I picked up “The 5th Element” and “Blade Runner” (supposedly the absolute very last never to be another directors cut).
I’m still using my 56” DLP so I imagine things will be even more noticeable on a projection screen. I compared my Oppo 981 and BDP-83 playing both standard DVD, and DVD vs Blu-ray. Both were calibrated as closely as possible.
Note that I really have liked my 981 but the BDP wins handily. In the DVD vs DVD comparison the up-scaling seems the same however, the BDP wins on the following: Less motion blur when panning. The colours on the BDP are more saturated lending to a more 3d appearance. Blacks are darker w/o loosing shadow detail. Contrast is better.
So far I can’t tell any difference in the audio from CD, SACD or DVD between the two players
On the standard DVD vs Blu-ray “The 5th Element” is noticeably better on Blu-ray. Not only does the BDP win in all the same categories in the DVD vs DVD shootout above the detail is also much better. Which really surprised me considering how awesome I thought it already looked. Things look much more real but not digitized. The best way I can describe it is like the difference between looking at a matte vs glossy finished photograph.
“Blade Runner” looks better in Blu-ray on the BDP for all of the above reasons. However, on the Blu-ray some of the special effects like the fireballs at the beginning look fake. It’s very obvious they are added over the background. Not a deal breaker considering the other improvements but definitely distracting.
I don’t have a modern receiver yet so I can’t comment on the new sound formats. Overall the audio on the Blu-ray seems better however, the 7.1 to 5.1 down-mix on blade runner looses some of the discrete surround sound queues. I’ll have to hook my back speakers up again and see how that does.
Here some examples of how the BDP performed better:
In the opening scene of “Star Wars III” (something I’ve watched hundreds of times) the better contrast on the BDP showed that the light from the engines of the fighters flying over the cruiser is reflecting off the surface of the cruiser. Never saw that before.
In the opening scene of “Blade Runner” the sky has various colours showing through the clouds where on the standard DVD it just all looks orange.
On the included demo video the picture was like looking out an open window. Be nice if they would shoot all movies like that. Makes me really want to get my hands on Baraka. This time it’s to bad netflix is so quick as I couldn’t update my queue in time this morning.
Can’t wait to get the projector and screen, but not looking forward to the prep work in the meantime.