Upconverting DVD Players for Less Than $100
January 2, 2008 8:32 PM   Subscribe

Can anybody recommend an upconverting DVD player that costs less than $100? It needs to play CDs and CD-Rs as well.
posted by NoMich to Technology (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My dad just bought a new one by Sony for $115 (along with a new Plasma) that plays anything we've been able to throw in it so far. DIVX/xvid burned on cdr and dvdr as well as music cds, mp3s, jpg etc

The "matching" Panasonic upconverting player in the same price range wasn't capable of the DIVX playing, and he has a Harmony remote so the brand didn't matter.
posted by jeffmik at 8:37 PM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Check LG players. The last two we've had have both done what you want. Unfortunately, they've retired the model we have, but you should definitely check their line.

Some players won't up-convert copyrighted content over component, if that's an issue, but LG boxes tend to have more documented firmware hacks - that's how we got ours to do exactly what we want, all research done beforehand.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:47 PM on January 2, 2008

I have the Toshiba D-KR10 DVD Recorder. It lists for $149, but my local Costco has it for $99. It doesn't show up on Costco's online search, though.

I have been very satisfied with the quality, and it makes high quality DVDs from my home movies and VHS concerts and movies that are not available as DVDs.

posted by The Deej at 9:00 PM on January 2, 2008

I totally just bought a Magnavox @ Wal-Mart a couple weeks ago for like $32. It scales to 1080p, lets you choose output resolution and all kinds of goodies, HDMI too. I like it, does what you ask.
posted by TomMelee at 9:05 PM on January 2, 2008

Best answer: Sony NS77 or Pioneer DV-400V. Generally the guys in AVSforum like the NS77 better.

You can read more here AVS Forum - DVD players
posted by mphuie at 9:11 PM on January 2, 2008

There's the Philips DVP5960 on Amazon for $56.00.
posted by flod logic at 10:58 PM on January 2, 2008

Seconding the Phillips DVP5960 (I got one for Christmas). Not only does it play Divx/Xvid burned on disc, but will also play 'em from keydrives or external HD provided the drive is formatted as FAT32.
posted by pinkbuttonanus at 5:47 AM on January 3, 2008

I just bought a Philips DVP5982, works very well and up to 1080p upscaling, although the conversion doesn't show much difference on my Sony rear-projection tv (I've read you notice more of a difference on plasmas and LCDs).

pinkbuttonanus, it will play video files off the usb slot? I haven't tried it yet, but the manual seemed to say it would only do music and photos from a keydrive.
posted by shinynewnick at 6:19 AM on January 3, 2008

Absolutely the Philips DVP5982. It's nearly the same price as the 5960 but will do 1080p. The upscaled picture is great, better for regular DVDs than either the PS3 or any Toshiba HD DVD player I've seen.

There is a firmware update on the Philips site that you can download onto a CDR to install.
posted by Caviar at 6:42 AM on January 3, 2008

Response by poster: Since my HDTV is a 720p/1080i TV, should I even bother with an upscaling DVD player that does 1080p? (Obviously I'm new to the HD game, so I apologize for the seemingly dumb questions.)
posted by NoMich at 7:57 AM on January 3, 2008

Froogle lists quite a few results that meet your criteria. In particular the Toshiba SD-5000 is $79 with good reviews...and plays CDs/CDRs as well.
posted by samsara at 8:09 AM on January 3, 2008

shinynewnick: Dunno about your model, but the 5960 plays videos via USB despite the manual stating only photos and music will work. I've read of problems using some external hard drives, but as long as the drive has its own power supply and is formatted as FAT32 it should work.
posted by pinkbuttonanus at 8:32 AM on January 3, 2008

Since my HDTV is a 720p/1080i TV, should I even bother with an upscaling DVD player that does 1080p?

Currently, all other things being equal, no. Technically, the ability to output 1080p content is wasted with a display that's not capable of it. However, I tend to favor the 1080p versions even for 1080i/720p TVs for a few reasons:

1) You'll probably upgrade your TV to a 1080p one at some point, and you might as well not have to upgrade all of your players at the same time.

2) The image processing chips in the 1080p versions seem to be better. For example, even on a 1080i projector, the picture from the Toshiba 1080p HD DVD players is somewhat crisper than the 1080i ones.

3) The extra capability usually doesn't cost that much extra, and it's certainly cheaper than selling it later and buying a 1080p one when you need it.

4) If you want to sell it later, the 1080p models will hold a little more value. Not a lot, but some.

5) At least in the case of the Philips upscaling DVD players, last time I checked, the 1080p one was actually about $5 cheaper, which makes that a no-brainer.
posted by Caviar at 9:25 AM on January 3, 2008

Response by poster: I eventually bought a Sony NS77H and I am floored by it. I honestly was expecting compression artifacts and other bothersome crap like that, but it does a great job with my 42" 720p/1080i LCD Regza. I love it.
posted by NoMich at 12:19 PM on April 15, 2008

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