$300 kick butt DVD players

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Shane Morales, May 20, 2004.

  1. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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    Requisites:

    1. Kick ass PQ
    2. Faroudja or Silicon Image

    DVI preferred, but not required. Upconversion considered, but not required. Around $300.

    The TV is a Sony KP-46WT510.

    I was wondering if I could get some Top 5 lists or suggested models, etc. Thanks.
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    There aren't any new players at the $300 price point that have the Silicon Image deinterlacer currently on the market.

    The Denon 1200 and 910 both have Faroudja, at about $400 and $300.
     
  3. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    The 1200 can be had for $230 from www.ecost.com as a factory refurbished item. The Bravo D2 will hit in the fall for $250 w/ DVI but uses the Sigma chipset for deinterlacing as well as mpeg decoding and decoding other formats. The D1 is currently available for $200 but is a bit flacky concerning loaders and general build quality. The Samsung 931 is currently available for under $300 with Faroudja and DVI output but has some edge enhancement issues. The 941 will be out soon and will also have Faroudja and DVI and hopefully fix the edge enhancement issues (which should've been fixed with a firmware upgrade).

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  4. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Don't do the Denons if you have a Sony TV (or at least, be prepared to return it!).

    I got the 910 to go with my X1. I was getting a major jitter problem. I did some research, and the problem mainly occurs with Sony TVs (although I've got an Infocus X1 projector). I PM'd the Denon rep on AVsforum and he said that they were working on the problem, but they weren't sure why it was occuring with the Sonys and didn't know if they would get a fix.

    I also confirmed that the DVD-1200 and DVM-1815 will likely have the same problem, as the video section is identical. So the Denons are a no-go for you. The player did have a very good image and very good performance, but, no-go for Sony TVs and Infocus X1s!

    If you can find a Panny XP30 on Ebay, they are Faroudja DCDi based with an excellent MPEG encoder. The HT secrets folks rated it very high, since it passed pretty much every objective video and decoding test they put it through. They are no longer made though, so Ebay is probably your only choice there.

    The Zenith DVB318 is hot right now (upconverts to 1080i over component). It's got issues transmitting anything but 1080i over compnent - 1080i over DVI crushes whites, lower res over component has color bleeding, but the 1080i image is apparently very good. Only one professional review on it so far (it's actually for its Canadian clone):

    http://www.keohi.com/keohihdtv/exper...32_review.html


    See the HDTV res & DVD player thread for more info/discussion.
     
  5. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    I'd recommend a Panasonic XP30 they sell new,unopened units for under $299 on EBAY. I got one several months ago and its great, it has top-rated quality and proven long term reliablity. That Zenith is too new to be able to determine its reliability plus it has many defects and limitations and can't properly display 4:3 titles on 16:9 displays that lock in FULL with HD input.
     
  6. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Oh yeah, I forgot, if your TV locks HD signals in 16:9 widescreen, the Zenith be a problem for you. Might still be OK if you don't watch any 4:3 DVDs.
     
  7. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Pretty sure the XP30 has the same problem with 4:3 material. This was a huge selling feature on the RP91 for quite awhile and the reason alot of people didn't purchase RP82s instead. I don't know of any Faroudja or Silicon Images based players that pillar-box 4:3 or allow for scailing of non-anamorphic 16:9 material (the Denon 5900 does over DVI, not sure about component, but MUCH more expensive).
     
  8. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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    Thanks for all the info!

    I've read that the Sony TVs don't take upconverted signals that well, that a good quality 480p signal looks really good on them. So what about non DVI players? Kick ass required.
     
  9. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    The XP30 outputs in 480p which most 16:9 HDTV displays support 4:3 and zoom modes for. The problem with the Zenith is with its 1080i HD output, the HDTVs don't support those modes in 1080i. The Zenith can be switched to 480p but reports are it has artifacts in that mode.
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I had the same problem with a 910 and my Sony KV34HS510, but I returned it, got a 2200 and have had no problems since. I have heard the same thing with many different Sony displays and the 910, so I would not recommend it. I forgot to mention this *small* detail :b
     
  11. Scott_lb

    Scott_lb Supporting Actor

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    I have no experience with this unit, but I saw the new Samsung DVD-HD940 advertised in the back of the current issue of Sound and Vision magazine. The little blurb stated that it has the Faroudja chip and plays SACD and DVD-Audio as well. The price was $300.00 (I don't know if that's street or retail, however).
     
