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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a cheapskate. OK, not so much a cheapskate but a person who really looks for value. I tend to buy "Best Value" or "Best bang for the buck" type recommendations for my HT and it has served me well so far: Onkyo 705, SVS speakers, Epson 6100, etc.

Anyway, I'm thinking it might be time for a blu ray player and I'm looking at the Panasonic DMP-BD60K.

My question is about upscaling. Every BR player I see says it upscales but does not tell me how high? My DVD player I have now says it upscales as well. What's the difference?

I probably will not be buying too many BR DVD's yet so the upscaling is waaaaay important to me.

Audio is very important as well. Not knowing all the lingo, would my Onkyo 705 take full advantage of the increased audio the BR offers?

Lastly, what is firmware? Is it just software because that is what it sounds like to me. How do you upgrade? Plug in the ethernet cable and it does it itself?

Any help you could offer would be appreciated. Links, articles whatever as long as they are not jargon filled and can be read by normal people like me.

Thanks.
 

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Rancho5, first off... let me say it's OK to be cheap! That's how to do it sometimes!

Anyway, for best bang for the buck, I cannot think of any other blu-ray player than the Oppo Digital BDP-83.

Let me explain a couple things before I go further. Upscaling is NOT created equally. Almost all DVD players nowadays can "upscale." The sad fact is, if you own a digital display, your display is already "upscaling" technically. Also, not all DVDs are created equally so each of them may not be encoded properly and may produce issues on their own when trying to be upscaled. The difference is in the processing and that's what sets the big boys apart.

The Oppo Digital has the VRS by Anchor Bay chip in it. It does a FANTASTIC job at upscaling. In fact, it is one of the very best out there right now.

I've owned two Panasonic BD players, the DMP-30 and DMP-35. Both of which were only so-so when it came to upscaling. They were nowhere near the caliber of quality that the Oppo was. In my opinion, the Oppo produced a more detailed picture, smoother and more natural image, more natural, yet bolder looking colors and did a whole of a lot better with handling image motion.

With audio, your Onkyo will be able to take full advantage of everything via HDMI bitstreaming. So you are covered on that front. But, also to mention audio quality, the Oppo is a great player audio-wise too. I also use mine for CD playback and it is better than most of the other CD decks I've had.

And to answer your last questions, firmware is essentially a smaller software, fixed usually to the hardware just for hardware functions. It's kind of a fine line between software. And a lot of blu-ray players right now can upgrade multiple ways - via CD that was burned from your computer, USB thumb drive, or a lot can be plugged in directly and downloaded directly for itself.

Any further questions, feel free to ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for the information. I cheked out the Oppo and while a wonderful deck it is out of my price range. I would appreciate any other recommendations though.

Do you know what quality they upscale to? Don't DVD players play 720? How "high" does upconversion go?
 

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Thanks so much for the information. I cheked out the Oppo and while a wonderful deck it is out of my price range. I would appreciate any other recommendations though.

Do you know what quality they upscale to? Don't DVD players play 720? How "high" does upconversion go?
They can only upscale as high as their highest quality they are capable of playing. Usually it will say in the specs what they upscale to. And many players will upscale differently from different inputs ie: HDMI, or component.
 

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As Darryn alluded to - it depends on the player. Most nowadays will do 1080p, but again I said not everything is created equal. If a simple Funai or Magnavox player can upscale to 1080p, it likely won't mean much and certainly won't equal a player like the Oppo BDP-83.

Quick question - what is your television size/make/model? Maybe that way we can see what might be more fitting for your needs, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a projector: Epson 6100 LCD 1080p with 110" screen, Onkyo 705 receiver and SVS speakers.
 

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That is a big screen rancho, and unfortunately the lesser the quality of the source ie DVD player upscaling to 1080p it may not look too good, for standard Blu Ray films, nearly all players give a good image but when upscaling DVD it will not be the same, and maybe better off just feeding 480p to the Epson with a lesser player or even 480i and the let the scaler in the PJ do the work...

The Oppo really is the benchmark for a lot of BD players that can also upscale DVD's and with the VRS chipset you get excellent results, might be worth saving some before purchasing and get something that will last and do the 110" screen justice :)
 

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I will echo what John said. At 110", I would recommend holding out until you can get the Oppo. While the Panasonic BD60 is a good player it still cannot touch the versatility, quality, speed and usability of the Oppo. Especially, since DVD upscaling is such an important thing to you, you'll want a player that can do it right. When you are ready to jump full tilt into Blu-ray you'll also be assured that you are getting one of the best players on the market.

I hope it doesn't seem as I am forcing the Oppo too much because I have no affiliation with Oppo other than being a plain and simple customer. I've owned 4 different players from them (3 different model DVD players) and can attest to their products and customer service.

Let us know what you ultimately decide, though. Making the jump to blu-ray will yield great results for you, I think. The first couple blu-rays you might buy will just astound you. I am guessing it'll be hard for you to go back once you've truly experienced blu-ray on your own system!
 

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What is your budget for a BluRay player? Right now the best player for the money is the PS3 and you get a good gaming console as well. The PS3 also dose a great job of up conversion.
As others have already eluded to upconversion is hit and miss Few DVD or BluRay players do a great job unless you spend the money. There are/were several that used Raon HQV or the DCDi processing these did very well. Up until recently upscaling to 1080i was the best you could go but now with BluRay 1080p is the max.
 
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