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Pana. RV-31 a flop!?!?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eric J, Jul 24, 2001.

  1. Eric J

    Eric J Auditioning

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    Well, my girlfriend told me it was time to retire her Toshiba 2107 and asked me to find her a good replacement. One that would actually play her Disney DVDs. Well I turned here to the HTF as I usually do, and found that the Panasonic RV-31 was the most strongly recommend sub $200 player out there. I thought great, no chroma bug, mp3 capability, CD-R and CD-RW support, and nothing but rave reviews.
    Needless to say we picked up the RV-31 for her. Since buying this thing I have seen 3 or 4 movies pixelate on this player. We rented Unbreakable and watched both the movie and the supplement disc. At the beginning of the movie when Bruce Willis is on the train, I noticed that our copy pixelated briefly. From this point on it was ok, so I didn't give it much thought. However, when we went to watch the supplement disc, during the multi-angle train station sequence the player would pixelate heavily and stutter starting at 2:18 and ending at 2:30. I was shocked. I thought this has to be the disc. We put the disc into her old 2107 and it played with no problems, repeatedly. We even went back to the store were we bought the RV-31 and unboxed a new one and tried it, hoping that we just had a defect unit. This was to no avail, the other new unit did the exact same thing on the Unbreakable supplement disc. I was floored. I hadn't read anything about the RV-31 being sensitive to scratches or smudges on the disc. While I had the opportunity I put the Unbreakable supplement disc into the Sony NS-300 and the Toshiba 2700. Both of these players played the disc flawlessly. The other discs that pixelated bad on her RV-31 were Disney titles. One of those was the Emperor's New Groove, it played better after cleaning it. But I never got the chance to play it in another player to verify it.
    Is the RV-31 really that sensitive to imperfections on the disc? What is everybody else seeing? Now I need to find her a new player, what recommendations does anybody have for a CD-R/RW and MP3 capable player that is around/under $200 with interlaced component outputs?
    I was looking into getting the Pana. RP-91 for myself, does it use the same optical pickup subsystem? Is it just as sensitive to problem discs? Does anybody own one of those test discs that measure how well a player can play scratched discs (like the CD-Check disc)?
    Eric Johnson
     
  2. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Second Unit

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    The only time my RV-31 has pixellated on me was when a friend rented The Sixth Sense and brought it over to the house. I see a theme forming here. I think you're on to something about the sensitivity to scratches issue. All of my personal DVDs are in pristine condition, so I haven't had any problems playing anything from my collection. I rent from Netflix also, and I haven't had any problems with any of their discs either, eventhough a few of those Netflix discs looked like they'd been cleaned with a rake!
    On the other hand, I haven't had any material-related problems with my RV-31. For instance, my old Toshiba SD1600 would lock up during Anna and the King, but my RV-31 doesn't. The newer firmware helps there I think.
    The only other sub-$200 MP3 compatible DVD player I can think of is the Apex, and you do NOT want to get that one unless you don't care about video quality.
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    This screen has been formatted to fit your movie.
     
  3. Chuck K

    Chuck K Auditioning

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    The problems you describe are not uncommon. I've
    read numerous posts on this board describing
    DVD tracking problems that cross manufacturers and
    models. Invariably, others will respond that they
    have the same player, and are having no problems
    whatsoever. personally I have an older Panasonic
    that has trouble with dual layer DVDs. (BTW it
    helps if I run a cleaning disk before each DVD.)
    :-(
    I think the manufactures have a serious QA
    issue, 95% of the players are OK and 5% have
    some sort of problem. I'll admit DVDs are much
    harder to track than CDs, but they are not
    doing a very good job with QA.
    My solution is to buy
    from a dealer that will allow you to exchange
    the player if there are any problems, and then
    try every difficult disk you have to see
    if you got one of the lemons or not.
     
  4. Tom Johnson

    Tom Johnson Stunt Coordinator

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    The QA issue is actually with the manufacture of the discs, not the players.
     
  5. Jonathan Lofgren

    Jonathan Lofgren Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been researching new DVD players and the two that keep coming up for $200 or less are the Panasonic and the Sony DVP-NS300 (I think that's the number. If it's not it's close to that.) I have read several reviews and looked around for awhile, but I have never seen either so take this for what it's worth.
     
