Buying my first blu-ray player

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jammers, May 10, 2013.

  1. Jammers

    Jammers Agent

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    I'm looking to upgrade my home theater system and that means i'm finally getting a blu-ray player. What should i be looking for when i get one? Which are the top brands? Do all blu-ray players including upscaling because i mostly have DVD's right now.
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Yes all BD players have scalers. No, they aren't created equal.I have a dedicated DVD player in each of my theaters in addition to the BD player. You can buy Pioneer DV 420 on the used market for $50-$75, then you don't care how good the scaling is in your BD player. Buying a good used DVD(look for them...ask here) player and a separate BD player is less than buying an Oppo/Marantz/Onkyo BD player.
     
  3. Jammers

    Jammers Agent

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    I've heard that the Oppo blu-ray players are the best. What makes them good?
     
  4. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    The Oppos have some of the best video processing chips of any player on the market. They play SACD and DVD-Audio. There is also an audiophile version of the Oppo, with a better digital-to-analog converter.

    You can read more about the Oppos here: http://www.oppodigital.com

    I have the Oppo BPD-93. The current models are the BPD-103, 105, and 95.
     
  5. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Unless you need SACD/DVD-A playback...there is no point buying an Oppo.

    Yes, otherwise, it is a great scaler...but...

    What is your display?

    Plasma? Great LCD? Projector?

    Or is it a 32" 720P 60hz LCD?

    The better/bigger your display, the more you want/care about good or great scaling over adequate.
     
  6. Jammers

    Jammers Agent

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    My TV is a 60-inch GT50 Panasonic Plasma. So do other blu-ray players from Sony or Pansonic for instance also play SACD or DVD-A?
     
  7. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    "So do other blu-ray players from Sony or Pansonic for instance also play SACD or DVD-A?"

    No

    You have to buy "universal" players to include them.
     
  8. Jammers

    Jammers Agent

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    The only universal players that play them are the OPPO?
     
  9. Steve Tannehill

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  10. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    In addition to what's already been said, the build quality seems to be a bit better as they weight a few pounds more then the typical commercial BR players. They're customer service is also first rate and they respond to consumer wishes as much as you should expect a company to such as firmware updates.. They also have excellent manuals and remote controls. And they come double-boxed and in a cloth bag. Whether these things are enough to justify the higher price is up to each individual. For most, it shouldn't be. But for many of us, it is.

    A few very high-end BR players are also based on the OPPO's. The Lexicon BD-30 was an OPPO BDP-83 with a fancy faceplate and extra packing. Ayer simply bought the BDP-83se retail and did their own internal modifications. Much cheaper than designing a new player from scratch.
     
  11. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    That's not really quite true. There are several other reasons for buying an Oppo (some of which you mentioned), depending on the person.

    In my case, I have no need for SACD/DVD-A, but I did need a player with:

    a). PAL + 1080i/50hz compatibility (and the ability to output those frame rates natively--without coversion--as my TV supports 50hz frame rates). Not all players that support these discs give you the option of turning off the digital converter.

    b). the ability to be region-free for BOTH Blu-Ray and DVD without much fuss. The simple (and inexpensive) hardware modification survives firmware upgrades.

    c). a top-notch scaler, as I purchased it to go along with a whopping 60" panel and have a lot of DVD titles that wil never be released in high-def (most particularly, British shows shot on PAL videotape, which are locked into standard-def).

    Do most Americans who only buy Region 1/Region A titles have a reason to buy an Oppo? No, of course not. But Oppos are out there for more than just rich folk and audiophiles. For people like me who have a lot of foreign titles and want a best-quality, non-standards-converted picture that plays any disc, Oppo is really the only serious game in town.
     
  12. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Granted my only Oppo is the 970HD.

    I own many foreign DVD. I don't plan on buying foreign BD.

    So....

    A. Sure that is a reason for an Oppo, but this OP wouldn't be asking these questions if he had a multi-format TV(I forget what you call a TV that can switch PAL/NTSC..been drinking Tequila Sunrise' most of this evening...)

    B. Good point...if he makes use of needing it.

    C. His Panny might be "equal" to the Oppo scaler(maybe).

    I have many scaling DVD players. Regardless of "region-free" they are...

    Onkyo DV-SP504(and its Integra twin)
    Denon 2930
    LG DN191(which I'd offer to sell this one, except it makes noise like it scrapes discs, it doesn't...but makes noise. Been making noise 5 years)
    Pio DV420


    Best scaler of the bunch?
    The Pio 420.

    I have had the Panny S77. That one is still highly regarded. (by the way, this one looks really cool. When the tray is open, the tray itself is the clearest piece of acrylic you've ever seen. It also goes "so far out" that your disc seriously looks like it is floating in thin air)

    If we call "unscaled 480P" a 50% perfect picture on his plasma, and 1080P BD "perfect"...

    The best you are going to get "scaled to 1080P" for a DVD, regardless of what anybody calls the best scaler(not getting into that discussion), is maybe 90% "perfect".

    Any one of those DVD players I have, or had, would be no less than 80% "perfect"...even the LG DN191. And, any of the ones I listed will scale better than a "run of the mill"
     
  13. Jammers

    Jammers Agent

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    Is there really that big of a difference on a OPPO when it upscales a DVD compared to say a Sony or Panasonic. Most all of my DVD's are not blu-ray discs. Also how good is the Sony BDP-S5100?
     
  14. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    The Sony BDP-S5100 does play SACD in either DSD or PCM. It does not play DVD-A.
     
  15. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    I will have a review up in late May or early June on this player.
     
  16. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The fact Sony includes SACD on the higher level players, PS3included, does not make them universal. Sony has never included DVD-A...ergo, Sony has never made a universal.But yes, I missed he said "or", not "and".More credence in buying two players then...if he gets into DVD-A. Lots of good upscaling DVD players (Panasonic and Yamaha) that play DVD-A, but not SACD.
     
  17. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Multi-System or Multi-Standard is probably the terminology you're thinking of. That would be for "true" worldwide TVs which have universal TV tuners in them (which is why they're so outrageously expensive).

    Several models of US television sets sold these days (depends on manufacturer) are actually capable of native PAL and 1080i/50 refresh rates, it's just this ability isn't advertised and often isn't even documented in manual! All Sharp Aquos TVs can play nice with these framerates across all A/V inputs (even composite). Several other TVs will properly display PAL and 1080i/50 if you use componenet or HDMI (I've confirmed this on some Vizio, LG and Sony models). So, there are several people out there who have PAL-compatible TVs and don't even know it!

    Other US televisions, though, are engineered to be unable to handle PAL or 1080i/50 on purpose by their manufacturers (Panasonic and Samsung in particular).
     

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