Best Upconversion DVD Player Under $400?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by balzac, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. balzac

    balzac Agent

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    Hey guys, I just purchased a Samsung 5667 DLP yesterday and should take delivery on saturday. I currently own an older Sony DVD player, which has progressive scan, but not much else in the upconversion or higher quality tv inputs. What players out there offer the best upconverstion for 720i in a reasonable price range ($400) that have the HDMI capability?

    So far, the Samsung HD950 is so far my top choice at $180, but I wanted your opinions. Another player I found was the Panasonic DVD-S97S, which is $100 more, but with no noticable increase in features. (To my eyes.)

    I have only seen the Samsung in person, but can't see it hooked up to the tv, so I'm going to base my purchase on your opinions. If you tell me that my Sony DVP-NS725P http://reviews.cnet.com/Sony_DVP-NS7...-20883909.html is good enough, then I'll stay with that.
    Thanks!
     
  2. balzac

    balzac Agent

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    Anyone??
     
  3. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    The Panasonic DVD-S97 uses a Faroudja FLI2310 chip while the Samsung DVD-HD950 I believe uses a Zoran chip. For displays that aren't affected by the FLI23xx macroblocking enhancement, the S97 will most likely result in better picture quality. There is no perfect player under $400 but in general the Panasonic S97 or Oppo DV971H which also uses the FLI2310 are often the preferred players for DVD video.

    The AVSforum should have information regarding your specific display and how the macroblocking enhancement problem affects it. I can live with the problem on my displays but not everyone can and it is sometimes a deal killer. If the next generation of Faroudja chips avoids the problem, that will be a big improvement since otherwise the chips are probably the best available in the under $400 price range.

    I would not recommend buying a player using an FLI23xx chip unless you research the impact on your display or buy with an easy return policy. Other considerations are of course features you want or need such as DVD-A, SACD, connections needed, etc.

    Chris
     
  4. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    The new Denon 1920 uses the faroudja chip, and is also a SACD/DVD-A player. Its retail is $350.
     
  5. Jeremy Little

    Jeremy Little Supporting Actor

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    Oppo for PQ, Denon 1920 for features.
     
  6. Gerald LaFrance

    Gerald LaFrance Supporting Actor

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    I have a quick Question about the Denon 1920 DVD player, do you have to use the HDMI to get 1080i or could I use the Component to get the 1080i upconversion???
     
  7. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    No Denon players can upconvert over component out of the box and I have never read of a hack to enable the ability.

    Chris
     
  8. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    Would the Oppo and the Denon have the same PQ, since they use the same chip? I need a new DVD player and only have a 2.1 setup, so I really don't need the DVDA or SACD.

    Aaron
     
  9. John S

    John S Producer

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    For 1080i out the component video outputs, still hard to beat a Zenith DVB-318 with the original firmware loaded.

    But that is the players only real good output. Any other output and it seems to have a variety of issues.
     
  10. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Using my Zenith via component and love the picture. But with the original firmware, HDMI doesn't work, even with 480p due to HDCP issues. Oppo, has gotten some great reviews here as well as on AVS and I think it does both, not sure though.
     
  11. Ronn.W

    Ronn.W Second Unit

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    The Oppo is $199 and the #2 player of all time on the Secrets page. Hard to beat that. If you order it directly from Oppo Digital you can request a DVI to HDMI cable for free.
     
  12. Hartwig Hanser

    Hartwig Hanser Second Unit

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    I have a NeuNeo HDV2085, upconverting via component, which I use on a Panasonic AE300 LCD projector. The picture quality is excellent, improves significant over the Pioneer 656 I had before, especially for NTSC discs. I use the 576progressive output for PAL discs and upconvert to 1080i for NTSC, which improves NTSC picture quality for my eyes to PAL level.

    my guess: The Panasonic projector has 540 horizontal lines which makes it ideal for PAL, since no scaling is needed, only a bit overscan is used to get rid of the few surplus lines. This may be the reason that 576progressive gives a better picture for PAL sources. For NTSC (480 lines) on the other hand, the projector has to scale. Providing a 1080i signal makes this easier for the projector, it just drops every second line.

    The Neuneo costs $250, see www.neodigits.com. As a bonus it plays some Chines HDTV Discs. I ordered one and will report about the quality
     
  13. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    nobody ever mentions the Sony 975. its a great player!!!
     
  14. Alexander-G

    Alexander-G Agent

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    How does the Oppo handle 4:3 images? I have a lot of DVDs - old movies, tv shows - that I want to watch in the correct aspect ratio and I don't want to have to switch off the upscaling every time I watch one of those.

    Hi guys -

    The Denon advertises a 4:3 squeeze feature that will fix this, although you still have to go to the setting menu to toggle back and forth apparently.

    Also, I've posted separately about this, but anyone know anything about the power freeze issue with the Denon - apparently it can freeze up if you have it connected through HDMI, hit stop once (so the DVD is in resume mode) and then turn the power off. Often it then stops working completely. I've just read that it possibly may only happen if you are using HDMI and also have Component Progressive selected in the menu - some kind of conflict which disappears when you turn Component Progressive off.

    Anybody know about the problem and whether the fix really works?
     
  15. Ronn.W

    Ronn.W Second Unit

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    It handles them great. You don't have to do anything special, just put the disc in and when the Oppo sees it's 4:3 material it will automatically pillar box it to present it in the proper image on your screen.
     
  16. Alexander-G

    Alexander-G Agent

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    Thanks Ronn!

    Just to confirm, this is when sending an upconverted signal via HDMI? As far as I know, that's the only context in which some of these players (like the Sony) have a problem.
     
  17. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    I believe most displays will take the 1080i 4:3 upscaled picture and stretch it so I believe the answer is with most displays, the Oppo won't correctly display 4:3 using upscaling. That would require using the Oppo at 480p over HDMI if that is correct. I know my Zenith DVB318 required using 480p for 4:3 with my displays, a Panasonic PT-L500U 720p LCD projector and Sony KV-30XBR910. The Samsung DVD-HD950 has an EZ view feature that will display 4:3 correctly even when upscaled.

    Chris
     
  18. Alexander-G

    Alexander-G Agent

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    Thanks - I looked at the FAQ on the Oppo website and saw this:

    Q: My 4:3 content is being stetched. Why is that and how to fix it?
    A: The OPDV971H automatically stretches 4:3 content to fit a widescreen display if the TV Display in the General Setup menu is set to Wide. For the best possible playback of 4:3 content, set the TV Display to Wide/SQZ.

    That seems to suggest there is some kind of squeeze feature, although no distinction is made here between 1080i, 720p or 480p.
     
  19. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Do any of the upscaling players upscale via component?, specifically the Toshibas (5980, 4980)? I don't have HDMI so performance there is unimportant.
     
  20. Ronn.W

    Ronn.W Second Unit

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    Well, via DVI, or a DVI-HDMI cable. The Oppo does not have an HDMI output. And it doesn't just suggest some kind of a squeeze, it's telling you exactly how to set it up in the menu [​IMG]

    The Oppo continues to send the signal out at 1080i, 720p, 540p, 480p or 480i, which ever you have it set up to do, it is not concerned about the aspect ratio of the disc or the aspect ratio of the TV. That is why no distinction is made, no distinction is necessary.

    If you're still concerned about it, send Oppo support an email. They're really good and will send you a detailed answer to specific questions.
     

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