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Background | Delivery | Pictures | Initial Impressions


For a while, all the rage or attention was focused on getting a DVD player with a deinterlacer engine that can produce the best possible picture.  This means getting a picture that is smooth, colors that are vibrant, and first and foremost for most video enthusiasts is that problems like moire or judder and other artifacts are absent or at least significantly reduced.   There have been countless discussions in print and online about top performers like the Panasonic RP82 and RP91, the Skyworth 1050P, as well as the Malata, Nintaus and a few others.

But throughout those discussions, there was always that underlying nagging question about why just settle for a 480p player.  Why not something that produces higher resolution like 540p or even 720p or 1080i.  It made logical sense but at the time the technology just wan't there yet.

Well, that was then, this now.  Interesting that we are not talking about a time slice in decades here.  We're only talking just a couple of calendar years.  =)

Today, there are now a handful of standalone DVD players that can produce resolutions in the HDTV range, 720p and 1080i.  One of them is the Momitsu V880.

The Momitsu V880 is one of the first crop of standalone players that have broken the 480p barrier for image resolution.  It is capable of generating HDTV resolution images in 720p and 1080i.  It is powered by the next-generation Sigma Designs EM8500 single-chip DVD decoder which provides for advanced capabilities that include playback of DivX™ Video, WMA, MP3 and MPEG-4 (MP4) files, no chroma upsampling error, analog YPbPr/RGB video outputs with optional scaling up to HDTV resolution, 8-bit full-screen OSD with alpha blending and flicker filter, S/PDIF and 2-channel I2S digital audio outputs and a digital video output to support DVI/HDCP. 

Speaking of DVI (Digital Video Interface), in addition to a component terminal, the Momitsu V880 has a DVI-I terminal.  Both the component and the DVI-I terminals are able to transmit 720p or 1080i!

DVI?  What about it?  I can get superb pictures now with component connections.  So, why should I bother with DVI?  Well, the picture generated by a projector is in digital format but in order for it to transmit to component input sets, it has to convert the signal from digital to analog.  When it reaches the TV through the component input, the TV then provides the reverse decoding from analog to digital.  The process of dual conversion provides opportunities for signal and hence picture quality degradation due to noise and interference attributed to electronic component build and performance from points a to b.  Using a DVI to DVI connection, however, delivers the signal in digital form unchanged and unmolested from projector to the display device.  This method provides and ensures for a much cleaner signal and hence a much better picture.

Other neat features of the V880 include its multiregion capability with the ability to play digital media with Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE).  Through a "Secret Menu", one can literally set its region setting or simply make it multiregion for universal use.  And as an added bonus, one can also disable Macrovision through the same secret menu.  More on this later. 

And just like most other players these days, it can play a laundry list of media such as VD Video, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, CD, Video CD, CD-Rom (MP3), CD-R, and CD-RW.   It has a built-in NTSC-to-PAL and PAL-to-NTSC converter and recognizes JPEG images.  Other non-progressive video requirements are through an Svideo terminal and a set of composite out.  Audio output is through a coaxial, an optical, and a 2-channel terminal.

A quick caveat ... this device is spec'ed as being capable to produce images in the HDTV range.   This doesn't mean it will perform miracles and make every DVD one owns now display as good or even close to an actual HDTV picture quality. Remember that DVDs are not the same resolution as HDTV.  So, it cannot show DVDs and make them look like HDTV.  It however can make DVDs look much better with algorithms to show it in 720p or 1080i.

With such a feature-rich resume, it is no surprise that the Momitsu V880 is one of the most sought after devices today.