What is the best well-known brand upscaling DVD player?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by davidLo, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. davidLo

    davidLo Extra

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    I was and is still thinking about getting DVD-A1. Being in Canada, however, the price is crazy expensive (the cheapest in the US is around US$ 350 shipped, in Canada -- if I want to get one from a store with good return policy -- is around US$ 600)

    That said, I may not be able to afford getting an HD DVD with the risk of it being the losing party in the format war. Thus my interest in upscaling DVD player.

    Also being in Canada, getting an Oppo is virtually impossible. My choices are between Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic, Samsung and Pioneer.

    I own a Sony CRT HD-RPTV with DVI-D (with HDCP) input which supposedly upconverts everything internally to 960p

    I tried Panasonic: severe macroblocking
    I tried Toshiba: honestly I can't see the difference between 480p, 720p or 1080i

    Should I even bother trying the other brands? Or my TV is the culprit of my inability to see the difference? I can see a marked difference when I use HD cable box even via component.
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Your crt based Sony has a native scanrate of 1080i. the only thing it converts to 960i is incoming 480i, and only if you select "interlaced" in the user menu.

    Since you have dvi with HDCP, I'd strongly recommend you try one of the current model Sony upconverting players. They don't have the Faroudja chip like the Panny. I've tried Sammy, Toshiba, and Sony and the only one worthwhile was the Sony. The Toshiba was NOT one of the new HD players, just one of their low priced upconverting players. The HDA1 is reputed to be among the best upconverting players around, equal to non-HD upconverters costing 3 times the price.
     
  3. davidLo

    davidLo Extra

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    Agreed. Today I've tried Samsung... and I can't see any difference between 480p vs 1080i via HDMI.

    Maybe in the end I'll end up buying the HD-A1 considering the Sony is about US$300 in Canada (might as well add another $400 and get an HD DVD player)
     
  4. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Based on what is read here, the HD-A1 has the best upscaling feature for SD-DVD. Might as well kill 2 birds with one stone.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Oppo 971H was Secret's top player. Don't let price or appearance fool you because nothing has beat it yet. www.oppodigital.com
     
  6. davidLo

    davidLo Extra

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    as mentioned above:


    this is due to high shipping cost and duties, brokerage fees and taxes. In the end the Oppo will cost me about US$ 350. Hardly worth the money. Also if there is any issue with the player, I will have no recourse but spend a whole wad of cash to ship the item back to manufacturer for service.

    Oppo is NOT an option.

    Tried HD-A1 today. Upscaling capability is noticable but rather abysmall (still the best amongst other brands I've tried). HDMI issues galore, I always have to cycle through 480i, 480p, 720p, in order to get to 1080i. If I leave it at 1080i, there will be no picture on screen, then I have to cycle them all over again. It comes with firmware 1.4 out of the box.

    I'm also returning my HD-A1.
     
  7. Jason->D

    Jason->D Stunt Coordinator

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    i actually found a place in ontario selling oppo's for a decent price. look on canuckaudiomart.com and they should have contact information there. can't say anything about the selllers quality
     
  8. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    David that's not really true. I got me 970 for about $220 Cdn shipped so its not that expensive.
     
  9. davidLo

    davidLo Extra

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    It's about US$200 including UPS shipping, another $40 for brokerage fee, about $10 for duties and $30 for taxes. Sorry, my mistake. In total is about US$ 250, not US$ 350. Still not worth the possible hassle, IMHO. [​IMG]
     
  10. Michael Hartwig

    Michael Hartwig Stunt Coordinator

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    In regards to buying something abroad, I've had some experience with this in an Outlaw reciever purchase (great sounding reciever). After I got over all the added costs to get it to me from the US to Canada, I had the unfortunate costs to have warranty repair. Shipping one way and again border costs. About $100 in this case. Then it failed again out of warranty and would have cost me about as much as the cost of the reciever to ship, repair and return shipping.
    I now like to buy something that can be repaired under warranty locally (and I now usually get an extended warranty if available). This unfortunately means name brands only. I find a lot of electronics now seem to have shorter life span.
    my experience
     
  11. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    David there are Canadian vendors selling the Oppos so you don't have to deal with Duty etc. I can recomend a few if you like.
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Even at $220, it is still an excellent player at a good price. It should still best anything you'll find locally for $220....
     
  13. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    That's also $220 cdn....not that there's much difference now given the exchange rate.
     
  14. joseph westcott

    joseph westcott Second Unit

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    You did not say what Panasonics you tried, but the 97 and 77 model are both well regarded and do use Faroudja DCDi. As suggested, the Oppo is great for DVI but no 480p support via component. The only other mfg I can recommend with a clear conscience is a Denon player. You may be able to find an older model for the price you want but it may not support HDMI.
     

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