I received my new Oppo DV-981HD a few days ago and hooked it up to my smallish 40" LCD. I was very pleasantly surprised by the image quality of the half dozen movies I watched. No, its not Blu-Ray by any means, but the image is very smooth but still has good detail in closeups of faces and other textures. The color is rich and true, the contrast is balanced very well plus there's a good "depth" to the scenes. I took the time to calibrate the set via the player with a color meter hooked up (Spyder 3 TV).
I thought I might regret not getting a BR player, but I had so many DVDs and continue to buy a lot of foreign and bargain DVDs so I decide to grab the Oppo on eBay (found a sealed refurbished one - looks brand new). I'm very happy with it in spite of it being an over four year old design. The fact I can easily make it region free is going to be really helpful. Blu-Ray players are definitely great (watched them at friend's houses), but the DV-981HD lends a certain quality to a DVD image that I really like. It may be an older design, but I think its going to serve me well until DVDs go the way of the Dodo.
Indeed its a great player. I still use my 3 year old Oppo 981HD I got for $99 new from a special woot sale back then, even though I also have a Panasonic Blu-Ray player.
The de-interlacing is still superior with DVDs.
Very reliable too, never had any problems with the Oppo, but the Panasonic had to be repaired under warranty after just under one year.
I got the same player for $99.00 from Woot also. It is a great player that at times seems to rival my Sony ps3 in picture quality. Th ps3 by the way is in the shop while the 2 OPPO players I have never had a glitch.
I have used mine heavily for the last 4.5 years and it has been good. I updated to the latest firmware and it is region free, Unfortunately now it seems to have stopped reading DVDs. I am at a loss now since I can't find a comparable player and the only Oppos I have found are from price gougers (ie $200-$300). I payed $250 for the player (bought it when it was first released in the fall of '06). Any ideas or suggestions folks.
I believe Oppo(in CA) will repair your older Oppo for a fairly reasonable price. I seem to remember ~$50 and you sure can't fine anything in the league of your Oppo for that.
I'd email Oppo to see what the current rates are and please post back your findings