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Ps3 - Hd-xa1 My Experience


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Hi All,

I finally got through setting up my PS3 last night in order to watch some of my Blu-Ray movies. I must say that the PS3 is not a user friendly beast when setting it up to feed the output from its HDMI output, Sony has you jumping through all kinds of hoops. It would have been so much nicer to just press a button to cycle through the available outputs. Better yet how about automatic detection, Sony? Compared to my HD-XA1 the PS3 was a chore to get to the point of actually watching the movie, I had my HD-XA1 up and running in a matter of a few minutes the PS3 took the best part of an hour trying to figure out how to drive the menu system. Sony fail to provide any documentation to show you how to do this, what they give you is a little basic document that provides a web link for you to go to to find out how to set things up. Very annoying when you have to keep running to your PC to get the answers to problems. True you cound print it out but that in itself is time consuming.

So I settled in to watch Stealth on Blu-Ray and I was so underwhelmed by the experience that I fell asleep about half way through it. HD-DVD absolutely creams the Blu-Ray experience for me. I have the SD version of this movie and it was based on the audio transfer of the SD version that I thought the BR version would be a marked step up, WRONG. To be perfectly honest the SD version was better than the BR version.

The "pop" that I am used to in HD-DVD movies just is not there in BR neither is the clarity.

Took me a little while to get the Sony PS3 Blu-Ray remote to work, never having used a bluetooth product before I did not realise that it needed to be registered with the PS3. Anyway once I had done that then it worked quite well.

However I think the biggest downside to the PS3 is the fan noise, this thing is seriously loud. Here I was worrying about my new JVC HD1 projector being loud, no need to worry anymore with this Titan gas turbine sitting at the back of the room I am sure I will not hear a damn thing from any other piece of equipment. It does run extremely hot which begs the question of how long will this machine last running at these temps? Time will tell but I think we will be seeing some PS3 failures through heat in the next year or so.

I am also not keen on the slot feed mechanism for the BR player, I have never been a fan of slot feeds I much prefer tray feeds.

The plus side is that the startup time on the PS3 is much faster than the HD-XA1 but overall I much prefer the HD-XA1 for its performance and the HD-DVD picture and sound quality.

I am sure I will get flamed by the PS3 fanbois but the above comments are based on my personal experience with both players and HD-DVD - Blu-Ray viewing.

I am not going to comment on the gaming aspect of this machine as I am not a gamer so with respect to gaming it could be really good, I have no experience with the PS3 in that regard.

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I agree with most of your comments mav, but I had no issues at all with getting the HDMI working. In fact, out of the box as soon as I turned the unit on it said it had detected HDMI and 1080p capability and asked if I wanted the PS3 to automatically optimise the video output. Havent had a good sit down with the BR part of this unit yet tho.

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Last night was my first time with the ps3 connected up to play movies, took us about 5 minutes to get it going. I assume it would sense the hdmi connection, when it didnt we connected via component (already connected to the projector for a ps2, so I guess that made it easy). Seemed straightforward enough to set hdmi in the menu, and optical out - and then we were away. Cant say I heard much sound coming from the ps3 either - and this was with a hc5000 (which is pretty close to silent).

I was pretty happy with it as a movie player.

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I agree with most of your comments mav, but I had no issues at all with getting the HDMI working. In fact, out of the box as soon as I turned the unit on it said it had detected HDMI and 1080p capability and asked if I wanted the PS3 to automatically optimise the video output. Havent had a good sit down with the BR part of this unit yet tho.

Mine automatically sensed the HDMi also.

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So, based on the viewing of one movie, you're ready to trash the whole Blu-Ray format. It is irretrievably terrible, without a doubt immesurably worse than the worst HD DVD has to offer? All this, after one movie? And a movie that makes Showgirls look like Lawrence of Arabia at that.

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So I settled in to watch Stealth on Blu-Ray and I was so underwhelmed by the experience that I fell asleep about half way through it. HD-DVD absolutely creams the Blu-Ray experience for me. I have the SD version of this movie and it was based on the audio transfer of the SD version that I thought the BR version would be a marked step up, WRONG. To be perfectly honest the SD version was better than the BR version.

The "pop" that I am used to in HD-DVD movies just is not there in BR neither is the clarity.

Were you outputing the PS3 at 720P? If so the PS3 downscales Blu-Ray movies to 480p - which would explain why it wouldnt really be better than SD. Try using 1080i (if you werent).

Or maybe 'Stealth' is just a crap blu-ray movie.

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Like I thought and to be expected that some of the PS3 fanbois would jump over this thread. :blink:

I may have chosen HD-DVD first but I am open to both formats, I have said before I do not care which Hi Def format is out doing which all I want is to watch HD movies and get a HD experience. Hence I own both format players, do you? If not then excuse me while I dismiss your thoughts as they are not based on real comparisons. My thread is based on the comparison between the HD-XA1 and the PS3 as players of HD movies and my experience with both formats to date. So far my HD-DVD experience has been more extensive but I own an arsenal of Blu-Ray movies to get through and I hope my BR viewing will experience will improve.

