Best Cheap DVD player

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Martin G, Aug 5, 2001.

  1. Martin G

    Martin G Second Unit

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    I am a college student right now so I do not have the money to really spend on any real expensive equipment. I am looking for a DVD player that is under $200 total cost (tax and or S&H included). I don't really need anything that fancy, but I would like it to have component video and digital coaxial. I don't need a multi disk system or DD and DTS decoding. The TV that I will be using it on is a 55" Magnavox rear projection. My main concern is that i want one that will play all the DVD's. I have heard of some cheap DVD players having problems with Dual layered disks and just some movies in general. The more options that you can recommend the better. A region free hack would be high on the list as well.
    [Edited last by Martin G on August 05, 2001 at 09:39 PM]
     
  2. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    WWW.800.com]WWW.800.com]WWW.800.com has a Toshiba 1600 or 1700 for 159.94 total with no tax and free shipping. BTW the Toshiba has both component outputs and digital coax.
    [Edited last by Reginald Trent on August 05, 2001 at 10:30 PM]
     
  3. Dre Witt

    Dre Witt Extra

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    I'd look into the basic Pioneer model. It can be found around the web easily shipped below $200.00, and in my opinion, has the best anamorphic downconversion if you you're not using it with a 16:9 TV. My experience with Toshiba's downconversion in the past was horrific, anytime there was up and down camera movement you'd see jaggies due to poor downconversion. I'm actually using the Pioneer right now with a HDTV 16:9 TV and love it. Why spend more when you don't have to?
     
  4. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Martin,
    It's really hard to give an unqualified best buy recommendation for super-cheap DVD players. They are a commodity, like SRAM, so the local market spot prices should prevail. Usually get whatever's on sale from the big guys, like Toshiba, Panasonic, Sony, Philips, or Pioneer. There are many low-cost multi-region hacks for Philips IIRC. I like Toshibas but that's a personal preference.
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  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Martin, take a look at the Pioneer DV-343. Best Buy and Crutchfield sell it for $180 online, and Crutchfield has a lot of good information about it on its web site. Your best best pricewise would probably be J&R Music World (www.jandr.com), however. I noticed earlier tonight that J&R has it on the web for $160. J&R is an authorized Pioneer dealer. The '343 has all the necessary features, including component video and coaxial digital outputs. My girlfriend has the Pioneer DV-C503 carousel DVD changer, which is an excellent piece, and I feel Pioneer makes excellent DVD players at low prices. I've played with the '343 in stores and it looks like a solid component for the money. Sony, Panasonic, and Toshiba make similarly featured players, but at $160, the Pioneer '343 can't be beat, in my opinion.
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  6. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    I also like and own Toshiba DVD players. They provide a crisper, sharper more detailed picture than most of the other popular brands. I don't have a problem with the so called jaggies that some people mention. I'll take clarity of detail over a soft picture that lacks detail anyday.
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  7. Jin E

    Jin E Second Unit

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    I've always prefered the Anamorphic downconversion of the Pioneers. Look for a Pioneer DV333 (last years) or DV343 for under $200. I think Jandr has them for $159. The Pioneers are very good at playing just about any media you can throw at it with it's twin laser design (I've yet to find a CD-R that wouldn't play in my friend's 333). That may or may not be important to you. If you need MP3 capabilities look elsewhere though.
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  8. James Q Jenkins

    James Q Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

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    As long as you stick with reputable brand names and try to avoid the Otrions, Raites, Apexes, etc. you should be fine. Avoid Toshiba like the plague for a 4:3 TV set the downconversion is horrible.
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    [Edited last by James Q Jenkins on August 06, 2001 at 07:14 AM]
     
  9. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Does anyone have a pointer to a report/study/comparison that showed Toshiba's down conversion abilities compared to other brands? I've seen a lot of people saying they're the worst in converting anamorphic to 4:3 letterbox but I've seen/had no problems with a SD2700 and a 27 inch tv using component inputs. Perhaps these are minor problems that only show up when you're sitting very close to a big screen?
    thanks,
    --tom
     
