Originally Posted by lyris
Considering that the LoTR DVDs are some of the most filtered, un-detailed standard def discs I've ever seen, the HD-XA2 must be doing a hell of a good job. Unless your friends were wowed by the quality of the cinematography rather than the video transfer as so many reviewers did...
BTW, regarding the Oppo. It's quite rightly raved about because in its' price range, it's excellent. But it's still a Faroudja-based player and I imagine the HD-XA2 will run circles around it with the chipset it has.
I'll be the first to admit my friends arent the most knowledgeable HD peeps, but they all own HD TV's and PS3's.....and yes LOTR(I must say the newer the Disk the better, the DL formats play best), does look almost like HD, not 1 grain..cystal clear. Example: Moria Crypt room fight scene, this scene is very hard on DVD players, and XA2 deals with it like childsplay. In the past all the motion in that scene would make difficult on the eyes. Not anymore.
Both the Oppo, and my Samsung HD960(1080P) are Faroudja based, partially why the Samsung is so good for the price. I would buy the Samsung DVD-HD960 over the new 1080P Oppo..because I believe the Samsung is more bang for the buck, and I only need basic HDMI SPDIF connections. Plus the Samsung has excellent features that use easily. I paid $150 for the Samsung 2 months ago, at that time I thought it was the cats meow for the superb 1080P unconversion(for price), Oppo had not released its 1080P player.
Added: LOTR-- Return of the King Example, Extended version disk 1
It's the subtle things too that I wasn't looking for, but jumped out at me. Until the XA2 got in my home, I never knew the Elven cloaks the fellowhip wears has a paisley-like pattern. Gandalph the White Robes, have a raised flowered quilt pattern. These are just a couple of details among many I never knew existed because the XA2 is so supreme, I have seen these dvd too many times to say