Newbie DVD Player Question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EbM, Sep 20, 2001.

  1. EbM

    EbM Auditioning

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    I apologize if this is the wrong place to post this kind of question. I'm going to be purchasing my first DVD player this weekend. I intend to spend between $150-$200. Do you have any recommendations of brands or specific players? Are there any online sites that can provide decent choices? Can I find what I need at my local Best Buy or Circuit City? Thanks for your time, again, I apologize if this question is out of place.
     
  2. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    EbM, welcome to the home theater forum!
    Sure, Best Buy or Circuit City are fine, you should be able to find a really decent player at either one. I would reccomend you go with either Sony or Pioneer, you can't go wrong with either of those well trusted names, you shoud be able to find a good player for your budget. Good luck.
    Oh yes, a little tip, while your at the store, be sure and pick up a good S-Video or Component cable if you don't already heve either or, the cables they supply "in the box" are pretty cheap stuff.
    ------------------
    GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.!
     
  3. Kendal Kirk

    Kendal Kirk Stunt Coordinator

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    Welcome EbM. I have not been with the HTF long myself, but from my time here thus far, we are at the right place for quality, honest advice.
    John, speaking of honest advice, I had to look at your profile to make sure that you didn't work for BB, CC, or Monster with the cable advice [​IMG]. That is great advice and the cost should be considered in your spending budget.
    If you must go to a brick and morter store, either would be fine. If you want an e-store, check out www.dealtime.com. I saved about $55 below what BB was selling it for. Sears will price matching the internet if they stock the exact item.
    [Edited last by Kendal Kirk on September 20, 2001 at 10:44 PM]
     
  4. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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  5. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    eBM welcome to HTF! you are at the right place for everything HT. I would recommend a Sony. The Sony machines are nice. I would also recommend a Toshiba but only if you have a widescreen T.V set. Toshiba makes a nice machine but the down-conversion on them is awful. Sony if you use a standard 4:3 screen, and Toshiba if you use a 16:9 TV. Hope this helps.
    ------------------
    -Keith-
     
  6. EbM

    EbM Auditioning

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    Thanks for the advice, especially the cords. I need new speaker wire, I might as well get some decent cords for the system. One of the things I was wondering about was whether to get a dedicated DVD player, or a player that plays music CDs/DVDs/VCDs/etc. Does a 5 disc system sacrifice image quality for the space to hold and play 5 discs?
     
  7. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Eb,
    All dvd players will also play audio CDs and VCDs. Most newer ones will also play CDRs, CDRWs, and MP3.
    A 5 disc changer suffers no loss of playback quality due to the 5 disc mechanism, the actual playback circuitry doesn't care about the mechanicals of the 5 disc system.
    I have a new JVC XV-F80BK 7 disc dvd changer. It plays all the formats mentionned above, is progressive scan with 3/2 pulldown, will play PAL dvds (tv system used in Europe and most of Asia outside of Japan) as long as they're region 1 accessible.
    Great downconversion for 4/3 sets, sharper than Sony but without digital artifacts like Toshiba. I've had Toshiba, Panasonic, and Sony, and this JVC has the best downconversion I've ever seen.
    This changer can be had for $279 on the 'net (try Crutchfield). There's a single disc version for about $229 (XVS-60BK in black, 62S in silver, and 65GD in gold).
    ------------------
    Steve S.
    I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.
    [Edited last by Steve Schaffer on September 21, 2001 at 09:10 PM]
     
  8. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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    In my opinion, the brands you want to look at are Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer. Those are the three that will provide the most pleasing picture and most reliable performance, with relatively few problems navigating "problem" discs. Check them all out and see which one feels right to you. Does the build quality seem good, do you like the remote, etc.? You really can't go wrong with any of the three.
    As far as progressive scan goes, keep in mind it's only worthwhile if you either have an HDTV or plan on upgrading in the near future. If you have a standard TV and it'll be awhile before you make the move to HDTV, you're probably better off saving your money. Progressive scan adds substantially to the cost and the technology is changing a lot right now.
    Getting a better quality video cable is excellent advice. Just use your judgment and take into account how good your other equipment is. Almost any cable is better than what comes in the box. Monster, Bettercables.com, Cat Cables, AR, whatever. Just get the best you can afford, component is best, S-video is also good. Whatever your TV supports.
     
  9. EbM

    EbM Auditioning

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    I'm going out now to do some comparison shopping at my local Best Buy and Circuit City. I don't have a HDTV and I don't plan on getting one anytime soon. I've got a 32" Toshiba stereo TV w/PIP. I've got a couple of video game systems and a satelite system hooked up to it. I can run the sound through an old Kenwood system that has a couple of old BOSE speakers. It's kind of makeshift but it suits my needs for now. I think I'll stay away from the Progressive Scan feature for now. I'll let you know what I've narrowed my choices to when I get back. I just hope I really have the discipline to just shop today and buy tomorrow.
     
  10. EbM

    EbM Auditioning

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    This is what I found today:
    Sony DVPNS400D $229
    Sony DVPNS300D $199
    Panasonic DVDRV31K $199
    JVC XVS65GD $229
    Philips DVD782C $199
    That was at Circuit City and Best Buy. I might check out Sears later this afternoon.
     
