Originally Posted by joerod
Point taken. But for 3D it is head and shoulders above. My family and friends all agree.
Even with 3D, where the PS3 would still be bit-perfect, with Blu-ray content all the S790 can do differently is manipulate the image to something you might find more pleasing personally, but it is then inherently incorrect and not accurate. Looking at the controls the S790 offers, what they likely do:
Picture Quality Mode: Should be Standard, anything else is likely very incorrect.
Texture Remaster: Looks for repeated patterns and tries to "enhance" the details. Since you're already resolution limited, all it can do it either add edge enhancement and ringing, or add artifacts and remove fine detail.
Super Resolution: You can't "improve" resolution with 1080p content going to a 1080p source. You can add artifacts and ringing, which appear to improve sharpness, but there is no way to actually add detail. Using a wedge pattern on Spears and Munsil or another test disc could easily show off issues with this.
Smoothing: Likely some sort of block removal it is looking for in gradients.
Contrast Remaster: Attempting to alter the gamma on the fly by adjusting the Luma (Y component) output of the signal. This effectively kills your dynamic range in the image by making dark things brighter, and bright things darker. If you want to accomplish this, set the brightness and contrast on your display correctly, then bring up a black to white gradient, and adjust the gamma control to have things come out of black faster. You won't lose dynamic range this way either.
Clear Black: Same thing, just only for darker items (probably levels 16-40 or so I'd guess). It's probably taking a value of 16, remapping it to 25-30 or so, and mapping the other values up as well. This is costing you dynamic range and shadow detail, not adding it.
The thing is all of those features can be done in a projector or display, using the picture controls, without causing the side effects of doing it in the Blu-ray player. If you try to adjust the gamma in the Blu-ray player, the only way to do that is to cause yourself to lose dynamic range in the image, since you don't have extra bits to work with. If you keep your levels at reference in the player by turning off all these features, and then adjust the gamma in the projector or display instead (perhaps 1.9 instead of 2.2), you'll get the same effect, but keep the dynamic range of the source material instead of giving up that data for a brighter picture.
Sharpness and Detail controls in a projector can do the same thing as the enhancement controls in a Blu-ray player as well, but setting it beyond the point of just being sharp leads to artifacts and other issues. If Sony and other companies want to include all of these features to try to stand out and be noticed, that's fine, but reference level players like the Oppo don't include those features since all they do is degrade from the picture quality when enabled.
Originally Posted by apw2607
DVDs certainly look improved on the s790 compared to the ps3, with the default video options.
DVD scaling is a totally different thing than Blu-ray image quality.