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Pioneer DV434


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   ShepherdA

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Posted March 19 2004 - 01:35 AM

I've seen the old Pioneer Dv434 dissed in recent days, but I honestly don't know why. To my eyes, the picture that it delivers in progressive mode are absolutely stunning. I like it so much that when the need arose recently to purchase a DVD player for my second widescreen HDTV at our vacation home, rather than attempting to sort through the many possible current candidates, I decided to play it safe and buy a second (used) DV434. Someone please tell me why I made a mistake. I'm not trying to start a war here. I'd just like to know what this DVD player lacks compared to better ones. Thanks.

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted March 19 2004 - 03:51 AM

"Wars" are not allowed here.

A good argument against purchasing a used machine is the same one that is proffered for any playback device: moving parts. Used amplifiers, preamplifiers, and receivers can be relatively risk-free purchases, but the same cannot be said for a DVD player, CD player, or turntable. Given how good and how inexpensive current-model machines are, I'd have opted for one of them. But if you're happy with the used Pioneer, then groovy!

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Dalton

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Posted March 19 2004 - 08:55 AM

Sheperd,
I have a 434 in my bedroom that has served me well for 3 yrs. I like it just fine! Posted Image

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Danny Tse

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Posted March 19 2004 - 11:16 AM

Pioneer 414 about to be put to use as transport....still going strong!
SACD not listed at sa-cd.net (updated 8/26/2009)

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   ShepherdA

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Posted March 20 2004 - 12:51 AM

Well here's what I've decided to do. I'm going to head over to my neighborhood Ultimate Electronics today and pick up the highly touted Denon 910. Then I'm going to A-B it against my Pioneer DV434. I've been told that the difference between the two should be like night and day. I'll let you know what differences my eyes are capable of discerning between the two. But in case it's not so obvious to me, what differences should I be looking for?

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Dave Simpson

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Posted March 20 2004 - 05:09 AM

Quote:
A good argument against purchasing a used machine is the same one that is proffered for any playback device: moving parts. Used amplifiers, preamplifiers, and receivers can be relatively risk-free purchases, but the same cannot be said for a DVD player, CD player, or turntable. Given how good and how inexpensive current-model machines are, I'd have opted for one of them. But if you're happy with the used Pioneer, then groovy!


Jack,

I'm not sure that Shepherd was inquiring about the general value of used dvd players. Rather, my impression is that he was asking what it is specifically about the Pioneer 434 that's given it such a piss-poor rep on the web (read the reviews on Audio Review for a few good laffs).
My experience with the 434 has always been positive. I bought a demo model for a hundred bucks Canadian, with full warranty, about 16 months ago, and I've had no difficulties with it. I like the fast menu navigation, and the way it steamrolls through layer changes (on the other hand, this is in comparison to my old, and fairly crappy, Toshiba 2109, which has given it up). And the 434's drive mechanism is surely a more quiet affair than that of my Liteon 2001, which I otherwise think is just swell. The 434 is being used with an old 27" Trinitron, although I did connect it to my Sanyo Z1 last week just for shits and giggles. Looked fine to my untrained eye for the half hour I demoed stuff. If you can get one for about $50, knock yourself out; otherwise, as Jack said, a cheap new player may be more reliable. Cheers.

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#7 of 16 OFFLINE   ShepherdA

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Posted March 20 2004 - 05:59 AM

Dave, you are correct; I was asking specifically about the DV434's bad reviews. Like you, I see nothing wrong with the player. I've been using it for the last three years on my 61" HDTV, and the picture it delivers is very impressive. I also agree with your assessment regarding what would be a reasonable amount to spend on another one. I recently bid $46 on Ebay for a demo DV434 and won the auction, and I intend to use the player on my Sony Widescreen 51" HDTV at our lakehouse. I've picked up a Denon 910 today for comparison purposes. If I detect a significant difference in picture quality, I may very well resell the DV434 on Ebay and keep the Denon 910. I'll let you all know what differences my untrained eyes see.

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   ShepherdA

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Posted March 20 2004 - 08:35 AM

Okay, folks. Here are the results and my testing methods, for anyone interested.
METHODS:
I, my wife, and my two kids compared the Pioneer DV434 with the Denon DVD910 on my Sony KP61HS10 HDTV. Both DVD players were connected to the TV through identical component video cables via a component video switch. I A-B'ed the two players showing identical scenes of the movies, "Shrek", "Spiderman", and "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines". My wife and two kids were blinded as to the identity of the DVD players that they were viewing. They players were referred to simply as "A" or "B". As the switcher, I was biased, knowing which image was coming from which DVD player.

RESULTS:
Three of the four of us could discern no difference whatsoever between the quality of the picture generated by each of the two DVD players. My wife, however, insisted that the Denon DVD910 picture was slightly grainier than the Pioneer DV434 with each of the three movies, and this was reproducible, even when I tried to fool her by changing the Denon's identity from "A" to "B".

CONCLUSION:
So much for the nasty reviews I've read on the Pioneer DV434. Maybe the reviewers had better trained eyes than the four of us avid movie fans. But I'm sticking with the old Pioneer DV434, which I just purchased for $46, and I'm returning the Denon DVD910 for which I paid $299.95.

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Dalton

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Posted March 20 2004 - 02:55 PM

Quote:
Three of the four of us could discern no difference whatsoever between the quality of the picture generated by each of the two DVD players. My wife, however, insisted that the Denon DVD910 picture was slightly grainier than the Pioneer DV434 with each of the three movies, and this was reproducible, even when I tried to fool her by changing the Denon's identity from "A" to "B".


