Originally Posted by Smarty-pants
It does not have sharpness, detail, and edge enhancment controls that fuse with a superior deinterlacing and scaling solution as well refined as the VRS form Anchor Bay. Thus the potential for better overall PQ with the BDP-83.
Your reply sounds like a marketing bullet or something? The Pioneer has sharpness/detail/color controls and three memory slots you can program different settings in, you originally claimed that it did not. Instead of backpedaling with the above reply, lets just agree your original statement was incorrect.
The -51 has been publicly available for sale to the general public for quite a long time. It does NOT internally decode DTS HD/MA, and it WILL NOT do so until said fw is released... IF it ever DOES get released.
No criticism can be bestowed upon the BDP-83 as a product that is in circulation, because it is not for sale to the general public. Even if there could be any such criticism forthcoming, it would be moot, as the BDP-83 already decodes DTS HD/MA. Imagine that, actually having the ability to do what it advertises before being sold for profit. What an amazing concept.
If you stuck with Oppo exclusively, you would still be watching DVD as Oppo still has no publically available Blu-ray player. That was not an option for many, many, many enthusiasts who wanted a Blu-ray player last year. The DTS-MA firmware the 51FD will be derived from is already available for beta testing. Thinking it will therefore not be released with it already being in beta is as silly as thinking the BDP-83 won't be released, either.
You could criticize Pioneer for taking so long on the DTS-MA update, but you could similarly criticize Oppo for taking so long to release a player at all!
The -51 can not decode hi res audio from HDAD and SACD discs. That is a shortcoming of the player when caomparing apples to apples against the BDP-83. If you do not wish to participate in the what Dvd Audio has to offer, that is your perogative, however to say it is a dead format is quite simply a fabrication of the truth. Dvd Audio software is still being produced and manufactured. That would make it very alive.
...and just because you can not hear the difference between the sampling rates, does not mean others can not. No wonder you don't like the format.
Here is a scientific study published by the Audio Engineering Society regarding the audibility of hires (i.e. 24/192) vs. standard (16/44.1) audio:http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=14195
They found there was no audible difference at normal listening levels even with audiophiles & professional engineers using their favorite SACD/DVD-A recordings downcoverted to CD resolution vs native output on reference equipment. Even with the extra 16bit/44.1khz A/D/A inserted to do the realtime downconversion there was no significant difference found. Can you offer a credible scientific article to rebuff this argument?
This is realistically also why DVD-A/SACD never even came close to mainstream acceptance and failed in the end - they simply didn't offer a significant audible difference for most people to upgrade over their CDs.
If you want good sounding audio, your best bet is to focus on obtaining audio with a high quality master. Not the commonly distorted/non-dynamic masters we've seen recently as a result of the loudness war. This will go miles and miles further sonically than hires audio does. That being said, the 51FD does support hires audio in the current hires audio standard (BD-Audio), and actually supports some aspects of it better than some $2000+ receivers do (like multich hires TrueHD).
As you would guess I don't really buy into the hires audio codecs sounding better, I think it is primarily a marketing gimmick to resell the same content over with more DRM on top of it. Not that some of the hires audio discs don't sound better than CD counterparts, but this is due primarily to mastering. What would be best is if they went back to mastering CDs properly, but the MP3 generation seems to have doomed this idea. I have one SACD (1812 overture SACD/CD hybrid), and a couple of DVD-A/DualDisc releases. I also had direct access to the top of the line Sony ES SACD player on a reference system when it came out as I actually sold electronics back then. Despite my disposable income at the time I never bought into either format as I found other upgrades (speaker, amp, preamp, player, etc) were much more worthwhile in delivering a better audio experience than the cost of a top of the line hires audio player and all the hires releases. The linked scientific study appears to backup my conclusion.
Where is the concensus that the -51 sounds better than the -83? Since we are pulling statistics out of our butts, then I feel free to say that I highly doubt the discrete stereo analog output of the -51 sounds better than the -83.
If you debate this point of mine, couldn't you similarly state that most of your statistics are "pulled out of your butt" since you have no 51FD and never did an A/B comparison with one?
The consensus is what I've read from the Oppo/Pio owners thread and this thread as well. i.e. winston9332's postings on the topic
. The Oppo is good, but not quite as good as the Pioneer. Most seem to also agree the Pio's DAC is also slightly better than the Oppo's based on specs, though both are excellent - obviously the whole analog stage is important though in addition to the DAC.
On one plane you are correct. Most of the time, with moderately sized displays, this can ring true. However on large projection systems like mine, it is much more apparant on most dvds. As well as most dvds have lots of these problems, because most dvds... are not perfect. This is what makes the VRS so valuable. It is not used sporadically with standard def, it is used constantly.
Most mainstream studio movies have no significant issues that would pop up between these two players. Where you will run into most of these differences are in various TV shows and indie studio releases. But again, they are shades of excellence even on a large display. The fact that the 51FD outperforms the highly regarded Reon in my tests points to it being an overall excellent upconverter. It also scored highly on the Secrets upscaling tests post the 1.17 FW upgrade which overhauled the SD DVD performance.