Originally Posted by TomcatTLC
... Your "Expertise" (and anyone else's if they would like to comment) is requested. I have the 203 wired directly to my Sony Z Model Display with the 203 Audio out to a "NON" UHD AVR. I have a 103D wired through the Non UHD AVR and then to the display. Watching 1080 BD content through the 203 and the 103D and the 1080 BD PQ appears to be better on the 103D. Both players firmware are up to date, all HDMI Cables are certified UHD (even for the 103D), and I have tinkered with some of the settings on the 203 but the 103D 1080 BD PQ still looks better. Any thoughts on this, i.e. I do not have a 203 correct setting (all factory settings) and both players PQ should be the same or is this the added benefit of Darbee Processing ? Your thoughts and input (and anyone else's) would be very much appreciated. TIA and my apology if this matter has been addressed in earlier posts.
1- Darbee will make a difference if you are using Darbee processing on the 103D. If you like Darbee processing on BD and DVD content, you will probably prefer the 103D BUT part of that may be a familiarity effect. We tend to "like" what we're used to and to prefer it over something different when we make a change. Actually use the change for a while, long enough for it to become familiar, and then try swapping back to the old version and you may find you prefer the new. Initial preferences are often strongly influenced by a desire to see what we're used to and have liked up until the change.
2- It's not clear from your post whether you are using 1080p output from the 103D and having the TV upscale it to 4K or having the 103D do the upscaling to 4K but since you said that you have a "NON" UHD AVR I'm assuming you are using 1080p output from the 103D. I'm also not certain what your "NON" UHD AVR can do because it's possible that while it cannot accept and pass through 4K content, it could be possible that it can upscale 1080p content to 4K so it is possible that you are using your AVR for 4K upscaling. I assume that you have the 203 upscaling BD to 4K so my guess is that you're comparing BD content upscaled to 4K from the 203 against BD content upscaled to 4K elsewhere, probably by the TV but possibly by your AVR. That's another difference. I would expect the 203 to have a better upscaler than your AVR if it is doing the upscaling but it is possible that the TV has a slightly better upscaler than the 203. Either way, where you do the upscaling can make a difference to what you see on screen.
3- I'm not sure exactly what you mean when you say " I do not have a 203 correct setting (all factory settings)". That could mean that you have changed the 203's picture adjustment settings or that you have them all set to the factory defaults though I think you're saying that they are set to the factory defaults and you wonder whether there is a combination of settings you could make there which would be better. If so, it's hard to answer that because your TV settings could make a difference. If the TV has been calibrated, then the 203's factory defaults are what most of us would recommend. If you haven't had the TV calibrated, and especially if you've played with the TV's picture quality settings and/or have made adjustments to the 103D's settings apart from the Darbee settings, then things could be different because that will be influencing what you see as well, and influencing it in ways which no one can predict because we don't know what settings you may have changed on the TV or in the 103D.
So, yes, it's quite possible that you are seeing differences in picture quality between the 203 and the 103D for a variety of reasons, and it's quite possible that you prefer the BD results from the 103D for a variety of reasons including the Darbee processing.
Given that quite a few things can be making a difference, how do you work out which is best or rather what gives you the results you like most with BD?
The first thing I'd try is to work out where the upscaling is best done. Since it's probably that the TV is doing the upscaling for BDs played on the 103D, the first thing I'd do is compare BDs on the 203 with the 203 upscaling to 4K vs the 203 outputting 1080p and the TV doing the upscaling. If you prefer the TV doing the upscaling, then compare results from the 203 outputting 1080p to the results you're currently getting with the 103D. If you still prefer the 103D, then it's probably that it's the Darbee processing that's making the difference. If that's the case then you're going to be better off using the 103D for BD playback.
In order to see whether familiarity is driving that preference, then simply use the 203 for BD playback for a few days to a week or so until you stop noticing what it is you're "missing" and start to get a feel for what the 203 does, and then compare results from the 203 to what you get from the 103D with Darbee processing. Do you still prefer the 103D with Darbee processing? If so, you can be pretty sure that Darbee makes a positive difference for you. I've got a 105 and tried using a Darbee Darblet for a while and while I initially felt that Darbee made an improvement I ended up going back to the 105 without the Darblet because I found over time that while Darbee made a visible difference for me, I really preferred the picture without it. You may find if you live with the 203's BD performance for a while that you too actually prefer that result. I have no idea which way that experiment will work out for you but in the end whether you prefer Darbee processing with BDs or not is a personal preference and there's no right or wrong to that, it's what you like, but it can be hard to tell which you prefer when you're swapping from the 103D and a result using Darbee that you've become used to to the 203 without Darbee and a result that you're not used to.
If you have made changes to the factory defaults apart from Darbee on either player, then there are other comparisons that you could make but for a starting point I think working out whether you prefer BDs upscaled to 4K by the player or by the TV, and whether you prefer with or without Darbee, and which combination of those 2 factors is your preference should be the starting point for anything you do.
If you find that you're happy with the result from the 203 with the TV doing the upscaling, then in the 203's settings you can swap between Auto resolution for UHD discs which will give you 4K output and Custom resolution with a custom setting of 1080p for BD output and change the output resolution easily using the Resolution button on the 203's remote, or by setting the 203's output to Source Direct but that is going to bypass some of the 203's other settings for output processing. If you prefer BD with Darbee, then you're going to be faced with the choice of keeping both players in your system and using the 103D for BD playback or giving up Darbee if you want to only keep one player in your system.