Kenwood DV-5700 first impressions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andrew P, Sep 13, 2001.

  1. Andrew P

    Andrew P Second Unit

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    I decided to purchase the Kenwood DV-5700 after seeing that Crutchfield had them in stock. I tried to talk myself out of it because Crutchfield sells at list, but I had to try this player. First some background, I have most recently owned the Sony DVP-S700, Denon DVD-2800, Panasonic DVD-RP91, Toshiba 6200, and the Onkyo 939. My current player is the Panasonic DVD-RP91.
    The Toshiba 6200 and the Onkyo 939 look the same to me and both have the chroma bug and major de-interlacing problems. The Denon 2800 and the Sony 700 have an overly soft picture (the 2800 more so than the Sony 700) and the chroma bug so that ruled those out for me. I am not as technical as the secrets staff, but I think I have a pretty keen eye. So this was included to let everyone know where I stand before I begin (to clear up any bias thoughts).
    I am very impressed with my current player, my champagne Panasonic DVD-RP91 which I purchased for $450. The picture is very detailed with no chroma bug, and minor de-interlacing annoyances (mostly these occur on special material, but every now and then they rear their ugly head on the feature film). Going in, the Kenwood DV-5700 is going to have to be mightily impressive for me to keep especially for the $1,199 list price. Also, I personally don’t like dvd-changers. I wish Kenwood made a single dvd player which im sure would cut the cost even further.
    Build Quality
    When dvd players were first released I was a big believer in heavier is better, but since then dvd players have gotten lighter with better picture quality. The Panasonic DVD-RP 91 has a weak build in my opinion. At first glance, the Kenwood looks very sleek. The unit is about 15 lbs, but it also has a very lightweight build quality. Its about the same as the Panasonic DVD-RP91, but I expect more out of a $1,200 player. In fairness maybe the Faroudja chipset is the reason for the cost and that is fine with me. Spend it where it counts is my new motto.
    Picture Quality
    I am currently using a two tv setup. My 73907 and my new front projector, the Cinema 13HD. The Panasonic coupled with both looks almost HDTV like which is astonishing to say the least. Anyway back to the Kenwood. In order to activate progressive scan on the Kenwood you have to select a switch on the back of the unit. I prefer the button on the front of the unit like the Panasonic.
    I have watched parts of 3 movies so far. I have not noticed the chroma bug or any major de-interlacing problems. I started watching with the player set in the normal mode and the player exhibited lots of noise and grain, but then I switched the user mode and turned the DCDi circuit on and shut the enhancer off and voila the picture looked phenomenal. It was very lifelike and 3 dimensional. I am extremely impressed with the unit in my limited experience so far. I haven’t tried playing with the enhancer gain (which seems like another sharpness control yet-I still have it set at zero). We will see the more I play around with it later tonight.
    Some other thoughts:
    The menu system reminds me of the Panasonic. It is not the same, but the same idea was used with the buttons across the top of the screen.
    The layer change is noticeable.
    The disc access time is slow for me. I will have to play around with a few more discs, but it seemed slow with the first 3 discs that I played. Ill double check this later tonight especially since I was so anxious :).
    The remote in my opinion is terrible. It controls the major functions well,, but there are (on some buttons) 3 different options that are selectable by a tiny switch on the upper left side of the remote. A very strange and poor design if you ask me.
    Overall
    I think the Panasonic DVD-RP91 raised the bar on all current dvd players. This player produces the most film-like images I have ever seen. The Kenwood DV-5700 is amazing too in the very limited time ive spent with it. I cant say for sure yet, but this player definitely looks like a winner especially if combing on the RP-91 is bothersome. I will spend more time with the player tonight and im hoping to post some more impressions of the unit later.
    Andy
     
  2. Andrew P

    Andrew P Second Unit

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    I spent more time with the player last night mostly using the projector. The video quality is excellent and I did not notice one instance of combing or the chroma bug. For some reason (and this happens on Toy Story 2 with my Panasonic also) the video quality doesn’t look as amazing as my 73907. Im not sure why. The disc loading time is very slow. I counted about 10 seconds to load a disc and even more when switching discs using the carousel.
    I also played around with the DCDi chip last night. The chip also has what is called enhancer gain. I still am not sure of the purpose, but when you switch to the user mode the enhancer is set to on and the gain is set to +8. This is extreme (in my opinion) and looks like another sharpness control basically introducing noise and grain into the picture. It is most noticeable on the menus of the Kenwood as ghosting around the letters appear with this enhancer set to such a high level (it rangers from 0-15). For the most part, I have used the player with DCDi on and the enhancer off. I personally cannot see a difference with the DCDi turned on/off, but im sure some people might see things differently.
    Anyway, I am still very impressed with the picture that this unit produces. Im just not sure that it warrants an additional cost over my current player, because I seldom if ever notice combing during feature films with the Panasonic 91. I will hopefully spend more time with it this weekend, but I think we are getting to the point of dvd players being extremely close in quality except for those people with the most critical eyes.
    Andy
     
  3. Marc Alexander

    Marc Alexander Stunt Coordinator

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    Andrew,
    Thanks for the review. I've been waiting for some opinions on this model. I assume the Kenwood doesn't have any special modes for 4x3 encoded material like the RP91. Keep the info coming.
     
  4. Andrew P

    Andrew P Second Unit

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    There is no scaling available. This feauture doesnt apply to me since I have a 3rd generation HDTV and a projector, but im sure this will influence some people especially since the picture is about the same (I cant say it is better yet)as my Panasonic DVD-RP91.
    I definitely think a Pronto or another universal remote is needed with this player. The remote design is awful and not one button is backlit or even glows in the dark. That said, the decision to keep this or the Panasonic is going to be a tough one.
    Also, I havent noticed any glitches with the Kenwood yet so maybe a dvd player manufacturer finally got it right, but im sure once people start getting these players it will be easier to find these things out.
    Andy
     
  5. Marc Alexander

    Marc Alexander Stunt Coordinator

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    Andrew,
    I have a Mits the same generation as yours. However, I have heard that the RP91's scaling is much better than the TVs zoom. I would also prefer to display 4x3 material with black bars rather than grey. What is your experience? If the RP91's scaling is not noticeable better than the Mits' zoom, I can start looking at other players.
    Can anybody else chime in on this (specifically comparing the RP91 scaling to the Mits xxx07 zoom)? I'm off to search the archives.
    Thanks
    Marc
     
  6. Andrew P

    Andrew P Second Unit

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    Marc:
    I think the Panasonic zoom is much better than the Mits zoom. Id like to hear others peoples opinions as well.
    Andy
     
  7. SpenceJT

    SpenceJT Second Unit

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    Andrew P,

    Great review!

    How is the 5700 performing for you? I've read a thread on AVSForum which addresses some "lock-up" issues that users are having with the DV-5900, and am hoping that they do not effect the 5700 as well.

    My order has been placed for the 5700, and I am anxiously awaiting arrival. What adjustments should I start with? I'll be hooking it up to my Mitsubishi WS-65907.

    Now that you've had yours for a while, do you have any additional comments etc.? Have you had the opportunity to play with any of the settings?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

    Spence
     

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