To answer some questions:

Yes I think the PS3 is loud and it jolly well is, sounds like constant light rain falling on a tin roof. People bagged the Toshiba for having a noisy fan but the PS3 eclipses the HD-XA1 such that it makes the HD-XA1 seem silent in comparison.

Mine definitely did not auto detect the HDMI conection and needed me to connect up a temporary analog connection to my projector in order to configure the HDMI and resolution. I have not upgraded to 1.6 firmware yet so maybe that was one of the things they have sorted out, I am currently running 1.5.

Maybe it has to do with which connection you first use when it is initially turned on out of the box, may be it does a once off auto sense and then you have to do it manually from then on. I initially used the composite connections on my plasma from the PS3 to do the initial firmware upgrade.

So, based on the viewing of one movie, you're ready to trash the whole Blu-Ray format.

No I compared this movie to my SD copy and the SD version wins hands down, there is nothing redeeming about the PQ or sound quality of the BR version that would make an average person want to upgrade to BR based on this experience. Yes I agree that this may have been a poor choice but as it is a relatively new movie in comparison to some of the poorer HD-DVD transfered movies I was expecting a better video and audio transfer.

Were you outputing the PS3 at 720P?

1080i

Okay flame suit back on, fire up the flame throwers. :D

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Intersting comments Mav,

First thing i think is the PS3 is not a dedicated BR player - it is a gaming machine first, BR player second. If you compare a Xbox 360 with its HDDVD add on and the noise there compared to the PS3, then you have a fair comparison (of which the sony wins hands down).

If you want to compare how loud or quite your HDDVD player is buy a dedicated BR player of which im sure will be alot quiter than the PS3 as they are made to do differnt things.

In regards to quality i cant really comment as i ahvent hooked up a HDDVD player to my system,a lthough i noticed a decent jump in quality from a SD DVD to BR on my 55' panel.

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Mav, do you own or have you heard the XBOX 360? It sounds like a million angry hamsters have been jammed into it. It's noticeably less noisy when watching a HD-DVD than when playing games but still 100 times louder than my HTPC...

p.s. I don't own a PS3, yet, but doesn't it have a problem with displaying movies at anything less than 1080p (I could be totally wrong).

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Like I thought and to be expected that some of the PS3 fanbois would jump over this thread. :blink:

I may have chosen HD-DVD first but I am open to both formats, I have said before I do not care which Hi Def format is out doing which all I want is to watch HD movies and get a HD experience. Hence I own both format players, do you? If not then excuse me while I dismiss your thoughts as they are not based on real comparisons. My thread is based on the comparison between the HD-XA1 and the PS3 as players of HD movies and my experience with both formats to date. So far my HD-DVD experience has been more extensive but I own an arsenal of Blu-Ray movies to get through and I hope my BR viewing will experience will improve.

I own 2 HD DVD players and 2 BD players. I have no idea what "Stealth" looks like on Blu-Ray and have no desire to find out. However, to categorically state that BD is worse than SD based on the sum total of one lousy movie is, frankly, bordering on HD DVD fanboi trolling.

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Mav, do you own or have you heard the XBOX 360? It sounds like a million angry hamsters have been jammed into it. It's noticeably less noisy when watching a HD-DVD than when playing games but still 100 times louder than my HTPC...

p.s. I don't own a PS3, yet, but doesn't it have a problem with displaying movies at anything less than 1080p (I could be totally wrong).

No I have never owned an Xbox and probably never will, I am not into gaming at all. I am solely using the PS3 as a BR player. Obviously the better way would be to get a dedicated BR player but as there are none out there at the moment that I am interested in I thought I would give the PS3 a go as a stop gap measure. Reports around the world have labeled it as an excellent BR player. The PS3 is almost silent when not playing a movie but as soon as you put one in the player the fans speed up and the noise also increases significantly.

I have not used the PS3 to view SD movies and I probably will never do so, I have very capable SD upscaling players to handle this.

I purposely purchased a Region A/1 machine as the BR titles available in the US will always far exceed those available here in the Australian market and I have been able to purchase BR titles for a lot less than I could get them here. Considering the quantity I buy at one time this is a distinct advantage.

If I were to buy a dedicated BR player I would most likely import one from the US at considerable savings to buying one locally.

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I will offer only one comment here. If there was such a difference between Blu-Ray & HD-DVD don't you think the Movie Studios etc. and other Professionals would have noted this difference. If you want to compare Blu-Ray against HD-DVD you would have to have the same movie mastered from the same source etc. etc. using the same display etc. DVD's, Blu-Ray & HD-DVD etc are not all created equal. You if want to compare something you need to have controls in place to make sure that you are comparing Apples with Apples.

