Need a new DVD-Audio Machine

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Doug Smith, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Second Unit

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    My Toshiba 4800 is getting long in the tooth. I need a new DVD player that can also play DVD Audio as I have quite a stack of titles. Anything looking good out there? Anything that does the above and also High Definition DVD's? But what about price? Is this strictly for millionaires?
     
  2. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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  3. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Second Unit

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    Thanks for the advice. Sounds like it might do nicely. Any idea on a price?
     
  4. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Second Unit

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    Sorry didn't see the link. I've got it now. Thanks.
     
  5. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    I had a 971 a few years ago which a friend is now using as a region-free DVD player, and I'm using a 970 now for DVD-A and SACD. I wouldn't hesitate to buying anything from Oppo.
     
  6. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I'm also using the 970 for DVD-A/SACD. Very nice for the price.
     
  7. DaveHo

    DaveHo Supporting Actor

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    If you're OK with buying used, many top of the line models from a few years ago can be had for a song. I just snagged a Denon 2900 to use as a dedicated SACD/DVD-A machine. If you are patient, one can be had for not much more than the cost of an Oppo 980.

    -Dave
     
  8. Doug Pyle

    Doug Pyle Second Unit

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    Several Denon models fit the bill, also providing SACD playback. I picked up the Denon DVD 757 precisely because I wanted both DVD-A and SACD. Has good audio output options - HDMI, 5.1 analog putting out fine internal decoding for SACD, as well as both optical and coax digital out.
     
  9. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    I have a bunch of players for my SACD/DVD-A collection, I thought with such so little software coming out, there wouldn't be any more players being made but there have been quite a few the last couple of years. If you don't mind refurbished, eCost has a few Denon models. The DVD-1930CI is $135, as is the DVD-757 which is the same player to the best of my knowledge, just a different model number. The older DVD-1920 is available for $97, I have it and like it really well. I also own the Opp DV-980H and think it is better than the DVD-1920, but I am happy with both. If you want to spend more, there are a lot more options.

    Chris
     
  10. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    If you can find one, just FYI, the Panasonic BD-10 plays DVD-A AND Blu-ray.
     
  11. Brent_S

    Brent_S Second Unit

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    Doug, you don't list your receiver/prepro, but if has HDMI audio capabilities, I'd look for a universal that passes hi-res audi via MPCM. I just installed a new Onkyo 805 last night. It was late then I finished the wiring, so I only did some real basic calibration and configuration. However, I was really curious to see if the 805 would process HDMI audio without an HDMI monitor. Popped in Porcupine Tree's "Deadwing" DVD-A...now I get it! I'd been using the Oppo 970's analog outs (including BM and delay processing) for DVD-A and thought it sounded pretty good. Maybe it's just the power of suggestion or fatigue, but even low volume listening with the 805 doing the BM/delay processing on the MPCM stream seemed vastly superior to memory of the 970's analog processing. Currently, I only own two DVD-A discs, but after that brief spin last night, I plan to order a good handful this week. :)

    -Brent
     
  12. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    This is one of the features that I've been researching lately, receivers that accept DVD-A/SACD thru HDMI. Even after reading the manuals it's unclear whether some brands products can do this or not with either dvd players or receivers. It's nice to know at least some Onkyo receivers do, but I think their players (namely the 504) don't.
     
  13. Brent_S

    Brent_S Second Unit

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    The Onkyo's don't decode DVD-A/SACD directly. I'm not aware that any receiver does. Even if they did, I'm also not aware of any player that passes DVD-A/SACD as a bitstream. Notice I said "I'd look for a universal that passes hi-res audi via MPCM". That means, the player must first decode DVD-A/SACD to a multichannel PCM signal. While optical/coax digitial don't, HDMI has enough bandwidth to carry a 5.1/7.1 PCM signal. In turn, any receiver capable of handling HDMI audio can then apply full post processing to the MPCM data. Maybe all universals with an HDMI output are capable of this, but since universal machines appeared before HDMI, I would expect some may only pass video via their HDMI connection.

    -Brent
     
  14. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    DVD-A is always passed as LPCM over HDMI. Some receivers, like the Yamaha 661 and higher-end Onkyos, can accept a DSD bitstream for SACD. The Oppo 980 can send DSD as a bitstream from SACD, not many can.
     
  15. Brent_S

    Brent_S Second Unit

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    I stand corrected on the 805. It does have a decoding mode for DSD...since the menu didn't explicitly say SACD and not actually owning any SACDs, I didn't realize what that decoding option was for. I haven't checked their manuals, but I would assume the 605 and above models all have DSD decoding.

    -Brent
     
  16. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Thanks Brent and Jack for trying to clarify things for me. What I'm looking for is something simular to i-Link which seems to be fading in favor of HDMI. This is where much of my confusion comes in. Even if they do accept bitstream over hdmi, they often don't mention it (or at least not clearly enough to me) in their manuals. And apologies if I've hi-jacked this thread a bit. Hopefully it's been a little help to others as well.
     
