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Upconverting DVD Player Review


DVD Media

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 Content Protection).

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

Best Performing

Reviews support OPPO DVD players as some of the best-performing upconverting DVD players. The highest-rated is the OPPO DV-981HD

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 DVD players.

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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