responding! Yes, I have an $80 Monster HDMI cable that Best Buy insisted I have. I also had their Geek Squad install everything--so you would think everything was adjusted/installed accordingly. Any other ideas why my old DVDs look worse than on my old TV? :-) AC

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2008 8:53:05 PM PST
A. PRICE says:
Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe that the PS3 actually up-converts a standard will play, but you are essentially getting a 480p picture and not an upscaled 1080p picture.

Your PS3 will play the full bandwidth available from your Blu-Ray discs but cannot upscale standard DVD.

Also, see if you can return that expensive HDMI cable and head off to your local electronics row and pic up a cable should be able to pic up a decent 15' HDMI for $29...a 6ft one for $15.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2008 10:01:32 PM PST
you may need a firmware update on your PS3. I think they released an update which supports 1080p DVD upconversion. You can always check the PS3 box, manual, and Sony's website to make sure.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2008 10:37:07 PM PST
KittyCat says:
Thanks for responding! Would I be better off with a DVD upconverter machine? This is all so confusing! I'm so glad Amazon has all of these resources available! It seems likes the PS3 for $400 should be able to upconvert anything and everything! I'm trying my other old DVDs--maybe it was just the DVD I was using. I am going to take the advice and return the $80 HDMI cable and get a cheaper one elsewhere! Thank you!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2008 10:48:46 PM PST
Deviation says:
Yes, the PS3 will upconvert standard DVDs. In fact, it's one of the best upconverting players available. You have to have an HDMI connection and a PS3 with firmware 1.8 or higher (this came out something like six months ago or more).

However, even the PS3 can only do so much with a DVD when you're watching it on a large, clear screen.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2008 1:30:07 AM PST
LiLo says:
You definitely don't an 80 dollar cable. Good to hear you are going to return it. has excellent cables. I would try them. How close are you sitting to your television? Get out your manual and look at the recommended viewing distances. I sit at the minimum recommended distance and use a PS3. The DVDs look fantastic. Don't expect to ever have the same quality as a Blu-Ray with an upconverted DVD.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2008 11:37:06 AM PST
F. T. Moore says:
You will probably need to upgrade the firmware, you can find all the instructions on the PlayStation website. I've found the easiest way is to save the upgrade file to a usb memory card and plug that into the PS3.

Also on your PS3 go to Settings -> BD/DVD settings -> DVD Upscaler and set it to Normal. Not positive those are the exact menu titles, but should be close.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2008 1:42:22 PM PST
Mouse says:
Actually, the "easiest" way to upgrade the firmware on the Playstation 3 is to simply select the option of "Update System" from the XMB menu while it's connected to the internet. But if you don't have it connected to the internet a simple USB flash drive would be the next easiest.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2008 8:06:17 PM PST
First, don't have the "Geek" squad do ANYTHING for you. While I was in the VA Hospital having a pretty severe back surgery my wife bought me a new Sony 46" DLP, Denon A/V Receiver, upper class surge protector and a beautiful console to put it all in/on. She also bought a Logitech Harmony 880 remote the next day. My wife paid BestBuy $360.00 to have them come out and hook everything up. It was an extra $150.00 to hook up the Harmony 880. A few days after I was home I noticed the Harmony wasn't working right and then my big brother who is quite the audio/videophile, came by my home and pulled out the console to see what was what. Nothing was correct. A collection of wires like you've never seen before and not bundled up at all. All the equipment plugged into the wrong sockets and the protector was installed upside down. The console (the first one they brought was wrong) has two front glass doors and they stripped the screw holes so the doors wouldn't stay straight. They just put bigger and longer screws in so they hold but are so long they enter into the side compartments. Then they left the old screws in my carpet so my wife could step on one that went into her foot.
The Harmony wouldn't do what it was supposed to and when they came back out they had three dozen reasons why they couldn't fix it. My brother got on the computer, undid what they did and then did everything right and now it works. He then bought me a new BluRay DVD for a present and when he pulled out the console again he stood up and told me my brand new A/V Receiver didn't have any hdmi inputs !! My wife swore to me that the salesman for Magnolia/BestBuy assured her it had TWO inputs. The Denon one up from mine does have two inputs but she said the salesman told her she didn't need that model as the ONLY difference between the two was that the costlier one had something to do with an automatic set-up of some kind for your listening room. Well, that was a lie and the model BestBuy sold us is now not sold any more. I wrote Denon but they basically said T.S.
BestBuy did pay me back for all of the installment issues so that was $360.00 and $150.00 I had returned to me but the trouble we went through was worth more than that. I'm sorry this is so long but I haven't even scratched the surface of the problems I had with BestBuy in regard to all of this. I did get back what I paid for the installation but nothing for the time and trouble it took to even get that back. As for the discontinued Denon Receiver, They are kinda telling us to go away. I wrote them a letter along with my wife explaining what was wrong and why we were angry and we would like them to make this good. I received a letter from BestBuy apologizing for what happened and then they assured us they would wholeheartedly look into this and take whatever action would be needed to fix what was wrong. I waited four months before I wrote again and was rewarded with no answer at all. After another couple of weeks I tried again and got the same response. This has gone on a few times now and I guess I am going to have to go to court over this. BestBuy seems to have gotten too big for their britches and not care for their customers any longer.
Oh, BTW, Don't ever buy anything with the name 'Monster' in it. They have always been too expensive for what they are.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2008 11:11:16 PM PST

