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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Is there a PROFESSIONAL DVD player? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Is there a PROFESSIONAL DVD player?
Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5305
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 08-14-2008 10:13 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Seems like at two of my venues now, we are destined to use have to use DVD as the source for titles which no longer have run-able release prints. I have already experienced the maddening joy of using consumer crap as a playback source. Dinkly little UNBALANCED RCA outputs feeding soundtrack audio along with lovely groundloop hum both 60hz as well as 120hz and harmonics thereafter. AND naturally they put menu junk on the screen. We did have a Pioneer "pro" unit, or so that's what Pioneer called it, and yes, it did have XLR balanced out, but it had no indication whatsoever what it was doing -- no time, either remaining or elapsed, not even a function indication (play, stop, pause, etc) on the front panel. You had to push a button and assume that it was actually doing what you wanted, or you could make it display function on the video out, which is crap.

One of the video guys said emphatically that as of yet, there is only consumer BluRay, no pro BluRay gear . He wasn't that sure about a good pro sDVD unit.

Anyone know what's out there? What I would like to see -- a player that NEVER shows a menu with the video output, or at least can be set so that's ALWAYS the default. It should then have some sort of local display where you can see everything in the way of menus and functions, along with time, frames and SMPTE code (on an LCD screen?). Analog audio should be BALANCED, plus the full array of digital outs as well. This doesn't sound too outragous a Want List for a PRO machine. And of course the IDEAL -- a button that allowes the operator to ADVANCE past a frozen frame(s). THAT'S something that should be a piece of cake and standard in my book, yet it sure isn't on consumer DVD units. If you freeze, you are screwed. It would really be nice to be able to recover from such glitch, which, in terms of presentation, is a major catastrophy. Why not have a skip-ahead function that can be preset to specific number of frames or seconds -- you keep pushing it until you past the glitch? With NO indication of this on the screen, of course.

Anyone know of or used a brand/model of a pro DVD player that works well in a theatrical setting?

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2481
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-14-2008 11:36 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Frank, I feel your pain. We just had a week of DVD shows and it is a royal pain. I'm going to wait for a proBlueRay at this point, but it would have been nice to have proDVD

As for the ability to skip frozen frames, ours (Sony SLV-D300P) has a Slow/Fast advance on the remote that skips frames by 2x (or 4x,8x,16x...). Not pretty, but unless the DVD is totally screwed, you can get past the bad part.

I've also found, a really cheap DVD player will play things our SLV (which was expensive at the time) won't. You may not get component out or full stereo, but at least you're getting the show on.

Does anyone just load to a hard drive and play off of that?

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Gene Stavis
Film Handler

Posts: 26
From: New York, NY
Registered: Aug 1999


 - posted 08-14-2008 12:40 PM      Profile for Gene Stavis   Author's Homepage   Email Gene Stavis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Frank:

James Bond of Full Aperture Systems in Chicago has installed modified DVD and Blu-Ray machines in our booths. Contact him for details. An off-the-shelf DVD played superbly on our 50 foot screen in a test run. Of course, it wouldn't fool a trained eye, but the private audience was wowed.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17775
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 08-14-2008 06:06 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
The Panasonic BD30 works fine and dandy for me.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12814
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 08-14-2008 08:58 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Denon has two "pro" players...the DN-V210 and DN-V310 . The only difference is that the 310 has RS-232.

They are "Pro-Sumer" in the sense that they do have analog unbalanced out but it also has coax as well as TosLink digital. the composite and component feeds (as well as HDMI) are all hot so you can set up monitoring in addition to the higher quality outputs. The BIGGEST selling point on them is the "auto play" feature. If you activate it...99% of the time, when you insert a disc, it SKIPS THE FBI WARNINGS AND MENUS!!! As such, it starts right up with the feature presentation...my customers seem to just love it. Note, there is nothing that stops you from putting the disc in, letting it begin, then hit the skip-back button and then pause so it is "cued" for the show.

