Thanks, gents. I guess better upscaling is what is required. I have a Samsung 2333 (24" 1080P), yet a DVD is not as sharp as I would expect it to be despite having a decent pixel pitch, .261 I believe.
Perhaps as suggested, trying different players is the option to try. Thanks for those suggestions! -- I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.
A few things at play here. First, play it in a window at normal size, and it will be crystal clear (at least as clear as the source disc). Second, the scaling ability of the media player codec. Third, viewing distance. At a desktop distance, any imperfections in scaling are going to be more noticeable. -- Google is your Friend
Try downloading the free VLC player from »www.videolan.org/ It does a pretty good job of stretching the picture to fit. You aren't going to find true HD quality, because there simply isn't enough data on a DVD to create an HD picture. The pixel count for an SD screen is about 1/6 the pixel count of a 1080 screen.
I know you already realize the limitations of DVD but wanted to add that a 24-inch monitor viewed at 2 feet away is quite a short distance for a monitor of that size and if your eyes are sharp enough you will even be able to see individual pixels at that screen size. DVD will never look sharp because of the low resolution and because of the relatively large screen size.
I have a 22-inch monitor I use at about the same distance as you and I can see pixels even with my not-so-sharp-anymore eyes.