  6. Eric J

    Eric J Auditioning

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    Yohan, did you or your friend get a chance to play the rented copy of The Sixth Sense on a different DVD player before you returned it to see if it pixelated?
    I think it would be extremely helpful if we could get test results on the ability of DVD players to track/decode scratched discs. Are there any DVD test discs for this? I've found two CD test discs, one by Pierre Verany called "Digital Test" and another called "CD-Check" by a company called Digital Recordings.
    I think this aspect of a DVD player's performance is being largely overlooked by most people. Things like chroma upsampling errors are getting more attention in the forums, but for the common person renting DVD's and having them play without pixelating is a far more common problem. I really wish I had a DVD test disc to test this out.
    Eric Johnson
     
  7. Allan Mack

    Allan Mack Supporting Actor

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    Eric,
    I assure you, the RV-31 is not a flop. In my opinion, it's one of the better inexpensive interlaced players out there. The picture quality is excellent (I own one).
    For a brief time, I owned both the RV-31 and the RP-91. I returned the RP-91 because I thought it was redundant with my Sony 36XBR450. You can read about my plight here:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/...ML/007290.html
    Anyway, I borrowed "A Bug's Life" from my sister and it became heavily pixellated in both the RV-31 and RP-91 in exactly the same spot on the disc. Dismayed, I thought of returning both DVD players. But then I inspected the disc and noticed it was smudged. After a careful cleaning, the disc played flawlessly on both players.
    I personally would inspect rental discs before leaving the store, and I would clean them before playing just to make sure. I haven't had a problem when doing this.
    To conclude, it is my opinion that the RV-31 is a very fine player. It plays all my personal DVDs flawlessly.
    [Edited last by Allan Mack on July 25, 2001 at 03:10 AM]
     
  8. Jeff

    Jeff Supporting Actor

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    It's funny this has been brought up. I had a DVD with a very wide scratch on it and before removing it, I tried it on 5 different DVD players. All of them would pixilate when it got to the scratch but the Panasonic RV-31 handled it the worst.
    My Panasonic RV-80 handled it better which is interesting since the new Panasonic's have a "disc stabilizer" feature.
    BTW, Toshibas are the best at error correcting. Although I did try that DVD on a Toshiba and it pixilated as well.
    Jeff
    [Edited last by Jeff on July 25, 2001 at 04:39 AM]
     
  9. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I have a Panasonic CV-51, which is technically identical to the RV31, but it is the 5 disc carousel. I haven't noticed a single flaw, hitch, pixelation or any other artifact viewing any DVD's yet, but I've not watched many DVD's. I do keep my DVD's in flawless condition. I will keep my eyes open. It plays Matrix with-out a hitch so far.
     
  10. RobP

    RobP Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the rv-31 and I was watching kingpin a a few days ago when it locked up completely. I shut off the unit and turned it back on but still couldn't get my disc out. I had to unplug the unit and I finally got the tray to open. The disc had a minute hair on it, But I dont know why the tray wouldnt open. Other than this I have no complaints about the rv-31.
    RobP
     
  11. Art_C

    Art_C Stunt Coordinator

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    My RV31 is sensitive to DVD imperfections. There are a couple of times that I had to clean the DVD that I rented just so that the RV31 would play through certain scenes. But it plays just fine once the DVD is cleaned. All in all I think it's a pretty good DVD player for the money. The only complain that I have is that it doesn't support SVCD. I like to store my home videos in SVCD format on CDR's and I found out the hard way that the RV31 wouldn’t play SVCD properly. In fact I believe that the hardware is perfectly capable of playing it but the firmware just doesn't support it. Anybody else have this problem? Is there a way around this?
     
  12. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    Toshiba's SD2710 started shipping in Canada a couple of weeks ago. I assume it's available in the US as well.
    It's identical to the SD2700 but ditches HDCD in favor of MP3.
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  13. Kami

    Kami Screenwriter

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    Unbreakable plays flawlessly on my RV31. I haven't had one single problem to speak of (except for slightly noticable layer changes). Then again, I never rent, only buy...and all my discs are in brand-new condition.
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    My budding DVD collection

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