Panasonic RP62 vs. Sony 715 -- please help!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gregory S., Sep 5, 2002.

  1. Gregory S.

    Gregory S. Auditioning

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    I've narrowed down my purchase decision to one of these players. Please help me decide! The Panasonic is on sale at Circuit City for $170, and the Sony is $200. Is there a difference? Does one have a better progressive scan image than the other? Are they both 3-2 pulldown compatible?

    Thanks
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Is there a difference? Yes, one is a Sony and the other is a Panasonic! They both offer progressive scanning with 2:3 pulldown, and they are both fine performers. It all boils down to the feature sets. Pick the player that works best for you. You'll be happy with either choice.
     
  3. Gregory S.

    Gregory S. Auditioning

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    I actually just got off the phone with Crutchfield, and I ordered a new Panasonic XP30. I saw one at my local Sears, and was a very slick little unit. It's more than the RP62 or 715, but still within my budget.

    Thanks
     
  4. Jo_M

    Jo_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm confused by the XP30, why is it more expensive than the RP82? It doesn't seem to have any additional features and it's missing DVD-A and digital coax out, which the RP82 has. Why are they charging $300 for it?
     
  5. Gregory S.

    Gregory S. Auditioning

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    Probably just because of aesthetics. But call me a sucker - as I'm sure many will - but I immediately fell in love with it's beauty, and knew I had to have it. I know it seems shallow, but I'm confident that it's a competent player with regard to picture quality and so forth. I was really struggling between the RP62 and 715, so I just thought, screw it, I'm going ahead with the XP30 because I love the way it looks. I don't really care about DVD-Audio, so I'm not losing sleep over not having that or SACD. I barely have the time to listen to all of my unlistened-to CDs as it is.
     
  6. Jo_M

    Jo_M Stunt Coordinator

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    For what it's worth, I tried out the Sony 715p and returned it right away. The picture was just too soft and undefined. I have the RP62 right now while I wait for the RP82 to come in. Much, much better. I've actually considered keep the RP62. Note to panasonic, spend a little money and develop a better remote.
     
  7. Jim Golden

    Jim Golden Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought both players to do a comparison. I'm keeping the Sony. The picture is a little clearer on the Panasonic (due to the Farjouda chip), but the picture seems very dark, even while using the "lighter" setting.

    The Sony seems to have more features that I like (better remote, coax output, the ability to show the front of the DVD package (really cool), taller unit, screen saver, ability to set the contrast, brightness, color, hue, ect.). I even think the manual is better, as is the quick setup option.

    In my opinion these two players are very similar (the panasonic is $20 cheaper). The decision would be much easier if either of these players had major weaknesses.
     
  8. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    With due respect to Jim...

    It's necessary to properly calibrate the TV for each player in order to make a valid comparison. When I switched from my old RV31 to my new RP82 and recalibrated (using Avia, nothing fancy) I had to set the black level and white level somewhat higher with the RP82. If I hadn't done so, the picture with the RP82 would have looked darker.

    If we compare two new players without recalibrating, then we're basically measuring which player requires settings that are closest to those of the player. Once the choice of a new player has been decided, most people are going to fine-tune the calibration anyway so it makes sense to do that first so we can make an informed decision.
     
  9. Jim Golden

    Jim Golden Stunt Coordinator

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    Brent:

    Good point. Had I taken the time to recalibrate my TV, I could have probably gotten a more lighter picture out of the Panasonic.

    Did you do a comparison of the two players? What was you conclusion, overall.

    Jim
     
  10. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    Yes, I spent a good bit of an afternoon comparing the RV31 with the RP82. It was hard because they took a somewhat different setup. I used the "Pro" setting on my 36XBR800 to hold the calibration for the RP82. I tried using the "Movie" setting to hold the calibration for the RV31 so I could A/B them by having one to each input. For some reason, I couldn't quite get as good a calibration in "Movie" so instead I used "Pro" for both and would bump the settings the necessary few clicks back and forth when I changed players (I wrote down the number of clicks for each calibration).

    For just sitting down and watching a movie, I won't claim there's a big difference. The RP82's progressive-scan output and the RV31's interlaced output running through the Sony's DRC are very comparable. I think the DRC must do a very good job of deinterlacing and reversing the 3:2 pulldown. On Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon I couldn't even find noticable differences when I did the A/B back and forth repeatedly on the same short sections of the movie. Maybe a tiny bit more realistic (for the RP82) metallic gleam on the sword blades during quick action but maybe it was my imagination. By "realistic" I mean looking more metallic rather than merely a flash of light.

