Ok, I am sick of the DVD player game! Lets get serious!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Grady Hollums, Nov 10, 2001.

  1. Grady Hollums

    Grady Hollums Second Unit

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    OK here is the deal:
    I own a Toshiba Cinema Series 50HX81 16x9 HDTV. I want the hands down best DVD picture that you can find for under $450. I actually bought the Panasonic RP-91K, but now I hear that the RP56 has a better video chip in it, but when I ask the guys at Onecall.com they suggest the Toshiba 5700. Then I look at the DVD shootout at hometheaterfihi.com (http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...-2-8-2001.html) and they seem to think that the Philips Q50 is a great machine, but after reading all the articles in the Philips section of the Spots web site they are having several problems with that one. And now I am hearing about the JVC having the best picture!!!
    I am just tired of all of this. What is the best DVD picture I can buy for under $450 that would go with my Toshiba 50HX81 TV that has good scaling abilities already on it? I am not sure about how good the Toshiba Scaling abilities are, but they seem to be very good from what I can tell.
    Ok.... there I vented! I apologies that it came out that way, but I just bought a $2600 TV, and I want the hands down best picture I can get on it.
    Thank you so much for all your help on this problem of mine!! I really look forward to hearing what you think about the different DVD players!!
    BTW: I have the Panasonic RP-91K in my home already, unopened! That is partly the reason I am so upset, because I have already purchased it, but I am willing to return it for the best I can get! God bless you all who attempt to answer my problems
    ------------------
    In Him,
    GH
    My Home
    Theater
     
  2. Jeffrey_Jones

    Jeffrey_Jones Second Unit

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    Okay, I'm going to answer this post but you are not allowed to get mad at me for my answer.
    I believe you are suffering from three serious conditions [​IMG] It is important to note that I suffer from the same conditions and I understand your situation:
    1. "Recomendationitis" - A condition common among A/V fans in which they rely more upon the recommendations of other then on their own good judgment. This condition is most commonly caused by overexposure to the Home Theater Forum. The only cure is for the affected individual to go out and demo everything they want to buy, and make their own decision.
    2. "Over-analyzer’s elbow" - A crippling condition in which the affected person analyzes a situation so deeply that they become unable to make a decision. Whatever decision they make will always include a sacrifice that might be too much to make. Maybe it's a transistor, or a feature, or a power supply, or a video chip. Whatever it is makes it impossible for the individual to make a decision. This condition is usually brought on by reading every technical document and white paper online and can only be cured through extreme shock therapy...being forced to make a decision.
    3. "Buyer's Remorse" - This condition is usually caused by a combination of the above mentioned conditions and makes it impossible for the affected person to ever fully enjoy what they have just spent a lot of money on. Whatever they buy, they fear is inferior. They always want what is next or what they didn't buy. The only cure is for someone to grab this person, slap them around a little and tell them to enjoy their new piece of equipment! Sure it's great to plan for what's next but not if it prevents you from enjoying what you already have.
    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  3. Grady Hollums

    Grady Hollums Second Unit

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    Wow, a GREAT dose or reality!! Just what the doctor (wife in this case) ordered! I really appreciate your help and hope that you not only helped me, but brought a smile to my face!
    Now that the gushy stuff is done with. Does anyone have any DVD player suggestions for me and my Scaling Toshiba 50HX81? [​IMG]
    ------------------
    In Him,
    GH
    My Home
    Theater
     
  4. Jeffrey_Jones

    Jeffrey_Jones Second Unit

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    I'm glad you realized the intended humor in my post [​IMG]
    - Jeff
     
  5. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I think the player you have is the right choice. The scaling algorithm in the player works way better than the stretch/zoom modes on any HDTV I've seen.
    Keep the 91.
    Todd
     
  6. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    If you look at any combo of dvd w/tv long enough you'll find things that tell you that your not looking through a window...let your own eyes tell you what is more bothersome: red-push,chroma bug, dot crawl,inferior scaling, etc....once you find one that isn't glaaringly bad, stop putting the magnifier to the screen and just sit and enjoy a movie(if you still can)!
     
  7. Grady Hollums

    Grady Hollums Second Unit

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    Matthew:
    That is great advice, and honesty I would not ask so many questions here at the HTF, if I could do that.
    There is only one local HT store here that even sells the Toshiba 50HX81, and they do not carry the DVD players that I am looking into. My TV is being shipped as I type and I will get it on Monday! Until that time I honestly have no way of comparing DVD players to my Toshiba.
    This is VERY frustrating, especially when I know the best way for me to be happy and satisfied with my purchase, but when you can't test out equipment in person the next best thing is people like you and your expertise giving me your opinions on what you have experienced! That is why I can not tell you how much the forum means to me. I base all of my decisions of HT equipment here and researched web sites. And when you spend as money as I have with as little money as I make being a Grad student, then you must really rely on honesty and assistance. I will never ask a question without saying thank you somewhere in the post, because I really do appreciate what you are doing for me...so thank you very much and God bless!
    ------------------
    In Him,
    GH
    My Home
    Theater
     
  8. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    Grady,
    I don't think you will be disappointed with the RP-91 you already have. I got one a week ago and the picture quality is outstanding on my Pioneer SD-533.
    The only thing the RP-56 has that the RP-91 doesn't is the Sage/Faroudja deinterlacing chip while the RP-91 has the Genesis chip. Other than that, the RP-91 has a far more extensive feature list and I think most people who have looked at both feel it has better PQ with most DVDs.
    ------------------
    Dan
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I agree with Todd. The scaling/zoom function of the RP-91 is a great feature for use with a 16x9 TV. It not only provides better video quality than most TV's zoom-only modes for non-anamorphic widescreen DVD's, but it is also a great convenience when watching the supplemental features on the disc. No more switching viewing modes on your TV as the supplemental material alternates between anamorphic, full frame and letterbox formats. Simply leave your TV in FULL mode and let the RP-91 automatically handle the format changes.
    ------------------
    My DVD Collection
    AFI 100 Films to watch: 40 -> 1
     
  10. Art Miller

    Art Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    So how is the Pan RP91 on a plan old 32 in TV. I rad somewhere that it's not reccommended but I forgot why. Is this player a good cd player too?
     
