A review of the JVC XV-S60 dvd player.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steve Winkler, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Well you can take this review for whatever it's worth.
    I, like many htforum members, have been searching for a progressive scan dvd player to upgrade from my old interlaced one. My tv is a 16x9 Toshiba TW56x81 hd ready progressive scan. My old player is a Panasonic A-120. I have been reading numerous posts here and on other forums for months and finally decided to go with the JVC XV-S60. The other contenders are the Panasonic RP-56 and the Toshiba SD-3750. Each have their quirks so I finally decided to just buy one and test it at home starting with the best deal.
    Found an open box deal at Future Shop for $269CAN (gift return). After a quick callibration with Avia...
    IMO: 1. For Film: the picture is soft, smooth... but soft. I just couldn't get as sharp a picture as I would have liked. Good color reproduction though and user adjustable preferences for color, tint, brightness, contrast, Y/C delay, and Gamma.
    + 2. The remote: average, decent button placement, kind of glows in the dark, can switch from progressive to interlaced with one button.
    - 3. Video mode: (used The Eagles Hell Freezes Over Disc)was as reported by others, not too great. No detail, muted colors. Not a huge factor for me as most of my dvds are film based.
    + 4. Audio, no discernable difference in players here. It sounded good.
    + 5. Layer change: very quick on the discs I've tried, less than a half second.
    - 6. Start-Up: dvds take around 9-10 seconds to start up, quite slow.
    + 7. Menus/User Interface: I thought they were easy to navigate and understand.
    Overall, I'm a little underwhelmed by the progressive picture from the JVC so far. Maybe I was expecting too much from progressive scan. For me, I don't think it's a keeper. I will do some more viewing in the coming week and perhaps add to the review. Next up, the Toshiba 3750.
    ** Again, this is just one guy's experience, my eyes surely differ from yours.
    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  2. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Just a quick update.
    As mentioned in my first post, the JVC has picture settings including sharpness levels, which I have set at their max, that seemed to be the best setting according to my Avia disc. After some further review and pumping up my TV's sharpness controls, I am able to get a more detailed image from the JVC. Still not sure if I'm going to keep it( I have 29 more days) but it is improved.
    Also forgot to mention that it does a nice job with non-anamorphic widescreen dvds, you can watch them in Full mode(Toshiba)and have then in the correct aspect ratio. Improves the image quite a bit vs. Theater Wide 2 mode.
    Feel free to comment on your experiences with this or other models. I was wondering if it is common to have to increase sharpness when switching to a progressive scan player??
    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  3. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Steve,
    I have the 7 disc changer version of that JVC, with a Sony KP57HW40 widescreen HD-ready rptv.
    The picture looks best with the sharpness on the player maxed, and sharpness on the set at maybe 35-40%. That sharpness level on the set is too high for other sources for which 15-20% looks best, but looks great with this player. I have a Tosh HD box, and sharpness with HD looks best at 40-50%.
    I'm quite happy with the JVC player--it's the only one in it's price class that can scale non-anamorphic discs, and the only one at that price point with 4 different picture modes, 2 of which are user adjustable for all parameters. I can store one set of adjustments per AVIA, and another for THX optimode, and don't have to disturb the settings on my tv. The availability of a Gamma adjustment is nice, also.
    I also like the way the player puts the picture in a window when you press the onscreen display button instead of superimposing the graphics over the picture.
    I would like to display time remaining in minutes/seconds, instead of the "gas guage" display JVC uses, but the Panny doesn't even give you that.
    BTW, if you figure out what "Y-Delay" in the video adjustments is for, please let us know.
     
