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looking for a new dvd player-help please?

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#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Sam E. Torres

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Posted October 19 2004 - 04:07 PM

so i really thought the dvd player i had now was going to last. turns out it started skipping around and locking up, out of all days...the day i got the star wars trilogy on dvd. so i've been watching movies off the ps2, and i'm not really digging it. i decided that i'm forking over the money for a new dvd player, but i want one that supports dvd-a(i've had my eye on that damned beck sea change dvd-a for some time now).

my setup is real modest, i just have an old 27" tv that doesn't even have s-video inputs in the back, i'm perfectly fine with that. i just need a dvd player that will play cd-r's, dvd-r's, and dvd-a discs. honestly, i don't even know what progressive scan is, so i don't think i even need that(especially with the lack of s-video input on the tv).

so finally, my question is, what is the best deal for what i'm looking for? do dvd-a players cost a lot extra?

i'd appreciate any help. thank you so much.

#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Sam E. Torres

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Posted October 20 2004 - 02:38 PM

anyone? (15 views?)

#3 of 10 OFFLINE   MannyE


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Posted October 20 2004 - 05:11 PM

For the TV you have, and your requirements, I would just get a Cyberhome CH-300 or 350 (same player...model number changes) for 49 bucks at Target, K-Mart, or Costco.

It plays almost every CD/DVD you throw at it....except DVD-A.

DVD-A will cost you a lot more becuase it is only found on dedicated players or the more expensive universal players.

Good luck!

#4 of 10 OFFLINE   Sam E. Torres

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Posted October 21 2004 - 12:43 AM

is cyberhome good? it's not like those ultra cheap apex or hitachi dvd players is it?

#5 of 10 OFFLINE   FeisalK



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Posted October 21 2004 - 02:34 AM

whatabout the Pioneer 578?

plays SACD, too
DVD-A registry for hirez/surround audio
Bluray, DVD-Audio, DAD/HDAD, DualDisc, MVI

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   LanceJ



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Posted October 21 2004 - 07:05 PM

Sam: if you want a decent dvd-audio player, a Panasonic DVD-F87 only costs @$130 just about everywhere. It's a changer and even has Dolby Pro-Logic II built into it to take stereo sources like CDs and generate a pretty good simulated 5.1 effect out of them for older receivers that don't include that newer version of DPL. J&R Music sells the black version--I think it looks better than the silver one.

One small warning though: this player doesn't have bass management for the dvd-audio signals to filter out low bass sounds from the left/center/right/surround channels, so if your system uses really small speakers (i.e. something with 4" or smaller woofers) be really careful with the volume!*

The videophiles have been dissing this company's players lately because their video performance isn't super-ultra great but for most people I'll bet they do fine.

Just remember: to hear the dvd-audio high resolution tracks, you have to hook up the player's 5.1 analog outputs to a receiver's 5.1 analog INputs. Because for copy-protection reasons Posted Image the 5.1 dvd-audio signals are not transmitted over the digital output. And you do not need expensive cables either for this--if you want, just use some cheapy $2 types until you know you like surround music (I do but a lot of people don't) then go buy some of the $20 variety to get decent shielding against stray electrical signals and heavier construction for longevity sake.

Personally, unless you see lots of titles in the sacd format (which consists mostly of jazz & classical) that you just have to have, I wouldn't buy a universal player priced under $250. I own a Pioneer DV-656A dvd-audio player myself, but there are exactly four sacd titles I would buy right now, so no way am I investing in that format too right now. Anyway, most universals have too many problems & compromises for my taste--do a search on the Pioneer, Toshiba and Samsung universals and you'll see what I mean. Even a good-sized chunk of the expensive ones have their share of problems.

* you can play any dvd-audio disc that includes a surround track on a regular dvd-video player because they always include a Dolby Digital and/or DTS track for those types of players. And those format's decoders always have b.m. included so you use small speakers with them. BUT: every dvd-audio player I have personally seen has an option to play back a dvd-audio disc as a dvd-VIDEO disc. This means you can then access the Dolby/DTS tracks just like a "normal" player does.

#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Max F

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Posted October 22 2004 - 01:23 AM

Hey Lance,

I noticed on the instruction booklet for the f87 you can set the size of the speakers. It asks if you have a sub hooked up too. So I'm guessing that it does have bass management. Not sure what the filter is but it probably is 100hz just like the Panasonic recievers.

I'm thinking about getting one, but not sure if i need to have SACD support though. Although i can't think of alot of discs in either format that i really would want. I mean i've heard Dark Side of the Moon so many times in my life, i don't really want to listen to it again - even in full surround. Honestly, i doubt that either format will catch on due to all of the requirements needed to enjoy them. I'm all for high definition (better than CD) two channel though.

#8 of 10 OFFLINE   EricRWem



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Posted October 22 2004 - 03:14 AM

Pioneer 578.

#9 of 10 OFFLINE   LanceJ



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Posted October 22 2004 - 07:35 AM

For me at least, unless the specs specifically state that bass management also applies to the dvd-audio signals, I would be very wary of turning up the volume.

My own 656A has b.m. of course for Dolby/DTS but I've done tests and it does not perform b.m. (man I wish there was another acronym for that!) on the dvd-audio signals.

Panasonic is an enormous corporation--which includes an integrated circuit chip division--and I bet if they wanted to they could pump out millions of PCM b.m. chips for pennies apiece. But the fact that they still don't equip their own players with these (and AFAIK they are one of the biggest forces behind dvd-audio as far as hardware is concerned) makes me think that they are following the advice of most surround music mixers: to use five full-range speakers + a sub for the optimum 5.1 surround music playback system. While there is the possibility of audible sonic problems in the room where such a system is placed**, such a system also eliminates the electrical distortions from using so many crossovers.

But most importantly, a full-range system eliminates the potential for the user to accidently choose the wrong crossover points which can play havoc with the realism of the music. For example, if someone owns a rig with a really small center channel (lots of HTiBs come with these), having part of a deep-voiced male singer's voice come from the center channel & the other portion emanate from the sub is a weird experience! This is bad enough in an HT rig but for me it's especially distracting when present in a music system. Same thing with certain stringed instruments.

So I'll have to agree with Max that a properly set-up surround music system might not be for everyone (i.e. because of five large speakers placed in their room) or in everyone's budget, but IMO surround music can sound f'ing awesome and it is worth it to me to make some sacrifices to hear it properly.

Speaking of hearing 5.1 properly, I recently bought two "large" Pioneer speakers for surround channels for my own system--wow, what a difference they made. They are not truly full-range since they only get down to about 45Hz but for most music I think this works out fine. There is a link to my review of them in this review of Medeski Martin and Wood's cool jazz/hip-hop Uninvisible dvd-audio I bought. That disc contains lots of bass in the rear & center channels, which I write about in more detail in the disc's review.

** IIRC mostly from phase problems from the interaction among the five speakers, IF they even contain the required identical signals to cause the phase problems in the first place. And I haven't noticed any of my own dvd-audios exhibiting such a thing--maybe two channels but not ALL five.

#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Max F

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Posted October 23 2004 - 03:55 AM

Thanks for the reply Lance. If i do buy the F-87 i'll let you know about the bass management. I assume since you can pick the size of your speakers, this effects the analog signal that comes out. I have a panasonic DVD player that doesn't have analog out and their is no selection for large or small speakers. No need for any cause it only has digital out. Who knows?

I still hate that the panasonic receivers only let you choose filters above 100 hz. I still like their products, though. Good bang for the buck.