    On Fellowship of the Ring, a couple of differences did stand out. There's a shot (beginning of some chapter, maybe chapter 9) where Gandalf emerges from the woods on his horse, heading to Orthanc for the first time. As the horse runs into the sunlight its mane is briefly backlighted by the sun. To a very noticable extent it is a rich auburn color with the RP82 and merely brown with the RV31. If I held it with a still frame the difference was there but in real-time where it's just a brief flash, the difference is striking.

    Another place is where a flock of birds swoops down into the fiery pit where Saruman is overseeing the infernal machinery that is creating his Uruk Hai. That CGI sequence where the camera swoops down, following the birds, is arguably more three-dimensional with the RP82. At any rate it seems to keep objects more clearly in focus as the camera rapidly pans.

    Finally, Avia has a moving zone pattern where the RP82's progressive-scan output can keep the aliasing noise to a minimum compared to the RV31/DRC combination which has a lot more shimmer. That doesn't really count since it's an artificial test designed to be difficult for an interlaced source. But there was certainly a difference.

    In all, I wouldn't really be missing much by staying with the old reliable RV31 but with the RP82 I think my new TV is receiving virtually every bit of picture quality that can be extracted from a DVD movie. Since the new player cost less than 10% as much as the TV it seems a reasonable bit of overkill. Bottom line, I like it and I'm glad I bought it!
     
  11. Jim Golden

    Jim Golden Stunt Coordinator

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    Brent:

    To complicate this decision even further....I took your advice, and calibrated the Sony player (using Avia) last night. I watched the two scenes you mentioned from LOTR. I didn't experience any of the flaws that you saw with the Sony player. I'm using the progressive output to feed a Toshiba TW65H80 television.

    I probably won't perform a calibration using the Panasonic, because I think you're right, the darkness in the picture can easily be corrected by adjusting the brightness and contrast controls.

    Believe me, picking between these two players is not an easy choice. I've still got the Panasonic RP62 sitting on my kitchen table.

    Jim
     
  12. SeanWillis

    SeanWillis Agent

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    Brent and Jim,

    You guys do know that you are comparing two different players, the RP82 and the RP62? Just between those two players alone, there is chip set differences which can result in different picture reproduction.

    Sean
     
  13. Jim Golden

    Jim Golden Stunt Coordinator

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    Sean:

    I assumed that the chipsets were the same for the RP82 vs. the RP62. Looking at the specifications for both players, lead one to believe that the video portions are the same.

    Based on all the extras, in my opinion the RP82 seems like a much better value than the RP62. I don't have access to a RP82. Circuit City only carries the RP62.

    I have to admit I'm biased towards the Sony for what may seem trivial to some.....The metal cases on these players have become so weak (my other player is a DVP7000), that I don't feel comfortable placing anything on top. I built a wood rack that fits over my DVD player (used to have a Philps DVDQ50). On top of the wood rack rests my pre-amp (B&K). The Panasonic is about an inch lower in height than the Sony. This causes a pretty large gap between the wood rack and the player. The Sony fits like a glove.


    Jim
     
  14. SeanWillis

    SeanWillis Agent

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    Jim,

    You're right. Both the 62 and 82 use the Sage/Faroudja chip but the 82 uses a higher end mpeg decoder (I used the wrong terminology to refer to this chip) and has the CCS (cross colour saturation) turned way down or off. This is information I've muddled through from other forums. I've had both players but unfortunately I never did a side by side comparison on the same television. Nevertheless, the differences in the two players is supposed to have an effect on the overall picture reproduction.

    Sean
     
  15. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    Yes, the MPEG decoders are different between RP82 and RP62.


    RP82 uses the same decoder as the RP91, IIRC, but with the (superior) deinterlacer like the RP56. The RP62 has the good interlacer but a slightly cheaper decoder. And there is the CCS fix, as well.

    Picture wise, the RP82 should be an improvement over the RP91 but without the fancy scaling features and in an el cheapo box. However, with regard to picture I think the RP91 does have higher-resolution D/A converters than any of the cheaper players.
     

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