These were basically my results a couple of years back when i compared my 434 against the highly regarded Panasonic RP91. My TV is the Panasonic pt56wxf95(a 56" 16x9 set). I set up the 91 using information found here on the forum and did a blind test with my wife and a couple of friends and found that most of the time they could not tell a difference and when they did the 434 usually won. I only moved the 434 to the bedroom because thanks to the Net i discovered the CUE and now i always spot it so i now use the CUE free Pioneer 563. I have had believe it or not, 22 dvd players over the past 2 years. I just love changing equipment but now it's gotten ridiculous so i am going to stick with the 563 till i go HD DVD. I am getting a projetor in a couple of weeks so i actually may convert 1 of my many PC's to an HTPC. At that point i will use the 563 for DVD-A/SACD duties. Looks i have rambled off topicPosted Image. Anyways the 434 will happily reside in my bedroom until it finally kickc the bucket.Posted Image

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Tom Grooms

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Posted March 21 2004 - 03:45 AM

The 434 is NOT true progressive scan player. It's more like a line doubler. It doesn't have a film mode to do the 3/2 pulldown and doesn't even use any motion adaptive deinterlacing.

Im assuming that if you cant see any differences between the 434 and a decent player, your TV is doing the deinterlacing so you could sent it any 480i source and not notice any change.

Not to mention some of the worst chroma errors I have ever witnessed.

$0.02

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   ShepherdA

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Posted March 21 2004 - 04:37 AM

Tom, I can find no documentation on the Sony to indicate that it does deinterlacing (although I realize that that doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't do it). In any case, when I use my cheapo AMW ABT P500 Progressive Scan DVD Player on that TV, the picture is terrible compared to when I use the Pioneer DV434. With the AMW player, the picture shows obvious lines of resolution, whether I set it to Progressive or Interlaced. Any idea why that might be?

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Tom Grooms

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Posted March 21 2004 - 05:01 AM

Display devices are sometimes tough to figure out. I believe the Sonys display 480p and 1080i native. My Hitachi 57" swx20b only does 540p or 1080i so everything it's sent (unless its a HD feed @ 1080i) is upconverted.

Your Sony could be displaying 480p on all 480 sources (progressive or interlaced) so that may tell you something.

Try this, Set up the 434 with an s-video cable and try it with the interlaced output. I bet it looks the same as the component feed.

I don't know what a AMW ABT P500 is so no help there.

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   ShepherdA

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Posted March 21 2004 - 05:46 AM

You're right, Tom. I see no difference betwwen the s-video cable in interlaced mode and the component video cables in progressive mode. But then, neither do I see a difference with the Denon 910 using interlaced versus progressive modes. What does that tell you?

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Tom Grooms

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Posted March 21 2004 - 06:31 AM

Your TV is processing the video signal. You may want to look at a new display device as your next upgrade path.

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Ralph B

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Posted March 21 2004 - 10:08 AM

I have the old Pioneer 343 and always thought it did a great job on DVD's . also.... I have a 333 which is great too and they have played alot of DVD's and still going strong with no problems. I will say with burned DVD's my panny XP50 gets funny near the end of burned DVD's and wont play and breaks up near the end of any of my burned discs. the Pioneer will play flawlessly with no problems. I have not tried my burned on the 563A that I own but I would assume it could do just a good a job. I have owned lots of DVD players and yet there is not one that can be as dependable and play any disc like the 343,333 or 434. these are very like players made at the same time. geat product! also not a bad 480i picture!

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted March 21 2004 - 10:25 AM

The Sony KP61HS10 has it's own line doubling or de-interlacing which converts all incoming 480i signals to 480p or 960i, depending on how you've set the DRC control.

If memory serves there are 3 DRC settings on that tv:

Progressive-converts all incoming 480i to 480p, no 3/2 pulldown for filmbased sources is applied.

Interlaced-converts all incoming 480i to 960i

Cinemotion-same as Progressive but applies 3/2 pulldown when film bases sources are played.

If both players are set to 480i output, which is the mfg. default, then the players aren't doing the de-interlacing and any differences in the two players' deinterlacing won't be visible.

If you went into the player's setup menus and enabled progressive scan output, and turned on that output so the set was indeed actually getting 480p from both players, then your comparison is, of course, valid.

Progressive scan players are shipped with progressive scan disabled so that an uninformed purchaser who does not have a 480p capable display doesn't return the player when they inadvertently turn on the progressive scan and get a scrambled picture, just as players ship with DTS bitstream blocked to protect those who do not have DTS decoding in their audio systems.

Easy way to tell if you're actually getting 480p from the player is to try to change the DRC setting on the tv while playing a disc. If the set's getting 480p from the player the DRC choices are de-activated. If you can change DRC mode while playing a disc, then the set is getting 480i from the player, not 480p, and the de-interlacing and pulldown are being performed by the set, not the dvd players.

I'm not trying to say you're test isn't valid by any means, just trying to clarify some things. While I haven't tried the 434, which does not do 3/2 pulldown, I have tried different players with different de-interlacing chips and have seen differences in performance.

Specifically I've compared JVC to Panasonic with Faroudja chips and newer Panasonics whithout Faroudja chips. Differences are non-existent when watching film based dvds that are properly mastered, only showing up with poorly mastered discs or discs that are mainly video based material.
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