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Upconverting DVD/DivX Player Battle Royale: Which is Right For You?

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.

We've looked at three Upconverting DVD/DivX players, and although it would be a great idea to put them up against each other, the fact that they're at three different price points kind of negates the premise.

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However, since they are at three price points with different amounts of functionality, we can recommend them to three different types of people.

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.
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First, the LG DN191H. It's small, thin, and only around $80. Although there are some shortcomings—lack of 5.1 for one—it's great for people who just want to watch some "HD" content on their new HD sets, but don't really care that much about audio quality or visual quality. Be prepared to miss out on features with this one.

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.


Next, for the mid-range crowd, there's the Oppo DV-981HD. It supports 1080p, has fantastic DivX support, and wi the Faroudja upconverting technology, DVDs look pretty darn great. You'll have to have pretty great eyes to see a difference between one player's upconversion and another player's—it's definitely not as big as the gaps between DVD and HD or DVD and upconverting—but this player does give you great image quality.

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At a price of $230, it's two or three times the price of the LG player, but you get 5.1 audio, 1080p support, and a better overall experience.

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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.


Lastly, there's the Helios X3000 network DVD/DivX player. This player has both Wi-Fi and 10/100 Ethernet, which means you can stream DivX movies off your PC without having to burn them to disc. Great.

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Add to that 5.1 optical and coax output, HDMI, 1080p resolution, and you've got DVD and DivX performance at least as good as the Oppo. Which is a good thing, because at the grand total of $379, you're paying a $149 premium to add that networking functionality.

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So to sum it up:
•Low-enders: LG DN191H [Best Buy]
•DVD/DivX Only: Oppo DV-981HD [Oppo]
•DVD/DivX With Networking: Helios X3000 [ModernJoys]

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DISCUSSION

billpendry
billpendry

Oppo players are considered to be possibly the best DVD players available in terms of picture quality. It surprises me that you throw out "DVD and DivX performance at least as good as the Oppo" for the Helios. What do you have to back that up?