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dvd players @ best buy

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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   BrentWatkins



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Posted August 10 2002 - 02:11 PM

like another poster, i am considering using the 10% off coupon i have for this weekend on a new dvd player. i went in today and wrote down the prices and model #s of every unit that claimed to support progressive scan. here they are:

JVC XV-S500 $179.99
Panasonic RP62 $179.99
Philips DVD724 $159.99
Samsung DVD-P421 $149.99
Samsung DVD-P721 $199.99
Sony DVD-NS715P $199.99
Toshiba SD-3800 $179.99
Toshiba SD-4800 $199.99

obviously i want quality, chroma-bug free progressive scan output. however, i'm also interested in whether the player can read DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, and DVD+RW as well as whether it can handle VCD, SVCD, MP3 files, and JPG files. there is a database on vcdhelp.com (http://www.vcdhelp.com/dvdplayers.php) that lists whether a player can handle the various formats i mentioned, and on that site the philips got a pretty good review, but i haven't seen it mentioned in the forum. does anybody have any experience with these particular features on these units.

also - what would be good test material to bring in tomorrow? i've got toy story 1 - the menu screen in that is supposed to reveal the chroma bug, right? i'll bring in some svcds and recordable dvds of my own.

(if it matters, my tv is a tosh 50H81)

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Jan Strnad

Jan Strnad


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Posted August 11 2002 - 02:45 AM

After hitting three local Best Buys and finding a helpful clerk who searched inventory in several stores, I couldn't find a Toshiba SD-4800 in stock. (I had the 10% off coupon, too.) They didn't expect any more until next week, after the coupon expired, and the coupon was for "in stock" merchandise only. Funny how these players "vanished" over the weekend...I could have sworn my nearest BB had several in stock late last week...but I'm naturally paranoid.

Anyway, I settled for a Toshiba SD-3800 (no DVD-A support) and, even with California's 8.25% sales tax, it rang up at under $150 with the coupon.

I checked it with Toy Story and didn't detect any chroma bug. I didn't see a huge difference between interlaced and progressive output on my Toshiba 42H81, but there was a slight improvement with progressive.

The formats it supports include DVD-R and DVD-RW but I don't know if it handles DVD+R and DVD+RW. And it includes a disclaimer that some discs might not play because of "incompatibilities" (generic disclaimer). Bringing your own recordable media is a great idea, assuming that your BB has the players actually hooked up.

Good luck!

Jan Strnad

aka J. Knight,
author of Risen and Boo.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   BrentWatkins



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Posted August 11 2002 - 03:23 AM

unfortunately, the vcdhelp.com site claims that the tosh 4800 doesn't support svcd. presumably this means the 3800 doesn't either. however, these are just user-written reports so who knows. and unfortunately, in hindsight, i don't think that my best buy has the dvd players hooked up to anything. maybe i'll stop by circuit city on the way.

after doing a lot of reading, i'm probably narrowed down to the sony, the panny, and the philips. i would probably go with the philips for sure, since it has such good reports of compatibility, but i don't know anything about the quality of its progressive output, or whether it has the chroma bug. one of the reports on vcdhelp claims it has the Faroujda chip, but i can't find evidence of that on the philips site. and reports here say that the sony has bad progressive output as well as the chroma bug, so maybe i should cross that one off.

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   BrentWatkins



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Posted August 11 2002 - 12:37 PM

here's an update for those keeping score at home...

i bought the sony using the coupon for $180. i think i was able to see the chroma bug in toy story on the checkerboard in chapter 3, but i never would have found it if nobody told me about it so i'm not going to worry about it. overall i found the sony to be a very nice unit. it was able to handle my DVD-Rs and VCDs with no complaints. however, it played back my test svcd (which i made myself) at too slow of a speed, so the audio sounded strange.

it was only 5:30, so i ran out to best buy and bought the panasonic RP62 (also for $180, no coupon). i like the menu system better in the panny - one click brings up a bar along the top that shows the current audio, subtitle, and angle settings and allows you to change them with the arrow keys. very slick. the fast forward rewind functions are far more choppy on this one compared to the sony, but no big deal. but, i popped in the DVD-Rs and it couldn't handle them. took it several seconds to finish scanning the disc, and then the playback was choppy and laced with decoding errors (when it would play at all). the svcd also failed to play, though in a different way than the sony. in this case it was very stuttery. no garbage, just constant start-stop.

so, i cracked open the manual of the panasonic and right in there it claims it will not play SVCDs or DVD-RWs, and that it will play DVD-Rs created with the panasonic recorder. i downloaded the test SVCD images from dvdhelp.com and burned them; both played fine in the sony, both played with stutter in the panasonic. i assume i just messed up encoding my SVCD.

as of right now, i am going to keep the sony and take back the panasonic. other than the chroma glitch in the checkerboard (which, again, i would have never noticed on my own) i find the output to be comparable. actually, the sony seems to lock into film mode better than the panasonic - right around chapter 7 (from just before the chapter mark to just after) the panasonic would switch back and forth, and the sony would stay in film mode. the only other thing i really like better on the panny are the menus, and i'm willing to give those up to be able to play the DVD-Rs and SVCDs.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Lorne



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Posted August 03 2003 - 03:22 PM

How come you didn't consider the Samsung DVD-P421? I've been looking at that one. Any impressions?


#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott

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Posted August 04 2003 - 05:45 AM

What is the chroma glitch bug?

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Daron



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Posted August 04 2003 - 08:19 AM


I, too, bought the Sony from Best Buy last week. I have been very impressed! If there is a chroma bug in it, I cannot see it. I've looked at various disks, including Toy Story 1, and everything looks clean to me!

It plays all of my DVD-R, -RW, and +RWs like a charm! I think you will love this player!

Reading your post, I'm glad I didn't go with the Panny.


#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Nathan_R


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Posted August 04 2003 - 09:36 AM

Wow, this is a blast from the past! I was wondering which Best Buy was still stocking some of those players!
...just lost drunken men who don't know where they are and no longer care.


#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Kevinkall


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Posted August 04 2003 - 02:55 PM

I have the Toshiba player mentioned and it's a great player! It doesn't play SVCD discs, but it has played everything else I have put in it. It has some great features that I haven't seen on ALOT of other players. It has a zoom function that enables you not only to zoom in but to zoom out and make the image smaller(helpful in watching bad quality VCDS). The only drawback that I've found in this player is the MP3 navigation(which I find is the drawback in ALOT of players). Overall it's one of the best players in it's price range.