New DVD player on the way

Thanks to the President’s Day weekend, Leah and I have to wait until Tuesday for the delivery of our new DVD player. I sounded pretty happy with the Zenith DVD player so why am I getting a new one? Here are the reasons why:

  • Menu system is slow as molasses. Every button press takes up to a second to affect the screen menu. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but you have to wait a second to see. And I regularly choose the wrong menu option because I pressed the button one too many time.
  • Even though the Zenith uses the impressive Faroudja upscaling/deinterlacing chip and produces great results on region 1 NTSC DVD, it doesn’t have the 2:2 pulldown capability for region 2 PAL DVD turn on. What it means is that the player doesn’t de-interlace the PAL video properly and produces jagged edges on screen. (De-interlacing explanation here)
  • The player has no concept of 4:3 material so playing old British TV DVD which are made before 16:9 widescreen format means the image is stretched to fill the TV screen.

Initially I thought these issues won’t bother me, and since it was donated to me free I couldn’t complain anyway. But eventually the slow menu response and the jagged edges really got to me.

The new DVD player that I bought is the OPPO OPDV917H which does not have any of the above problems, plus better colour rendition as well as more frequent firmware updates. Not to mention it tops the Home Theater Secrets DVD Benchmark Review, beating even the Denon 5910!

So Leah and I are refraining from watching any DVDs this long weekend so we’ll enjoy them using the new player next week.

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