The OSD can be turned off without the remote and the "set up" can be accessed even if there is a disc in the machine (many lesser DVD players seem to not be able to do this.

It is also possible to make them region-free...a handy feature in some venues.

On the more "professional" front...Pioneer has one that is truely professional...how about a separate output JUST for menus and crap. It is the DVD-V8000

Note, even the Pioneer uses RCA outputs. Remember, no matter how you cut it...DVD is a Consumer format (as is Blu-Ray).

Steve

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Sam King
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 120
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Oct 2006


 - posted 08-14-2008 10:04 PM      Profile for Sam King   Email Sam King   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One word, OPPO. We have several ion the building that run DVD's 24x7 and are still running great. It's the only thing we use for our DVD screenings. They are priced about twice as much as standard DVD players but not nearly as much as "reference" DVD players.

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Joe Elliott
Master Film Handler

Posts: 497
From: Port Orange, Fl USA
Registered: Oct 2006


 - posted 08-15-2008 01:41 PM      Profile for Joe Elliott   Email Joe Elliott   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Have you thought of using a computer with dual DVI outputs, one monitor in the booth, the other is your projector. Use VLC player, so that you have 5.1 surround (WMP, BSPLAYER, etc don't do surround). You could have a DVD player in it and a Blue-ray. A little more expense, but it also allows you to do Powerpoint presentations too.

Edit: I should remark, that with a good quality audio card, you shouldn't get hum even though it isn't balenced. Or at least I should say, I didn't get any hum.

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Bruce Hansen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 847
From: Stone Mountain, GA, USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 08-15-2008 05:37 PM      Profile for Bruce Hansen   Email Bruce Hansen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
On most Sony DVD players, you can put it into pause, and if you use the pause button to take it out of pause there will not be any "info" put on the screen. if you use the play button to take it out of pause, it WILL put crap on the screen. Note: most DVD players will not stay in pause forever. Cue your player, and pause it just minutes before you need to roll it.

BTW, there are devices that will take consumer unbalanced audio, and give you balanced audio.

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John Hawkinson
Film God

Posts: 2273
From: Cambridge, MA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 08-15-2008 08:18 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
VLC is not professional-quality software. It's not terrible, but it is simply not solid, and even with dual monitors, you still get glitches at the start and ends of programs.

I think fundamentally a proper pro BD or DVD player needs to have one video output with menus and overlays, and one without. Kind of like a high-end VTR (like the Sony HDW5000). Possibly with its own LCD display (again, the HDW5000), but not necessary in an environment where you can supply your own superior video monitor.

I suppose that if you really cared it is perhaps true that putting effort into bulletproofing VLC might be easier than sitting back and being sad about the commercial offerings. But it's not a small task (and this presumes you're a software developer).

I have run some HD trailers off a laptop running VLC (for those rare cases where we couldn't get 35mm trailers for upcoming shows), and it's a horrible pain. Especially if there is more than one, getting the cueing to work, without the flashing of window decorations and resizing inbetween, is very awkward. And perhaps the single-most annoying part is the substantial delay
when hitting play/pause. Like 500ms or so. It is hell for cueing.

--jhawk

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Andy Frodsham
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 238
From: Stoke on Trent, Staffs, UK
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted 08-16-2008 03:14 AM      Profile for Andy Frodsham   Email Andy Frodsham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Generally, we've been lucky with the very few DVD screenings we have done. We have the facility to preview output from the DVD player on a seperate monitor and have a small electrical shutter fitted in front of our video projector to prevent any menus being shown by mistake.

Having said this, we did have one very massive freeze-up right in the middle of a Wim Wenders screening. This was one of those 'solid as a rock' freeze-ups where we had to re-boot the player and fast forward to about three minutes beyond the freeze. We now pre-screen all our DVDs.

I'm waiting for Blu-ray to become more established before we start looking for a new player - hopefully something more resilient. Our existing device is a Denon unit - supposedly well-rated!

