Originally Posted by PLB
Assuming that you are not just an Oppo salesman, that is an interesting remark. That was the very question I tried to answer when I compared the Roku/NetFlix HD version of The Thing
with the DVD version I rented from NetFlix. In that comparison there really was no comparison. The Roku broadcast version was clearly better.
I occured to me that my new ultimate low cost ($45) Memorex DVD player might not be the very best. I had bought it at Radio Shack when my highly rated Denon DVD player fell apart mechanically. I bought the Memorex two months ago as a temporizing action while I waited for Blu-ray players to drop in price after Christmas (still waiting).
However somewhat to my surprise the Memorex displayed DVDs just fine. It is a progressive scan DVD player with HDMI out. Oppo pioneered this territory a few years ago and now it seems the cheapest players have these same features. If the Oppo is better it should be better in its anti-aliasing.
I don't think the reason the Roku 720 HD picture is better than the DVD has anything to do with anti-aliasing. Rather it appears to be a compression issue. DVD video is compressed with MPEG-2 which has fixed macroblocks. The VC-1 compression used in Blu-ray and Roku/NetFlix uses variable macroblocks. This makes the VC-1 encoded video much less susceptible to "ringing". Ringing is that fringe around high contrast edges that looks like the artifact you get when you employ too much edge enhancement in Photoshop or a similar tool.
Therefore it seems unlikely to me that your admitedly better Oppo player could correct this problem as it is inherent in all DVDs.
It could also be the case that this particular release - The Thing
- is just a bad pressing. I will look into this some more. But I think its just that the opening sequences of this film on the Antartic ice sheet were uniquely revealing of the limitations of DVD MPEG-2 compression.
No, I am not a salesman for Oppo nor a beta tester either, though that might be fun.
To put my comments in perspective: I use the Oppo DV-983H for DVD, a PS3 for BD, D* HR-21 HD DVR all output via HDMI to an Integra 9.8 pre-pro.
My display device is a fully calibrated BenQ PE-7700 720p pj firing to a 133" Dalite HP screen.
To clear one thing up, to date commercial Blu-Ray disc are being produced using 3 video codecs: VC1, AVC (MPEG4) and MPEG-2. MPEG-2 is probably going away though for BD production.
I have no doubt that the 720p HD stream of The Thing from the Roku player looked quite good. It is also quite possible that the original authoring on DVD was sub-par.
Did not know that Netflix was now using the VC-1 codec in the 1.5 FW update. Must be a special version to get decent PQ with only 2.6 or so Mbps down? What is the memory size in the Roku box? There is much I do not know about the specifications of the cute little $99 box. I will learn as the device now offers a utility that before the update did not exist.
What I do know is that to compare the Oppo 983 to the Memorex MVD-2045 is more than a stretch. To say that Oppo pioneered this territory a few years ago and now the cheapest players have these features is leaving just about all of the details out of the picture, (pun intended).
The 983 uses the Anchor Bay chipset for de-interlacing and scaling. With that and other parts of the design the 983 is the first and only DVD player to date to receive a perfect 100% score from the Secrets website. Yes reviews that include rather expensive players from Denon and others.
I have no idea what chipset is in the Magnavox player. Speculation was that the ABT chip cost Oppo around $90 per unit.
With the best authored DVD's guests in my theater have been fooled into thinking that they are watching HD. Comparisons to BD from the PS3 have been closer than I would have expected. I need to upgrade to 1080p
OK, back to the Roku. Since I do not have the down speed to watch Netflix streaming in 720p HD my conclusions are incomplete.
A thought though. With this new FW the player scales to 720p (from 480p) if the display device in the menu is selected as HDTV? And if Anamorphic 16:9 is selected than 480p is sent?
The Reon processor in my 9.8 might do a better job with scaling. This stuff is a bit more complicated than just 20 years ago.
Just watched a bit of "Air Force One" from the Roku. Not too shabby. The variance in PQ from selected titles in the queue is a puzzle.
If you go over to the forums on Roku's site it would seem many are not happy with 1.5. Growing pains.
The future, is not here yet. As, for example, Netflix with their effort has to get past a 2.0 audio stream.