Opinions on Sony DVP-NC655P vs. Toshiba SD3805 DVD Changers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joel Vardy, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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    I need opinions on the pros and cons of two new progressive scan DVD/CD changers (5 disk) due to the fact that my old Toshiba ProScan SD5109 is no longer able to keep up with the range of products in the market. I need Progressive scan capability due to the fact that I am connected with a Mits WD55805 wide screen HDTV with progressive scan input capability.

    My venerable SD5109 (2 disk changer) has served well till now but is now consistently pixelating and messing up on such discs as Monty Python and the Holly Grail (subtitles can not be removed). I recently played an old favorite DVD 'Gettysburg' and the picture breaks up despite cleaning the lens and the DVD repeatedly. When played on my LA95 Panasonic it plays just fine.

    My research has led me to two newer models with proscan capability and multi-disk features:

    - The Sony DVP-NC655P (available in black or silver @$209)
    - The Toshiba SD-3805 (slightly cheaper @ $200 street price)

    I am in need of a cost effective solution for lack of funds at this time but my extensive DVD collection may not get the viewing w/out a decent player. I realize that we will see many more capable mid cost offerings in the months to come.

    Two specific trade-offs are being weighed:

    - Toshiba's new zoom capability (suposedly now capable of dealing with the non-anamorphic proscan lock that older Mitsubishi TV's put on the picture causing it to be unnaturally stretched horizontally.

    - Sony's reputation for being rock solid (almost 12lbs. vs. 5lbs. for the new Tosh) and this unit possessing several video enhancing features and a twin laser pickup --supposedly providing superior DVD and CD playback results.

    Any feedback and opinions would be appreciated.

    Joel
     
  2. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

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    Are you considering the Panasonic CP-67 as well? It's right in there trading body-blows with the other two you mention. Best de-interlacing of the bunch, with the Sage chip.

    Those are the three I'm most considering right now. Oh, also the CP-72, which adds DVD-A capability (without bass management, though.)

    Nice to have choices in reasonably-priced progressive changers. Or, maybe it's not so nice to have choices...
     
  3. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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    I've heard about the CP-72 but haven't found anywhere that carries it. Is it available at a B&M or online? DVD-A would be nice, though I only own a couple of disks and I can play them on my LA95 or my DVD-ROM player on my Toshiba Portege laptop. Having the latitude of a desktop player with the capability and a 'solid' reputation would be nice.

    I have found the Sony unit for $195 at an online site. It is tempting.

    Joel
     
  4. Matt Birchall

    Matt Birchall Supporting Actor

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    I got the Sony 655 last Friday, and have been through several DVDs and several CDs so far, and it seems just fine. Unfortunately, I only have a four-year-old Sony 32" to view it on, so I'm not able to comment on the progressive scan. Hopefully I'll have that situation resolved before too much longer.

    The new Sony replaced my three-year-old Sony DVP-C600D, which was an absolutely solid machine, but lacked many of the features that all of the newer players have--DTS being the most important of those. The new one doesn't seem like it has nearly as sturdy a build as the old one (much cheaper overall feel), but with the DTS, MP3 playback, and other minor-but-cool features, the trade-off is more than worth it.

    Wish I could give a more in-depth analysis, but I'm limited by my other equipment. I do like it so far, however--and hopefully, this one will work as well for me as the last one did.
     
  5. LesterLiu

    LesterLiu Extra

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    I just got the Sony 655 as a gift this past weekend. So far, I love it. It's playing through a mits 55859 on progressive scan and the picture is amazing. So detailed and the picture is so smooth. Now I realize what all the hype is behind progressive scan players! The unit itself seems to be pretty nice, seems pretty sturdy, the shuttle is pretty fast and it's very user friendly. Even my girlfriend can use it! Also, a neat feature is that if you stop a dvd halfway through, it'll pick up where it left off from. Great unit, I am very happy with it, I'm still searching to see any evidence of the chroma bug, but haven't seen a trace of it yet, maybe i'm just oblivious. Based on what i have seen, i'd recommend this player to anyone.

    -Lester

    BTW, one question, i bought a couple dvd's that were "widescreen" but on my hdtv it doesn't fill up the whole screen. there are still bars top and bottom. i went through the user menu and set it to 16:9 but still no luck. do i need to zoom or something? i thought i could get rid of the lines somehow.
     
  6. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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    Matt,

    Thanks for your input. I know there aren't too many people who own the 655's yet -- but I was concerned also about the ever reduced 'build quality' of the new machines compared to, for instance, my first Sony 7000 that was built like a 'tank' and is still the model for high end DVD players. Unfortunately, it has been relegated to my bedroom with my Sony XBR 36" since my HDTV Mits has taken over the family room. The need for Progressive Scan (need is an overstatement) and the ability of the newer machines to play back MP3's and some now with DVD Audio capabilities is very tempting. I would be fine with my SD5109 if it weren't for the ever increasing problems with new releases and what appears to be a drift in the laser alignment on my older DVD's. I could send it out for a ROM upgrade and a laser realignment but the cost would be close to buying a new unit with the ability to have a changer for 5 disks (CD's and DVD's) as well as some of the other goodies available.

    Matt, does the claim Sony has for 'not breaking up' with their laser set up really result in fewer artifacts in your experience? Or do you not have enough experience with it yet to tell?

    Thanks.

    Joel
     
  7. Matt Birchall

    Matt Birchall Supporting Actor

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    If you're watching a movie that's in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio, you'll still get the "black bars", even on a widescreen TV.
     
  8. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

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    Regarding the CP-72: It appears to be the last of the new series of Panasonic units (er, other than the XP's) to become available. Not quite out yet. I'd expect soon.

    Very tough choice between it and the 655....
     
  9. Matt Birchall

    Matt Birchall Supporting Actor

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  10. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    One thing I was wondering about is this Sony is about the only player in its price range (that I can find) that claims 108MHz, 12-bit video DACs (vs the common 54Mhz 10-bit). What does this mean, and how does it affect the picture in the practical world. I am leaning towards this or the CP-72 which has a $30 manufacturer rebate right now. I'm going to see if I can get J&R to price match the CP-72 down to $200 (some other online places have this price) and then it will basically be the same price as the Sony. Of course the Panny is known to have NO chroma upsampling error and also has DVD-audio. What are your thoughts?
     

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