  11. Colin Davidson

    Colin Davidson Second Unit
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    Jeff,
    KUDOS to you my friend!
    You have squarely and forcefully hit the nail on the head, while keeping tongue firmly in cheek.
    I too had been suffering the same dilemma as Grady with thoughts of DVD players swirling 'round and 'round in my head.
    I think your "3 Symptoms of HT Buyers Confusion" should become a FAQ of the HTF.
     
  12. Jonathan_M

    Jonathan_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,
    GREAT post! I have actually heard of #2 before, but it was called "Analysis Paralysis". Just thought I'd throw that out there. I've see this happen in committee meetings all the time...
    -Jonathan
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    "We're hosed. We lost the remote."
     
  13. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    Grady, Take a look at the Toshiba SD9200 DVD player. Supposedly it has a better picture than the Pan RP91. I haven't had a chance to do a direct comparison but it is awesome from what I saw. It retails for $1500 but you can find them now for $500-$700 if you look hard.
     
  14. Jeffrey_Jones

    Jeffrey_Jones Second Unit

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    Jonathan,
    Analysis Paralysis would have been much funnier, I just didn't think of it!
    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  15. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    Grady;
    I didn't take the time to read through everyone else's comments, but I will add my own.
    Here's my recommendation. Forget EVERYTHING you've heard, read or seen and start from scratch.
    First off, face the fact that the perfect DVD player does not exist. Maybe it will in the future, who knows. But it isn't here now. So get used to that. Any player you get will force you to compromise in some respect.
    Now, look at how you're going to use this player. Look at your DVD collection. Are the majority - if not all - of your DVDs standard movie DVDs that will more than likely be film based? If you have any video-based DVDs (usually concerts, documentaries, TV shows etc.) in your collection? If so, how many? Does a large portion of your viewing consist of video-based material?
    The answer to this question will help you choose what chipset to rely on for progressive abilities. Now, remember what I said - FORGET what you've read. Forget about Secrets. Yes, they are an excellent source for information and their DVD Shootouts are highly informative - but let's not take it to the extreme. At the end of the day you (probably, as I don't know how picky you are) are not going to notice if a player combs for 1 frame on maybe 5% of your DVDs. Remember, a lot of the DVDs out there are properly authored and you should not experience any problems with them. The tests that Secrets perform are valid, but they are using "troublesome" DVDs - of which there are probably precious few in your collection.
    Now that you've answered some questions, here are some recommendations. First, let's get the chroma bug out of the way. You probably don't want it, and it is fairly easy to eliminate. Your options (in no particular order):
    1. Panasonic players
    2. Mediamatics-based players (incl. some JVC models, new Marantz models, new NAD model, harmon/kardon etc.)
    3. Philips player
    The Panasonic RP-91 uses the Genesis chipset. I own this player and can happily state that it is an excellent piece of software. Wonderful for film-based DVDs. As an added bonus, it also includes DVD-Audio, CD-R/RW and MP3 capabilities. Don't know if these are important, but they are there. Being a Panasonic player, it has no chroma bug and its downconversion is quite excellent, if that is an issue.
    The downside? Well, the Genesis solution isn't the best for video based material. It isn't the worst either. But this is where the answer to my previous question comes into play. If video-based material is not high on your viewing list, don't worry about something that will hardly ever affect you.
    The Panasonic RP-56 uses the Faroudja (sp?) chipset. However, I have it on good authority that this will change. The reason this player sort of came out of nowhere and surprised everyone is that the Faroudja chipset was a stop-gap. The RP-56 will soon arrive with Panasonic's own chipset in place of it. I don't know how this will perform.
    Otherwise, the same benefits to Panasonic players apply and the chipset (the Faroudja anyway) is better with video material.
    The Mediamatics chipset is wonderful - but has the worst video deinterlacing. Avoid it like the plague if you have a significant video-based DVD collection.
    Lastly, the Philips player. Perhaps one of the best, but like you said it is having its own problems.
    The Panasonic RP-91 seems to be the most reliable of the bunch, so I would highly recommend that, as long as it suits your needs.
    The new Toshiba models, based on the Zoran chipset, are quite nice, but the chroma bug is present, although to a much lesser degress than previous generations.
    Hopefully I've helped you just a tad on the path to a great DVD player. Good luck! [​IMG]
    ----
    Jeff
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    "They're coming to get you Barbara..."
     
  16. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Grady,
    I have a 4 step program for you to follow:
    1) Unpack the RP91
    2) Connect the RP91 to your system
    3) Consume an adult beveradge of your choice
    4) Watch your favorite movie on your new set, relax and enjoy, Don't Worry, Be Happy!!
    ------------------
    Steve S.
    I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.
     

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