I would not invest big bucks in an HD DVD player. Put your money into a decent one..less than $500.00
Wait a while and get a good Blu Ray when the price is down a bit and it is more dependable.
I own both Blu Ray and HD DVD...I kinda like the Hd DVD a bit more as it has less quirks and the picture is as good on my set-up.
But, all things considered, your joy of a really good HD DVD player is destined to be short-lived.
There has never been an HD DVD player that cost that much and the Oppo's aren't HD DVD players......
What are you really asking?
Are you looking for an HD-DVD player that plays the high-resolution format HD-DVDs. Or are you asking about an upsampling player that upsamples standard DVDs to 1080i or even 1080p?
If you are talking about an upsampler, then yes, the Oppos are some of the best available at any price, competing with brands that are many times more expensive. The current Oppos do not play the high-resolution HD-DVDs. They also do not have the "overbuilt" build quality which many audiophiles prefer. They perform like high end models, but they feel like low end models. However, I have not heard any/many complaints about reliability issues, just complaints that people don't like some of the inexpensive design features.
I have the Oppo 970 which has been mod'd to level 2 status by Ric Shultz at EVS. I love this player and use it for everything-redbook CD, SACD, DVD-A and DVDs. It is an outstanding performer. The Oppo 981 has the same high quality audio as the 970, but has better video quality.
If you wanted a high performance DVD player for standard DVDs, that upsamples to 1080i or 1080p, and has excellent audio quality, the EVS mod'd Oppos are really outstanding. If you buy a new Oppo and send it to Ric Shultz at EVS for Mods, he will give you your money back if you return it. If you just want a quality DVD player that sounds good, the stock Oppos are very good performers too.
Sorry guys, I guess what I'm really looking for is just a great DVD player to replace my Marantz DV12S1, which is nice and built like a rock, but I'm looking for better picture quality and perhaps better audio, maybe an HDMI output would be better too. I don't know much about the DVD players these days as you can tell. I'm using a front projector Optoma H79 and Stewart Filmscreen Greyhawk RS, B&W matrix 802 3's as mains, matrix 805 rears, HTM ctr, Vandersteen sub, McCormack DNA HT-5 channel amp, and in the process of looking for a new surround processor. The Optoma is capable of HD, but the Marantz doesn't upscale or output HDMI. Any suggestions on a new surround processor would be appreciated too. I'm looking to spend under $5,000 for a new product, not used market, and considering the new Rotel RSP-1069, older RSP-1098, or a different manufacturer.
The new Rotel RSP-1069 has a quality video scaler, so that's one reason I'm considering it, and I used to own a Rotel RSP-1066, so I'm familiar with the manufacturer's build quality. I was considering the Anthem Statement D2 awhile back for it's video capabilities, but I'm not convinced about it's audio performance and would like something that sounds better (for strictly home theater use). I was also wondering if just getting a separate video scaler like a DVDO or Crystallio II would make sense, and then get a surround processor just for it's audio performance. But like I mentioned, the Marantz DVD player doesn't have HDMI output, if I would need that to upscale the picture.
If you want to invest in one of the new HD formats I would recommend the Sony PS3. I have owned one for just over a year and enjoyed many blu ray movies and the player has performed perfectly.
If you are just talking about standard DVD playback just hold on for a little while longer and wait on the new Oppo that is coming out at a $300-400 price range. It sounds like it will be the SD dvd player to own.
To answer your inquiry, from both an audio and video perspective, you cannot touch the OPPO product line for the money. I thought about a mid-line Denon for a while and then quickly came to my senses.
Even Stereophile had to admit it blew away the competition. It upconverts to a true 1080P and none of the HDTVs can improve upon that. Read the reviews, look at the price and buy their newest product or two of them, and keep the rest of your money in the bank for other toys.
I've got two OPPOs and they beat everything else hands down. Their audio perfection blows away the highest priced SACD players. Their new product (HM-31) also provides you with a very inexpensive answer in providing the latest HDMI Verison 1.3 update for your HDTV. At a cost of $99 it gives you three outputs instead of one and you are using the latest verion of HDMI, i.e., 1.3 instead of the outdated version 1.0. They think of everything for you.
OPPO keeps it real and they are for real.
FYI, I think the most expensive HD-DVD player made is still the Toshiba XA2, which lists for $599 but can be had for less. It's an excellent upconverter of SD discs as well.
Integra's DHS8.8 HD-DVD player retails for C$1200, but it's not exactly a big seller...
The Toshiba XA2 is the best upscaling available in a DVD player for your budget and is better than OPPO offerings for upscaling. This is due to the use of the REON video scaling chipsets made by Silicon Optix.
After that I'd pick an OPPO. Blu Ray players arent known for excellence in upscaling.
I paid less than $1200 for my Integra DHS 8.8 HD-DVD player. Leedistad, how do you know this player is not a big seller? Do you work for Integra?
Thanks everyone, great info! I guess I'll look into getting an OPPO or Toshiba XA2 DVD player. It sounds like it doesn't make sense to purchase a separate video scaler like the DVDO or Crystallio II. And I'll still need to decide on a new surround processor to get everything up and running. Any final thoughts as a new unit, not used market and under $5,000?
Stop. Even Netflix is no longer supporting HD-DVD.
Ok, thanks Unclejeff, no Toshiba for now. What do you think about an OPPO HM-31 or other model?
To Unclejeff or anyone, if price is not an issue for me, would it make sense to get the Toshiba XA2 just for it's better video scaler/audio, if I just use it for DVD backward compatability, that is not buying any HD DVD's. Does that make sense or would it still be better to get an OPPO?
Rxlarry99.....Get the Toshiba HD X-A2.
It is a monster...an incredible player with a stunning picture for standard def dvd's
For upconversion I have just purchased an ANTHEM D2. It even upconverts my satellite feed.
Thanks Mitch4t, I appreciate the hands-on input!