  4. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Steve, your sharpness settings seem similar to mine in that they are much higher for the JVC than my other inputs.
    The Y/C delay setting is something to do with the color decoder and it's accuracy I think. The Avia test dvd has a good explanation of this feature and a test pattern for making adjustments. My tv doesn't have a Y/C parameter for adjustment that I'm aware of ( it may be in the service or designer modes)but the JVC does. According to the test pattern, the dvd player's Y/C delay was almost 0, it's default middle setting, which is very good.
    I hope that is the correct explanation.
    I still think I'm going to have to test a few more models and see how they compare on my particular tv.
    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  5. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Further update.
    I have returned the JVC XV-S60. The picture IMO, was just too soft. I did like just about everything else though. Remote, user interface, auto-scaling, etc. So I came home with a Panasonic RP-56. Right out of the box the picture is very, very, good. Sharp, clear, and good color reproduction. Adjusted with Avia and this player will probably be a keeper, just a gorgeous picture.
    Having said that, the remote is a little cheesy, disc load time is as long or longer than the JVC, user interface hasn't changed much from my old Panasonic and is somewhat lacking( I don't know, I like words instead of symbols ), and I can't seem to make picture adjustments in progressive mode.
    Every player has +'s and -'s. The picture was what I was most concerned about though and this unit seems to deliver.
    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  6. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Terrance,
    Not having owned my JVC for very long, I'm probably not the right person to respond to the question. The models in this batch of JVC's have been knocked somewhat for their less than stellar performance in video mode. Unfortunately you might just have to trust your eyes[​IMG] . As I mentioned in my first post, I used The Eagles HFO dvd as my video based source. This may not have been the best choice but I don't have much else that contains video. You'll have to experiment I guess, I think the interlaced performance is alright.
    Steve
     
  7. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Nice reviews Steve.
    I brought home and tested the Panny RP-56, Sony NS700p and the JVC S60. I found the opposite of you for picture quality. After AVIA, I found the RP56 to be the least impressive of the three.
    What I found with the 56 even after calibration, was washed out blacks and dull colors compared to the other 2 players. But what bothered me the most was the Flicker Bug problem, this jumped right out at me during TS2 and Gladiator. There are several other movies that this occurs on also that I read about. By far worse than the Chroma Bug of the Sony, which I could not see.
    My experience with the S60 resulted in more vibrant colors and deeper blacks over the other two. The sharpness I found nearly identical, even a bit better with the S60, but minimal at best. As for saying the S60 has a very soft picture, I cannot agree. The Sony I found had the grainest picture of the three. Colors were better than the 56 though.
    I also found the build quality of the RP56 to be poor, worse than the others. Pushing in the component cables, the back of the 56 caved a bit where as with the other two, solid. I also found the JVC to handle layer changes the best.
    No player is perfect and you must find the +'s and -'s that you can live with.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  8. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Ron-P, thanks. When I read my posts later, I'm never real sure how they come across. I'm not a newbie but I'm far from a videophile/audiophile (sp?). I read your reviews of the JVC before I bought it. Infact, your reviews helped in the purchase. I just didn't get the same results obviously[​IMG] . I can't recall, what kind of tv are you using? Maybe that accounts for the differences in some ways or maybe we just got that different of players. I haven't yet seen the flicker bug and probably will kick myself for asking you to tell me a scene from Gladiator which displays it. Isn't Shreck supposed to show it too somewhere?? Can you tell me a track/scene number?
    As with the JVC, I still have time for a refund or exchange. The Toshiba 3750 was the same price as the Panasonic rp-56 and I could always try that as well. I really wanted to like the JVC but on my tv it was too soft. I find the build quality to be average with the Panasonic. The JVC was definately more user friendly though and the Pannny remote is lame.
    I'm kind of wishing I had the two units at the same time in my house. I also wish I didn't like this HT hobby quite so much[​IMG] . Oh well, back to the forums.
    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  9. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Further testing. I have now picked up a Toshiba 3750 dvd player and seeing how it compares to the Panasonic Rp-56 which I still have.
    Toshiba Good Points:
    1. Quicker load time, between 3-7 seconds
    2. Nice film-like image, crisp, very comparable to the Panasonic.
    3. Cool user interface, complete with screen captures, screen saver, user settings for picture adjustments (similar to the JVC).
    4. It does some form of auto detecting of a 4x3 image and diplays it as 4x3 OAR on a 16x9 screen if you so choose.
    (sorry if that doesn't make sense)
    Toshiba Not So Good Points:
    1. The tiny buttons on the remote, especially the menu navigation ones, hard to use in the dark.
    2. Had an odd audio drop-out with the opening credits in the Shrek dts track. None since though.
    3. Has the chroma bug apparently, but honestly I can't seem to see it.
    This decision just gets harder and harder. I am going to have to do much more dvd viewing this weekend in order to make a choice.
    Thanks for reading.
    Steve
     
