A Good "Layer Switcher" DVD Player?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Zach Foster, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. Zach Foster

    Zach Foster Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey everybody! I just now signed up for this forum so I could get some insight on a topic that doesn't seem to have much attention given toward it on the web- layer switching on DVDs. More particularly, I was wondering if any of ya'll could recommend players that have good switching capabilities. I just started buying DVDs when we bought a Playstation 2, and I realized that it doesn't handle layer switches all that well, particularly on "The Fast & The Furious Tricked Out Edition". At a point on the disc, all audio and video will freeze for about a second. I'm guessing that's the layer switch, because it's a completely new DVD, with no scratches or smudges. If I can find a reasonably priced DVD Player with good switching capability, I think I'll retire the PS2 from movie duty! Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    The staff of HTF would sincerely like to thank
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    for information. We greatly appreciate the polite
    bit of courtesy that this member has provided to
    our membership. It takes real class to go on a
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  3. Aaron Cohen

    Aaron Cohen Second Unit

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    Good choice on retiring the PS2 as a dvd player. It's a pretty horrible one. As for players with fast layer switches, DO NOT get the Sony DVP-NS715P. The layer switch is very long.

    Interesting about the PS2, the newly released version of it offers progressive scan capability which is misleading thousands and thousands of consumers nationwide. The game magazine say only that it "makes dvd's look better". When I am in my local EB World store, kids there are begging their parents for it, stumbling on the word progressive but saying that it will make their dvd's look clearer on their television. The employees tell them it makes the disc look much clearer on any set. They mention nothing of HD.

    I wish stores would inform people just what progressive scan is. They tout it as a selling point saying it will make things look much better on the buyer's current non-HD tv.
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Almost every DVD player that I know of has a layer change pause like that. The venerable Proscan PS8680Z may be the all time layer change king. PC based players don't have a pause either.
     
  5. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    I know it probably isn't a good DVD player, but my family has a Denon DVD player and when I watched Attack of the Clones on it the layer change was barely noticeable compared to my PS2. It was a very smooth transition but there are other issues with their DVD player like image quality that I find annoying.
     
  6. JohnnyCorona

    JohnnyCorona Agent

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    I have the Samsung Pro-Scan DVD player. Not sure of the model number because I am not at home. Bought it for 130 about 2 months ago. I have NEVER noticed a layer switch yet.



    Johnny.
     
  7. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Hometheaterhifi's DVD shootout has a layer change section, and Denon's DVD-2900, 3800 and 9000 did well on it (0-0.5 seconds) as well as (suprisingly) the Cyberhome 500 unit (0.1 seconds) which I think is available cheap at Rat Shack.

    Of course I don't know how accurate those rankings are, because my RP-91 clocked in at 1.75 seconds, and I know I've never waited that long for my player to switch layers (most I can remember is about 0.5 seconds). Maybe it's a worst-case scenario test they have, and I don't own that particular DVD...
     
  8. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    As you may have gathered from the above, the time on the layer change is very dependent on the authoring of the disc. On Superbit titles from Columbia, the layer change is often completely invisible on my Sony. But others will take forever; the worst is probably Bridge on the River Kwai, which isn't RSDL but dual layer so the laser has to move back to the inside of the disc instead of reading back the way it came (or is it the outside? I forget....). So you really have to check the same disc in different players to get an assessment of this characteristic.
     
  9. Micheal

    Micheal Screenwriter

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    It's funny but the Xbox has a great layer switch. I tested Monsters Inc on it because I heard that it caused some problems during the layer switch on some players. Not only was there no problem but there was no layer switch pause. I rarely watch movies on my Xbox (I use my RP56 for that) but I was told that it uses the hard drive while playing DVD's and it all but eliminates the layer switch. Is this true? Maybe I'll have to test it out with a few different DVD's.

    Anyone else with an Xbox want to chime in here?
     
  10. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    Denons are pretty good, with the 2900 supposedly being the first 'skip free' layer change. It is $1000, though.
     
  11. Zach Foster

    Zach Foster Stunt Coordinator

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    Talking about the PS2, one thing seems to be for sure... the picture quality is great. I've got mine hooked up via component cables, but if only I could get around that layer switch problem! As for PC DVD Players, I too have noticed that they never skip on layer changes. Is this because the PC's Hard Drive acts as a buffer? I have a DVD drive on my iMac, which doesn't miss a beat at the switch, but there is no way that I will get into a habit of watching DVDs on a 15 inch screen! As for the Denon players, I have heard great things about them too, but they ARE really expensive, too rich for my blood. I know it may be near to impossible, but does anyone have or know of a player under $150 that handles switches perfectly.... or pretty well?
     
  12. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    It's not the hard drive that acts as a buffer, but the RAM. Either the operating system or the software is precaching the data far enough ahead that the layer change isn't a problem.
     
  13. Zach Foster

    Zach Foster Stunt Coordinator

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    Cool. I knew the buffering had to use the two somehow, but the RAM makes more sense now then the Hard Drive. [​IMG]
     
  14. Micheal

    Micheal Screenwriter

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  15. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    If studio's got their acts together when making the discs they could hide the layer change during a scene transition, or dark moment and we would never see it. On my RP82 its about a second, but not enough time to make it annoying.

    Kevin
     
  16. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Speaking of which, since RAM is so cheap nowadays, would it kill hardware manufacturers to stick a little 20MB memory chip in there to help buffer the layer change? [​IMG]

    If it's a $$$ thing, most of these players have useless features built in to them that could be cut in order to offset the cost...
     
  17. Zach Foster

    Zach Foster Stunt Coordinator

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    Carlo, that's exactly what I was thinking. If a little bit of RAM could fix all the infamous layer change problems, why hasn't anyone done it? It would solve my problem...
     
  18. Andy_S

    Andy_S Second Unit

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    I read somewhere that manufacturers can't put anything in a player that would record the DVD you're watching. I think the concern is that some day memory would be so cheap that someone can make a player that buffers entire DVD's to RAM.
     
  19. Zach Foster

    Zach Foster Stunt Coordinator

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    Makes sense, but I still wish someone would do it.
     
  20. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Bummer if true, Andy, as that would mean that we will never see that solution on a standalone DVD player.

    Wonder how the Denon 2900 scored a 0.0 on that test, then...
     

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