Another reason which is probably the biggest change is that when you were watching dvd's on your 32" tube tv, the screen was smaller, so a 480p signal looked good on the tv and you don't notice the grain that much. When you suddenly take that same amount of resolution and watch it on a 46", grains and other artifacts that you didn't notice on your smaller tv gets magnified or noticed more on a high definition tv. It all depends on the movie too. If it's an old movie that was put on dvd, it will show it's age and grain more. I personally don't own a PS3, but I'm pretty sure that's why you're noticing grain more. I don't know if you ever notieced, but even on a high def version of an old movie, let's say 1980's, you'll still see some grain in certain scenes. It's not the cables since you are using hdmi. One other thing, I hardly buy any electronics from Best Buy, especially the cables. It's riduculous pricing with those Monster cables. The price of their HD movies are outrageous too. I just wait for their buy one get one free deals once a month on the weekly ads. Best Buy is good for testing the receivers and looking at the Screens, but you get better deals if you shop online unless you need something right away.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2008 11:22:47 PM PST
Sorry about your ordeal. Yeah, I don't ask Best Buy about anything. In fact I probably know more about home theater systems and set up than they do. One other thing, you should have your brother setup the Logitech harmony 880 again if you haven't returned it. I bought mine on Black Friday and connected it to my computer and set it up through the website. The only thing is that it takes a couple hours just to go through the questions it asks about all the components you have and how they connect to each other. It's a hassle but it was well worth it. Before, I was using 4 different remote controls. Now I run everything using the Harmony 880. It does do what it claims, you just need to take the time to set it up at first. When I first got everything programmed, there were some components that didn't turn on when the other components turned on. I just hit the help button, and it goes through different things and asks you if what it did solved the problem.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2008 7:16:07 PM PST
Rise2it says:
Agreed....these stores are selling massively overpriced 'services' performed by people who know (and are paid) very little.

It's a real shame if they charged all that money and didn't update your PS3, but I'm assuming they didn't take the 5 extra minutes to do that, or get your system settings correct.

The PS3 upconverts great. It has (I think) 4 settings - I get the best picture using the 'double' setting. This doesn't quite fill the entire screen, but gives a much higher quality picture.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2008 8:20:32 AM PST
Another element to consider is that not all DVDs 'upconvert' to the same degree. The more digital the movie was in the first place, the better it upconverts. As an example, I have episodes of "Angel" (TV series) and the new Battlestar Galactica on DVD. The first season of Angel looks much worse than the later seasons (differences in filming quality) and Battlestar Galactica looks better than any season of Angel. Generally speaking, the older the filming technology used to film the DVD, the less effect an upconverter will have on it. Also generally speaking, the more digital technology used to film the DVD, the better it will look after being upconverted.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2008 2:21:02 PM PST
Paul Tinsley says:
The PS3 is by far the best value for money Blu Ray player on the market, mostly due to the price and upgrade ability. However, it's not the best value for money as a DVD up converter.

