The new DVD player was waiting for us in the lobby when Leah and I got home this evening. Hurray! It only took me about an hour to unhook the old Zenith, hooked up the OPPO, and re-programmed the Harmony remote to control the OPPO.
The first DVD I put in was Digital Video Essentials (of course!) so I can calibrate the video settings on the TV. And after I’ve changed the player to accept all DVD regions, I declared to Leah that the new DVD player was open for business and we watched an episode of Drop The Dead Donkey (an old British political comedy series) then followed up with an episode of Hustle.
The OPPO keeps up with its promises and the 4:3 material from Drop The Dead Donkey is squeezed back into proper aspect ratio so all the actors are now in correct girth! No more fat people! Hustle is already 16:9 so no problem there. Both Drop The Dead Donkey and Hustle shows there are no de-interlacing problem at all so the 2:2 cadence flags are being picked up by the player correctly. No more jagged edges!
One problem about the Zenith player that I didn’t mention in my last post is that a noticeable video delay exists on most DVDs. So the dialogues will be slightly ahead of the actors’ lips most of the time. This is caused by the extra video processing required for de-interlacing and upscaling so I can understand why but still very annoying.
With the OPPO, there is an audio delay options to compensate for exactly this problem and after playing with it a few times I found that a 10ms delay seems to work best. 20ms is too much and 0ms is not enough. I think 15ms will be perfect but unfortunately there is no such option 😦
And the most gratifying one is the response speed of the menu system! It actually responses to my button click in less time than a roundtrip to Starbuck to buy a Mocha! How novel is that?
All in all, very happy with the purchase. Well worth the money and hassle!