Current Best Standard Definition DVD Player? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-17-2012, 05:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a large collection of standard definition DVD's that my family still enjoys in our media room with a 120" diagonal 16:9 screen and JVC RS15 DILA front projector. We're currently using an Oppo 83 player for Blu-ray and standard DVD playback.

I'm curious to know if we could possibly get better standard DVD rendering by getting a more current dedicated standard definition DVD player that would do a better job than the Oppo 83 that we now have?

I recall that the Anchor Bay Technologies upscaling chip in the Oppo 83 was considered top drawer a few years ago. Is there someting better now or maybe an external video processor that I can attach to a new DVD player that I should look at?

All suggestions welcome. Thank you!
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-17-2012, 09:47 AM
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The 83 will be as good as or better than any offering from Panasonic or Sony. I took my Oppo DV983H, same processor as the 83, out of my rack when I got a Sony 790 which also supported SACD. The Sony and Panny DVD upscaling was very good and I liked what the Panny 210 I had did with color, but that alone wasn't enough to take the 983 out of my rack. With SACD support on the Sony I felt the DVD playback was good enough. Plus, I sold the 983 for $300. Net was I had the best DVD upscaling for three years for $100. I just got the 103 and it too does a great job with DVD's, but for DVD playback alone may not be worth the upgrade. I don't think you will find a DVD only player that will do as good a job as any of the mainstream Blu-ray players. The chipsets in the BD players do an excellent job with DVD's also.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-21-2012, 07:31 AM
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I am curious about this too. I had a Panasonic CP72 SDI dvd carousel and a DVDO VP50 but I sold it. I am wondering what is the best dvd player option out there. Right now I have:

1) Another Panasonic CP72 with no mods and one with region free mod (Faroudja FLI2200 for de-interlacing)
2) An older Panasonic CV51 with only interlaced output (supposedly mpeg decoder second best compared to the CP72/RP82 mpeg decoding. I think the same mpeg decoder as the RP62)
3) Panasonic F85 (generic chips...just using this on an old CRT downstairs basement TV) no good progresive output
4) Marantz VC 6001 (x 2) . Universal dvd/sacd player with region free and pal to ntsc output. Faroudja chip and 1080p HDMI output.
5) Sony PS3
6) Sony S550

Yes, I have far too many dvd I am getting a calibration dvd or two and I will compare the dvd performance of the CP72, Marantz VC6001, PS3 and S550. My display is a Panasonic 60ST30

Anyhow, the sd dvd players and bd players that I think could playback dvd's better than anything I have are:

1) Oppo 981H/983 (?)
2) Oppo BD-83, 93, 103 etc? (I think the dvd performance of the 83 was best, the qdeo in 93 not as good and the 103 better than the 93 but not as good as 83?)
3) Toshiba XA2 or XA1

Other players with Reon/Silicon Optix or ABT? Older Faroudja?
Or...find a used iScan HD or HD+ (and SiI504 deinterlacer) for much less than I paid for and/or sold my VP50 for?

Any lists or things I can look at that compare dvd playback performance of any of the above?

Where can I find a relative ranking of DVD players and/or bd players with the best dvd playback?
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-21-2012, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Picture View Post

I'm curious to know if we could possibly get better standard DVD rendering by getting a more current dedicated standard definition DVD player that would do a better job than the Oppo 83 that we now have?

Kind of hard to find top drawer DVD players since most BD players have filled that niche. Especially since you're already starting with an Oppo 83, there's not much higher to go. Most of the better BD players will have some of the better chips, like Anchor Bay, Reon, or maybe even Realta. So most manufacturers have dropped all but the cheapest of DVD players (and some even gave those up.)

If used is okay, maybe a Denon or Oppo DVD player will work. Or if you can find one, some of the last HD-DVD players worked as well as the best DVD players, like Toshiba's HD-XA2 (with Reon.) The standard HD-A2s and A3s were good, too.

Also, keep in mind that with DVD there is only so much you can do.

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post #5 of 5 Old 12-22-2012, 03:15 AM
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Just to say that I once did a comparison of DVD upscaling on my Oppo BDP 93 against my old JVC HD350 projector and finally my Lumagen Mini3D video processor (the later two options using the HDMI 1 output and 'source direct' mode in the Oppo). In reverse order I felt it was JVC > Oppo > Lumagen. However they have different 'styles' of upscaling: The Oppo is a bit like my old DVDO Edge in that it superficially looks sharper (especially on a smaller TV screen) but in fact it's because of the ringing. The JVC just looked a bit softer, but the Lumagen looked best of all due to the unmolested source direct output of the Oppo and the 'no ring' upscaling of the Lumagen.I only have PAL DVDs which are 576/50i if it makes any difference.

I have a 112" wide scope screen and have to say that my better DVDs (a couple of 'superbit' ones) look surprisingly good on this setup. Viewed on my 40" TV from the same 11' distance then it's hard to tell that it isn't HD (more a comment on the viewing distance and small TV). On the projector so long as you haven't just watched a BluRay, then DVDs are enjoyable, but just obviously not as sharp as BluRay. In other words, even with a pretty top notch setup there is only so much you can do with a lower resolution source, so in some ways it's just splitting hairs when the bigger picture is that just using a higher resolution source (if available) gives a much more significant improvement.

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