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Anything better than the RP91 w/ scaling under $300?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Stephen Hopkins, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Is there anything out there with 4:3/non-anamorphic scaling that is better than the RP91 (mainly video quality, but SACD and bass management would me nice) and under $300?

    Would any of the new DVI players have the scaling features i need for my TV that locks in full mode when it receives a progressive signal? Also, do any of the DVI players do DVD-A and SACD, and if they do, do they have bass management?

    One more thing, does the Denon 2900 do 4:3/non-anamorphic scaling? If so, and there's nothing better than my RP91 under $300 then I may have to save my money for it.

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    any ideas???
     
  3. rin

    rin Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the answer would be no. None of the universal players have this feature and none of the DVI equipped have it either. JVC is the only other brand of player that does scaling that I know of. I have a JVC player but from everything I've heard, the Panny is superior to it in video and audio performance. I've never seen/heard the Panny so I don't know this for sure. I bought the JVC because it was in my price range(the RP-91 was a bit steep) and I've been very happy with it.
     
  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    One of the major differences between the RP-91 and the JVC models is that the RP-91 will allow you to manually invoke the proper scaling/aspect ratio control for those discs that are not properly flagged as 4x3 letterboxed. The JVC's scaling is automatic-only, which means that improperly flagged discs will be displayed with black bars on all four sides of the image.

    I still have about 70 non-anamorphic widescreen discs in my collection, and probably 20 - 30 of them are not flagged properly. Also, the recently released Charlie Chaplin discs by Warner Brothers are improperly-flagged full frame material (they are flagged as letterboxed). Without the manual override available on the RP-91, these discs are zoomed and the image is cropped. These are the only full frame discs I've ever seen with this problem.
     
  5. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I was told by a salesman at a local HiFi Buys that the Denon 2800 MKII did not have any scaling features, but the new 2900 does. I have not been able to validate this online, so does anyone know if these statements are true?

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I do not think the Denon 2900 offers a scaling feature. I do not remember where I finally determined this, but I was interested in that model when it was first announced as an upgrade for my RP-91 until I verified that there was no scaling feature.

    edit for typo
     
  7. rin

    rin Stunt Coordinator

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  8. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

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    My RP91 stays until something better comes along, and it never seems to come along. Denon, Sony.......Nope!

    E
     
  9. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I know the feeling... i thought for sure one of the DVI players would since even TVs that don't lock in full on a progressive signal over component STILL DO lock in full on a DVI source.

    Oh well, it's still a good player, just ready for something new [​IMG]
     
  10. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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  11. rin

    rin Stunt Coordinator

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    You're 100% correct Don. The XV-723GD I had and the FA90 I have now, can zoom improperly flagged 4:3 LB discs but the results never seem to look as good as the auto-scaling the player does on properly flagged discs IMO.
     
  12. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    I don't know about scaling, but I just read a great review on the Philips DVD936SA.
    Just a thought.
    Sorry.
     
  13. Chet_F

    Chet_F Supporting Actor

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    Do all JVC players do the scaling correctly for non-anamorphic disks or is this feature only available on the XV line?
     
  14. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    From what I understand, NONE of the JVCs will allow manual letterbox scaling that preserves OAR. Typically, all you get is a 2x zoom that crops off quite a bit from the sides (and even top/bottom for =1.78:1 movies (and 1.25x zoom would be better if you have 1.66:1 movies or want to avoid TV overscan as well).

    And no, the Philips 963sa does not do letterbox scaling at all. It only does 4x3 pillarbox although I'm hoping that someone will provide a firmware hack to enable scaling -- it has the hardware for it.

    The Denon 2900 does not scale either, but does the same as the Philips w/ its 4x3 shrink.

    _Man_
     
  15. rin

    rin Stunt Coordinator

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  16. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    rin,

    Who said the majority of non-16x9 DVDs are properly flagged? Those few(?) people must not own too many 4x3 LBX DVDs unless one takes "majority" to literally mean anything greater 50%. Even then, it's a highly questionable claim. For one thing, I can tell you that every single 4x3 LBX Hong Kong DVD I've tried is improperly flagged.

    _Man_
     
  17. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    As I mentioned earlier in this thread, approximately 20-30 of my 70+ 4x3 lbx DVD's are improperly flagged as full frame. I consider this a significant number, making the RP-91's manual control over its scaling a necessary feature to me.

    Also, the recently released Charlie Chaplin collection by Warner Brothers is improperly flagged as 4x3 letterboxed! This is the first time I've ever seen this with a 4x3 full frame title, but without the RP-91's manual control all four of these titles (plus the 2nd disc of extras) are zoomed and cropped, making the discs unwatchable!
     
  18. rin

    rin Stunt Coordinator

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    Majority: A number greater than half of the total. How else would one define the word?
    I own quite a few 4:3 LB discs and the majority(over 50%) are properly flagged.

    I would not argue that 20-30 out of 70+ titles is a significant amount but that means that 40-50 are still flagged properly.
     
  19. BeatCrazy

    BeatCrazy Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott,

     
  20. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    If you set the player to 4:3, the TV will stretch the image since it locks into full stretch mode when it gets a 4:3 progressive signal... that's the whole point of having scaling, to prevent this and allow us to watch 4:3 material w/ bars on the sides even though the TV won't let us.
     

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