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Oppo Dv-981hd DVD Player: Can the Best Get Better?

by Paul Strauss
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OPPO Digital, makers of arguably the best upscaling DVD player ever made, has just released a new version of the player, complete with a variety of new features.

Oppo DV-981HD

The $229 OPPO DV-981HD is an updated version of the award-winning DV971H player. For starters, the 981 includes an HDMI digital output, rather than the DVI output featured on the original model. In addition, the player features true 1080p output and adds multi-channel SACD audio support. Both the 971 and 981 feature some of the best video scaling and deinterlacing capabilities out there, using a Genesis/Faroudja chipset which produce excellent image quality.

For those of you keeping score, the original DV971H scored a record-breaking 98 in the Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity DVD Benchmark, a widely respected benchmark in the home theater enthusiast community. What’s even more amazing is that OPPO’s players are very reasonably priced when compared to other high quality DVD players. Assuming that the DV-981HD is built on the same core technology, and simply adds new features and higher resolution output, OPPO could be going for a perfect 100 score this time. If you have a large DVD collection, and don’t think that HD DVD or Blu-Ray are ready for prime time yet, you owe it to yourself to check out one of these players.

(BTW, if you don’t have an HDMI connection on your television, you’ll need to go with the $199 DV971H model, which still includes component analog outputs.)

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