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Oppo 980H or 981HD?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 JohnRice

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Posted November 02 2008 - 02:47 AM

I'm helping some friends decide on a SD DVD player for their new HT. They already got the TV, a Samsung 40", LN40A650 and the receiver will most likely be an Onkyo 806. I don't know the video end of stuff as well as the audio and I'm hoping some others can spell out the benefits of each unit. I'm actually kind of leaning toward the 980H, partly because they already have one in another room and since they aren't super techno geeks with HT, having identical players has a benefit.

I know there will be suggestions for a BR player, and I'm sure they will add one in the next year or two, but I'm not sure they want to go with that right now. Inexpensive suggestions which can rival the Oppo are always welcome.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#2 of 15 Alon Goldberg

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Posted November 02 2008 - 04:29 AM

Hi John, here's a breakdown of the key differences between the two players:

Oppo 981 ($229):

- Faroudja video processing
- Best for large screen displays
- Does not support 480i over HDMI
- Does not have a component output
- Very good at PAL to NTSC conversion
- 5.1 analogue audio output
- No USB port

Oppo 980 ($169):

- Mediatek video processing
- Best for smaller displays and rear projection TV's
- Support 480i over HDMI
- Has a component output
- Not very good at PAL to NTSC conversion
- 7.1 analogue audio output
- USB 2.0 port on front panel

Overall, the Oppo 981 has stronger video processing than the 980, however the 980 has a stronger feature-set and is less expensive. I would lean towards the 980 for your friend

Cheers,
Alon

#3 of 15 JohnRice

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Posted November 02 2008 - 04:40 AM

Thanks Alon. I had read the specs, but not being as up on video processors and displays I wasn't 100% certain how big the different benefits were.

What is the bottom line result of the 980 having DSD output and the 981 not having it? PAL/NTSC conversion is something of an issue. They will occasionally play PAL discs that I loan them, so maybe that one strength is worth the price difference. It is also the reason I doubt they will just get a BR player, in addition to the ability to play virtually anything in existence (audio and video) except BR.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#4 of 15 Alon Goldberg

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Posted November 02 2008 - 04:51 AM

Hi John, I'm not familiar with DSD, so I can't speak about this feature. But even my Oppo 983 does not have DSD, and I can't say I've ever needed this functionality

As for PAL to NTSC conversion, here's what Oppo has to say:

# The DV-981HD also handles PAL contents very well. It can automatically detect and support 2:2 cadence. PAL-to-NTSC conversion is performed without any tearing and loss of resolution.
# The DV-980H can play PAL contents. Its 2:2 cadence support is not as advanced as the other two models. The DV-980H can also perform PAL-to-NTSC conversion, however the conversion will cause a slight loss of picture resolution.

And as for playing just about anything under the sun, please be aware that:

# Compatible with CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW and DVD+R DL* (*Note: Compatibility with user-encoded contents or user-created discs is on a best effort basis with no guarantee due to the variation of media, software and techniques used. For example, Discs recorded on some stand-alone DVD recorders or DVD camcorders may not exhibit smooth playback.)

Cheers,
Alon

#5 of 15 JohnRice

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Posted November 02 2008 - 07:28 AM

Thanks Alon. For the moderate price difference, I think the 981HD is worth it.

They always put those disclaimers in. I know they have to cover themselves for people who use garbage discs, apps or whatever other trash might come along.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#6 of 15 gene c

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Posted November 02 2008 - 10:46 AM

I'm hesitant about responding to this thread as I feel like the student answering the teachers questions Posted Image but here goes.
Quote:
Overall, the Oppo 981 has stronger video processing than the 980,
This doesn't apply to the Samsung in question but for those who are un-aware, OPPO recomends against using the 981 with DLP rear projection sets as that particular Fraqoudja chips causes noticable macroblocking. I'm betting you both new that but thought I'd mention it anyway.
Quote:
Hi John, I'm not familiar with DSD, so I can't speak about this feature.

DSD is for passing SACD. Most dvd players pass SACD thru hdmi as PCM. Many feel there is a loss in quality that way. DSD is the main difference between hdmi vs.1 and vs.2. It requires a dvd player that can pass it thru hdmi and a receiver that has a DSD decoder. Very few do. The Onkyo 905 and Pioneer Elite 94 are a couple of receivers that come to mind. The Pioneer Elite DV-58 is another dvd player with that ability. Again, it's usually the more expensive players that have this feature which is another reason why the OPPO's are such a bargain. I seriously looked at getting a DSD equipped receiver/player combo but went with i-Link instead.

