Upconverting DVD Player Review
Standard DVD discs are recorded at a resolution between regular
broadcast television and HDTV broadcasts.
Regular DVD discs have about 640 x 480 pixels of information; less
than the 1024 x 768 or 1920 x 1080 pixels supported by your television.
To bridge this gap, DVD player manufacturers are incorporating
chips that allow for "upconverting."
Upconversion is the process of enhancing a standard DVD signal
stream to output as a high-definition signal. This does not convert
a standard DVD into a high-def movie, rather, it means that standard
DVDs will display a smoother, richer image on an HDTV.
Upconversion allows you to get higher-definition output to your
HDTV from non-HD-DVD discs. Reviews claim the amount of image improvement
depends on your HDTV.
Upconverting DVD Players
Upconverting DVD players use an HDMI (high-definition multimedia
interface) output, to maintain the video and audio signal
all-digital as it travels to the TV.
HDMI has built-in copy protection called HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital
Normal component, composite and S-video analog connections do not
work into HDTVs without a digital-to-analog-to-digital conversion,
causing some degradation of the signal. An HDMI-equipped DVD player
avoids signal degradation by maintaing the video stream all-digital.
NOTE: Your HDTV must have an HDMI or HDCP-compatible DVI input
to take advantage of upconversion. For copyright reasons, signals
output via other connectors are capped at standard resolutions.
Older HDTVs with a DVI port instead of HDMI, can use a simple DVI-to-HDMI
adapter to connect the player. Some early-generation HDTVs don't
have either HDMI or DVI.
Best Upconverting DVD Players
Reviews support OPPO DVD players as some of the best-performing
upconverting DVD players. The highest-rated is the OPPO
In reviews, the OPPO DV-970HD only slightly trails the DV-981HD.
Comparing the DV-970HD with the much more expensive Denon
DVD-2930CI [Est $680] on a 50-inch screen failed to identify
any scene where the DVD-2930CI was significantly better.
Both OPPO models are multi-region players.
Lower Priced Upconverting DVD Players
Among lower-priced upconverting DVD players, the Philips
DVP5960/37 is a favorite of reviewers.
1080p-Capable Upconverting DVD Players
Other good buys are the Sony
DVP-NS75H and the 1080p-capable Sony DVP-NS77H, and
The Samsung DVD-1080P7 is another option among 1080p-capable upconverting
Large CD / DVD Collections
For those with large media collections, the Sony
DVP-CX995V jukebox DVD player is the best pick.
Best Audio Quality
DVD players with the ability to play SACD and DVD-Audio are popular
even in lower-priced DVD players, with the
OPPO DV-970HD, being the leader of the pack with its high-end
circuitry doing a good job of converting digital bits into audio.
Another good option for SACD support, albeit at a higher price,
is the Denon DVD-3930CI .
Cost of Upconverting DVD Players
The very best upconverting DVD players may be able to deliver an
image rivals HD DVD Players, apart from fine detail of a high-definition
DVD, however, such DVD players can cost as much as the least expensive
Blu-ray and HD-DVD players.
Onkyo DVSP404 and Samsung DVD1080P7 are top choices among upconverting
players, with lots of user reviews.
DVD Player Reviews | Standard
DVD Players | Denon | Helios
| OPPO | Panasonic
| Philips | Sony
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