  11. David Illingworth II

    David Illingworth II Second Unit

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    Hey, EBM, I'm getting a new player too. I'm trying to decide between the Sony, Panasonic, or the JVC. You may have seen my post down below. Anyway, I really would advise buying an instore warranty when you get one. I bought my Hitachi a year ago from Circuit City, and recently I noticed little glitches in it (and a special aversion to seamless branching), and I took it back, and now they're going to exchange it. I don't know if my player was a lemon or what, but the warranty is now going to allow me to upgrade.
     
  12. Chip_E

    Chip_E Agent

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    I'd stay away from JVC.
    Pioneer, Sony and Panasonic are much better.
    I have a Panasonic, and it plays everything that I throw at it. ProgressiveScan is nice, but of no benefit unless you have an HDTV.
    - Chip Eberhart
    - DVD Author
     
  13. David Illingworth II

    David Illingworth II Second Unit

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    Thanks for the advice, Chip. I'm disappointed to hear that the JVC has got problems. If you could go into detail, I would really appreciate it. The Sony and Panasonic players don't have the zoom feature, and I don't think the Pioneer does either. Obviously, the zoom is secondary to picture downconversion (I have a standard television with S-video) and processing speed (for my T2:UE), but if I can get a quality player that does it all for around $200, then that's preferable.
    Apologies to EBM, I don't mean to take over his thread, but I'm of the mind that he and I are both looking for almost exactly the same thing right now, so I hope he won't mind.
     
  14. EbM

    EbM Auditioning

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    The more the merrier David. I'm picking up tips from your questions so keep 'em coming.
     
  15. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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    I'll second the advice to stay away from the JVC. Build quality and reliability don't seem to be very good. I'd also vote against the Philips. At the very least you don't hear many good things about them, and at worst you read of a few problems.
    EbM, I can't tell you anything about the specific Panasonic you're looking at, but either of the Sony players would be good. There are two differences between the models you listed.
    First, with the more expensive DVP-NS400D, you get a built-in Dolby Digital decoder. It sounds like you only have a stereo receiver at this point. If and when you upgrade to surround sound you'll probably buy a new receiver that has its own DD decoder in it, so this feature really won't make a big difference for you.
    The other upgrade is that the 400 will play CD-R and CD-RW discs. If you burn your own discs, this is more than worth the extra $30 or whatever.
     
  16. Chip_E

    Chip_E Agent

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    David and EbM (you really gotta tell us your name someday),
    I don't mean to take anything away from JVC (after all...they invented the VHS tape format) but we (DVD Authors and Replicators...not to be confused with replicants) have seen more problems with JVC DVD players as well as JVC DV camcorders (actually, their implementation of the IEEE-1394 FireWire spec).
    Without going into a long thread, JVC invented the VHS format, they own the trademark, they still make revenue from anyone that puts "VHS" on a tape...but, there are a lot of people that don't pay the licensing fee.
    Well, JVC doesn't want to spend a lot of money on licensing fees either. JVC stayed out of the DVD and FireWire games for as long as possible. They came in later than others and somehow they've been struggling to catch up.
    Of course, this is just my take on the situation, and I've been wrong before. Regardless, I can't suggest JVC digital video products for purchase at this time.
    Hope this helps some.
    - Chip Eberhart
    - DVD Author
    p.s. Before you ask...No you don't have any of my discs in your collection. But that might change since I'm working on a feature film project now. Most of what I do is for tradeshows (your widgets on DVD) DVD catalogs, kiosk displays and the sort.
     
  17. EbM

    EbM Auditioning

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    I'm heading out to buy one of the two Sony players. I'm torn between springing the extra $30 for the ability to play CD-R and CD-RW discs. Despite having an HP Pavilion with a CD burner I've only burned one disc in over a year. And my present CD player was able to play it. Thanks for all of the advice. You guys have steered me away from an unneccesary expenditure on Progressive Scan. It would have sounded so neat I probably would have spent extra to get a feature I really didn't need. Thanks again!
    Eb (Eberto) Morejon
     
  18. EbM

    EbM Auditioning

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    I purchased the Sony DVP-NS300. It was actually $189 instead of $199. It was surprisingly simple to install. I've only got 2 bose speakers so I just hooked it up to my TV and I'm getting my stereo sound through my usual TV hookup. I know I'm missing out on surround sound, but I'm waiting to splurge on a new system for the new house we're hoping to get in a few years.
    My wife and I rented 13 Days and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. We saw 13 Days last night and I spent about an hour after the movie playing around with all of the features. I can't wait to see CTHD! Any other titles to recommend?
     
  19. David Illingworth II

    David Illingworth II Second Unit

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    Chip, I appreciate all the interesting info on JVC. I didn't pick up their model, but I did take a risk and bought a new Sharp player that CC had for only $149. I had read some great things about the Sharp picture, although I was worried that it might be a finicky player. So far so good (Madx4 World looked great on it!), and the discs that my Hitachi had trouble with (T2:UE and Stargate:SE) played without a hitch on it. This player is also MUCH faster than the Hitachi!
    If it doesn't prove reliable I'll just take it back with the instore warranty and get the Sony or Panasonic.
    PS, the player and the warranty were both cheaper than last year, so I used the extra money to get Tigerland and Spaceballs. Very cool.
    Thanks everybody for your advice, and hey if anyone's got any word on a Sharp player and what I should expect, love to hear it.
     
  20. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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