I have not really made the plunge to Blu Ray (save few exception) as my HT viewing tends to lean towards the old and obscure, arthouse, b-grade, etc. of which the BD market has yet to really tackle. However, I realize that my hardware is outdated and it's time to step up and enable maximum performance from my setup. Here's what I'm working with and the budget allocated...
Right now I am passing DVI from the Pio Elite DV59-AVi, through an HD Leeza scaler, and then out to a Digital Projection
The first thing that's got to get upgraded is the DVD unit itself, so I am definitely in the market for a new player but with reservation... I still MOSTLY source standard definition DVD's for viewing. The bulk of my collection is in SD and there is very little interest in the Blu Ray market, yet I do not want to cut off or limit my options!
Another feature of great importance is region compliance... I understand this is not so much an issue with Blu Ray but I own many Standard Definition DVD's from multiple regions and need to be able to get the most reliable playback quality out of these, as well as region/zone-free BR! I don't mind going the way of chipset or remote hacks... so long as I get UNIVERSAL playback with all of my old DVDs, upconverted via the new player!
So what I am looking for is a really sturdy and well-built, lasting quality player that will really push upconverted SD to the next level while still allowing me to take maximum advantage of the few BR Criterions and MOC titles on my shelves, as well as any future Blu Ray discs I test out. Furthermore, I'd like something that looks as great as my old Pioneer Elite does on my AV rack! And I'm sure it goes without saying as it'd likely be a default with all units these days, but top quality audio playback is a must also (incl. CD-R compatibility).
I've got an Arcam
I would not like to spend more than $700 and preferably less though my flexibility will be determined by the flexibility of the product itself. This one will have to last as I do not plan to purchase another high end player again within this decade!
Any and all help is extremely appreciated!!!