Oppo DV-981HD Upconverting DVD Player Reviewed (Verdict: 1080p Alchemy)

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

I just reviewed the Oppo DV-981HD Universal DVD Player, and like its brandmate the Oppo DV-970, the player does a great job of up-rezzing regular old garden-variety DVDs to high definition. This one takes it a step further, though, up-rezzing that unwashed standard-def signal all the way to the holy-grail 1080p resolution.

Taking a look at the results on a 1080p set over HDMI, DVDs just never looked so good. That Faroudja up-rezzing technology under the hood pretty much performs magic, but don't get too excited: even at 1080p, up-rezzed DVDs don't look like real HDTV. Still, it's a remarkable value for $230.

Review: Oppo DV-981HD Universal DVD Player [Consumer Electronics Net]

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DISCUSSION

We need a Pogue-style comparison on the NY streets showing DVD's playing a 480i, 480p, 1080i, and 1080p and see how many can guess each. Smart money is on folks easily telling the 480i source, but the other three are likely to be confused as their quality would be more likely a comparison of how the TV displays that particular resolution.

Which is better at up-converting a 480p image:

1. A $250 DVD player.

2. A $5,000 HDTV.