For the record I haven't purchased either format yet. Waiting for a player that supports both formats to be released here in Oz.

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I own 2 HD DVD players and 2 BD players. I have no idea what "Stealth" looks like on Blu-Ray and have no desire to find out. However, to categorically state that BD is worse than SD based on the sum total of one lousy movie is, frankly, bordering on HD DVD fanboi trolling.

Time for you to get over yourself and read my post I was explicitly referring to that one movie experience and I agree it may not be indicative of BR in general. I made that comparison of that movie not BR in general.

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Time for you to get over yourself and read my post I was explicitly referring to that one movie experience and I agree it may not be indicative of BR in general. I made that comparison of that movie not BR in general.

Of course you weren't. Which is why you prefaced your comments with the knowledge that you were about to be 'flamed'. In any event, bizzibee is absolutely correct. Unless you've got a copy of Stealth on HD DVD, your comparisons are meaningless. Perhaps you should buy a BD and HD DVD copy of "The Departed" and get back to us with the results.

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Any technically knowledgeable person would know that there is nothing inherently different in terms of theoretically achieveable quality between BD and HD-DVD: same codecs, different media. While BD does allow higher peak bitrates, the jury is still out as to whether that translates into perceptible picture quality differences or not.

The devil is in the film to video transfer and encoding quality.

It makes perfect sense for studios to release the same bitstream encodings for both formats. Some have already started doing so. There would still be some minor differences in menu features, etc.

This could be an HDMI handshake issue. If, for whatever reason, the PS3 and the projector do not handshake properly, the PS3 will downconvert the 1080p image to 480p to comply with the AACS and then upconvert to 1080i as requested by the user.

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Like I thought and to be expected that some of the PS3 fanbois would jump over this thread. :blink:

mav, I'm pretty sure you know I am the antithesis of a Sony/PS3/BD fanboy :D

I may have chosen HD-DVD first but I am open to both formats, I have said before I do not care which Hi Def format is out doing which all I want is to watch HD movies and get a HD experience. Hence I own both format players, do you? If not then excuse me while I dismiss your thoughts as they are not based on real comparisons

I own both formats as well, and although some of the initial mpeg-2 encoded BD discs were underwhelming compared to HD DVD, they newer releases are on a par with HD DVD. I would even go so far as to say that Casino Royale BD is the best looking HD format movie I own.

Yes I think the PS3 is loud and it jolly well is, sounds like constant light rain falling on a tin roof. People bagged the Toshiba for having a noisy fan but the PS3 eclipses the HD-XA1 such that it makes the HD-XA1 seem silent in comparison.

My PS3 is virtually silent, although it sitting very well ventilated in an open position. It is no louder than the HD-A1.

Perhaps your has a dodgy fan.

My 360 is a lot louder.

Mine definitely did not auto detect the HDMI conection and needed me to connect up a temporary analog connection to my projector in order to configure the HDMI and resolution. I have not upgraded to 1.6 firmware yet so maybe that was one of the things they have sorted out, I am currently running 1.5.

Mine auto detected the HDMI, and that was running the out of the box firmware (1.4? the one before 1.52 anyway).

Maybe it has to do with which connection you first use when it is initially turned on out of the box, may be it does a once off auto sense and then you have to do it manually from then on. I initially used the composite connections on my plasma from the PS3 to do the initial firmware upgrade.

Aha, I went for HDMI straight away.

The auto HDMI sensing post initial setup is a new feature in 1.6

I will have to agree that I think bagging BD and/or the PS3 based on one movie may be a little premature.

Do yourself a favour and pick up Casino Royale :P

Cheers,

Andrew.

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Like I thought and to be expected that some of the PS3 fanbois would jump over this thread. :blink:

Okay flame suit back on, fire up the flame throwers. :D

I don't think there were any bias 'fanboi' replys to you at all (I dont even own a PS3 myself).

If you didnt already have a bias you would have noted the following points:

* People were pointing out that they didnt have HDMI issue you had - that's just there experience - like yours is your experience - it's not flaming

* You can't base an opinion of BluRay on 1 movie - thats fair enough - same goes with HD-DVD, or DVD

* Others have not had the noise problem - and comparabily speaking, the PS3 is almost silent compared to xBox 360. But I'm sure it probably is quieter than your standalone HD-DVD players.

The only 'flaming' seems to be coming from you.

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I really think this is an issue with the quality of the source material on the Bluray Disc.

I saw a Panasonic Bluray player and a 1080i 50" plasma running in my own home about 18 months ago with a specially made 10 minute Bluray demo disc and the quality of the output was absolutely stunning and was much better than SD DVD's. I'm not saying it wouldn't look as good on HD-DVD as well, I'm just saying that I reckon we're getting a long way short of the best image quality available on the movies that are available on Bluray at the moment and when this improves, the huge step up in image quality will be noticed by us all.

