The cost of the SDI and code free mod on a 995 from JVB, is going to be a total price about $750. As the SDI alone is about $500-$550, and the codefree is about another $200. As far as SDI output goes, if both a 777ES and a 995 were SDI modded, the picture quality between the two would via a SDI output likely be vary close to the same, if not the same. Assuming both were outputting into the same scaler. And a SDI modded 777ES outputting to a scaler, most likely would be a lot better than the 995 outputting just through it's upscaling HDMI output. The scaler function in the 995 just does not have all the options or adjustability of that of a good outboard scaler. You really can't expect the 995's built in scaler to equal or better that of a dedicated $1500-$2000+ outboard scaler. So if you do mod even just 955 which MSRP's for $400, and street prices for $300 and up. Then you are talking about another $500+ just for the SDI mod alone for it, without the codefree. Which is more than the price of the 995 itself, and then you still must add a outboard scaler that can also accept a SDI input, and that's another $1500-$2000+. And depending upon your display device/TV, it just may not be worth all that extra cost, over just going with the 995's HDMI. For what may not be a $2000-$2500+ picture improvement over the HDMI. So what it comes down to, is it/would it be better enough to be worth all that extra amount it will cost to run either with a SDI output?
If the SDI mod were only about $150-$200, then likely all three of my players would have it. And I would just buy the "add in" SDI input board for my iScan VP30 scaler. But at the $1500 it would cost me just to add SDI to all three of my Sony changers, there is no way I will pay that much. Sure the SDI would be nice to have, but not at a cost of $1500+. Not with some form of HD DVDs just around the corner. And likely when one of the two competing HD formats emerges as the clear winner over the other, then someone most certainly will offer a HD DVD megachanger sometime soon after that.