HDTV & current DVD players - What do WE do?

It's clear that DVD is going to be around for quite a while. So the dilemma now is how to get the most out of our standard-definition discs on the HDTVs we watch them on? Part of the answer involves video scaling, which is the process of filling in the spaces between pixels by borrowing parts of the existing pixels encoded in the DVD video. Many HDTV sets have scaling equipment built in to do this already, but oftentimes the cheap chips installed by the manufacturer are not up to the task, and leave the image looking blocky and pixelated. A good video processor can clean this up, but traditionally the decent ones cost thousands of dollars. A recent trend has seen the introduction of scaling properties into the DVD players themselves. Again, usually the better players with these features have been the most expensive, while the reasonably priced models have had a host of quality problems, especially in the area of progressive scan deinterlacing, that make them unsuitable for many discerning videophiles.

Given the above realities and impending technology shift, what do we do NOW? It doesn't appear to make sense to spend $500+ for a DVD player when HDDVD is around the corner and yet it's unacceptable to live with poor PQ on our HDTV's. Besides Oppo (good & bad reviews), who makes a high quality DVD player for under $500 that utilizes Component video? Some here have mentioned LG's most recent offering - what makes it and others better than Oppo?

Correct me if I am wrong but most DVD players in the past few years are progessive. Instead of 480 lines interlaced (480I) giving you 60 fields/30frames per second you end up with 60 full frames per second, which is 480P (progressive)
This is Enhanced Def (EDTV)
I have a Toshiba 72MX195 DLP which upscales to 1080P. It does a fair job and I am satisfied...so far!

In your post you specifically mention the Oppo Player, HDTV and component video. Here are my thoughts on this combination:

The Oppo is supposed to have the best picture quality of any DVD player ever tested by "Secrets of Home Theater" when connected via its digital output (DVI or DVI->HDMI) to an HDTV that has a digital input (DVI or HDMI). The Oppo is supposedly not great when connected via analog (component video).

Considering the Oppo cost $200 direct from Oppo and supposedly has outstanding factory support, I would simply buy the Oppo and try it if your HDTV has a digital input.

My father-in-law bought the Oppo to use with his HP MD6580N 65" DLP TV. He says it is the best DVD picture quality he has ever seen.

Of course, if your HDTV doesn't have a digital input, you should just buy a new TV! :)


I bought the Zenith DVB 318 for $98. It upscales via component/DVI and has a very good picture via component. I am using it just as you describe to hold me over 'til fall when I'll get a Blu Ray or Universal player.
I am completely satified with the picture I now get from my Sony 42" plasma, via HDMI from a Denon 2910.
I use a Monster signature 7000 powerline cleaner (for the entire music and a Monster 500 into the monster 7000 from a amp outlet just for the video stuff.
The picture is totally grain free and clear as can be from a decent DVD film transfer.
I am NOT going to buy any hi-def stuff for at least several years.
I explained all this in a post just before about "selling all my DVDs"..
I know that the hi-def is going to be the same sort of bust SACD and DVD-a was.
Not enough folks will pay double the price for the same damn movies they bought on VHS, then LD, then DVD, then again in a DVD with more features!
The only movies I know of that I would say might sparkle a bit more are things with super detailed content, and those are few.
(Do you REALLY want to see the tiny pimple growing on the actors' face?.. under the makeup that you will be able to easily see with hi-def?)
I am not against hi-def! Just the way it is being rushed out, before the standards are even set! And the TVs are not being made that will allow full use of the hi-def connections.
So you buy a hi-def player, and spend $40 to $50 PER MOVIE!!! and still wind up with a 480p picture because your TV doesn't have the proper 'secure' input (even though you just bought it in 2006!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or maybe even 2007)
And they say "Oh... We won't enable the security right away"... yah... right... and I can sell you the brooklyn bridge for a few thou...
Geeze... not me.
I have been using an HD Leeza for a couple of years with a cheap DVD player that has been modified to output in SDI. The signal is processed in the digital domain on thru to the projector- a 1 chip DLP by Marantz. The picture is far, far more involving, and filmic, than my old 3 gun NEC tweaked projector with outboard line doubler. I don't know what the Leeza goes for on the used market, but it might be worth checking. Also, aren't all those fancy Faroujda boxes that were 10-15k dollars now almost nothing on the used market? His stuff always looked good to me.
I'm a bit of a dummy on HT subjects, being fairly new to the game, but I can tell you that using the component video on an Oppo I won't be in any hurry to move to HD. Color is rich and satisfying, with deep blacks and reds, adjustable if it's too much. The highly-touted DVI connection looks washed-out in comparison (it may be a poor match with my NEC HT-1100 projector). I previously used a Denon 3910, but it wasn't even a close contest! Not the definition I get when watching HDTV signals, obviously, but nearly as satisfying--the Oppo (on component video) really brings the picture to life, at least for me. Of course, YMMV.
My 55" Hitachi plasma has a digital input, the problem is my cable box requires a digital output, therefore one of the cables going into the TV has to be component. I don't want to be forced into using the AVR everytime I watch TV.

Who knows though... most of the AV installers I've experienced don't have a clue. They know some things, but not others, so you get part of the story here and part of the story there.
Somehow I just don't understand HOW we have both HD and Blueray(incompatibles) in the marketplace.(almost) I wonder how long before we get a universal player? My 2 year old Mits.crt has an analog dvi so I'm out of luck.
Anyone have any experience with this DVD player by Helios? It's supposed to be the bomb!


Regarding Blu-Ray and HDDVD... I read a very interesting review of both technologies recently and according to the author Blu-Ray was hands down the winner in terms of performance, PQ and just about every other known category of judgement. The fact it is now backward compatible and has more storage capability probably makes it a slam dunk.
I just bought a Marantz 9600 and will just wait several years for Hi-Def DVD part 2.In the mean time I am grinning ear to ear with the picture and sound from the non-HD Marantz picture on my Fijitsu 50" and JM LAbs.