Help on buying medium-quality DVD player

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Steven Brent, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. Steven Brent

    Steven Brent Extra

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    I'm looking to upgrade my DVD player. My budget is 400 USD or less.

    I'm in Kazakstan, so my choices are somewhat limited, but I've found a Panasonic DVD-S97. I'm also considering Onkyo DV-L55 or Harman/Kardon DVD-21.

    My current setup is
    Receiver - Harman/Kardon AVR 3550
    Projector - Sanyo PLV-Z4
    Screen - 110" DIY

    I want progressive scan, good deinterlacing b/c my Sanyo projector has an awful onboard deinterlacer, and good video quality. Would like to use HDMI.

    I used my system 50% for DVD movies and 50% for music (regular CDs).

    Any thoughts on purchasing the Panny? Any other suggestions?

    Thanks
    Steve
     
  2. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    Hi Steven - with a budget of 400 USD I would definately take a look at the Denon DVD-1920. This is a Universal DVD Player with HDMI Upconversion, Progressive Scan, DVD-Audio/SACD, DivX, and many other features. MSRP is 369 USD, but you can certainly find for 300 USD.

    Reviews: http://www.audioreview.com/cat/home-...9_1587crx.aspx
     
  3. Steven Brent

    Steven Brent Extra

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    Alon,

    Thanks for the recommendation. I see the Denon does SACD, and the Panasonic does not, but what else about it justifies the extra cost?

    Steve
     
  4. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    avs discussion of Denon 1920

    Scroll Down for a discussion of the Denon 1910

    the two oppo players (eventually, every player's video is compared to the oppo 971H)


    the panasonic S97 et al.

    Harmon Kardon DVD-21

    Yes, rather disorganized, but it might give you a feel for the strengths and weaknesses of each one. I couldn't find a review of the Onkyo DV-L55.

    Essentially, the Denon is a very good player with great audio DACs, and the Panasonic is a very good player with (comparably) so-so audio DACs. At least that's what I can figure out.
     
  5. Steven Brent

    Steven Brent Extra

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    Jeremy, thanks for the good links. The AVS discussion of the Denon 1920 was especially helpful.

    I noticed that Panasonic S97 only has 720p and 1080i out of the HDMI connection. Could it be a problem to have to do HDMI to get 720p, which is my desired output? My projector has a 720p in, but the cable run would be 15-18 feet, and I've read that long cable runs can be bad for HDMI.

    Steve
     
  6. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    HDMI will work fine at 18 ft. The Denon DVD-1920 will only upscale to 720p over HDMI as well.

    Chris
     
  7. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Am I missing something, 400 dollar budget, HD-DVD available as little as 480 bucks, will convert SD to 720p or 1080i via HDMI, going with an uspcaling player at this point doesn't make real sense to me. Yes it's early but it will be a while before the thing is obsolete and with your set up it's probably your best bet. You come up with another 100 smackers, then you're in.
     
  8. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    I'm waiting for the Denon DVD-1930 to come out in September. I wouldn't invest any money in HD-DVD or Blu-Ray until:

    a) The format war is over or a combo drive is released
    b) Players are available for under $200
    c) Disks are under $20
    d) All new titles are available on one of these new formats
    e) Ensure that future titles are not imposing DRM limitations on me that affect my viewing requirements

    For the next two years I'd rather bring the most out of my existing DVD collection, and let the studio's fight out their format wars. Also, it's very likely that new WMV-HD or DivX-HD might replace traditional disk media in the next few years, as consumers obtain bigger broadband Internet connections. With the advent of HTPC's this is quickly becoming a reality.

    And plus - the OP is in Kazakstan - I highly doubt any HD-DVD's would be available in his neck of the woods.
     
  9. Steven Brent

    Steven Brent Extra

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    I could probably find HD-DVD players here in Kazakstan, given all the oil money flowing into the country, but they would be very expensive. Plus I'm a bit skeptical if HD-DVD will really take off--I hope I'm wrong, but I don't want to sink money into it yet.

    I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy the Panasonic S97 since I haven't found anything better in the price range that meets all my requirements. I haven't found Denon on sale here, although it must be in some store somewhere, but you still have to hunt around to find stuff in Almati.

    Thanks for the good advice. I'll let you know what I decide to buy.

    Steve
     
  10. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    Can you find Cambridge Audio - the new DVD89 shares the same guts as the Oppo 970HD
     
  11. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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  12. Steven Brent

    Steven Brent Extra

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    Well, I bought the Panasonic S97, but then it turns out that it cannot be made region-free, although the store assured me that it could. So I returned it.

    This weekend I'll be looking around the city to see what else there is. I'll let you all know what I find.

    Steve
     

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