Here at The Listening Post we spend a lot of time in peoples homes setting up equipment or optimising their existing AV kit. Now don't think that we're Hi-Fi snobs secretly judging all your gear. We understand that there is a balance to be found in everyones life between quality, functionality, features and price. But there is one thing that stands out that we don't quite understand. DVD players.
The amount of detail that a DVD provides is about 1/4 of what a Bluray can do. So imagine your favourite film on DVD and how good it looks already. Now imagine adding another 3 times as much data simply improving that image. Adding detail, clarity, more accurate colour and smoother motion. DVDs are already great fun so spending all that extra data simply improving the image reality has got to look good right? Well, it does.
The logo is in colour, that's a good sign right?
Fixing something that isn't broken is never advised and I'm not saying that everyone should upgrade simply because there is something better avaiable. We shouldn't all be driving Ferarris instead of our Toyotas just cos they're faster, there's more to it than that. The fact is that your TV deserves better.
Have you got a flatscreen? Yeah. Is it HD? Yes it is. What about full HD? Almost certainly. With a billion billion contrast whatevers and a gazillion GHz refresh rate? Yup. All the other numbers that sounded appealing that made is such a good deal? Yeah, them too. Televisions have become so cheap these days that any of us can get some 55inch 'awesome-tron' TV on special, from our FlyBys, on intrest free payments etc. And that is what confuses us about DVD.
The difference in quality between DVD and Bluray is so easy to see that anyone can appreciate it and we already own the right TVs to make it happen. Why not get your moneys worth out of your TV and get that Bluray player and see why it's such a big deal. It will play your CDs and DVDs too anyway! You'll never hire another DVD, it will be Blurays every time once you've seen the light.
"Cheap players... they are cheap for a reason"
Now there's the question of which Bluray player to buy? There are plenty of cheap players available but they are cheap for a reason. The discs read slowly, the outputs are limited, the image processor is cheap and can't render motion properly, the power supply isn't isolated well and pumps a quiet hiss into the audio all the time etc etc. Sometimes higher spec models can go on special, but why are they more expesive to begin with? Because the look stylish? Not so important for most people. Because they can play content off SD cards or USB drives? Doesn't your TV already do that anyway? It's much much easier to market features than it is to market quality, and all the brands you see on the shelves of big retailers know this very well. Here at the listening post we aim for a good result, not a bunch of exciting buzz-words printed on the box.
Our #1 favourite for a balance of image quality, sound quality, build quality, functionality, support, design and price is the Oppo BDP-103. Oppo Digital are a specialist company based in Mountain View California (alongside Google and the rest of silicon valley) that make only 7 different products. But when they make something, they make it perfect.
Oppo 103: The international bestseller!
Next time you're in store, ask to see a Bluray on one of our Demo TVs and we can show you what you might be missing out on.