Hope this helped at least a little. If not, feel free to send me to the Principals office!
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#7 of 15 JohnRice

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Posted November 02 2008 - 11:45 AM

Thanks for the info on DSD Gene. I really didn't know what it was for.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#8 of 15 Chris Gerhard

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Posted November 02 2008 - 10:47 PM

I have owned the DV-980H since its release and love it. I believe it is the better player although the DV-981H is also very good. As mentioned the DV-981H or any of the Faroudja FLI23xx players are not a good choice for any display that is adversely affected by the macroblocking enhancement errors associated with those players. The OP here wants the DV-980H unless I am mistaken and that display won't fall in the group that should not be used with Faroudja FLI23xx. That generation of Faroudja chips simply shouldn't have been used in DVD players in my opinion. Anchor Bay Technologies, Silicon Optix and even MediaTek are all better.

The DV-980H is also a better audio player than the DV-981H.

Chris

#9 of 15 razor

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Posted November 30 2008 - 10:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Gerhard
The DV-980H is also a better audio player than the DV-981H.

Chris,

can you go into more detail as to the DV-980H's audio prowess? I've read many positive opinions about the standout audio quality, and one review even had the reviewer planning to use the 980H as an audio-only player, by connecting an external hard drive to the USB port.

what is it that makes this product so superior on the audio front?

I'm considering using it as a digital audio player myself, hooking it up to an external HD and my Onkyo TX-SR806. thoughts?

#10 of 15 Alon Goldberg

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Posted November 30 2008 - 10:52 AM

Hi Mason, if you are using the Oppo as a CD player via digital output, then you will be using the Onkyo's Digital-Analogue Converters. If however you use the Oppo's analogue outputs then you would be using the Oppo's DAC's.

So the question becomes which DAC is superior between the Oppo 980, 981, and Onkyo. If you plan on using digital output on either Oppo then it really would not matter really which player you pick as they would both sound the same.

Cheers,
Alon

#11 of 15 razor

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Posted December 01 2008 - 06:43 AM

that makes perfectly logical sense, Alon. I guess I'm just curious why the interwebs seems to be on fire for the 980H's sound capabilities.

John, sorry for hijacking your thread. Posted Image

#12 of 15 Alon Goldberg

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Posted December 01 2008 - 10:14 AM

I own an Oppo 983 and recently reviewed her for CD and DVD-Audio playback against my Naim CD player, both via analogue. To me the Oppo sounded thin and weak, very tinny, lacked musicality, no presence or soul... I suspect those who are enjoying the Oppo as a CD player have upgraded from very cheap DVD players, in which case they will certainly enjoy a better result than they are accustomed to

Regardless, Oppo makes a very fine DVD Player, but I wouldn't rate my Oppo to have very good analogue audio quality against other sources in the same price category (SqueezeBox 3, Marantz CD5001, etc)

Cheers,
Alon

#13 of 15 AmusingistheDawn

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Posted December 04 2008 - 10:14 AM

Hey Alon,

I just bought a 983 and I'm rather pleased with the audio quality. I had a Pioneer elite prior which was in the upwards of $1000 in it's prime (6-7 years ago) and I would say the oppo is better. I do however, now have a new denon receiver and hdmi connections, but either way...I like it.

I have a question though. Every DVD I've put in so far keeps the 480 light illuminated, and when I browse the hdmi button, it never changes. I thought this upconverts everything to 1080p? Is is the DVD's? I don't get it.
Samsung HL61A750  -PS Audio Soloist into Quintet  -Denon 2808CI  -Denon DCD-3520 (Burr-Brown OPA-627opamps & Elna Silmic II capacitors)  -Panasonic DMP-BD35K  -Dish Vip722  -Harmony One  -Klipsch KLF-20's (HT mains)  -Klipsch KLF C-7 (Crites crossover)  -Klipsch S-2's  -Klipsch RW-10 

#14 of 15 AmusingistheDawn

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Posted December 04 2008 - 11:33 AM

OK...I figured out that the dvd needs to be stopped before you can switch the resolution. I need to watch a few more SD DVD's before I'm convinced of it's upconverting abilities.
Samsung HL61A750  -PS Audio Soloist into Quintet  -Denon 2808CI  -Denon DCD-3520 (Burr-Brown OPA-627opamps & Elna Silmic II capacitors)  -Panasonic DMP-BD35K  -Dish Vip722  -Harmony One  -Klipsch KLF-20's (HT mains)  -Klipsch KLF C-7 (Crites crossover)  -Klipsch S-2's  -Klipsch RW-10 

#15 of 15 Chris Gerhard

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Posted December 06 2008 - 07:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by razor
that makes perfectly logical sense, Alon. I guess I'm just curious why the interwebs seems to be on fire for the 980H's sound capabilities.

John, sorry for hijacking your thread. Posted Image

The analog output and HDMI audio output are the selling points for the DV-980H audio capabilities. The player was one of the first with SACD and DVD-A audio output over HDMI for decoding by an attached HDMI 1.2a audio processor.

Chris


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