What do you do when you have an HDTV sitting in the middle of a stack of DVDs that aren't high definition? One solution to that problem is the Oppo Digital DV-970HD up-converting DVD player, which claims to be able to make standard-definition content look better on an HDTV. Similar to that Helios HVD2085 we mentioned yesterday, this player can up-rez DVDs to 720p or 1080i resolution. Helping things along is a clear digital path via an HDMI output. It adds a four-in-one flash memory card reader so you can look at your still photos, and you can play back DivX and XviD video files, too.
These up-rezzing players claim to be able to do the digital equivalent of turning water into wine, a sort of alchemy that's not really physically possible. Keep in mind that DVDs already look pretty damn good; they're already at 480p resolution when you play them back from a progressive scan player. But this is not going to be real HDTV playback, even with an up-rezzing player such as this. But how does it look? We have one of these Oppo players in-house and we'll be testing it soon, so we'll give you the full skinny as soon as we do. The good news about this player so far is that it sells for $149, not much more than everyday progressive-scan DVD players.
Product Page [oppo Digital]