Panasonic or Philips, DVD-Audio or SACD

Gunn Ooi

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Mar 31, 2003
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Hi,

I recently returned my 5 disc DVD player and is currently looking for a good digital video source that will produce good audio. In fact, the audio aspect is more important to me than video since I only have a 2 channel stereo pre/power amps setup.

Panasonic is introducing the Panasonic DVD-S35S Ultra Slim Progressive Scan DVD player that provides DVD-Audio capabilities. Philips has the Philips DVD763SA Multi-Channel SACD/DVD Player, no progressive scan but has SACD capabilities.

I am inclined towards the Panasonic because it has progressive scan. This means I can upgrade to HDTV in a later date and already have progressive scan.

However, Philips may have better audio capabilities.

Any opinion and suggestion is highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 

John Kotches

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At their respective price points, I think you would be hard pressed to pick a clear winner.

Which format has the most titles you want?

If you buy the Panny, you can playback:
DVD-A as DVD-A, DVD-V, and CD layers of hybrid SACDs.

If you buy the Philips, you can playback:
SACD only media, Hybrid SACD, DVD-V track of DVD-A and DVD-V discs.

Regards,
 

Gunn Ooi

Auditioning
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Mar 31, 2003
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4
Thanks for the feedback John.

I was browsing in Amazon and the DVD-Audio discs are cheaper. Also, they have the selections that I am familiar with.

You're right, for entry level DVD players, the difference will not be day and night.
 

John Kotches

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Frank,

Good catch. I hadn't looked up that model # at Panasonic to verify its capability.

Regards,
 

Gunn Ooi

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Mar 31, 2003
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Thanks Frank. I meant Panasonic DVD-S55S Digital Remastering Progressive Scan DVD. I apologize for the typing error.
 

Philip Hamm

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For a stereo only system, all things being equal, SACD seems to me to be a better choice than DVD-A. Some DVD-A discs do not have stereo mixes at all. All SACDS are required to have stereo mixes. (of course that doesn't matter if there are a bunch of DVD-A discs you're interested in and no SACDs! - Me, I have both formats.)

The Sony DVP-NS755V would be a perfect choice.

Progressive scan DVD and SACD all in one package. I have the predecessor, the 500V, and it's a fantastic SACD machine, a fairly good interlaced DVD player, and a good CD player also to my ears. An overachiever at the price point.

Here's Crutchfield's information page about the unit. You can find a better price than that I'll bet.

Of the two you first mentioned, I like the Philips, I've had some very good experience with Philips gear, both in quality stuff and in customer service, over the years. They're one of my favored brands.
 

Michael St. Clair

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I can't think of a DVD-A released in the last 24 months that didn't include a PCM stereo/mono mix.

To be fair, other than AIX, I only buy major-label DVD-A.
 

John Kotches

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Silverline (do they qualify as major?) is the only current practitioner of surround only. It is my understanding that they don't own the rigths to a stereo release for the discs that are 5.1 only.

Even small labels like MDG and Tacet are including stereo mixes.

Regards,
 

Philip Hamm

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I can't think of a DVD-A released in the last 24 months that didn't include a PCM stereo/mono mix.
I don't think my Barenaked Ladies "Maroon" disc is that old, and it is conspicuously missing said stereo mix (and the player scrolls "CAN NOT DOWNMIX" when I play the tracks). Annoying, too, since it's mentioned all over the packaging. I also have a bad Silverline disc with no stereo mix.
 

Michael St. Clair

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I don't think my Barenaked Ladies "Maroon" disc is that old, and it is conspicuously missing said stereo mix (and the player scrolls "CAN NOT DOWNMIX" when I play the tracks). Annoying, too, since it's mentioned all over the packaging. I also have a bad Silverline disc with no stereo mix.
Well, I said I couldn't think of one. I was still right. But so are you.


That said, what percent of (non-Silverline) DVD-A titles do not have a stereo mix?

It is definitely very small. I wouldn't choose SACD over DVD-A based on stereo-playback requirements.

Spence Chrislu, director of Warner Music DVD-A (who released the Barenaked Ladies disc in Sept. 2001) assured me midway through last year that a two-channel track had become standard. I believe him.
 

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