Panasonic RP 91 today or?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by David S, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    Hoping for a some input on a purchase -

    Receiving a Pioneer Elite PRO 630 on Saturday and am deciding on what DVD player to use:

    In the house - Toshbia 3108 and Pioneer 525 - both non progressive. Is it way beneficial to move up to a Progressive player with this TV?

    Thinking on a Panasonic RP 91 - $399 new - Cruthfield (side note - like that it has a coax digital out) - is player still a solid buy? Good marriage with the 630? I like this player, seem to lean this way, just not sure about its age/chip, etc?

    Panasonic XP 30 - seems solid, why only optical digital out?
    (I've got a fairly $$ Coax Digital cable - want to keep using it, rather than buying a new optical cable).

    Maybe the Denon 1600 - Costly, and only Optical out?

    Any reco's for a player with the 630? Thanks
     
  2. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Hey David,

    Congrats on the Elite purchase. I just got a 530 and I love it. I have both an RP91 and an XP30. The XP30 might have a very slight edge over the 91 as far as progressive, but it is not night and day. The other features of the 91 such as the scaling of non-anamaphoric dvd, better remote, build quality, fiber and coaxil out, dvd-audio, means the 91 will stay as my player of choice. The Denon 1600 has the same video components as the XP30 but has dvd-audio and likely better build quality.

    I personally love the non-anamaphoric scaling of the 91. This however is NOT a necessity with the Elite's, as the stretch modes on this set are just fantastic and do a great job with non-anamaphoric, but the 91 still does a better job. My opinion is that if you want an all around great player with great flexibility, get the 91. If all you really want is top notch progressive with anamaphoric dvd's, get the xp30. If you want top notch progressive scan with dvd-audio, check out the Denon 1600. Hope this helps.
     
  3. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the input Greg. So it seems like for progressive the newer Panny's have an edge, but in your viewing, only slight. Besides this, seems like the 91 is still a "smart" purchase, given some of the new players available.

    Non video aside, I like the Coax Dig Out (my BetterCables Coax Dig would go to waste if I had to go optical). What do you think of the $399 price, seems to be a good deal - given the 91 is hard to find.
     
  4. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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  5. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    Greg or Dave - assuming the stack at Cruthfield is a later date, were there any problems with the 91 that I need to be aware of? Software, etc, updates that I should ensure the unit I would receive has? Thanks

    Also, any knowledge of the Denon 2800 Mk II. Sells for $699? THanks
     
  6. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    There was somekind of black market update that I really never understood. You had to download a file and burn it on to a CD, then load that into your player. Not sure what it did, but I don't think it was anything official from Panansonic.

    Never got that update and never needed it. Had it for a year and a half and never had a problem.

    Don't know about the Denon. I have a Denon reciever and love it.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  7. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    I got my current RP91 from crutchfield, and it was made in Oct 2002. It was defective, so Crutchfield shipped out a replacment the next day. It was also manufactured in Oct. 2002 with the version 259 firmware, which is the most recent. So if you order from Crutchfield, you should get a recent one. I think highly of crutchfield as they provided great service on my first defective 91.

    As for the "black market upgrade", the RP91 is firmware upgradeable, and panasonic creates new versions of the firmware to fix certain issues with the player. They do not release them, but some clever folks who get the 91's with newer firmware can rip the firmware and it can be burnt to CD. You can them play the Cd in your 91 and it will first check to see if you need the upgrade, and then perform it if you need it. The whole process takes about 10-15 minutes and is pretty simple. It seems as if the newer firmware versions just fix minor issues and not anything major. Again, 259 is the most current and you can check what version yours is by pressing the Pause and stop buttons on the unit, and 7 on the remote at the same time. The firmware will be displayed on the 91 and it is the last three numbers.
     
  8. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the feedback. I think I'm going to pull the trigger/at lunch to read the "Secrets" shootout results, they were not high on the 91 at all. Besides that review, never read/heard anything negative about the 91. Not sure what to make of their comments.

    Greg, its been said the "30" series Elites look a bit soft (could be the screen?). Does the 91 look too soft to you in your 530? Is the XP 30 sharper in that regard (not that I necessarily think that sharper = better). I'd only be concerned if the 91 looked to washed out on the new 30 series. Thanks
     
  9. Gary Shipley

    Gary Shipley Second Unit

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    If you're interested in the RP91, check out digitalmegastore online. I got my 91 for $390 and that included shipping.If I were you I would definately go for the RP91. I know I'm not sorry!
     
  10. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    I think dvd looks awesome on my Elite using the 91. I don't really notice any softness, but I have heard talk of it. I have read that some might be due to the anti-glare coating on the protective screen. I still have my screen on and I have no complaints with my Elite. Another thing that seems more plausible as to the softness is that the default settings in the service menu are very different between the 20 and 30 series Elites. As a matter of fact, the service menu is very redesigned from the 20 to 30 series.

    The one thing I notice between the 91 and xp30 is that by default the 30 seems to be brighter and colors are a little more vibrant. I attribute this to calibration. I did not calibrate the sets with avia when swithing back and forth between the two players. If I go into the 91 and click up the brightness and color to +1, the two players are indistinguishable to my eye.

    I don't have HD and haven't hooked up cable to it yet either. So far, I've only used it for dvd and laserdisc. DVD looked great from the get to, and it took a little tweaking for LD but even they look very good. The thing with the Elite is to give it a week or two to break in, and the image gets better over time. Also, it is recommended to change from standard mode into Reference theater mode, and then calibrate with avia or video essentials from there.
     
  11. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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  12. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    No, I'm pretty sure the black level enhance was off, but I'll have to check to be sure. Thanks for the heads up. I do think the xp30 was a little more "eye popping", but just because it was a little brighter. Setting up the brightness and color to +1 in the User menu made the two virtually equal.
     
  13. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Dave Miller,

    Should the black level enhancement be set to on or off for the best picture?
     
  14. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Leave the black enhance feature off.
     
  15. Skyler

    Skyler Stunt Coordinator

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