Philips DVD-963SA: SACD, DVD, and 24/192 upsampling of CD, for $400?!

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by KeithH, Oct 26, 2002.

  1. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2001
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rich,

    I don't think it's possible to determine from the specs alone, whether or not the 963SA will sound better than the ES players for redbook--upsampling or not. For example, the Panasonic RP-82 which I owned until recently, was no match for the modified Sony 775 which I own, despite the former's ability to upsample. That said, the 963SA supposedly has 6 DACs, which I read somewhere were the same ones used in the Classe SACD player. Still, a lot of the final audio output will depend on the implementation of the DACs, circuit design, isolation, etc. I think we'll have to hear one before being able to decide on the audio quality of the player. Problem is, the funky distribution that Philips uses is going to make in-person auditions difficult to say the least.
     
  2. Craig W

    Craig W Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why all the comparisons to the RP82? The RP82 is a great piece in its price range. For about $200 more I would expect the new Philips to be a more advanced player.

    Does anyone remember the Q50 from Philips? That model had tons of problems that required multiple firmware updates. Was the 962 any better in that regard?

    I know that the new version of the FLi2300 is supposed to scale, but are these features turned on? Philips may have a winner here, but it will be very interesting to see how this model performs when finally released.

    SACD and DVD-A are both floundering as far as I can see in the US. Neither one of these formats is going to enjoy the quick acceptance that DVD-Video enjoyed over the last five years. My new player does DVD-A but I have not had the urge to plunk down money on these new discs.
     
  3. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry if I missed it somewhere in the thread, but will this thing scale non-anamorphic DVD's for a 16x9 TV? (like the Panny RP91)??

    Thanks,
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,427
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rich asked:
     
  5. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2001
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    0
    Keith,

    There are plenty of Tweeters in and around Boston. Unfortunately, I've never seen the 962SA or even the old Q50 at any of them. Curiously, I live down the street from the Virgin Megastore in Boston and they actually have 3 models of Philips DVD players sold there. They're all pretty low end (I think the 763 is the most advanced one they have), but it's really odd that Virgin is a retail partner/channel for Philips.
     
  6. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    3,999
    Likes Received:
    0
    Eujin, I bet I pass you on the sidewalk all the time! I live on Mass Ave in the building across from the Christian Science Center (just before you get to Symphony Hall if you're coming from Boylston St). I guess the Boylston St. Tweeter will likely stock this unit whenever... hope they allow in-home demos (or a generous return policy).
    If this unit is hackable, then it's probably worth the $400 just for DVD playback (I'm presuming that it'll best the Malata in this regard). Honestly, the perfect DVD player for me would do all that, plus have DVD-Audio, so I could pair it with a standalone SACD/CD player with a switchbox. But if this puppy can come within a very short distance to the performance quality of the Sony 555ES, then I don't see how I could possibly not buy it! [​IMG]
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,427
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rich said:
     
  8. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    0
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,427
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, Philips is a Dutch company.

    Note this commment from "soundman38", the individual who started the thread on AVS Forum:

     
  10. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    3,999
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,427
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rich, I'm surprised that your Virgin Megastore doesn't have SACDs. I've seen an SACD section at the Virgin Megastores in Miami and New York City. Note that I am not talking about the Stones discs, which are in the CD department in the New York store. I was at the Miami store back in April, so the SACD section is not a new phenomenon. Also, I was at the New York City store about a month ago, and the selection of SACDs was quite good. They did not merely have Sony titles. They had SACDs from many labels and even had a couple Virgin import titles (Human League Dare and Simple Minds The Best of Simple Minds). You ought to talk to the manager and find out what gives.
     
  12. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2000
    Messages:
    2,636
    Likes Received:
    0
    According to my US Philips contact, the 963SA will not be available in the US until the 1st quarter of 2003.

    Don't complain to me, I'm just passing along the information I received.

    Regards,
     
  13. StaceyS

    StaceyS Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2000
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some info on the 963SA.

    The "Truelife" is the same technology that the 2220 offers in current DVD players. I find the image to look better with this feature off.

    The 2310 has the ability to offer aspect ratio control.

    There will be one or two 23xx based DVD players out before xmas, but they will be over $1k.

    The 963SA, like all Philips SACD players, convert DSD to PCM to perform bass management. This was mentioned by Philips at the same AES (Actually that had the entire flow of the player displayed) that Sony/Philips added a lossy codec to the SACD 1.3 spec. So like DVD-A, SACDs have the option to use lossy instead of lossless compression with all new discs.

    Before a DVD forum licensee can release a DVD player that outputs anything >480p, the CSS agreement needs to be updated with these new resolutions. I will warn you know that when these new resolutions come, it will be over DVI(HDCP)/HDMI only. There will not be any analog >480p that is allowed. Does not mean one will not be able to hack or that a non-licensee will OEM and offer something.
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,427
    Likes Received:
    0
    John, if we complain to you, will you complain to your Philips contact? In case the answer is yes, let me officially complain here.
    *in a whining tone* I want my '963SA now! [​IMG]
     
  15. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    3,999
    Likes Received:
    0
    Stacey, it sounds as though you have some key information to add to the discussion... unfortunately, I'm not smart enough to follow what you say. Can anyone translate that into straight dummy, or, even better, North American moron? Thanks! :b
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,427
    Likes Received:
    0
    Stacey said:

     
  17. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2001
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  18. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2001
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rich,
    I bet we've passed eachother on the street before! Or maybe while browsing at Virgin or Newbury Comics [​IMG]
    I'm on the other end of Mass. Ave, at the corner of Beacon.
    Actually, Virgin does stock SACDs but they CONSTANTLY move the display around, which is extremely frustrating. The other annoying thing is that they have a definite bias toward DVD-A, with lots more titles than SACD. I actually like Virgin more than Tower, especially with that Virgin Frequency Card; but I do make it a point to check in at the latter to see what SACDs they've got in stock.
    As for Tweeter, it'd be nice if they stocked the 963SA--their return policy is something like 60 days for store credit and 30 for your money back.
     
  19. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,427
    Likes Received:
    0
    Eujin, I would think that bass management performed in the PCM domain would be most undesirable for SACD. It's a real bummer that the '963SA will do it via PCM. I would think that it is possible to do bass management in DSD. Perhaps the next generation of players will do it. For now, it may be better to use an ICBM or the H/K receiver, though in either case, additional processing is applied to analog signals, which also concerns me.
     
  20. StaceyS

    StaceyS Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2000
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    0
    It was two AES ago, I believe, when the 1.3 spec added lossy as an option. The keyword is option. DVD-A has DD as an option.

    Why? They could fit more info on a disc. I doubt you will see any high end music company use it, but others had requested it for mainstream use.

    It was at this same AES while Philips was presenting, they had the flow of their player in the slides. It clearly showed DSD->PCM->BM->DSD. I speak with one of their engineers on a regular basis and he tells me this is how it has to be done. The new Pioneer 49TXi does the same thing with DSD when it comes over 1394 from the 47Ai. They convert to 88.2/32-bit for BM.

    The James Taylor Hour Glass SACD is considered a great sounding disc and it comes from a PCM master. PCM is not a bad thing.
     

Share This Page