When I updated my HTPC to Vista and a video card with HDMI it caused me a lot of problems, I was getting tons of blue screens and my HTPC was just generally giving me a headache. When I wanted to watch a DVD I didn’t want to worry about it, I just wanted to pop in a disc and be able to watch a movie. While I already had a Pioneer Elite DV-45A DVD player I was never all that impressed with it and I wanted a unit that did upscaling so I started shopping for a new player. I pretty much new that I wanted an Oppo as I had been hearing nothing but good things about them for years so I started my search there.
I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on the DVD player as I find myself watching more and Blu-Ray these days, once you go high def it’s hard to go back, but I still had a large library of DVD’s so I still wanted a quality player. I ended up finding a refurbished DV-980H on eBay for $135 and the seller was Oppo themselves. The unit arrived quickly and looked brand new.
When I hooked up the player, which was incredibly easy, an HDMI connection to my receiver and plugged it in, I was immediately very impressed with the picture quality. The Oppo’s menu system isn’t all that pretty but you so rarely see it that it’s not a big deal, the important part is the picture quality and it is here that the Oppo shines. I’d been using my HTPC with TheaterTek as my DVD player for years, and I still think it’s a great combination… when it works. That said, I think the Oppo looks just as good as my HTPC ever did and the ease of use couldn’t be any easier. There is one big thing I miss from the HTPC and that is being able to setup DVD’s so that when you play them they automatically skip all the forced trailers, FBI warnings, menus and start playing with the audio settings of your choosing. It is a kind of big loss but the piece of mind that a standalone player affords me makes it worth it.
Another nice thing about the Oppo DV-980H is that it also plays DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD (SACD), while I don’t have a lot of these discs I do have a handful and it’s nice having a player that plays both. The player can also play Divx files but I still use my HTPC for playing downloaded videos and stuff.
Overall, I am very pleased with my Oppo DV-980H, I really don’t miss the HTPC for movie playback at all these days, it’s just so nice to know that I can pop in a disc and it’s just flat out going to work. Best of all, I suffer no loss of quality by doing so either, I’ve been extremely impressed with the picture quality of the Oppo. At the price of the Oppo it’s a real winner in my book, brand new it’s only $169.00 and I challenge you to find a better player at this price.
Oppo DV-980H DVD Player Specs
DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, SACD, CD, HDCD, Kodak Picture CD
DivX (DivX Certified Home Theater Profile Parameters, V2.2 with Addendum. Covers DivX 3 – 6)
CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, DVD+R DL
Analog Audio: 7.1ch, 5.1ch or stereo
Digital Audio: Coaxial, Optical, HDMI
Analog Video: Composite, S-Video (Y/C), Component Video (Y/Pb/Pr, 480i/480p)
Digital Video: HDMI v1.2a with HDCP (NTSC: 480i/480p/720p/1080i/1080p, PAL 576i/576p/720p/1080i/1080p)
Composite Video Amplitude: 1.0Vp-p (75?)
S-Video Amplitude: Y: 1.0Vp-p (75?), C: 0.286Vp-p (75?)
Component Video: Y: 1.0Vp-p (75?), Pb/Pr: 0.7Vp-p (75?)
Frequency: 20Hz – 20kHz (±1dB)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >100dB
Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.01% General Specification:
Power Supply: ~ 100V – 240V, 50/60Hz AC
Power Consumption: 14W
Dimensions: 16-7/8 x 10-1/2 x 2 inches / 430mm x 267mm x 49mm
Weight: 5.10 lbs / 2.3kg
5°C – 35°C
41°F – 95°F
15% – 75%