I finally received my Panasonic S77 in the mail on Saturday afternoon. The PQ is outstanding in 480p through component. After trying many different players in the past month or so, I've finally found one that can match and exceed the Denon 2900 that I had. The picture was sharp and incredibly detailed. The image had that pop that the Denon 2900 had. In 480p through component I didn't notice any macroblocking. I used the HDMI to HDMI cable included with the player and noticed slight, yet noticable, macroblocking in 720p and 1080i. The reds also seemed maxed out; the red walls in Episode II seemed to be bleeding out of the screen and every person in Episode I looked like they were sun burnt. I unfortunately had to pick up a Monster Cable HDMI to HDMI cable that wasn't too cheap. Even though the cable was overpriced (typical of Monster Cables), it was a huge improvement. The reds were toned down to a realistic look and the noticable macroblocking is practically non-existent. I only noticed it because I knew exactly where to look (Episode II, Chapter 4) and honestly, it was practically unnoticable. By the way I have a Sony KV34HS420 CRT tv. Once you upgrade from the cheap HDMI cable that is included with the player, macroblocking becomes a non-issue. Watching Star Wars DVDs in 1080i is truly a thing of beauty. I couldn't be happier with the Panasonic S77.
- Excellent PQ with both component and HDMI.
- Macroblocking practically non-existent.
- Very affordable; practically a steal for the price.
- Lots of features.
- Plays most discs (although I cannot verify which ones since I only use my DVD player for Region 1 DVDs).
- Slim design and light weight.
- Cheap clear plastic disc tray.
- Cannot dim the display.
- The HDMI to HDMI cable included is very cheap and pretty much worthless (you will notice macroblocking with the included cable).
- No open button on the remote (not an issue for me at all, but I know that some people care and complain about it).
The pros far out way the cons. The cheap plastic disc tray and not being able to dim the display are just very, very minor quibbles about the player. The PQ is absolutely stunning, plus I haven't received any disc read errors like I used to get quite frequently with the Denon 2900. The is the best DVD that I have ever owned bar none. You'd be hard pressed to find a better player for under $1,000.