Ok, no holds barred, no price limit, what is the absolute best DVD player out there?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Rolando, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    Ok, I am talking about BEST quality picture. No matter the cost, the brand whatever. Regardless of upscaling or not. Which DVD player will really, no holds barred, no price limit, give you THE ABSOLUTE BEST PICTURE/IMAGE?

    I have noticed that more and more DVD players upscale to 720p or 1080i. I am sure not all with the same quality, I mean Pioneer's flagship DVD player is like $1500 Canadian and there is an LG here that sells under $200. They CANNOT have the same picture quality right?

    I have not bought a DVD player in 3 years. I want to buy one last one before HD units hit the streets. SO if price were no object (trust me it is but maybe I can sweet talk the boss, I mean wife[​IMG] )

    Which is the best of the best?

    PS, DVD-A or SACD not necessary. This will a purely video unit. No other purpose than DVD movies. If it play music well then cool but it is NOT required at all.
     
  2. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    Well for between $1000-2000 U.S., check out the Onkyo 10.5, Pioneer Elite 59AVi, Denon 5900, Marantz 8400, or Sony NS999ES.

    And if cost really is truly no object (as in you're willing to spend $10-25K), how's about the Lexicon RT-10, Classe CDP-300, Linn Unidisk 1.1, Krell DVD Standard, or Bel Canto PL-1?
     
  3. ScottLR

    ScottLR Stunt Coordinator

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    Perhaps the 5900 with mods (modwright?)?
     
  4. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    WHOA! Are there really DVD players for $10 000??? AND MORE? Is that what those are on the list? I was thinking $2000 was around the max... What makes those so expensive? Are they really that much better or just nice show pieces ie: chrome/gold plated, special finishes etc.

    ok let's keep it realistic. How about best PQ in and around the Elite 59 AVi. I hear it is considered a "God" among it's owners but little things like "the layer switch pause is actually longer than on cheaper older models" and "not the best de-interlacer" etc. Well If I am going to plop down over $500 to $1500 instead of getting a Panny under $600 I want to know why.

    and I guess I kind of got used to being able to zoom out to compensate for overscan and doing X,Y scaling so it would be nice...
     
  5. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    Well I have a 59AVi arriving in the mail in a few days time, but based on what I've seen and read and heard, it in no way tops Denon's upper echelon of players, even if IT IS Pioneer Elite's top-shelf player. And since I also own the Denon 3800, which was and still is used by many as a premier reference player, that is what I'm keeping as my DVD player. The Pioneer I'll be receiving will be used as an SACD/DVD-Audio player only.

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/maste...o_players.html is a good source for reviews.

    Oh, and to answer your question about those ridiculously priced players...I've actually read a review or two about one or two of those aforementioned units, and the funniest thing is they have your priorities somewhat reversed. In terms of their audio performance, it's the closest thing to real life as you're going to get. However, their video playback capabilities (the Krell in particular) left some things to be desired. Why they cost so much? Awesome parts. Tank-like build quality. Gorgeous face plates. But above all, NAME. Still, kind of crazy to think that you have an option of buying a Linn Unidisk, or a BMW 3-series.
     
  6. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    by far, the esoteric ux-1. its $13k, so its a little bit of a cost-no-object player. if you are in the denver area, the store i work for is having an exhibit at the denver audio show this coming weekend, we will have that player, sonus fabre stratavarius speakers, musical fidelity KW500 (500-watt per channel integrated amp), and top of the line audioquest. should be the tits.

    below that, give me the esoteric dv-50. makes cds sound like vinyl. blow that, the denon 3910. this thing is a TOP performer.

    for simple picture quality, they will all be pretty close. for value, the denon blows the others away with video quality alone.
     
  7. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I think there are players that work better with certain displays. As far as the ($11k) Linn Unidisk goes, it is a universal player with SACD and DVD-A and Linn being a company that does stuff on its own more than others (vs. buying an OEM kit from Pioneer and tweaking it like the Lexicon likely is) means you are paying a big price for their R&D which on a dollar for dollar basis I don't think many would deem to be worth it.

