HK DVD 22 vs Zenith DVB318

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Andy Young, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. Andy Young

    Andy Young Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking for a good progressive scan, sub $250 DVD player. I don't need anything but DVD (no DVD-A, SACD, etc.).

    I have a new Mitsu 65" CRT RPTV (WS-65315) and want a better video feed than the Pana S27 that I picked up.

    The reviews I've read here and at AVSF seem to indicate that the Harman Kardon DVD 22 is a really solid player. The Zenith is also getting a lot of hype due the 1080i upconversion via component (before July, anyway). (It seems that the Denon 1710 would be a distant 3rd, not interested in 1910, don't want DVI)

    Neither player is local to Fort Collins (80525) that I can find. So, I must order from Amazon or someone.

    HK Pros: great build quality, excellent 480p output, everything you'd expect from HK. Nothing fancy, just solid.

    HK Cons: can't find it local (nearest CC that has it is 50 miles), Amazon doesn't have in stock, no upgradeability (shouldn't be an issue for me)

    Zenith Pros: 1080i upconversion via component. I have DVI, but not in my Pioneer Elite 45 receiver, which I'd like to use as my video switcher.

    Zenith Cons: It's a Zenith, a brand not traditionally associated with quality and high-end; only worth-while if I can find a March 2004 or earlier build date; don't know if 1080i is worth the hassle; can't find local.

    Any thoughts from the experts on this? With a 65" screen, I'm likely to detect crappy video; I don't have a very discerning eye, but you don't have to when your only 8-10' away from a 65" screen.

    Thanks
     
  2. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Get the Zenith. I own it. Love it. Upconverts over DVI and component if you act soon enough, before it's phased out.

    You definitely want an upconverting player for a TV like that. I think the Zenith is arguably the best bargain out there.
     
  3. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    DITTO on EricRWem. I have one (Dec. 2003) and I haven't hooked it up via DVI (Sony RPTV) but through component is quite beautiful. I plan to give a review on this with my new t.v. and I tell you it's the best thing I got for the t.v. especially since I don't have HDTV via satellite or digital cable. Still can be had at Gochnauer's act quickly because the old firmware is the key of upscaling most movies through component. I think all movies will allow you to do upconversion to 1080i via DVI since DVI is strictly digital.
     
  4. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Gochnauer's, Wild West Electronics, and Amazon all have the Zenith, but act quickly!
     
  5. Andy Young

    Andy Young Stunt Coordinator

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    Ordered a Zenith from Amazon. Will let you know what build date it ends up being.

    Thanks.
     
  6. Andy Young

    Andy Young Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's the follow-up:

    I ordered the Zenith from Amazon on Wednesday, Sept 22. The unit didn't ship until Monday, Sept 27. It shipped from NV and arrived at my house on Wed, Sept 29. And ...

    [Drum Roll]

    Build date of December 2003. It passes 1080i via component. However, it looks about the same on my 65" Mitsu as the Pana S27 unit passing 480p. Yes, I was smart enought to push the upconversion button and verified that my TV was getting 1080i from the Zenith. Tested with LOTR:FOTREE and Legends of the Fall Superbit. Zenith 1080i PQ = Pana S27 480p PQ, to my eyes.

    I'm using a short run of $16 Philips component cable (Wal*Mart) from Zenith to my Pioneer Elite VSX-45. Then, I'm running 2m $70 Monster component cable from receiver to TV.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    I'm disappointed that you see no difference in PQ from 1080i, however, those Panasonic units are all highly thought of.

    Are you going to return the Zenith and just stick with the Panny at that rate?
     
  8. John S

    John S Producer

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    Even equal to that highly regaurded player is pretty darn impressive though if you ask me.....

    I have never seen vid from one of those Panny players, but they must be dang good, if they equal the Zenith DVB-318 scaled to 1080i.

    Hard to imagine, you see no difference between the two whatsoever though in all honesty. For better or for worse, no difference? Interesting to say the least.
     
  9. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    Andy, could be that your TV set is doing the upconverting already and the difference between the two players is very minor...The newer sets are upconverting everything to 1080i these days.
     
  10. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Good point, Anthony! If his TV's doing a nice upconverting already, he may as well stick with that Panny.
     
  11. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I was noticing this as well on the 57 inch models and higher, that could be the t.v. doing the upscaling.
     
  12. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    Yeah, I made the mistake of selling my trusted ol' interlaced player when I got my 48 inch HDTV and now I run my progressive scan DVD player in interlaced since my TV does the upconverting.
     
  13. Andy Young

    Andy Young Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm going to keep the Zenith, because it offers some better features, including DVI and a front panel that doesn't light up the room.

    My TV is NOT doing upconversion with the Panny. The TV shows the resolution (if you "ask" it). The Panny was transmitting 480p and the TV was displaying 480p.

    I would say that the PQ is OK/Good. It's not breathtaking, great, impressive, etc. It's not bad. When we watch movies, it just looks normal. It's not so good that a viewer makes a conscious note about it.

    HDTV feeds via DirecTV do, however, look amazing.

    I suppose that I could always have my TV professionnally calibrated, but I don't think it's worth it to me right now -- like I said, it's not that the picture is bad.
     
  14. John S

    John S Producer

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    Andy Young, If your ever down in the Denver area and have some time.. Come on by...

    It is very hard for me to imagine what your saying. Especially after getting and watching the Star Wars Trillogy over the weekend.


    The results, seem so close to fantastic real HD from the DVD player it just boggles my mind. The source has a lot of bearing on this result. But at least with the StarWars Trillogy, it really seems to deliver.
     

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