What Makes Good Video

I hope someone could enlighten me if possible. Basically, I see so many DVD players on the market, touting how great they are. I see a lot of high-end (mega buck) used DVD players here on A'gon from the likes of CAL, Theta, Faroudja, etc... Yet, most of these players still command high prices on the second hand market despite their lesser technical specs compared to, say, a new Sony. Now, granted, for the most part, Sony does not exhibit the build quality of the aforementioned brands, but it does boast some of the most cutting edge technology.

E.g. CAL's, Theta's, etc... list their video DACs at 10 bit, maybe less, whereas Sony's ES DVD player sports a 14 bit DAC. Yet, Sony's can be had, brand new, for less than the used price of a CAL, not to mention the rest.

Is there more to it? Do DACs vary in quality? Is it possible that a 10 or 12 bit DAC can, with better quality components, outperform a 14 bit DAC?

Just wondering.

DVD players are some of the best bang-for-the-buck devices going - nobody really reviews them anymore because there's so little to differentiate their video performance. They're all basically excellent. Sony's latest ES model, today or tomorrow, will have a fabulous picture. Even many sub $250 retail units will be superb in all but the most demanding environment.

I wouldn't get caught up in the DAC bit size, etc. And I wouldn't buy an older machine at a premium for the brand name or whatever. If you're looking for straight, excellent video performance, I'd buy a new model for as cheap as possible that has the features you want. You'll get excellent video.
On the video bit rate; the #'s aren't all there is to a great dvd player. My Arcam fmj27 has 11 for that spec. A good part of why you buy a good dvd player has to do with how large an immage it will be reproducing. If you are feeding it to a 30/36/46 size display ---Those sizes are less demanding. Once you get above 80 inches it becomes more critical as to your picture quality. Refering to whatever deinterlacing chip and whatever has been done to make it a great dvd player.