I don't own either but after reading about both, I believe the S97 is better built and offers better performance. It is worth the extra money, the market usually is correct. The S97 is a big seller and difficult to find at the current price.
I was worth it for me. My S97 540 firmware unit will play PAL discs natively. My Optoma PJ accepts PAL or NTSC. This is good, because converting PAL-NTSC introduces artifacts & speeds up the play. I also hacked my S97 for regionfree with a chipped remote control. It is the ultimate regionfree player IMO. The current S97 & S77 won't play PAL.
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