Originally Posted by millerwill
UCSB, tonydeluce, and others that have tried out dvd players with the 1080p Sammies:
Is it a correct summary of your observations to say that the Denon (and other Faroudja [sp?] chipped ones) is sharper than the Sammy 950 (with the Zoran chip) but induces some degree of macroblocking?
millerwill ... I was in the Magnolia HiFi in San Ramon yesterday testing DVD players. When I left, there was the Samsung 950, Denon 3910, and Panasonic S97 connected to the HLR5678W (or on the stand and could be quickly reconnected). You might want to go over there and take a quick look.
There was enough macroblocking on both the 3910 and S97 that I ruled them out. To be fair to the S97, it has a number of settings and I did not try all of the settings. Perhaps there is a setting, such as sharpness, which can be used to reduce macroblocking. I'm not an expert with the 3910 and perhaps there is some combination of settings that may reduce the problem on that player also.
From Tony's posting last night, it seems he has given up on the 3910 and has ordered a Pioneer 59. Since he already owns the 3910, I assumed that he had tried everything to get around the macroblocking problem. I would guess the same is true for the S97. Just to be be clear ... these players may look very good with many DVD's. It is just that on some DVD's and scenes they become annoying.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I ruled the Faroudja players out before I even got the the step where I would have compared softness of the image. My personal working assumption is that all of the Faroudja players (including the OPPO, Panasonic S77) now must be evaluated to see if the problem is present in all of them.
I did do some A / B comparisons between the S97 and 950 and IF the 950 has a softer image it was not a problem. Perhaps it is something that can be tweaked with the sharpness adjustment on the TV. Macroblocking is 10 times more of a problem than softness when looking at the images.
From my perspective, the Samsung 950 is now my baseline player and the challenge will be to find something without the macroblocking that is better than it (Pioneer 59?, but out of my price range prior to HD DVD). The first time I tested DVD players, I thought I was using a Samsung 941, but now realize that it may have been a 850. I couldn't get 1080i working on it (adapter problem?) so I was using 480p over HDMI and I thought it looked very good (maybe better than 1080i on 950 [possible black crush problem, though]). I was on a 50" set. Stepping up to a 56" for my last round of tests made everything look less sharp, but there may be an approach with the Zoran players where the best image may be at 480p (this is unconfirmed). Maybe someone with a 950 can quickly test 480i, 480p, 1080i and let us know which is best.