It also up-sampled the 480 interlaced signal to 720p or 1080i. Although it produced an absolutely gorgeous picture, it had some flaws that included the fact that it looked and felt cheap. Nevertheless, it was a critical hit as the smooth picture it provided had very little grain or noise to it because it never went through an analog stage.
The DVI connection outputs a signal that is not converted to analog, therefore is not subject to an analog stage. The Bravo D2 reads the 480i signal off the DVD, uses a Sigma Design de-interlacer to convert the signal to 480p (still in the digital domain), and then sends that signal digitally to a television via the DVI connection. If the TV is one of the aforementioned fixed pixel devices, it takes the signal without conversion and displays. Voila! No messy analog conversions!
Now, a year after the D1 came out, the D2 is here to fix some of the problems of the original. What a difference a year makes! The new D2 replaces the boring, black plastic construction with a new silver mirrored face that looks much more attractive. The LCD behind that mirrored panel is a similar blue one, but looks so much better with a pretty face. The remote is also new, and much nicer. It's large, easy to use and glows in the dark.
Installation/Setup/Ease of Use - The remote has a button on it that fixes one of my main complaints with the D1, namely the need to set it up with a composite or S-Video connection as it came out of the box with the DVI turned off. The TV mode button allows you to switch between 480i/480p/720p/1080i on the fly, therefore making the setup of this unit infinitely easier. One of the original pluses of the D1 has not been left behind, and that is the lack of need for HDCP encryption. The D2 upscales a signal to the native rate of your display whether it be 720p or 1080i, and does this without the need for an HDCP encrypted DVI connection, which the MPAA demanded. Although the benefits of upscaling are not exactly drastic, they provide a slightly better picture and are nice to have.
The back of the player has the pre-requisite connections -- DVI, component out, S-Video, and composite. It has both TosLink and coaxial digital out, and also RCA analog outputs for the left and right channels. This player does not decode DVD-A or SACD.
Click to Page 2 for Setup, Evaluation, and the Final Take.