  10. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    Avoid Toshibas like the plaque? Surely you're joking right?I would also like too see some comparisons regarding the negative comments toeards Toshiba DVD players. BTW I believe Phillips are rebadged Toshibas. Get Toshiba if you want one of the sharpest pictures in addition to the other things you mentioned. If you want a softer slightly duller picture go with what some of the other folks have suggested. But Toshiba DVD players are nowhere near as bad as some here would have you believe.
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  11. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    I own a Toshiba 2150 DVD player, nice player for the price with some worthwhile features. I really like my Tosh but I have to go against it at this point and say that the downconversion on a 4:3 T.V set is bad but not as bad as people here would like you to believe. Ocvasionally I do notice jaggies on my 20' Trinitron but I've noticed that not all movies I own or rent show this particular problem in fact some are problem free. The Toshiba also gives the best picture IMHO. The 2150 has everything you are asking for and has played every disc I've thrown at it, I'm sure it can be had on the internet for under $200. I consider it a great way to get into DVD even if it does have downconversion flaws. Hope this helps.
    -Keith
     
  12. James Q Jenkins

    James Q Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    Thanks for bring that to our attention. However, I rarely watch credits, and I'll notice a soft picture before I'd notice the downconversion problem.
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  14. David Head

    David Head Second Unit

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    I'd recommend the Panasonic RV-31K. It handles downconversion very well and also includes the ability to play CDR/CDRW and MP3 discs too (if that interests you).
    David
     
  15. James Q Jenkins

    James Q Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

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    quote: Thanks for bring that to our attention. However, I rarely watch credits, and I'll notice a soft picture before I'd notice the downconversion problem.[/quote]Credits are not the only time that the artifacts are annoying, it's just the easiest way to demonstrate the problem. The artifacts are noticable all the way through every movie. Toshiba players are not bad, they are fine machines. The only problem they have is downconversion (and chroma bug??).
    In my experience (and others' that I have read) once you start noticing the Toshaba downconversion problems they become very very distracting.
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    -JQJ
    [Edited last by James Q Jenkins on August 06, 2001 at 11:57 AM]
     
  16. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    I second the Panasonic RV31k recommendation. Got mine last week, and am incredibly pleased with it. The anamorphic downconversion is a happy medium between the overly sharp Toshiba and the overly soft Sony, plus the Panny's don't have the chroma bug that plagues so many other brands. Colors were so sweet on this player that I had to recalibrate my set because it wasn't exaggerating red like my old player. After calibration, I managed to get my cheap-ass GE 31" set at 0% red, 0% green and -5% blue using Avia's color push chart.
    I've run through about 20 movies so far (I have no life, and that tropical storm was looming) that normally cause problems with players (seamless branching, layer changes, etc.) and have had no problems whatsoever. Plus, it plays CD-R, CD-RW and MP3 discs. A definite value at $200!
     
  17. Steve Gazi

    Steve Gazi Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a normal 27" 4:3 TV and am looking for a good budget DVD player. I'm currently using my PS2 to view movies, and it works pretty good for being an extra feature, but I'm looking for more. I went to Best Buy the other day and they had the Toshiba 1700s and a cheaper Pioneer and Panasonic player that I forget the model numbers of. I just went to 800.com and they have the Toshiba 1700 for around $160 shipped. They have the 2300 for about $200, the Pioneer 343 for about $175, and the Panasonic 31S for around $190. I really have no idea which player would be the best for me. I'm not experienced enough, nor do I have the set, to notice any hard to notice details. I have read all of the previous comments, but can't decide.
     
  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Steve,
    I agree with those who decry Toshibas poor downconversion. My first DVD player was one of the first for sale, a Toshaba 2006. The downconversion has not improved. At first I didn't notice a problem but once I started seeing the downconversion artifacts it was like watching movies through Venetian blinds.
    For low priced stuff I prefer Pioneer, Panasonic, and Sony. Pioneer and Panasonic have slight but noticable downconversion problems, Sonys are smooth.
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  19. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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    Just how bad or how noticeable is the chroma bug on the pioneer DVD players? I'm using a 27" sony tv if it makes a difference.
    I'm still using an old Panasonic A110 which is starting to show signs of age. I'm somewhat undecided between a panasonic and a pioneer. The Pioneers have coax digital outputs which would let me reuse the existing connection, whereas the panasonics do not have the chroma bug but only have optical outputs. I'd rather not just randomly flip a coin to decide which route to go, and would appreciate any comments regarding how noticeable the chroma bug is.
    Thanks,
    Andrej
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  20. Steve Gazi

    Steve Gazi Stunt Coordinator

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    Philip..
    What are some good cheap Sony models? I believe I saw a couple at Best Buy, but I have already forgotten their models. Will they play VCDs?
     

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