Originally Posted by JohnAV
Interesting, what HDMI resolution are you using to input to your HL-T5089 when you did this comparison, at 480i or are you scaling it a bit to 720P or 1080i? I assume you compared both the DV-400V to DV-970HD at several settings?
My Samsung HL-T5089 uses a Faroudja chip which is better than the Mediatek chip in the 400V and OPPO 970. Therefore it does a better job scaling and deinterlacing the image than either player. I use my OPPO at 1080i but in all fairness since the Samsung DLP is doing the scaling and deinterlacing the difference between 480P, 720P, or 1080i settings on either the OPPO or Pioneer will be minimal at best. If you choose either 480P or 720P then the DVD player does the deinterlacing and the tv does the scaling. I have read and heard that most 1080P televisions do a very good job at upconverting a 1080i signal so that is why I chose that setting. That way my Samsung tv does the deinterlacing and the scaling. I have tried every possible resolution setting on my OPPO 970 and the differences are basically imperceptible (sharpness varied slightly, but color and detail were the same). I found this to be true with the 400V as well at least on my Samsung HL-T5089. So to simplify things I just did the comparision at 1080i. I did try switching the 400V to 1080P and found the image quality was slightly worse because I was bypassing the Samsung tv's deinterlacer and scaler and using the 400V deinterlacer and scaler.
There are several rules of thought when it comes to upconverting. One, if the television has a better scaler/deinterlacer than the DVD player then output an interlaced signal 480i if the tv can handle it or 1080i. That way the television does the deinterlacing and the scaling to 1080P. Two, if the DVD player has the better deinterlacer and scaler and can output 1080P then let it do all the work and bypass the television deinterlacer/scaler. Three If they both have the same or equivalent deinterlacer and scaler chips then have the DVD player do the deinterlacing (output 480P) and let the television do the scaling. All things considered the quality of the DVD player components and their implementation make a much bigger difference in picture quality than the resolution settings. If you find a big difference in picture quality between 480P, 720P, and 1080i settngs then the manufacturer used a very cheap deinterlacer/scaler chip or chips or they did a poor job configuring the units to work with the chipset or chipsets.
If you go to a web site like www.hometheaterhifi.com
which does very in depth DVD player reviews you'll find alot of manufacturers use the Mediatek chips and yet the scores vary widely between units. They praise OPPO for their implementation of the Mediatek chipset and mark down other manufacturers for their poor implementation of the same chipset. It is refreshing having a company like OPPO that only releases new units when their are significant improvements over previous models and only after several months of beta testing by consumers. The OPPO DV-970HD has been on the market for over two years now and OPPO is continuing to issue free firmware updates to fix problems and add new features to the units. If it was any other manufacturer you would have to buy the next years model and hope they fixed problems from the previous years model. OPPO's parent company is one of the largest OEM electronics manufacturers in the world so they are well supported. Sorry to keep waving the OPPO flag so to speak but they are unique when it comes to electronics manufacturers. Don't take my word for it do a search on OPPO DV-970HD reviews and see for yourself.
Paying a premium for a 1080P DVD player only makes sense if it has a better scaler and deinterlacer than your television has.
I use to sell high end audio video equipment and do custom installs. I have several friends in the industry who keep me up to date on this stuff.