Panasonic BMD-35K AND Oppo 981? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-05-2008, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I just picked up a new Panasonic 35 blu ray player. I currently have an Oppo 981 as my DVD player. I would like to get opinions on whether or not I need both in my system. I have a new Denon 2309CI as my new AV reciever and a Sony KDS 55" Rear projection 1080P set.

I guess my question is will the Panasonic upconvert standard DVD's as well (or close enough) to the Oppo? Doesn't the Denon do upconvert as well?

I have the HDMI inputs for both, but if the difference in PQ is negible, I would look to sell the Oppo on ebay or Craiglist.

I used the AVS forum to help me select these new items and I really appreciate the viewpoints those more experienced than me had to help me select the best equipment for my budget.

Thanks in advance for helping me out with this.
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-05-2008, 04:11 PM
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YOU are the best person to determine if which of the two (if any) does a better job. Set ups vary for home to home....so to make a judgement is a guess for anyone of us to do it. Plus, your estimation of PQ may differ greaty from mine or another member. Just review the Dark Knight Pix thread in the BR software forum to see that it's polar opinions with ppl looking at the screen shot within the thread, never mind the actual movie. Not to belabor the point (since I'm afraid I have), your eyes are realy the only one that matters in this case.
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-05-2008, 04:46 PM
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If you've already got both players at home, stick a stand def movie in the Panny and then the same movie in the Oppo. if you can't tell if a difference keep the Panny. If the Oppo is clearly better, keep both.

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post #4 of 17 Old 12-05-2008, 06:06 PM
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I have both of those models now as well. I got the Oppo 981HD some months back in the $99 woot deal and got the BD35K last Monday with the 40% off ebay/paypal/live.com deal.

I'm still keeping the Oppo for the best standard DVD upconversion, the Faroudja chip has the best de-interlacing for oddball discs. I also get DIVX video capability on the Oppo, good for playback of downloaded video files. The BD35 doesn't support DIVX files.
Testing with only one or a few DVDs may not show the differences significantly, since certain DVDs have strange mastering that the superior deinterlacer of the Oppo can handle better. Also some chipsets oversharpen the image that some people like, while the 981 may appear a bit softer.
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post #5 of 17 Old 12-05-2008, 07:35 PM
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lets see, sacd and dvd-audio arent included in teh panny, so id assume those would be something youd want. if not ill buy your oppo off you
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-06-2008, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback. Yes, I will do some testing on my own to see if there is any notable difference and that ultimatley I will make the decision based on what I see. I just wanted to hear what others thought based on their own experiences or on technical knowledge of the two players upconversion capabilities.

One of the reviews read that led me to purchase the Panasonic 35 was in Home Theater Magazine. Two things regarding standard DVD playback:
"They support full deinterlacing of high-definition and standard DVD playback with great results".
"You would be truly be hard pressed to find better video performance with Blu-Ray and DVD playback at any price."

Reading this, it would seem to a non-expert like me that the Oppo and Panasonic would be redundant as far as playing my standard DVD's go.

Now as far as DVD-Audio and SACD, thanks Truffleshuffle83 for reminding me about that. I pulled out my old Panasonic XP50 out of the closet that I bought years ago to play DVD-Audio and actually found the 2 DVD-Audios disks that I have. Completely forgot about them. Gotta give them a try with the Oppo. Am I correct that they are no longer making DVD-Audio disks? A quick look at Amazon and Best Buy's websites seem the incicate that. What about SACD? My interest would be in classic rock titles.

I'll give the testing a go and in the meantme look for further replys.

Thanks!
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-06-2008, 11:46 AM
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Got the same setup, hooked to a Panny AX200U (720p). BD-35 just got here last night.

The Blu Ray looks amazing (ran Men In Black as a first test). The detail (especially background) and colors are certainly a noticeable improvement over DVD.

That being said, having had the Blu Ray experience (Are you experienced?... or have you ever been experienced? Well, I have...) what really impressed me is how well my Oppo does upscaling far inferior source material.

Haven't done a side-by-side comparison with standard DVD upscaling, but I'm keeping my Oppo 981 - if only out of loyalty.

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post #8 of 17 Old 12-06-2008, 12:05 PM
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CD universe has many titles available in both formats.
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-06-2008, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joxer View Post

I also get DIVX video capability on the Oppo, good for playback of downloaded video files. The BD35 doesn't support DIVX files.

??

The BD35K does support DivX files. Not all codecs (DX50 is missing, DV50 is supported), but many.

Steve
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-06-2008, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dman127 View Post

I just picked up a new Panasonic 35 blu ray player. I currently have an Oppo 981 as my DVD player. I would like to get opinions on whether or not I need both in my system. I have a new Denon 2309CI as my new AV reciever and a Sony KDS 55" Rear projection 1080P set.

I guess my question is will the Panasonic upconvert standard DVD's as well (or close enough) to the Oppo? Doesn't the Denon do upconvert as well?

I have the HDMI inputs for both, but if the difference in PQ is negible, I would look to sell the Oppo on ebay or Craiglist.

I used the AVS forum to help me select these new items and I really appreciate the viewpoints those more experienced than me had to help me select the best equipment for my budget.

Thanks in advance for helping me out with this.


I have the Panasonic bd30 blu-ray player and an Oppo 981. I keep the 981 not necessarily for picture quality, but ease of use, faster menus and above all, faster layer changes.

