Need some Blu-ray advice

We’re thinking about finally upgrading to Blu-ray. Our TV is an older HDTV (2003 time frame) and it has component inputs. No HDMI. The TV documentation says that it has a max resolution of 1080i, and most of the players I see have 1080p. Are we going to have a compatibility problem? Is it even worth buying a Blu-ray without spending the money on a new set (something that I’m not keen on right now)?

I don’t think 1080p is even possible on component - I just looked at the instructions for mine, and it puts out a max of 1080i on component, so you should be fine.

If you had a TV with HDMI inputs, you’d probably find that the player and display will negotiate the maximum possible resolution.

Yeah, I’m in the same boat; upgraded to HD devices with a slightly older model television. My TV does 1080i maximum, but accepts both HDMI and component input; the blu-ray player is connected via HDMI, and the TiVo is connected via component. It doesn’t cause any problems at all; the signal simply displays at 1080i rather than 1080p.

The TV will automatically adjust to the TV’s native resolution.

If you want really detailed information about any video product check the forums at AVS Forums

It is possible. It’s just restricted in the Blu-ray spec because component isn’t compatible with Blu-ray’s copy protection. They don’t want people pirating 1080p video.

Don’t buy a Blu-ray player for 1080i. 1080i is only slightly better than a progressive scan DVD image. If you can run 720p though, then rock on.

Someone is going to call me on this, so I might as well just say it. This statement is more sort of true than true.

Really? I’ve heard 1080i compared more to 720p than anything. 480p sounds like hyperbole.

Yeah, it was stupid. 1080i is slightly more information than 720p and triple that of 480p.

This is why I don’t get why so many 720p TVs are being sold. They’re fine if you ONLY want to use them to watch TV, but you are seriously missing out on the potential of Bluray.

This is why I’m willing to bet that everyone saying BD is barely a step up from DVD either aren’t watching on a 1080p TV, or aren’t using HDMI.

Regardless, the Bluray player and/or TV will downgrade the picture. You can even watch BD in 480p on a SDTV via composite or component cables if you want, but it will look WORSE than DVD.

Note that the component video path is analog, not digital. This may be an issue with BD players that require a HDCP (high-def digital copy protected) path from the player to the display.

It will be an issue with computer-based setups (e.g. a Windows media center box with a BD player), but may not be with a stand-alone BD player. My experience is only with the former, and I had to use DVI instead of component to be able to play BD on my ancient Sony rear-projection HDTV.

Blu-ray is a great improvement from an SD DVD, but compared to 1080i HD footage broadcast on TV, it’s not *that *much better. It’s not worth it to buy a whole new set just to go from 1080i to 1080p. If you only have a standard TV, then absolutely go for one that can play 1080p.

There’s not that big of a jump from 720p to 1080p. Yes, there’s more information, but that just means you can sit a little closer without seeing a screen door effect. There’s a much larger jump in picture from 480 to 720 than there is from 720 to 1080.

A friend and I both have projectors and screens that are about 100" diagonal. His is 1080p and mine is 720p We both sit about 11’ back and there is no noticeable difference. As you get closer to the screen though, you notice the pixels further back on mine than you do on his, as the pixels on a 1080p image are smaller.

720p or 1080i over component is a huge difference over 480p.

Compression also plays a part. I don’t know about you, but Comcast in New Jersey compresses the crap out of most HD channels. The difference is fairly noticeable when you watch a blu-ray with optimized mp4 compression.