Blu-ray is all well and good, but DVD remains the market leader in disc-based entertainment. Indeed, DVD sales still make up most of all sales in the US, which almost certainly means that the UK numbers are even more skewed in DVDs favour. With prices tumbling, what do you need to get the best quality out of them?
Upscaling DVD players are very popular with HD TV owners and the Oppo DV-980H is a well-specified DVD player. It can handle most of the common SD video formats you might encounter, including DivX and XviD. Support for every possible DVD audio codec is included, so Dolby Digital and DTS can both be passed to an external decoder. The really good news is that the 980 has analogue 7.1 audio outputs, which suits some people better than digital connections.
There are more than enough digital connections to keep everyone happy, including HDMI and both coaxial and optical audio out. On the analogue side, you get composite, S-Video and component outputs. There is even a Scart socket on this European version, although we really think the player is best aimed at HD TV owners.
Everything about Oppo DVD players scream quality. You even get an HDMI cable included -- please take note, Blu-ray player manufacturers -- and the machine comes in a lovely dust jacket, handy if you need to move it around. It's fair to say that Oppo players are more expensive than many other upscaling players, but we think it's quite clear the company is aiming at people who want more from their AV gear.
The Oppo DV-980H is available now for around £150 from opposhop.com or via Amazon marketplace. -Ian Morris