Looking for cheap DVD player, <$100

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Tim Holyoke, Aug 14, 2003.

  1. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    Just looking for a cheap DVD player under $100 for my bedroom, no progressive scan needed, component would be nice. I was thinking about the Sony NS325 for $90 at BB? How is it? Anything better in this price range? Thanks a lot.
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I would give the Panasonic S35 a good look. It has component video output and progressive scan (nice to have even if yuo can't use it). It also DOES NOT have the chroma bug which the sony player you mentioned will have. Sears and Circuit City both carry it and it's regular price is $99, but can often be found for $5 - $10 less depending on sales. It is one of the better entry level DVD players out there.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  3. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    Thanks Stephen. What's the "chroma" bug? And pardon my ignorance, but does progressive scan actually help if I don't have an HDTV, or did you just say it's nice to have in case I would get an HDTV in the future? Thanks.
     
  4. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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  5. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    Chroma Bug explained

    Cool ... I'm really pleasantly surprised to see that Panny is now adding DVD-RAM playability into their basic DVD players. This is really great news for those with DVD-RAM recorders!

    Scott
     
  6. Kevin L K

    Kevin L K Second Unit

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    Hi Tim,

    DO NOT get the Panasonic S35S if you are only going to be using the interlaced output. I'm sorry to say IMHO the interlaced output of the new Panny's with the all-in-one chip they now use has the most piss poor picture I have EVER seen on ANY TV screen in my entire life: blurry blurry blurry, unfocused, soft and just terrible! It has nice features, a nice price and it's NON INTERLACED(progressive)picture is pretty good for the money but if you know for a fact that you will be using the DVD player exclusively on an analog TV get an older Panasonic model such as the RV-32 which has superior interlaced output. If you were to compare the interlaced pictures between these 2 side by side I practically guarantee you'll choose the RV-32. Just my educated opinion but let YOUR eyes decide for you which is best for your needs. Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  7. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    I just tested a Panasonic S35 (on sale at Frys this week for $89.95 - $20 rebate). Unfortunately its de-interlacer for progressive mode is very poor, acts just like the old Pioneer 434 progressive player model! I was seeing flickering on text on menus and movie credits and so I tried some Avia DVD test patterns and could see flickering and moire patterns on portions of the resolution test pattern and they were the same artifacts as on the old Pioneer 434. Other model progressive DVD players (like JVC) gave a clean solid picture with the resolution test pattern in comparison and also have no flickering on text (which I believe is due to the same problem as on the AVIA resolution test pattern). I also noticed that the S35 appeared to always be stuck in a poor quality video mode and never went into film mode with any setting. Also its 4:3 window-boxed mode for 16:9 displays plus 4:3 video screws up on menu screens - you get a double image since subtitles are used on menu screens for the highlighted cursor and they scaled the background but not the subtitles, so the cursor is in the wrong place. The JVC DVD players with a similar feature however do it properly. If you use the S35 as an interlaced player only with a 4:3 TV its probably all right - but you could save money with an interlaced only player in that case. I'm returning the S35 this week and going to try the new JVC N40 or N50 on sale at Best Buy instead. I'm looking for a progressive scan model that handles all DVD-R,-RW,+R,+RW,SVCD - the S35 passed my tests of that media and the JVCs are supposed to as well. I also noted that the S35 fails to work with burned DVDs using LPCM audio (the default for all the cheap DVD authoring programs) - you get audio dropouts every few seconds! It works with MPA audio, but only more expensive authoring programs allow for that and supposedly not all DVD players support it. AC3 audio would work too, but there is no cheap encoding software for your own created videos.
     
  8. Jorge M

    Jorge M Stunt Coordinator

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    So Kevin says don't buy it if you're using it for interlaced, and Don says it's bad at progressive... Is the verdict just stay away?

    I'm looking for an entry-level player for a friend, not necessarily progressive but definitely with no chroma bug. Panasonic used to be the safe bet, but it doesn't matter if theres no chroma bug if the picture is otherwise crappy!

    Only thing I can come up with is the JVC N40BK, anyone know if it suffers from the chroma bug?
     
  9. Kevin L K

    Kevin L K Second Unit

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    Hi Jorge,

    Pretty confusing isn't it [​IMG] IMHO I would stay away but that's just my opinion with my eyes. Any of the entry level Toshibas or older entry level Pannys are more then adequate.Like I mentioned the older Panny RV-32 is still easily available online brand new and used.If I were to buy an entry level or low end player for interlaced only I would buy The RV-32 hands down: fantastic picture and razor sharp.Let your eyes decide but I hope the helps.
     
  10. Jorge M

    Jorge M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Kevin. I myself own the RV31, and can only say good things about it. However, I can't seem to find an old RV32 for sale new (not used). Any opinions on the JVC?
     
  11. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    Any idea how the "new" lower-pried Panasonic dvd player is that just came out? I've seen it advertised for as low as $59.99 but I can't remember the model number.
     
  12. Kevin L K

    Kevin L K Second Unit

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    Hi Jorge,

    The JVC's have a good picture but their chipsets are strange. I had the NS55 or something like it and it actually uses the progressive chip for it's interlaced picture as well.It converts the non-interlaced picture to an interlaced picture adding an extra step--I can't explain it very well but it's strange--I'm sure someone can chime in here explaining it better then I can.The picture was very choppy,dropped frames and was herky-jerky.Incorrectly flagged DVDs just seem to freak out the player.Even in their strictly non-prog models you still usually have to set it to either film,video or auto.It's a shame because other then that the picture was nice but I brought it back. Check out PriceScan--there's lots of online places selling the RV-32 new.
     
  13. Muhammed

    Muhammed Agent

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    I was under the impression that the S35 did have the Chroma Bug (CUE), cnet.com gives the Sony 325 a decent review for an interlaced picture, but i'm not sure if they're biased or not. I don't think you'd benefit by progressive since if you did buy a new TV that supported it, you'd probably want a higher end DVD player at that time too. I agree that for interlaced output the older panasonic RV32 would probably be a decent choice.
     
  14. Eric Stuckey

    Eric Stuckey Second Unit

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    Heck if you want cheap go to Wal-Mart : Apex $39.00!
    Now thats cheep!
     
  15. Shane S.

    Shane S. Stunt Coordinator

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    IMO the only redeaming quality of the Apex is that you can hack the 80$ one to play divix. The picture quality isn't any better than a decent vcr.
    I did pick up a toshiba for around 80$ at walmart for in my bedroom its hooked straight up to the tv and it serves its purpose pretty well. I might stay away form Sony for a liitle while. I hear they are doing away with 80% of there parts overhead to better streamline production and make their equipment more uniform. The process is supposed to start with the next Play Station
     
  16. Justin W

    Justin W Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd like to say that Apex DVD players have much better picture quality than a decent VCR even though I'm sure you were just exaggerating. I got one for $39, AD-1201, because it plays region 3 DVDs, and I'm a huge fan of Asian cinema. Apex makes the same DVD players for China and America with different faceplates. I've moved it to my bedroom and on my 21 inch TV VCR it doesn't look much worse than my RV32 on my 36 inch HDTV. If you're looking for something cheap for your bedroom I don't think it would do much harm to go with and Apex.
     

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