  17. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I'm not positive but I think a receiver would apply b.m./distance compensation/etc with an undecoded OR decoded signal. Why wouldn't it?

    Also: Panasonic, the company who designed the hardware for the dvd-audio format, still makes a couple players (wow, just 2 now, a bit different from dvd-audio's "heyday" back in 2003 or so [​IMG]). Supposedly the video circuitry isn't super-awesome on the first one, but the OP never mentioned that as a priority.

    DVD-F87 $130. 5-disc changer with HDCD decoder & DPLII. I've seen this at Circuit, and it doesn't look cheap like its price would suggest and it also has some subtle features that are almost non-existant on the majority of players now: a fluorescent display with useful info like track numbers, time etc using *large* digits (pulling up an OSD for everything quickly gets to be tiresome); a number pad - really rare! - for selecting individual tracks on CDs; and a "CD play" mode which deletes certain operations making it function more smoothly with CDs; and individual LEDs to indicate which disc is playing. These may seem like who-gives-a-crap features but little things like that make a piece of gear easier/more fun to use i.e. good ergonomics.

    DVD-S97S $300. Single disc with upconvertor, HDCD decoder and DPLII.
     
  18. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Can be a little tough to figure out. Yamaha typically has a page in the manual that spells out exactly what it'll accept. Onkyo is usually pretty good, too. This is from the RX-V663 manual, reads better viewed full size:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Last year I wanted to replace my venerable Technics DVD-A10 (which moved to my office where it functions as a nice CD/DVD player) with something which would handle DVD-Rs made from camcorder on my computer and do better with rental discs (the A10 doesn't like scratches). I got the DVD-F87, largely because I didn't want to reprogram my remote control for a new brand player. I also do not have DPLII on my old Integra DTR-7 receiver and wanted that upgrade for CD and Stereo/DPL DVD.

    I highly recommend it, a very good machine. The video quality using component 480i into my X1 is just fine as far as I'm concerned. DVD-Audio and other multichannel formats through the analog output sound great to my ears, though admittadly my ears are far from "golden". Features are nice, ergonomics are good for a changer. I've been very happy with this player and would recommend it if you don't mind a changer. Now I have an ATSC tuner equipped DVD Recorder in my family room, the DVD-F87 plays the DVD-RAM discs from it with zero problems. It's a very deep unit (as with most changers) so make sure you have the space for it.
     
  20. Brent_S

    Brent_S Second Unit

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    As I've said, no player that I know of provides DVD-A (MLP) as a bitstream, therefore no processors decode it. Technically, some Meridian players/processors probably do it, if you've got the money...since they invented the format. SACD (DSD) *can* be a different story. A universal player with HDMI might only be HDMI v1.0, so it can't send MPCM via HDMI so you're left with the analog outputs. It might also not decode DVD-A/SACD to MPCM even if it is v1.1 or higher...the HDMI specs only say what the hardware *can" do, not what it *has* to do.

    Considering the moving target that is HDMI, I wouldn't put 100% faith in a receiver or player properly handling MPCM just because it was v1.1 or higher. What's the quote "Trust. But, verify." Look at the recent crop of NAD receivers/prepro...HDMI v1.3, but no onboard decoding of TrueHD/DTS-HD MA and no plans to add it. A bigger deal, IMO, now that HD-DVD has been crushed by Sony's checkbook. The BluRay "standard" doesn't require in player decoders for the lossless formats...at least HD-DVD required TrueHD. To get prices down, the trend seems to be to remove lossless decoders from Blu players, presumably to save licensing and hardware costs. This obsoletes otherwise perfectly good 1.1/1.2 processors that could handle the MPCM stream these in player decoders provided. To add insult to injury, a lot of the current generation of players that claim TrueHD/DTS-HD bistream capability have been found to actually not...wait for the next firmware, then the next...lather, rinse, repeat.

    And don't forget the potential "LFE bug" with MPCM...that's on the processor designer, not the HDMI spec.

    A lot of universal players were released prior to HDMI, thus only allowing access to DVD-A/SACD via their analog outputs. A lot of these units don't apply any BM/delay processing to the analog outputs. Correspondingly, very few receivers/prepros provide any BM/delay processing on their multi-channel analog inputs...in order to do so, they'd need to perform an ADC step first, do the BM/delay processing in the digital domain, then another DAC step before sending the signal to the amplifiers. Whether you can hear the extra ADC/DAC cycle is debatable, but just knowing it's there is enough for some folks. Outlaw attempted to do full analog level BM for the multi-channel inputs on the 970/1070, but I've read the implementation introduced its own problems.

    If the OP isn't currently running HDMI, I wanted to bring this option to his attention. If his investement in DVD-A/SACD is large enough, it would probably be worthwhile to upgrdade his receiver/prepro at the same time to get a complete implementation of BM/delay/EQ and treat DVD-A/SACD just like any other surround format. If he's bargain hunting, he might could even pick up Jack's RX-V661 since it looks like Jack is standing first in line for the soon to be released 663. [​IMG]

    -Brent
     

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