The Beta Testers just got the word that the non-disclosure restrictions are lifted on the OPPO BDP-103D, so we can talk about our experience with it as relates to the first, production firmware.
My take on Darbee is that it is processed video -- i.e., a step away from "accurate" video rendering. However, unlike the vast majority of "enhancement" video processing offered out there, THIS deviation from accurate is actually PLEASING.
I.e., if you want the most accurate rendering of the content as recorded, then leave Darbee processing OFF. But if you turn it ON and find you actually LIKE what it is doing to the video, there's no reason to be shocked by that or consider it some sort of guilty pleasure.
Next, the trick to using Darbee as a "set and forget" setting is to keep the processing percentage LOW.
Darbee offers 3 processing modes: Hi-Def, Full Pop, and Game. (I've not done any experimenting with Game).
Hi-Def is best used with HD content -- 720p, 1080i, or 1080p.
Full Pop is the better choice for SD content.
For Hi-Def (with HD content), I recommend you keep the processing percentage at 35% or less for a "set and forget" setting. You may find some content where you can go a bit higher, but you will also find some content where the Darbee processing is too distracting. Using 35% or less minimizes the chances of that.
For Full Pop (with SD content), I recommend you keep the processing percentage at 30% or less. Same reasoning.
Generally speaking, Darbee will work better with better quality content. For example noise in SD content may be emphasized too much even with Full Pop held at 30% or less.
One thing that may not be obvious when you start playing with the Darbee controls, is that the processing percentage is remembered SEPARATELY for each Darbee processing mode. So you can set 35% for HI-Def, 30% for Full Pop, and something else for Game, and those percentages will be remembered as you switch between the processing modes.
In addition, the 103D, like the 103, provides three whole SETS of Picture Adjustment settings, and the Darbee percentages you select are remembered separately in each set as well.
I've also experimented with combining higher Darbee percentages and the VRS Picture Adjustment controls to try to tone that down a bit. There are some fun possibilities to explore here, but in the end I feel it is really best to limit your Darbee use to the lower percentage settings I've stated here. Then also limit your use of the VRS adjustments to problematic content which needs some assistance.
This is just my personal take on all this of course. As more folks report here you will likely get additional suggestions, and you can play with all of those as time allows.
But remember, truly "accurate" rendering is achieved by turning off both Darbee and the VRS adjustments, and leaving the video level adjustments (e.g., Brightness) at their factory default (0) values.
ETA: In addition to the "Split Screen" and "Swipe Screen" Demo Modes for Darbee, I found another trick useful for getting a feel for what a given percentage level of Darbee processing is doing:
The Full Pop and HI-Def choices for Darbee are positioned either side of OFF in the menu line for that, and that line "wraps around" in choices. So you can easily toggle back and forth between either Full Pop and OFF or between OFF and HI-Def to see what's up. Try this on a Paused image and I think you'll be surprised just how much even LOW percentages of Darbee are doing. Whereas with moving imagery and the two Demo modes, you might not actually pick out the Darbee changes until you get to a higher percentage setting.
ETA 2: The VRS adjustments ALSO provide a Demo Mode -- in this case just Split Screen is available. If you turn on the Demo Modes for *BOTH* Darbee and VRS then both really are active. In both cases the portion of the screen to the left of the divider is processed and the portion to the right of the divider is unprocessed.
Edited by Bob Pariseau - 9/30/13 at 6:56pm