Last week I saw the BR movie "The Flight of the Pheonix" played on a PS3 (switched to 1080i output through HDMI) on a 50" 1080i plasma and I was a little underwhelmed with the quality as well. I'd just wait for the quality of the source material to improve and then hopefully we'll all be a lot happier.

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I will offer only one comment here. If there was such a difference between Blu-Ray & HD-DVD don't you think the Movie Studios etc. and other Professionals would have noted this difference.

Well Betamax was superior to VHS and look what happened to that. So youre analogy is a little misplaced in this regard.

mav - my PS3 is almost whisper quiet, but I have read reports that some owners are complaining of louder than usual fan noise levels. So its a possibility that the fan bearing(s) arent spot on.

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as mav said, its also a game console and that should be taken into account re fAN NOISE..

I suggest the high end HT enthusiast (who is not interested in games) should look at a dedicated BD player if the fan noise is an issue..

my ps3 is setup in the family room, and considering the ambient noise, its not an issue.. also the game and movie soundtracks actually flood the fan noise out

I have not experienced the noise of an xbox so I can't compare

but I must say, having a history of absolute quiet SA-CD, CD, SD-DVD player mechanisms .. I do notice it...probably more so

and this is why I have not rushed into "high end" htpcs or "music servers' as yet

hopefully with better processors and flash memory .. this whole heat and noise issue will be resolved.

Like you bizzibee, I'm waiting for a high end dual format player to hit our shores before I lash out..

in the meantime.. I'm more than happy with the PS3

BTW I also had no issues with the HDMI set up

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mav, I'm pretty sure you know I am the antithesis of a Sony/PS3/BD fanboy :blink:

None of my comments were directed at you Andrew.

I own both formats as well, and although some of the initial mpeg-2 encoded BD discs were underwhelming compared to HD DVD, they newer releases are on a par with HD DVD. I would even go so far as to say that Casino Royale BD is the best looking HD format movie I own.

My PS3 is virtually silent, although it sitting very well ventilated in an open position. It is no louder than the HD-A1.

Perhaps your has a dodgy fan.

Possibly

My 360 is a lot louder.

Mine auto detected the HDMI, and that was running the out of the box firmware (1.4? the one before 1.52 anyway).

Aha, I went for HDMI straight away.

I suspect this is the key, that it auto senses initially and then requires manual setup on the earlier firmware. I was actaully listening to the PS3 review on the Cybershack last weekend and this was one of the things that they found annoying. At the time I really did not pay it much attention till I went to use the HDMI interface and then I understood what they were talking about.

The auto HDMI sensing post initial setup is a new feature in 1.6

I will have to agree that I think bagging BD and/or the PS3 based on one movie may be a little premature.

I am not bagging or dissing BR as a format, it has the potential to be as good as HD-DVD and vice versa. I think people are so smitten with the idea that you must be for one format or the other that they immediately read into a post what they want to think. I will say it again, I do not care what the format is but I do expect a HD content movie that is marketed as such should be an improvement over the SD version. I have a HD-DVD movie title that is absolutely attrocious, that being Full Metal Jacket. I would not recommend this HD-DVD to anyone except the die hard Kubrick fans.

The PS3 will do the job for now and when a BR player of some worth comes on to the market I will import it, for the time being I do not go much on the BR players that are available but I think there are some worthy contenders due to be released this year.

Do yourself a favour and pick up Casino Royale :D

If its not Sean Connery or Roger Moore then it does not do it for me :P

Cheers,

Andrew.

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Well Betamax was superior to VHS and look what happened to that. So youre analogy is a little misplaced in this regard.

mav - my PS3 is almost whisper quiet, but I have read reports that some owners are complaining of louder than usual fan noise levels. So its a possibility that the fan bearing(s) arent spot on.

Thanks Mark, mine is definitely not whisper quiet except when it is not playing a movie then it is very quiet. Having worked in the electronics industry all my life I can say with some conviction that what I am hearing is not bearing related but forced air related. I am wondering if the fans used in the Japan made model vary greatly from those in the Chinese made model? If you are familiar with Compaq Proliant DL 360 servers the fans in these have high and low modes much the same as I am seeing in the PS3, in low flow mode the forced air noise is low but switch to high flow mode and stand back cause the noise is deafening ( I am talking about the DL360 ). The PS3 forced air noise ramps up significantly in high flow mode.

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Hi mav, regarding the auto HDMI sensing. FWIW this worked straight out of the box using the installed 1.5 FW, not the newest FW (1.6). Of course this is a feature that maybe introduced in 1.5 and later, and your console may have had an earlier revision. But of course, we all know the flimsy nature of HDMi and even the order in which PS3 and display are switched on couldve affected this.

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