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$200 DVD Player - pls. help me pick one (1 Viewer)

Denis K

Dec 8, 2000
Hi All,

My wife and kids are buying me a DVD player for Father's Day. I've been informed that unless I give them a specific model, they’re going to hit BB or CC and pick one out for me (yikes!). I'd been looking into players a little bit, but hadn't done any serious homework. But in the < $200 price range that I'm looking for, I think the choice should be pretty simple.

I don't need progressive scan as my current TV, a 32" Hitachi Ultravision, won't benefit from it. (My understanding is that progressive scan does nothing for non-HDTV/HDTV-ready TVs, correct?) Also, I don’t need on-board decoding as that will be handled by the receiver. Priorities are picture quality and CD sound quality. Unless you all steer me in a different direction, the top contenders seem to be:

- Panasonic DVD-RV32
- Panasonic DVD-RP56 (clearance sale puts it within budget)
- Pioneer DV-353
- Sony DVPNS315
- Sony DVPNS415 (looks same as 315 but with "video pass through", whatever that is.)
- Toshiba SD2800

Both Panasonic models are on close out so I imagine they're about to be replaced. Anyone have early scoop on the new Panny models? I’ve heard the picture on the Sonys are a bit "soft", is that true? Also, the Sonys use 96Khz DACs for audio vs. 192Khz DACs on some of the others. In a mid-fi setup, would I hear a difference? Is the infamous chroma bug still crawling around or are all new players free of this now? I've heard lower end Pioneers should be avoided, true? If I jumped up in price $100 and went with a Denon, Marantz, Onkyo player, would I see/hear a difference? Any of your thoughts and recommendations will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks much in advance!

Jack Briggs

Senior HTF Member
Jun 3, 1999
I have the Tosh 2800 in my bedroom setup. Cute little machine, fine vid quality. The drive motor is a tad audible, but not intrusive once the soundtrack kicks in. Decent handset, though a bit cluttered compared with Tosh's usually well-designed remotes.

Picture looks marvelous through both component-video and S-video inputs.

The 2800 can be had for around $140 street. Got mine at Buy.com.

And, no, a prog-scan machine would be of no use to you--unless you're planning for the future and when you might get a prog scan-capable display. If so, consider the Sony 715--a superb prog-scan machine that MSRPs for $299 (and streets for considerably less).

David Judah

Feb 11, 1999
The new Panasonic player is the RP62. It has progressive scan, as does the RP56, which you said you don't need, but the MSRP is only $30 more($180)than the new interlaced Sony 315, so you might consider it.

Don't worry about the DAC specs. For the kind of material I assume you will be using through it(DVD-V & CD), the DACs in any of the units you choose will be fine(it doesn't matter if it has 24/96 or 24/192).

Have you considered spending a little more and getting a combo player with DVD-A or SACD? The prices are really coming down on alot of the new models.

Good luck,

Denis K

Dec 8, 2000
Thanks, guys for the helpful info. (Other comments are still welcome.) Also I had thought the DVD-A or SACD combo players were still quite a bit more expensive. I'll do a little more research. Thanks again, David.


Jim Prillaman

Stunt Coordinator
Feb 12, 2002
The Panasonic DVD-RA60 (which is not listed on Panasonic's site, but last I checked was still available on Best Buy's site) retails for at or under $200 -- it supports DVD-Audio, and is not progressive scan. I've been very pleased with mine.


Stunt Coordinator
Jun 4, 2002
for SACD, there is the Sony DVP-NS500V.
It has the chroma bug, yet it took a long time for anyone to even discover it (ie, i do not believe it is that noticible).
I am still debating this purchase, vs. a panny rp62.

jeff cr

Mar 2, 2002
i also got the Toshiba 2800 a few weeks ago for my birthday. i love it. watched about 30 movies on it already with no problems. video and sound quality are excellent. it was $139 at best buy

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