I'd also like to see (although this is another thread) professional video projectors (I don't mean digital cinema ones) fitted with a video OUTPUT. This would be useful to adjust picture settings/ratios (with the shutter closed) without the audience seeing. At present, this has to be done BEFORE our audience arrives.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5305
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 08-16-2008 03:16 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good info, guys. Thanks. Going the computer route I think moves further away from an intuitive, user-friendly system -- think the old Ampex tape transports with big, simple push buttons that you can put your fingers on and feel. You push play, you feel the button go it, you hear a CLICK and it plays. [thumbsup]

The Denon DN-V210 sounds just about right. Balanced would be nice, its advantage that you don't have to worry as much about the possibility of loops, but if you are putting it into a known system that has been properly setup, it can be (should be) as clean as balanced. I have also found that having an AC isolation transformer handy can knock out hum where all manner of futzing with the audio side can't. Saves lots of time when a client comes into the theatre with their own hodgepodge of unbalanced consumer crap.

quote: Steve Guttag
Remember, no matter how you cut it...DVD is a Consumer format (as is Blu-Ray).

Yah, that not withstanding, I bet Pioneer has managed to slap a Pro price tag on that DVD-V8000!

Now all we have to do is wait for Denon to make a sister BluRay DVD player to match the sDVD unit.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 8146
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-16-2008 08:07 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Andy Frodsham
I'd also like to see (although this is another thread) professional video projectors (I don't mean digital cinema ones) fitted with a video OUTPUT. This would be useful to adjust picture settings/ratios (with the shutter closed) without the audience seeing. At present, this has to be done BEFORE our audience arrives.
Agreed.

The closest that I have been able to come to this is on the Panasonic 7700 with the network card installed. You can turn off the on-screen display and use a laptop computer to control all of the functions. The information that would normally be displayed on the screen is instead displayed on the computer monitor. The web interface is rather clunky (essentially an on-screen version of the remote control's buttons), but could be more automated in a permanent installation.

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John Hawkinson
Film God

Posts: 2273
From: Cambridge, MA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 08-16-2008 09:15 AM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, you have me confused. In a professional setup, you ought to have a switch/scaler anyhow, and that device should be able to give you a preview output of any source.

In any case, though, some projectors do have this kind of output, pretty much intended for stacking. We have, e.g., a Sharp XGV-10WU, which has VGA and component outputs for stacking, and you can hook up a preview monitor. (Though you need one for VGA sources and one for component sources...)

Lastly, if this is just for DVDs, presumably your DVD player has component outputs you're using, and a composite output you're not using, and you can hijack the composite output for preview purposes.

--jhawk

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 08-16-2008 09:20 AM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John, Dump VLC. Use ZPlayer with FFDShow codecs. I play all of my trailers using this set up. You get solid 5.1 out, and zplayer can be set up to hold on black before and after each trailer pack. The set up can be alittle intimidating, but once you get a feel for it, It's an extrememly flexible system.

As for DVD though, I use an inexpensive sony model with progressive out. The ACS-2048 scales it up for the Barco, and the results are the best I've seen for DVD. We had an expensive LG SuperBlue player, but that thing had all sorts of reliability issues. A plain cheap $50-70 DVD player with progressive out works fantastic.

Theatres that play a lot of DVD or alternate content would benefit from a Dolby DMA-8, which allows you to connect the digital outputs from a viriety of sources into your existing sound system. Then you don't need to worry about ballenced output, and you get discrete 5.1

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Andy Frodsham
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 238
From: Stoke on Trent, Staffs, UK
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted 08-16-2008 10:32 AM      Profile for Andy Frodsham   Email Andy Frodsham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John, it's not the source output which is the problem!

It is easy, I agree, to hook-up a monitor to a second output from, say, a DVD player or digital video deck. It's the fact that you need to control and alter settings on the video projector itself! These settings can be accessed via specific menus and displayed on screen but this is very awkward when you have an audience sitting in the theatre! You need some sort of 'preview' output from the video projector itself so these settings may be adjusted WITHOUT the picture on the screen.

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