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The Oppo 983 represents a new market niche that Toshiba intends to exploit as well--getting the most out of std. def DVDS while we wait to see what happens to Blu-ray.
After all, there are about 50,000 titles in DVD and 400 in Blu-ray. How long will it be before we get Blu-ray Live 2.0? How long until Universal, Paramount, and Warner put out Blu-ray versions of established HD DVD titles? How long until pre-2005 films start showing up on Blu-ray? How long until we see an affordable Blu-ray player that is a really good Red Book player, does HDCD, SACD, and DVD-A (which won't come from Sony)? Maybe never?
In the meantime, you can have all of that now with the Oppo 983, except for Blu-ray playback.
I just ordered a 983 for it's list price of $400. Maybe crazy, we'll see. They are back ordered so should hold their value for a while. I got in the queue some weeks ago but that was before the reviews hit. Reviews for the 983 are spectacular.
My plan is to use 983 for upconverting SD DVD's, but to compare that upconversion over time to whatever BluRay player I have. Like Cytocycle mentioned, current BluRay players that are reasonably priced are said, by reviewers, to be not as good at upconverting SD as some of the dedicated SD players.
If I find over time that the BluRay player does as good a job at upconverting as the Oppo 983, then, it becomes a tougher call about keeping the Oppo at that point. The Oppo does have SACD, DVD Audio, etc and is said to be rather good at music via it's analogue outs, and I think it's a good looker too...... So if it's got a used value at that point of say $200, might be worth keeping anyway. we shall see.
ps: I'm holding off on BluRay for a bit, until I see how the v2 issue unfolds. Probably will get a PS3 or Panasonic in a few months.