Unless you are playing the pics side by side, the difference in picture quality for SD discs will probably not be apparent. However, the first time I saw a layer change (which only occurs on SD discs), I decided I'm keeping the 981 for now. Layer changes are virtually unnoticeable on the 981, but are noticeable on my bd30 (and probably the bd35 as well).

Another reason to keep the 981, which may not apply to you, is this. I have a 720p projector. I find the best picture with blu-ray discs is setting the blu-ray player to output 1080i. However, the best picture for SD discs is to have the Oppo 981 output 720p.

So this way, I don't have to change the output depending on whether I'm playing blu-ray or SD in the blu-ray player.

Forget picture quality, there are plenty of other reasons for keeping a good SD player around for a little while longer.

You have the hdmi inputs. The Oppo takes up virtually no room. Is the $75.00 you'd likely get from ebay worth it? Nah.
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post #11 of 17 Old 12-06-2008, 10:41 PM
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I have both the Panasonic BDM-35 blu-ray player and the Oppo 981 dvd player hooked up to a Mitsubishi 1000U 720p projector. I would agree that the Oppo upconverts SD better than the Panny.
I was also considering pulling the Oppo out of the rack, however after viewing Superbit version of Fifth Element and other familiar source material, I decided against it. I figured since the Toshiba A1 HD DVD player can stay the more the merrier. The Oppo is also my dedicated CD player as well as my theater intro player. Although I would suggest that you decide for yourself how much better the image is or isn't.
Caesar, I will try setting the Panny blu-ray player at 1080i vs 720p. I thought I read that others got the best results from setting the player to match the native resolution of the display.
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post #12 of 17 Old 12-06-2008, 11:12 PM
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I just picked up a BD-35 today to replace my Oppo 971.

I was very surprised how poorly it compared to the Oppo in my set up. I had researched the purchase for a long time and almost every review said how good the Panny upconversion was. I have probably watched the same few scenes of FOTR a couple of dozen times as I have been fine tuning things recently, so I'm very familiar with what they look like on the Oppo, and IMO - the comparison isn't even close.

Detail is much, much better with the Oppo. It's so obvious in fact, that I am questioning whether I have a setting wrong. Although I can't find what it would be.

I'll be interested to hear your experiences.
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post #13 of 17 Old 12-07-2008, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todzilla View Post

Caesar, I will try setting the Panny blu-ray player at 1080i vs 720p. I thought I read that others got the best results from setting the player to match the native resolution of the display.

It depends on which scalar is better -- the one in the blu-ray player or the one in your display. My Epson projector has a so-so scalar, but the blu-ray scaler is just so - so as well. So rather than have the blu-ray player downscale to 720p from 1080p, I have it downscale to 1080i, then my Epson converts that to 720p.

I checked several films, and this gives me the best picture.

It will likely depend on your display. But I do know that the blu-ray player is really meant to output 1080p, but it handles 1080i okay (which is an easy conversion to make). It does not handle outputting 720p that well. Otherwise I would have set it to output 720p.
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post #14 of 17 Old 12-07-2008, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJD View Post

I just picked up a BD-35 today to replace my Oppo 971.

I was very surprised how poorly it compared to the Oppo in my set up. I had researched the purchase for a long time and almost every review said how good the Panny upconversion was. I have probably watched the same few scenes of FOTR a couple of dozen times as I have been fine tuning things recently, so I'm very familiar with what they look like on the Oppo, and IMO - the comparison isn't even close.

Detail is much, much better with the Oppo. It's so obvious in fact, that I am questioning whether I have a setting wrong. Although I can't find what it would be.

I'll be interested to hear your experiences.


Wow. I was looking to replace my Oppo 971 with the BD35 also. I have the BD35 upstairs where I have a 1080P Panasonic set. I played a standard def disc there (Cream reunion disc) outputing 1080p and it looked fabulous. My brother couldn't tell the difference between that and a bluray movie. So I thought I would replace my Oppo downstairs where it only plays on a 720p/1080i set so I could watch Bluray discs downstairs (even though I can't utilize 1080p).
Now you have me wondering what to do.
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-07-2008, 09:45 AM
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Dudley-

Move your BD35 downstairs and give it a shot. I would be curious to see if you notice the same thing I did.

My TV is only 720p/1080i as well, so maybe that has something to do with it. Blu Ray's do look fantasitic on this set, so my hunch is that I won't be watching many standard DVDs too much any more.
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-08-2008, 08:57 PM
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Another 981HD/BD35 owner here. I've noticed the Oppo doing a better job at upconverting then the Panasonic but the real reason I kept it was the sheer speed and ease of use of the Oppo. Like mentioned before layer changes are fast and load times are as well.
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post #17 of 17 Old 12-13-2008, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJD View Post

Dudley-

Move your BD35 downstairs and give it a shot. I would be curious to see if you notice the same thing I did.

My TV is only 720p/1080i as well, so maybe that has something to do with it. Blu Ray's do look fantasitic on this set, so my hunch is that I won't be watching many standard DVDs too much any more.

Unfortunately, it's such a hassle because these units are in cabinets and are a pain to remove and reinstall. I guess I will keep the Oppo downstairs for now until the price of the BD35 really drops to $150. I think I will pull the trigger then. As I said earlier, I watched the Cream reunion disc on the BD35 and it looked and sounded fantastic.
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