  10. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Steve, I have a Mits ws-46807.
    During my trials, I did not bother with Toshiba because of others reveiws that said they still suffer from audio drop-out problems, of course your review confirms this.
    One thing I really disliked about the RP56 was that light/dark setting in the set-up menu, they need to have an third setting that allows you to turn it off.
    As for flicker bug locations, I do not remember specific time stamps, that was over 3 months ago and I did not write any of them down. But, I do remember seeing it at the opening of TS:2 when the big red 2 hits the screen, that flickered prety bad for a second. In Gladiator, if I remember correctly, the scene in which Maximus is standing in the stadium near the body of Cesar. The camera shot is from far off and Cesar's body flickers. I did not see either of these flicker problems with my old Sony 530D, the Sony NS700p or the JVC, only with the RP56. Mind you, these jumped right out at me. My old reveiws might have more specific locations.
    Let us know which one you keep.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  11. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Ron-P.
    I'll keep you updated on the keeper, I really wish I had the JVC back to compare along side the other two. Future Shop is going to love me, buy a player-take it back, buy another player-take it back. It's the only way to know for sure though. My comparisons are being marred by a distracting new anomoly with my tv when it receives a progressive signal. I get what looks like faint interior reflections of light at the top of my screen in various spots. It happens only when the dvd players are in progressive and not in interlaced. It does not happen with any other inputs. I am perplexed and disappointed that I have a glitch of this magnitude. I mean, I bought a progressive scan dvd player to watch progressive scan, not interlaced. Uggh! It's always something.
    Good to hear JVC is working on the sub-title bug.
    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  12. Joseph_M

    Joseph_M Auditioning

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    Ron,
    I'm thinking about buying the jvc fa90 (7 disc version of the 70) and am concerned about the mode determination problem: I've read that it has a difficult time determining the proper mode, films vs video, etc. I will be running interlaced until I have a HDTV, but this unit runs interlaced via progressive (opposite of most units).
    Check out this site:
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volu...yer-2-2001.html
    Note the following statement:
    But by far the strangest quirk of this player is that the interlaced output is derived from the progressive output, which is exactly the opposite of the way all the other players work. This means that changing the progressive mode will change the interlaced output. And since there is no one progressive mode that will always produce correct output, there is no way to get correct interlaced output in all situations. Video-based material will still be soft out the interlaced output, for example. Probably if you want to use this player’s interlaced output, you will want to put it in Film mode for everything, but even then we can’t be sure it will always work.
    So, wondering what your experience has been? Thanks ahead for the feedback.
     
  13. Daniel C

    Daniel C Auditioning

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    To all friends who are reviewing, just want to see if any of you notice what I observed the other day in an electronic store.

    I meant to check out the Panny rp-56 and in the store I saw the player connected to a Panny 47" 16X9 TV (forgot about the model number). It was one of those weekday evening around dinner time so there wasn't any people except me and the manager was in the mood to spend time with me. Anyway, to make the story short, I asked him to show me the picture quality. He dropped in a DVD (I think it was the 'Iron Mask'), I checked everything was cool; like it was connected via component and the progressive mode on the DVD was on. Right at my face the owner saw a very disappointed sign, and he began to do the convergence adjustment. After the adjustment, picture quality improved; big time. Funny thing began to happen as I tried to switch between progressive and non-progressive signal. The differenc was like day and night and I couldn't believe the difference could be so big so I played around with it a bit; like swithing them back and forth on the same scene and did some color adjustment. And when I went back into the convergence adjustment, I found that while the convergence was correctly adjusted in progressive signal feeding, it went totally off when switched into non-progressive...and while in the convergence screen, the convergence went back to proper alignment when I switch the DVD player back to progressive. We then did the convergence under the non-progressive signal and the reverse happened.

    Does anyone see this happen to your setup or probably it is just the Panny TV that the store had was malfunctioning?
     
