The player that beat out all others in the Secrets of Home Theater and hifi bench tests for video performance is the Oppo at $199.00. upconverts and has a DVI. Oppodigital.com
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The Oppo 971 is generally considered to have the best video quality regardless of price. It is $199 direct from the manufacturer. When tested by "Secrets of HT", it had the best score of all time when using its DVI output. The unit ships with a DVI cable and a DVI-HDMI cable, so you save another $20-$100 by not needing to purchase a cable.
The oppo 971 w/latest firmware beat out the Denon 5910 in the latest testing on the secrets dvd player bnechmark scores. However, I have personally and throughly tested it against the Denon 3910, Pioneer DV-59AVi, Esoteric DV-50S, Panasonic S97, and many others in my system and the Oppo has the "closest to HD 1080i telecast" picture I have seen from any of these units. The audio is really good too if used as a transport, but with all these dvd players for the most part (with the exception of the DV-50S for example) the audio needs to be addressed through mods. The oppo has a DVI connector on it, but they include a DVI to HDMI cable with the unit. DVI and HDMI are backwards compatible video-wise. The other great thing about the Oppo layer is that customer service is extremely helpful for player setup. I have not heard of anyone having to send theirs back to oppo for repair services except for one person and it was a easy and painless fix. Try getting that with the major players out there, I have heard alot of horror stories with some of the popular manufacturers.
I say oppo all the way! Best bang for the buck!
Thanks for setting the record straight about Oppo's picture quality vs. those expensive players.
Oppo was out of stock, but my father-in-law just received his brand new one yesterday, so a "ship-load" must have arrived from China last week.
I'll probably be ordering one from Oppo too. As stated before, the Oppo 971 has the most highly rated picture quality of ANY player yet tested when used via its DVI output. That's good enough for me. I don't need an "audiophile approved" DVD player, so the Oppo will be my next deck, unless something better comes along in the very near future!