Well, I just got the Oppo 980H, and paired it with my Marantz SR-8002 receiver.
My goal was to send DSD sound from the Oppo to my Marantz.
Had to update the firmware (easy process... thanks OPPO).
I had a DEVIL of a time getting DSD to work!
The problem, as it turns out, was my television. After reading into the Oppo manual, there is a caveat that says you must have your TV's resolution set to one of the HD settings to work. The confusing thing is that there is no on-screen menu for this.. it's all done via remote when you hit the HDMI button. So until you choose the proper TV video resolution, the DSD and 5.1 audio will not work properly.
The TV I have is an LG PC50D model which accepts a 1080i signal, but when I set the Oppo to 1080i, I get a picture fine, but the DSD output will not work. I can only assume this is some kind of odd HDMI handshaking issue.
When I set my Oppo to 720p output, I got full 5.1 channels and DSD output.
I am now happy, and very relieved -- my wife is probably happy that she didn't hear me swear once.
I had a bit of a time setting it up correctly, but once I figured out that I had to choose my TV resolution using the HDMI button on the Oppo remote, I finally got DSD to work (it won't work until you do this). I also updated the firmware through a search on this site.
My thoughts on DSD sound:
For regular CDs, I've found the differences are slight, but on the upper mid-range, I am enjoying slightly better channel separation, and am maybe hearing little nuances that I didn't hear before. My PS3 plays slightly brighter on the extreme top end, almost a little brittle, but the bass on the PS3 might be just slightly better - just a minute hair -- not much to care about, IMHO. I have to do more listening to tell, but it's darned hard to do that when switching between HDMI sources adds seconds of a pause between sources.
For now, I'm talking about with general DVD viewing... I am watching my old Eagles: When Hell Freezes Over in DTS, and the separation in the Oppo sending DSD is a slight improvement over the PS3 via LPCM. A side note... I wasn't able to get the sub to work in Source or Pure Direct modes when watching from the PS3 over LPCM. When sending DSD from the Oppo 980H over HDMI, I do get the sub on some more things ... am thrilled about that! That has added to the sound improvement. I'm also getting additional display lights to light up on my Marantz SR-8002 which I wasn't seeing over PCM from my PS3. I'm getting DTS logos, etc.
This is all a wonderful thing.
I would love to try this set-up matched against a much more expensive CD player, like the Marantz 7001 or 8001 to compare. I really wonder if DSD to a receiver with nice DACs inside negates the need to spend a lot more on a high-end CD player.
We really need some magazines to do some comparisions on this. SACD from the Oppo 980H to my Marantz SR-8002 via DSD sounds great.