DVD player to replace HTPC advice req'd



OK, let's start with a bit of history. 18 months ago I bought my Z1 and very quickly realised the limitations of an interlaced player on a reasonable sized screen. So I bought one of the old Limit P/S players, only to suffer ghosting, followed by one of the early Philips 963SA players and suffered three problems:
  • A faint yellow bar down the left hand side of the screen
  • The angle icon permenantly displayed during multi-angle titles (hardly a big deal though)
  • Variable lip-sync when using progressive output
My dealer replaced it to see if it was a dodgy model, but the replacement showed the same symptoms. I then made the mistake of phoning Philips' technical support only to find out that they are the most unhelpful bunch of... people on the planet. The player was returned for a refund and I built an HTPC for DVD playback and TV pausing/recording.

Anyway, 12 months or so after the end of the saga, the Pace Twin is under £200 and there seems to be a selection of reasonably priced PAL P/S players so I'm thinking to going back to a set-top solution. However, I have two concerns. Firstly, I'm aware that going back to a set-top DVD player will result in lower absolute image quality, but I want to ensure that whatever I buy does a good job at deinterlacing - like the Philips, for all its other flaws, did. Secondly, I'm concerned about the lip-sync issues that can be caused by putting a deinterlacer after the audio and video streams have been synchronised, since I seem to be quite sensitive to this.

So to the questions:

I'm aware that Arcam have an audio delay for progressive mode on some of their players to rectify the lip-sync problem - but they are too much money for me plus the Zorran chipset suffers from the CUE, I believe. Do any other, more reasonably priced (say £250-400), players have an audio delay function?

Looking around, the Sony 930 seems a good value and well liked player. However, I haven't been able to determine what type or make of deinterlacer it uses; does anyone know? Also, does it suffer from the CUE?

Finally, what other players should I be investigating and demoing?

Sorry for the long post but thanks in advance for your help...


[EDIT: Any players that support or can be hacked to give 720p and/or 1080i output from a DVD, like the Philips now can, would also be of interest.]

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