I received my 983 a couple of days ago and have been comparing it to my memories of my XA2 which was recently sold on eBay. As far as I can tell, the picture is about the same as the XA2 with 2 notable exceptions:
- Bright points of light would get a blue halo around them with the XA2, not so with the 983 . . . I think this is called the chroma effect?
- There is a sharpness control on the 983 which was missing on the XA2. By setting this control at +1 the picture is crisper (more crisp?) than the XA2.
So I'm definitely happy I got the 983 and have no regrets getting rid of the XA2, although I regret that HD-DVD lost the format war!
BTW - my wife normally can't tell HD from SD and really doesn't care, but the first SD DVD we upconverted to 1080p got a big WOW from her . . . I believe that's proof positive that the 983 is an impressive unit!
I've read the manual cover to cover and have tested every feature. The only question I have remaining is: How can I tell what version firmware I have on the 983?
20 minutes later . . . I figured it out, according to the first post in this thread you just have to press the OSD button. I had done this 100 times, but always with a disc playing. Pressing OSD with an no disk in the drawer showed me that I had:
I have no idea what the MVER line is telling me, but the 2nd line says that as of today I have the latest/greatest version loaded in the player!