So I thought I had a pretty good handle on analog and digital audio formats/transports, and then I [made the mistake and] entered the world of mid-end video, and am somewhat confused.
We recently purchased a Samsung HL-R5067W, and it’s nice, but our current DVD player(s) just aren’t cutting it — resolution, color, and contrast are pathetic. This is not surprising, as one is a PS2, and the other is a Phillips DVD Recorder, which while lovely for recording, seems to have cut a lot of corners in the transport, decoders, and user interface areas.
So, I thought to myself — it should be easy, just get some mid-range 1080i player with HDMI, and the problem is solved.
But then I became hopelessly confused; so here are my questions:
- Do “upconverter” players do anything worthwhile?
- Is “upconversion” done for digital outputs (DVI, HDMI, 1394), or just component? It seems like there are a lot of nice low-to-mid range players out there (like, say, the Denons or the Arcams) that don’t do
upconversion, but do have HDMI and so forth, and are relatively well regarded.
- Best case, do I want to use component with a good video DAC, 1394, or HDMI?
- For that matter, given my television, and a budget of $250-1000, what’s the best bet to deliver optimal picture quality? SACD and DVD-Audio playback are a plus, as are good analog audio signals, though I’m not against external analog DACs/clocks/preprocessors provided the digital output stage is of at least mediocre quality.