I recommend getting the Oppo DV-981HD Universal DVD Player. This is a top notch up-converting DVD player that can output DVDs at 480, 720, 1080i and 1080p. It does a great job of making DVDs look almost blu-ray quality. Always bear in mind though that not every DVD is made to the same quality standard. Some DVDs simply cannot be upconverted and look great because the source quality is just too poor.

The Oppo is available on Amazon: Oppo DV-981HD Universal DVD Player with HDMI, 1080p Up-Converting, DivX & SACD (2008 Model)

Paul :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2008 9:31:04 PM PST
KittyCat says:
Hi Paul. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply--will check it out!!!


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2008 8:04:20 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 24, 2008 1:04:07 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2008 1:50:53 PM PST
Oh man, you sure haven't read the news lately, according to Warner, Best Buy, Netflix, Walmart, HD-DVD doesn't have much time left. Sorry Man.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 6:07:38 AM PST
G. Liddiard says:
I take it you have used a PS3 to make this claim?????

Ignore "The SMART Patrick", the PS3 does upscale DVD's and does a good job of it.

The three upscale options (found in the BD/DVD menu on the Systems Menu) are Normal, Double and Full screen, which do the following...

Normal - uses the standard scaler and with a 1080P set will generall give you the best result. Does not stretch the image at all, so 4:3 format material will have black bars to the left and right.

Double - simply doubles the image scale, ok for 720p screens, but will not fill a 1080p screen. Again does not stretch the image.

Full Screen - Upscales and stretches the image to fit the screen. It does mean that 4:3 format material will fill a 16:9 screen, but it will be slightly stretched (people will look a bit fatter).

Which one is best for you and your TV will depend on your own preference, I would suggest trying each one and seeing which you prefer. Use a good quality DVD to do so (the quality of the original transfer to DVD makes a huge difference - I would suggest something THX mastered such as Pixar or Star Wars to see the most benefit). Personally I use Normal scalling with my Sony KDL 40W200 and while not true HD, from a good source DVD the results do look excellent (and to see the overall difference try playing the DVD with the scaller switched off - it will clearly show the nonsense spoken by The SMART Patrick).

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 12:01:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 18, 2008 12:49:01 PM PST
Todd Mays says:
@ G. Liddiard

I have a 60GB PS3 and a Toshiba A-30. The A-30 does a better job of upconverting SD DVD's. I know the HD DVD format is virtually dead, but I do not regret purchasing the A-30. I will continue to watch my HD DVD's (120+) and SD DVD's (1500+) on the Toshiba, thus saving the wear on my PS3. As you probably know, Sony no longer produces the 60GB version of the PS3 which has the EE chip that provides excellent backwards compatibility. I have no intention of putting more wear on this machine than necessary so the HD DVD player really works out for me. Some of you other PS3 folks may want to consider picking up an A-3 for the same reason. I believe in the coming weeks, prices of these players will drop considerable, so you may get quite the deal if you shop around, and you should see some screamin' deals on the movies.

Just my $.02

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 12:32:01 PM PST
G. Liddiard says:
I most certainly will be looking at one in the near future if the price is right, however I'm also looking at a new amp, front speakers, sub, etc, etc. If the price is right however and I can get it past the 'boss' who knows.......

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 1:04:49 PM PST
Smart Patrick just Bought HD-DVD system I`ll bet lol...The Ps3 is a wounderful converter and will do alot more in the future. I would`nt worry about wear on this device, they are built for the long haul-

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2008 6:40:26 PM PST
The PS3 is mediocre at upconverting. I tried watching my standard DVD's on my Ps3 but was not impressed. Upconverted movies on my Toshiba A2 and my Samsung upconverting players look a lot better. Check your PS3 settings. I remember there were a few that I messed with specifically for upconverting. The movies looked better but still not good enough.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2008 8:32:48 AM PST
Under display settings, change the RGB Full Range (HDMI) from limited to Full. (If you haven't already done so, this should solve your problem.)
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Discussion in:  High Definition forum
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Initial post:  Jan 30, 2008
Latest post:  Dec 13, 2012

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