DVD players go 1080p for less
DVD players that could upscale to 1080p drop near the $100 mark at CES 2007.
In 2006, we saw a few DVD players that could upscale to 1080p, but you had to pay a little extra for the cutting-edge technology. At CES 2007, several manufacturers have announced 1080p-upscaling DVD players, with most of the prices hovering right around $100. And while the LG Super Multi Blue Player is certainly the biggest video disc player of the show, we're betting plenty of people will be jumping on these 1080p players as a relatively cheap way to make their DVD collection look a little better.
Pioneer so far has the cheapest 1080p-upscaling DVD player we've seen--its DV-400V-K will cost $100 when it comes out in May. The DV-400V-K will handle upscaling over its HDMI output and will probably be able to handle 720p and 1080i resolutions as well, though the press release didn't explicitly say so. Its disc compatibility looks solid, handling DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW and CD-R/RW. It also can play back WMA, MP3, JPEG, and DivX files. The player also will be available in silver, with the model name DV-400V-S.
Samsung also released a 1080p-upscaling player, the DVD-HD1080P7. Its HDMI output can also upscale to 720p and 1080i, and it uses Silicon Optix's HQV video processing. The DVD-HD1080P7 has a 10-in-2 memory card reader, as well as DivX playback, though we don't know if it can play DivX files off the card reader. The DVD-HD1080P7 is scheduled to come out in May with a list price of $110. Samsung also will be offering a step-down non-1080p model, the DVD-HD870, which can upscale to 720p and 1080i and should come out in February with a list price of $90.
Panasonic's new 1080p-upscaling DVD player is the DVD-S53. Like all these players, it offers upconversion over its HDMI output, and we assume--although the press release, again, doesn't explicitly state it--that it can also upconvert to 720p and 1080i. Panasonic lists some very robust disc-compatibility specs, including DVD-R/-RW, DVD+R/+RW, both +R and -R dual layer discs and the flexible DVD-RAM format. That sounds impressive, but we're going to remain a little skeptical since Panasonic DVD players and recorders have had some disc compatibility issues in the past--despite the impressive spec sheets. The DVD-S53 should be available in April with a list price of $130.
Toshiba announced a trio of upscaling DVD players, with the SD-6000 capable of 1080p uspcaling. Like the others, it handles its upscaling over its HDMI output and can also upscale to 720p and 1080i resolutions. The SD-6000 also can handle other digital media, such as DivX, WMA, MP3 and JPEG. Disc compatibility is a little limited, handling only DVD-R/-RW and CD-R/RW. The SD-6000 will have a list price of $130 and is expected to be released in May. Toshiba also is offering a step-down upscaling player, the SD-5000, which only handles 720p and 1080i. The SD-5000 will come out in February for $80.
LG came out with the DN798 1080p DVD player but didn't offer many more details than the product name. The DN798 will have an HDMI output, as well as a USB port that can read JPEG, MP3 and WMA files. LG also will be releasing a step-down 1080i-upscaling DVD player, the DN788. We don't know when these players will come out or how much they'll cost.