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I just got a Panasonic AX100 projector from PP, and they packaged the Oppo 970 with it.

I really wanted the 981, but they would not credit the value of the 970 towards the 981.


So now I have this thing, and I hooked it up to the projector. I already have a potential buyer for it, but now I am not sure if I want to sell it or keep it.


The Panasonic projector has really good deinterlacing & scaling, so if I send it a 480i signal over component from my old DVD player (Sony S7000) it looks really good. I have not yet A/B'ed the Oppo vs. the Sony, but i did hook up the Oppo and compared the HDMI output vs component output, at all available resolutions -- 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i. THe differences were slight at best. If I really strained my eyes, I would say that the HDMI 720p signal looked the best, letting the Oppo handle the processing, and the projector just passing the signal. But 480i over component was really good too.


The DVD player didn't cost me anything. But if I decide to keep it rather than sell it, then it has effectively cost me money. After reading about macroblocking issues with Faroujda chips, I am not so sure that I want to upgrade to the 981 now. I may just wait for the HDDVD/BluRay battle to be over and get a new deck at that point. Furthermore, since i don't have an HDMI switcher, I would have to choose which source -- DVD player or HD cable -- gets component and which gets HDMI. My thought is that since the DVD player is scaled, I would just use component, and the cable is native 720p so I would use HDMI. (I know -- I can always get an HDMI switcher.)


I do like the 970. I like its small size, audio features, and fast operation. All the different play/search speeds are nice too. And it is dead silent in its operation, whereas my Sony's transport is rather noisy. Oh and it reads DTS soundtracks, whereas my Sony does not.


But for picture quality, it is not a significant upgrade. Should I keep it, or sell it, and put the cash towards a better deck?


Oh -- and if I do keep it, should I use the coax digital audio output to my receiver? Or is the audio processing in the player so good that I should use the 5.1 analog outputs?


Thanks!

-- Peter
 

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Since the quality of the HD program material from your HD Cable (most of them at least) is pretty much the same using the Component vs. the HDMI connections, I would use the HDMI for your DVD player (your 970H, if you decide to keep it, or HD-DVD/Blu-Ray - future).


Your real choice is to either sell the 970 and wait to get the 981, or to keep it. That's a choice that only you can make. Since you got the 970 as a discount for your AX100, keeping it is cheaper than replacing it with the 981. If you think the 981 is that much better than the 970, get it. With the AX100, you're not likely to see much difference in the picture quality, so it's the other features of the 981 that may make it more desireable, compared to the 970.


Remember, in a couple of years, there will be more desireable DVD players (HD features, etc.). If I were in your shoes, I would keep the 970 and save my money (& hassle) and get a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player (or the LG dual format version) in a year or two.
 
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