  14. Steve Winkler

    Steve Winkler Stunt Coordinator

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    Daniel, I know with my tv, Toshiba TW56x81, that there are seperate convergence settings/memories for each of it's modes. TW1, TW2, TW3, Normal, and Full all have seperate convergence memories. On top of that, Full has seperate convergence for 480P and 1080i. You have to do the convergence for each one. It's a wonder I don't have permanent grids burned into my eyes. [​IMG]
    In the situation you describe with the Panasonic, maybe it was 1.malfunctioning, or 2.only has one memory for 480i/480P. The latter would be an oversight by Panasonic if that's the case.
    In a further update to the original post here, I have returned the Toshiba SD-3750 and kept the Panasonic Rp-56.
    This was a hard decision and I'm still not sure if I made the right choice, I think the Panny had an edge in picture quality which was my main factor in the purchase. Functionability went to the Toshiba.
    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  15. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Joseph,
    In answer to your question about the JVC's interlaced output being affected by the pulldown mode (video vs film) in progressive mode:
    It is true that the pulldown mode will effect the interlaced output the same way it effects progressive output, meaning that the pulldown mode must be set correctly or the interlaced picture will show combing on occasion as it would if you were using the progressive scan output.
    The player has 5 selections for pulldown mode: Video 1, Video 2, Film, Auto, and Smart.
    I'm not clear on the difference between Video 1 and Video 2, never having used them.
    Film locks the 3/2 pulldown on. This works for the actual movie part of dvds that are based on films, but will comb during special features sections that are video based.
    In auto the player relies on flagging encoded on the disc to switch between pulldown modes, flagging is not always present on the disc or sometimes is incorrect.
    In smart mode, the player determines on it's own whether the material is video or film based, and adjusts itself accordingly. I leave my JVC on this setting with excellent results, seeing only very rare artifacting at the very beginning of some special features segments on a dvd.
    I used the player in interlaced mode with the pulldown setting on Smart for a few weeks before I got my HD ready set.
    I had it connected to a 99 model Hitachi Ultravision 53" NTSC rptv, one of the few really good non-HD rptvs still out there and quite capable of making source related picture defects glaringly obvious.
    Except for the very rare occasional combing effect during special features it performed at least as well as it's predecessor, a Panasonic A-320 which was a very highly regarded interlaced-only player.
     
  16. Joseph_M

    Joseph_M Auditioning

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    Steve,

    Thanks for the info. I feel a lot better now about purchasing the JVC. Just saw the 80 at Costco for $250. Great deal, plus lifetime return policy. I initially was looking at the 90 w/ dvd-a capablities. Don't know if it's worth it now after seeing the Costco deal. Your thoughts on the 90 and dvd-a?
     
  17. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Joseph,
    I have the 80 and am quite happy with it. I am not much of a music fan so I don't have any valid opinions on dvd-a.
    The 90 should perform identically to the 80 as far as video goes, and I think along with dvd-a it should have dd and dts decoders built in, which probably isn't much of a factor as most people have dd and dts decoding in their receivers.
     
  18. Paul E. Fox II

    Paul E. Fox II Second Unit

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    If I may jump in here a moment. I'm considering a JVC XVS75BK to replace my trusty old (and now getting a bit quirky) Toshiba SD3109. How does it stack up agains the XVS60 being bantered about here?
     
  19. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Hello Paul,

    The 70BK/75GD are 10bit/54mhz vs 10/27 for the 60BK/65GD.

    They also feature the DD Decoder and DVD-A. I first viewed progressive from a 65GD and was blown away. I was not disappointed with it's interlaced either. But then I've always liked JVC's picture. Some find it soft but picture settings are now more adjustable than ever. Now I have the 70BK and have not looked back. Of course, the DVD-Audio is icing on the cake. The remotes are also near duplicates and very transparent operationally. Another great feature is true forward/reverse still/step unlike the new Toshibas.

    Just my $.02.
     
  20. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    FYI: For those on the fence with the JVC 65GD, both Best Buy and Circuit City is selling this model for $199.99 this week. That's a $30 discount from the normal selling price.
     

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