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Comparison of hardware vs. software DVD players

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if anyone has done recent comparisons (within the last year or two) of software DVD players such as PowerDVD vs. the better hardware players (such as Oppo).

I am thinking that upscaling technology is pretty mature in PC software. Software DVD players have been upscaling to fill monitor screens since they were first released (probably nearly ten years).

I just got a 1080p projector, and comparing different DVD sources to each other and blu-ray. I have compared several software players with my old Denon DVD-2900 (which does not upscale, but is pretty good at deinterlacing) and the PS3. PowerDVD on my vista PC seems to have the best quality to me, with many controls over the upscaling and deinterlacing processes that can be tweaked depending on the material. It seems to bring DVDs very close to blu-ray. I was not so happy with the Denon. Probably my projector doesn't upscale well enough (my older projector may have had a better scaler). The PS3 is pretty good, but not as good as PowerDVD.

I am interested in whether the Oppo blu-ray player or some other player might offer improved results (for DVD) over software players. Of course a hardware player has many other benefits (simplicity, ergonomics, looks, reliability, etc.). I am thinking though, if I want the best possible quality, what would give me that?

Any ideas, comparison, or links to interesting posts or articles are welcome.

Of course I am also interested in blu-ray--but my thinking is that there is not likely to be so big a difference with blu-ray players (software vs. hardware). Perhaps I am wrong about that, but I don't see too much difference between blu-ray in PowerDVD 9 and the PS3. (They both look great!!)
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
I assume the lack of response is due to a) participants in this forum are just interested in hardware DVD players and not familiar with the software players (I could have posted the question in the HTPC forum but didn't want to dual post and figured they might similarly not be interested in hardware DVD players) or b) this question has been asked and answered too many times, and I somehow missed the discussions in my searches. Mostly my searches turned up discussions that compared software players, or that compared hardware players, but never comparing them directly to each other.
post #3 of 4
Quite a while ago Kris Deering (I think it was him) reviewed some PC DVD software. IIRC the deinterlacing was not quite up to par with the best DVD players at the time. By now that may have well changed, don't know.

Using a HTPC vs Standalone Player usually comes down to whether or not one wants the "issues" a having to deal with a PC in a HT or not. The dividing line is getting more blurry today, but still there is a difference in how one interacts with either one.

post #4 of 4
Another possibility is that many (on this forum particularly) are looking to do away with shiny discs altogether by ripping to a file server and streaming them with an MCE or NMT type box. I'm thinking the market for software DVD players is shrinking rapidly.
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