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Let's say you only had $200. Entry level blu-ray or superb upscaling DVD?

10430 Views 62 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  Jungle Jack
My screen is a 110" using an Epson 6100 1080p. Onkyo 705 and SVS speakers. No light at all in theater.

Right now I have a normal cheapo DVD player. A friend loaned me his PS3 and some blu rays and I was able to switch back and forth from his unit to mine on the same Harry Potter scene. Obviously the difference was amazing. Then I popped my DVD into the PS3 and I was also pretty amazed at the upscaling. Not as great as the Blu Ray disc, obviously, but pretty amazing.

PS3 is out of my price range though. Sooooo...

Would you suggest an entry level but really good Blu Ray player like the Panasonic DMP-BD60 or a superb DVD player like the Oppo DV-980H that upscales to 1080p?

Both at the same price point.

"Save for the $500 Oppo" is what some will say but let's not go there. Might as well say, "Save for the Ferrari". Not gonna happen.

Thanks guys!
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Well, saving $500 seems a lot more reasonable for a Ferrari, and you certainly have a significant investment into the Home Theater which would seem to warrant it, but...

...if you're having trouble justifying $500 for the player, will you be able able to justify the additional purchase/rental premium that blu-ray demands that will certainly add up to much more than $500 over the years? I think you are a much better candidate for the Oppo DVD player.
With the BR player, it is "all at once", whereas buying/renting the BR's is incremental. I'm not too worried about the additional cost of the BR's. But that is neither here nor there.

My MAIN reason for either is the upscaling. With a 110" PJ screen it matters.

So which would give better picture? Entry level Blu Ray upscaling a DVD, or a premium DVD player upscaling a DVD?

So we have one in the "Oppo DVD Player" camp.

I'd love to hear from as many as possible.

Does anyone actually own the Oppo upscaling DVD player?
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Best Picture = Blu-ray. Can't argue with resolution, and no matter how good the upscaling is, native 1080p should always have more detail and clarity (even with an entry level player).

Also, I've owned an Oppo 981.
Best Picture = Blu-ray. Can't argue with resolution, and no matter how good the upscaling is, native 1080p should always have more detail and clarity (even with an entry level player).

Also, I've owned an Oppo 981.
Did you see a notable difference in the Oppo vs a cheapo :heehee: (standard dvd player, that is)
51" 1080i RPTV at 6.5 feet vs. Philips 5690 (could be wrong on the philips model number) I did see a difference, but it's hard to quantify. Certainly, on the HQV tests, the Oppo scored higher, but in viewing, it was better color and edge detail that made the video seem more "3D" or lifelike...the images just popped off the screen more.

Was it noticable...yes. Was it worth the money vs a blu-ray? If you can stomach the additional cost of ownership of the Blu-ray, the improvement will be much more noticeable.
I'm kind of with Rancho on this situation. I have a 720p plasma and almost exclusively watch netflix movies, along with select owned dvd's. Among the netflix movies, many are older, non-blu ray so I really question the benefit to having one just yet. I do sometimes wonder if it would be worth getting a better dvd player if the picture would really improve (and also when it has trouble loading a disc)
I'm using a $50 sanyo player that has component out and digital coax sound. I have more expensive Liteon dvd recorder/player too, but it had trouble playing some discs that the sanyo surprisingly played, so it's used for cd's on another stereo.
I guess what I am looking for, and to get back to the original post, are upscaling numbers, or experience, for a budget Blu ray player vs. a renowned DVD player like the Oppo.

All they ever say in their stats are "up to 1080p". And I don't know what that really means: Every disc, every time, what?
Yes, every disc is scaled to 1080p, but that doesn't mean the quality is the same as Blu-ray. You can't magically make more pixels out of thin air, just interpolate to get better perceived detail on larger screens/shorter viewing distances.

The closest thing you'll get to numbers, which only tell half the story, is at Secrets of Home Theater: http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-bin/shootout.cgi

In the end, Blu-ray vs. DVD Upscaling is really a little apples to oranges. No matter how good the scaling is, 1080p native will almost always trump 1080p upscaled from 480. The only time it won't is in the case of a bad transfer, or if your screen is too small/seating distance too great to see the difference.

In the end, I think other factors such as cost of ownership, screen/seating, availability of Blu-ray titles that you want to watch, etc. will play into your decision more.
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The best BD player for real world DVD and BD video that I have seen is strangely an LG BD390. These are relatively inexpensive, fast and do a glorious job with both. I have seen all of the $$$ Denon, Oppo, Sony and Pioneer players and this is my current favorite.
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Get a BluRay player regardless of the fact that you may not buy Bluray movies. Netflix uses way to much compression and you loose the benefit of upconversion. The difference between even displaying BluRay on a 720p or 1080i/p display it looks MUCH better than upconverted DVDs. A good upconverting DVD player will run you around $200 the new Toshibas are very good at that. We use a inexpensive Philips DVD player that upconverts just fine on the kids 32" 720p LCD. The larger the display the more noticeable it will be.
check out Sony's BDP-S300 Blu-ray player for under $200
Personally, I'd need a player with pre-outs along with netflix streaming capability, and the best I've seen are the aforementioned lg and a samsung; streaming/music is something to think about if you're looking at players.
You can get the Panny DMP-BD60 for less than $200 street price.

* And by Christmas they're will be blu-ray players (brand new) for only $49.
Get a Samsung Blu-Ray, which have excellent DVD upscaling. It's the best of both worlds and can be purchaed for your $200 price tag. I have the Samsung BD-P2500 and it's a great machine.
I think that si what I am going to do. I had it down to either a Samsung 2500, as I read it had excellent upscaling, or a PS3. I am not interested in gaming at all. Now I am waiting for Black Friday.
You could also consider the new Sony players, I believe the S360 is excellent VFM and BD is so much better than DVD anyway, although I know a lot of people still have lots of DVD's but the Sony players are not too shabby with DVD playback either, I had the older S350 and it was excellent for the money, I prefered it over the Samsung 1400 that I had before it...also the Sony does have the same GUI as the PS3 which is one fo the best IMO...
You can get a factory refurbished Samsung BD-P2500 online at Best Buy for $170.
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