I think for the $100 difference over the basic model this would be a no brainer.
9 responses Add your response
I found this on the Oppo Digital web site.
Is the BDP-103D Right for You?
The main difference between the BDP-103 and BDP-103D is the BDP-103D's incorporation of the "Darbee Visual Presence processor". The BDP-103 is a reference quality Blu-ray Disc player and has won numerous awards. The BDP-103D is based on the BDP-103 and shares most of the same features.
Basically, the Darbee processor is a video enhancer that provides greater clarity and increases the perception of depth by embedding stereoscopic depth cues within the video, resulting in a more dynamic, lifelike experience.
The Darbee's processing level is adjustable, which allows you to customize it to your particular taste. Unlike many other image enhancers or sharpeners, the Darbee processor does not alter the image in a global fashion, so it is able to reduce the amount of image artifacts that are created, and it does not adversely affect calibrated settings such as contrast, gamma, and color.
The original BDP-103 is known for its accuracy in reproducing video from all kinds of discs. The BDP-103D takes one step beyond reference quality accuracy. When the Darbee Visual Presence enhancement is turned off, it is a reference quality player just like the BDP-103. When the Darbee Visual Presence enhancement is turned on, the user has the option to fine tune the video to his/her own liking. In summary, if you are looking for a quality player that accurately reproduces video, the BDP-103 is the right choice; if you are looking for a more customized experience beyond standard picture adjustments, the BDP-103D provides additional possibilities to fine tune your viewing experience.
The issue of whether it's worth the extra $100 is really in how you like the extra processing. I purchased the Darbee Darblet some years ago and put it between my Anthem AVM50v and HDTV. I found that the Darbee's processing was the same as applying an aggressive unsharp mask to the video image. You can adjust the effects, but it can make things artificially hyper-sharp. Where it was very effective was background stuff like the audience in a stadium or grass blades, etc. If you look at the demo images on the Darbee site, the after images are (in my opinion) too aggressively filtered.
In general I would say the following: If you have a good pre-pro with good processing then you may not be all that satisfied with the Darbee. If your pre-pro has nothing at all for video processing or scaling then yes, you may like what the Darbee does.
I ended up returning it because I didn't feel like the price justified the value when I was getting a great, natural-looking picture through the Anthem.
Why not buy a stand alone Darbee darblet for a little bit more money and then you can use it on all of your sources not just your Blu ray player. I had the same question as you and purchased a darblet instead and I am happy with it.
Just remember it is a very suttle effect. Turn it on leave it on for a few weeks then turn it off you will notice the difference then.