My indecision is final -- an HD/SD dilemma

johnk

Novice Member
I imagine I'm not the only one having this internal debate...

I saw the Panasonic BD35 in action the other day (watched TDK). Impressive, definitely. Now at an attractive price. And it gave me a dilemma.

I was about to buy a new DVD player. SD. My reasoning: for the foreseeable future, finances dictate that I won't be blowing much money on boys' toys. I have about 1000 DVDs. And a lot of the off-beat stuff I like will remain "SD only" for some time to come. If I bought a BD35, at least 95% of its use would be for SD for the next two or three years.

I'm very happy with my "cinema room", which is entirely SD. A Denon DVD-2200 feeds a good image to my Hitachi SD projector. Three years old (at least), but this set-up still brings a smile to my face. So for me, good SD still has what it takes.

The new DVD player would be for the TV room , feeding an LG 42" plasma (42PC1D), where I'm currently using an unsatisfactory cheapy DVD player. The sound set-up in this room (Yamaha YSP-1100 soundbar) means Blu-ray sound would be down-sampled anyway, so this dilemma is a "video-only" issue.

Budget is £200, which rules out obvious answers such as "wait for the Oppo Blu-ray player and get the best of both worlds". My alternatives at the moment are BD35 or the Oppo 980.

I guess this means the real question is -- would the Oppo (or any other £200 SD player) be significantly better in SD? If not, there seems no reason to avoid the Panny.

I know the real answer is try both. But because I'll have to buy the Oppo just to give it a trial, I thought I'd ask here first in case anyone has had the opportunity to directly compare the two, or compared the BD35 in SD with any other high-quality SD player.

Any thoughts welcome.
 
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kingfats

Distinguished Member
Forum review here of the BD35 which includes the machines SD performance as well :smashin: might help you a bit.
All the best.
 

Bald Monkey

Novice Member
Do you buy a lot of new releases?

If not then I'd certainly say you'd be best sticking with SD for now and getting a decent SD player. BR players are getting better at SD, but really they're best playing BR's and if you don't plan on buying many at the mo, then don't get a player.. :D

Ignoring the current economic climate etc etc.. I would only expect BR players in the medium term to get better and cheaper. So I wouldn't get one now unless you plan on buying or renting plenty of BR's to watch on it.

In terms of speed and functionality I expect most SD-DVD players are still ahead of the budget BR players.

Also as many are upgrading to BR players, there should be a lot of decent SD-DVD players going for silly money in the classifieds etc.. How about getting the best SD-DVD player you can for £100, second hand and put the other £100 aside for another upgrade later?? :devil:
 
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johnk

Novice Member
Thanks for the quick responses.

Kingfats -- thanks for pointing out the review. Shame to see the BD35 failed the 2:2 cadence test (why is that such a problem for most players???), but at least you can lock the player in film mode. SD section of the review concludes: "On the whole, DVD playback was very usable, but not exceptional." Not sure whether the glass is half-full or half-empty...

Andy98765 -- I suppose I was put off the Tosh because it seems to get decidedly mixed user reviews in these forums, whereas most 980 owners seems to have little complaint about the players. I like the idea that the 980 doesn't seem to have any 2:2 or macroblocking problems, both concerns for me.

Bald Monkey -- no, I don't imagine I'll be buying BRs (at least not until they're £5 a pop) -- just renting them occasionally (presuming I bought the BD35), and buying one or two all-time faves.
 

bam-bam

Novice Member
Useful post and resulting answers - am having the same issue - one day I'm convinced I'm going to get a decent DVD player (DvLX50 is in my head) and the next I'm convinced it'll be a Blu-Ray one (BDP-51 comes to mind).

Decisions, decisions - I think I'll wait a while...
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Useful post and resulting answers - am having the same issue - one day I'm convinced I'm going to get a decent DVD player (DvLX50 is in my head) and the next I'm convinced it'll be a Blu-Ray one (BDP-51 comes to mind).

Decisions, decisions - I think I'll wait a while...
If you don't have money to burn on media, don't bother with BluRay imho :) To be truly appreciated, you'll need it in your cinema room which will then require a projector upgrade.

Otherwise, buy a decent SD player and enjoy your current collection of movies. I have both a DV-LX50 and an Oppo 983, and the Oppo is definately a better player, however it was more expensive than the Pioneer and to be honest, the DV-LX50 is still a cracking player (and I believe they can be had pretty cheap now).

Cheers
Matt
 

binbag

Active Member
I found myself on the OP's position last year. I ended up going for the Popcornhour NMT as it allowed me to press my nose against the window of the HD sweetshop (and occasionally shoplift the pick 'n mix) until the format was sorted out.

A year on and I'm still waiting for the player that will outperform my current machine (Philips 963 SDI) with DVD and music. I've stopped buying any physical media with Sky HD and the occasional DL taking up the slack (mostly classic stuff) and I'm still looking for the killer product that will make BR seem worth upgrading source, amp and PJ.

Last years HC allowance went to going anamorphic :thumbsup:
 

johnk

Novice Member
I found myself on the OP's position last year. I ended up going for the Popcornhour NMT
Thanks for all the responses. I've ended up with an Oppo 981 and a Popcornhour to "press my nose against the window of the HD sweetshop", as Binbag puts it. I think this setup will keep me happy for a couple of years.
 

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