Originally Posted by Ruined
No the BDP-S350 would be fine in your case.
What I and some others are talking about with "source direct" is if you have a high end display setup that is capable of 1080p & 1080p24 + external video processor or video processor builtin to a receiver like the Reons in high end onkyos.
In order to obtain maximum
video quality with both Blu-ray and DVD, many are looking for the player to do this:
With the understanding that the only valid Full HD resolutions that you can encode Blu-ray in are 1080p24 and 1080i60...
1) For Blu-ray 24fps films encoded in 1080p24 (most films), pass 1080p24 directly to the HDTV
2) For Blu-ray 24fps films encoded in 1080i60 (rare), send 1080i60 to a high end video processing chip (either in TV, receiver, or external box) for proper deinterlacing
3) For Blu-ray 30fps concerts/documentaries encoded in 1080i60, send 1080i60 to a high end video processing chip (either in TV, receiver, or external box) for proper deinterlacing
4) For all DVDs, send 480i60 to a high end video processing chip (either in TV, receiver, or external box) for proper upscaling & deinterlacing
That would be optimal use of source direct for maximum quality of both Blu-ray and DVD using chips builtin to some receivers/processors such as Reon & Realta or devices such as the VP50, Lumagen, etc. This is the default behavior of Source Direct, and there is no need to juggle resolution settings in the setup menu with it.
Now, in contrast, what the Sony BDP-S350 does is only allow you to pick one output resolution. If you pick 1080p, then 1080i discs will be deinterlaced in the player to 1080p. If you pick 1080i, then 1080p discs will be processed internally to 1080i. The problem is that the video processing chip performing these operations in most players under $1000 are nowhere near as good as chips such as Reon/Realta. For instance, the Panasonic BD30 (which the S350 may be based on) bobs 1080i content to 1080p, losing lots of resolution in the process. And most people don't want to be messing with output resolution in the setup menu every other movie they watch.
And thus, in summary, people want to automatically bypass the player's internal video processing to use their own superior video processing solution for the large amount of interlaced content on Blu-ray, as well as for DVD. That is the purpose of source direct.
If you don't have a scaler, don't plan to buy a nextgen receiver like the Onkyo 875 which features Reon deinterlacing/upscaling, and your TV's deinterlacing is no prize, then source direct isn't going to help you. However if you upgrade your receiver or TV in the future, you may be sorry that the player lacks this feature. Then again, the cheapest 3rd gen player with Source Direct is the BDP-51FD ($599), so if that is out of your pricerange you may want to forget it and just go with the S350 anyway.