  12. Matt_Smi

    Matt_Smi Second Unit

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    This is very interesting; these players have a problem with all Sony TV’s, even CRTs? I was considering the Denon 1815 DVD changer, but that is off my list now, because I plan on getting a Sony TV soon. Thanks for the info…
     
  13. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    "I've read that the Sony TVs don't take upconverted signals that well, that a good quality 480p signal looks really good on them."

    I have the Sony KP53HS20 RPTV and 1080i looks beautiful. 480P also looks great, but can't touch 1080i.
     
  14. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    If you're the patient type, the Denon 2200s were available on ecost for less than $300. I don't know if they have the same jitter problems, but I'd guess that that's a deinterlacing problem, and the 2200 has an SI chip, not the F chip.

    Couldn't go wrong there I don't think.
     
  15. Nicholas R

    Nicholas R Stunt Coordinator

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    The Zenith/LG are quite superb PQ-wise though a decided step below a HTPC. The Denons are also terrific. The XP30 are older and rather unreliable and their PQ has been surpassed. Rather a waste of your money especially since Ebay is the only source.
     
  16. Alan Wise

    Alan Wise Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Sony KP-57WS510 RPTV supported by a Denon DVD-2900 and have not seen any of the problems described. Is it possible that these problems are only present with the Fouradja (spelling?)chip units such as the 910 and 1200, and not the Silcon Image ones?


    Al. Wise
     
  17. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    *Ahem*. I will repeat what others (and I) have said before. It's the RP82/RP62/CP72s with reliability issues. There are 0 reports of the H02 and H07 errors that plague the other units with the XP30, as the XP30 has a different, improved motor unit. Do a google search if you don't believe me.

    Cite one place reviewing the XP30 that puts it underneath the Denons. The Denons are based on the Panasonic units (differences include different audio DACs). As far as I understand, each generation of Denon player has the identical MPEG encoder as the Panny units, combined with a Faroudja chip. The XP30 still passed the HT Secret folks' testing as one of the top rated players. The PQ has not been "surpassed", at least as far as proper, error-free deinterlacing of all materials. Mayhaps the resolution of some of the upconverting players is better, but the Panny & Denon Faroudja units pass deinterlacing tests and video frequency requirements as some of the very best units.

    HT Secrets compilation of all units:

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-b...deInt=0&mpeg=0


    The Denon 2200/2900s are based on the Silicon Image chip. Apparently the chip is, perhaps, a tad better for film-based DVDs, and a bit worse for video-based material.

    I watch too much video-based material that really needs a quality de-interlacer - anime. For that matter, Faroudja doesn't even prevent all of the deinterlacing glitches. When the image is made of flat colors and lines, an erroneous lines really stand out [​IMG]


    On a side note, I ironed out a lot of the jitter on the DVD-910 last night using the Phase setting on the projector. Apparently this setting has something to do with syncing the digital video with the component analog input coming in through the VGA port. I'm not sure if it is truly jitter free yet. Still working on it.
     
  18. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    DaveGTP is correct, the XP30 is well known for its longterm reliability - I expect typical units to last 5+ years. Nicholas always posts that disinformation, he apparently needs to badmouth the XP30 to make other models look better. But the XP30 still commands good prices on EBAY for a reason!

    The picture quality of the XP30 is still top-rated and competes well against the more expensive newer models. The only new DVD player in the same price range as the XP30 is the new Zenith model - unfortunately that model has quite a few defects and limitations for a very slight difference in 1080i mode. If lots of XP30s were unreliable, the word would quickly get out on all the forums and the resell market would dry up - but it hasn't. I can confirm DaveGTP's information, I haven't seen one report EVER of an XP30 failure, only Nicholas has ever said that and has no evidence of it other than his own statement - no confirmation at all.
     
  19. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Yeah, you should see what the RP62 goes for. Pocket change, like $50 an under, because no one is sure how long it will work for.
     
  20. Nicholas R

    Nicholas R Stunt Coordinator

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    I had threee units die on me. The y don't go in 8 months like the 82/62 they take a bit longer s you shall find out. Don I find it very humourous that it's "known for it's longterm reliability" when the model is about a year old but then that IS a long time for any Panasonic other than the 91 to last. And there is not a "slight fifference" at 1080 it's a huge difference as hundreds have reported but again you've never used one have you Donald?
    Cheers mate it's only a STUPID DVD PLAYER. Lighten up and have fun with the hobby. As for PQ a HTPC kicks the snot out of an XP30 or the Zenith. It's about the movies not the equipment. On a side note I'll have a Panny 97 later tomorrow which I expect will also far outshine my old XP 30.
     

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