Originally Posted by MrJitters
[the 32"] Also accepts 1080p/60 from my Oppo, however with my picture better from the Oppo at 720p it certainly would confirm that to be the case.
IMO, since the KDL-32XBR4 has a good scaler of its own, you will get a better picture sending unscaled 480i into it from your DVD player than doing two scaling steps, one in the player and another in the TV. The panel is 768, not 720, plus there is overscan, so when you send 720p into the set, it will scale it up to about 800 lines. The other consideration is which component has a better deinterlacer - a cheap progressive scan DVD player will not do as good a job as the XBR4, and ISTR that the Faroudja processor in the Oppo 981 doesn't do the 480p conversion, so I wouldn't be too sure how well it would compare.
480i looks a tiny bit better than 480p to me on the KDL-32XBR4 (slightly smoother pans on some material). Again, it seems best to give the set a "raw" feed from the DVD to give the MotionFlow, etc. stuff the best chance of working - don't get two separate video processors involved if you can make one do the whole job in one step. When I tried the Oppo 981 with the KDL-32XBR4, I wasn't quite happy with the picture at 480p, so I swapped the player for the Oppo 980 (which has 480i over HDMI).
When I watch a PAL 576i DVD on my 32" XBR4 using my Oppo 980, I scale it to 1080i. That looks better to my eyes than scaling to 720p. (Scaling down to 480i would obviously be stupid.) Again, I think letting the TV's deinterlacer do its thing gives a better result with MotionFlow on the XBR4 series. The Oppo 981 did a better job with PAL conversions, but the 980 is decent and I have very few PAL discs.
Overall, I think there is too much "received wisdom" about the importance of upscaling DVD players; reality is that technology is moving so fast that we have constantly to reevaluate our beliefs.
All of the above refers to real DVDs, not torture test discs and is merely the set of implicit and explicit compromises that works best for me. Life is all about compromises...