Originally Posted by joeblow
And if the first question can be answered "yes", is the best use of the Oppo then become a matter of it being able to output 480i over HDMI as opposed to other DVD players?
Can't answer your first question, but I can answer the second.
One of the benefits of a quality DVD player is its ability to decode the DVD and transport it "unmolested" to the display device through an interlaced format. Analog is considered a "no no" for the simple reason that you are doing a digital to analog conversion, which could bring about ill wanted filtering and other manipulation. SDI modifications are rather expensive and fairly uncommon. Which leaves HDMI as next best digital transport vehicle.
What makes a good 480i DVD player is its decoding chipset. Because the primary goal of a 480i signal is to try to get a signal which directly corresponds to the quality of the encode, you want a decoding chipset that will do little, if no, alterations to the signal. A good chip will not add visual enhancers which alters the original video components, as your external scaler is designed to do this job in a much more precise manner.