Originally Posted by wmcclain
Not necessarily. There are limits as to what can be done and we've been close to the limit for a while now.
Blu-ray requires very little extra video processing and for DVD some people like the ABT solution in the -83 better than the QDEO used in the -93 and -103. Both are very capable implementations.
Well on this topic, I can't really speak from vast experience for DVD and the relative qualities of the "add-on video processing" applied to BluRay vs. DVD, for all three players. But my own feeling is that for the few DVD's I've played on all three I do think the image results from the 93/103 are superior. And of course it's really hard to tell if there's any real impact when watching BluRay movies. I would expect that only when using a stationary test pattern and side-by-side players/monitors could you really have a legitimate basis for comparison.
On the other hand I can very definitely speak for the "magic" apparently applied by QDEO in the 103 when using external HDMI input which is broadcast-quality HDTV (both OTA/ATSC as well as cable-provided HD channels which have a broad range of bitrates and MPEG-2 compression quality).
I have a three Linksys DMA2100 Windows Media Center Extenders delivering HDTV around the house from my HTPC. And one of them is now routed THROUGH the external back-HDMI input of the new BDP-103 (where the output video then goes to my Yamaha RX-V867 via HDMI and then on via HDMI to my Sony 34XBR60 HDTV). Before the 103 arrived the DMA2100 was connected directly to its own HDMI source input on the AVR. So I can (at least from memory) visually compare the results of (a) direct connection of DMA2100 through AVR to HDTV, and (b) relay connection of DMA2100 through 103/QDEO and on to AVR and HDTV.
And I IMMEDIATELY NOTICED A VERY SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT the very first time I watched something (in this case it was "The Graham Norton Show" on BBCAHD, 1080i). The picture was sharper, brighter, clearer, and with stunning color. I never had made such an observation before, because the picture never "stunned me" like it did when watching it "cleaned up" by the 103 (which is what I assumed had to be going on) for that first time in this new setup.
I've now made similar observations on other shows (e.g. "NBC Nightly News", also 1080i), in particular other 1080i "live" shows where things are mostly stationary on the set, so that it is very easy to focus on a particular part of it and make a mental note of how it reads to you.
This really was the reason I was motivated to buy the 103, was for its external HDMI inputs. In addition to the surprising improvement in video quality from the DMA2100 watching this way, this also buys me the decoding-to-LPCM and output via HDMI for DMA2100 HDTV input (same as for BluRay), in order to feed my Smyth Realiser (for headphone listening) via HDMI for ALL my sources (BluRay and HDTV). Previously I had to use the Realiser's analog inputs from the AVR's preamp outputs when the AVR was doing the DD5.1 decoding for the DMA2100. Now the 103 does the decoding (to LPCM) and I can use the preferred HDMI input on the Realiser.
Anyway, I never had a complaint about the single-HDMI 83, which I had for about 3 1/2 years. And originally all audio decoding was done in the AVR, for both BluRay and HDTV (both 83 and DMA2100 connected to HDMI inputs on the AVR), delivering analog from the preamp outputs to the analog inputs of the Realiser.
Wasn't until I bought an HDMI upgrade to the Realiser that I then bought the 93 (for its two HDMI outputs, with decoded-to-LPCM HDMI-2 going to HDMI input of the Realiser), still sending the DMA2100 through the AVR and analog to the Realiser.
And now finally, with the 103 and its external HDMI input, I can do the audio decoding-to-LPCM for the DMA2100 here so that ALL audio delivered to the Realiser is via HDMI. And I'm happy.