    I've seen the cheaper upscaling playing look excellent on some stuff and good (but not great) on other things. An expensive DVD player with HD-DVD around the corner is likely not a good investment. The Samsung (37.5 lb. DVD-A/DVD-V) HD1000 (which was not supposed to be released here - no DVI - upscales via component outs) may be able to be had at a reasonable close-out price. I think Harvey Sound sold a recent batch on dutch auction on videogon.com for about $650. The Ayre player is very nice but very expensive. The Rotel players I believe use the same or similar video processor as the Linn Unidisk (w/o stuff like extra power supplies or separate clocks for each of the formats - e.g. CD, SACD, DVD-A) and are $500 for the DVD-V player and a bit more for the DVD-V/DVD-A player. Some cos. use the Pioneer 59Ai OEM kit as a pkg. and tweak the audio and add some power supplies. Pioneer did an excellent job in designing it (no I do not own one - have an old DV-47A in the bedroom system).
     
  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    If anyone shells out, say, $7,000 for a Krell Standard, he or she is going to feel pretty sad when the first Blu-Ray and/or HD-DVD machines come along at only $2000 and produce breathtakingly superior images.

    Those overdone $10K players from high-end, boutique audio manufacturers are merely attempts by those companies to infuse their high-priced ethic into the otherwise cost-effective world of home theater.

    Better to stick with the flagship players from Denon, Sony, Pioneer, et al.

    And besides, with DVD players image quality is consistent across the line with the wares from the "good" companies. Chances are one won't see any difference in image quality in most cases between a Sony 725 or a Sony 999.

    There is no single player out there that can boast the "absolute best" picture quality bar none.
     
  9. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    I can't imagine spending that kind of money on one unit, even if I had the money.
     
  10. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    jack, you ever used one of those machines? its pretty mind-blowing... you might want to get informed, then form an opinion on how stupid they are.

    the transport mechanism on the esoterics is like nothing the industry has seen before. its pretty amazing.
     
  11. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    When I last saw this (early 2003), based on its fluorescent display configuration I was 99% sure it was based on a Panasonic RP91.

    McIntosh MVP851

    IIRC the store I was at was charging about $4200 for this.
     
  12. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    The question is less what the best DVD player is, but rather what the best video processor is.

    An HTPC(near the best for REALLY cheap), or a quality DVD player hooked up to a Teranex, or something like that which can reach 6 figures, is probably the best video you'll get with DVD anywhere.
     
  13. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    McIntosh. That's a name that brings fond memories. My dad used to own one of their top of the line stereos back in the 70's and 80's. Man, that thing was incredible back then...
     
  14. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    For an interlaced player, you can have my Pioneer DVD-V7400 industrial players when you can pry it out of my hands. Or if Pioneer makes a real industrial progressive player...

    Leo
     
  15. Mattias_ka

    Mattias_ka Supporting Actor

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    The best picture quality from a DVD player comes from a 230$ Panasonic RP82! So with the extra cash you save, you can SDI modify it and get a video processor with SDI input.
     
  16. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I haven't heard this in awhile:

    The top rated Panasonic XP30!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Yes I was one of those addicts who at one point had a very expensive player (actually it was just a transport) but doubled as a CD transport (and a great one when it worked right) in a system that is fairly high end on the audio only side. In retrospect, I don't think with the way technology changes in that dept. it was the wisest investment ever made but the good news is I don't give investment advice [​IMG]
     
  18. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    That's disturbing [​IMG]
     
  19. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    Well Denon 3800 seems to be the all around winner in my "reasonable" category.



    Since with 10K is a little out of my league I will veer in that direction instead.



    Checking out the Denon website I find a DVD-3910. Is that this years model? I assume it must be even better right? Anyone have this yet? How is the picture? How are the layer switches? Can you zoom out to compensate for overscan? Can you "expand" for non-anarmorphic movies if played on a TV that locks on Full?



    tell me, tell me, tell me!
     
  20. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    Wow, where did you get that from?



    Your "no holds barred, no price limit, absolute best DVD player out there" title should have read "two-year-old refurbished, inexpensive, buggy when introduced but hopefully had all of it firmware updated, average performing DVD player".



    If your just looking at old Denon players though, I think that the 1600 would have topped the 3800, which you can still find "new in box" and were relatively bug free from the get-go.
     

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