Oppo DV-981HD

To go with my recent TV upgrade, I also purchased a new 1080p capable DVD player, the Oppo 981 from CRT Projectors for £189. The reasons for buying an Oppo (which only plays normal DVDs, not HD-DVD or Blu-ray) were as follows:

  • Multiregion and firmware upgradeable
  • 1080p digital output of upscaled DVDs, including DCDi video processing

I haven’t owned a premium DVD player before (I own a Toshiba SD220 and a Tevion 8000), so I’d expected some significant improvements, and so far I’m very impressed.

Very configurable, nice remote, and lightning fast responses. It can’t work miracles with poor quality material, but the playback of recent discs (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire being one example) is the best I’ve ever seen. Good detail (although not a rival for HD, despite what people say), but the most impressive thing is that the motion is silky smooth, with few artifacts that I could notice.

The only issue that I’ve encountered is that it failed to mount a DVD a couple of times (it just kept spinning away without recognising the disc). Opening and closing the DVD tray fixed that problem.

Anyone expecting true HD performance will be disappointed, but if you have a 1080p set and a good sized DVD collection, I doubt that you’ll regret buying an Oppo 981.

5 thoughts on “Oppo DV-981HD

  1. Stephen

    Happy New Year!

    I may buy one of these… my HDTV will be delivered tomorrow. I got a Toshiba 37WLT66 for £799 at Comet (about £20 more than the version without the Freeview tuner at various online stores, but I was prepared to pay the extra anyway for a local store and somewhere I could use £100 worth of vouchers I had – meaning I only had to pay out £699).

  2. Steven Post author

    Happy New Year Stephen.

    Sounds like you got a good deal on your Toshiba. I hope you’ve got lots of HD material prerecorded on your SkyHD box for testing purposes 🙂

    You could go with the 971H for £165, as your Toshiba doesn’t support 1080p. However, the 981HD is black, which would go very nicely with your Toshiba and SkyHD box.

  3. Stephen

    Have you tried writing high-res jpeg photos to DVD, and viewing them using the Oppo? I’m curious to know what the look like on an HDTV – and whether the Oppo can produce true HD output given a high-res source image.

  4. Steven Post author

    I just tried viewing some JPEG files from an old DVD backup. They don’t look like they’re using the full resolution of my screen, although they’re not unpleasant to look at. I suspect the DVD decoder chip is just scaling the pictures down to SD PAL, then this is being upscaled to the TV resolution.

  5. Pingback: Distant Parts » Blog Archive » Oppo 981HD and DVD Recorders

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