Panasonic S55S Review

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by JeremyFr, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

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    Well I just picked up the new Panasonic S55S today.

    I must say quite impressed for a $129.99 street price DVD player.

    It plays DVD-V,DVD-A,DVD-RAM,DVD-RW,MP3,WMA,JPG,VCD,SVCD,HighMat.

    Menu's and Setup screens are very intuitive and give lots of options features. Setup was quite easy including setting up the multi channel out for DVD-A.

    I dont own an HD yet so I'm not using the progressive scan though I didn't buy it for this feature either. I figure when I get an HD I'll sink down and get something like a Denon 1600 or 2200 with it. The image quality on my NTSC set seems pretty equal to my old Toshiba from last year running through S-Video.

    This player has many fun and cool features the JPG viewer is pretty decent much faster than my Toshiba was, it was loading 3megapixal images in about 15 seconds compared to my Toshiba doing a 640x480 image in about 45 seconds. It has a very nice browser function to quickly browse through thumbnails of JPEG's or through listings of your MP3's. 2 things I really like about this as far as MP3 is concerned is that it shows the full track information artist/title up to around 75 charaters maybe a little more, it also allows FFW and REW of MP3 which neither my Toshiba did.

    DVD-A playback is pretty decent it features a audio only mode to shut of the video circuits. I'm still tinkering with settings due to having the Take 5+1's. One thing I find disapointing is I have my sub hooked up through the crossover bypass. With normal DD/DTS material I run it between -10.5 to -13.5 db on the reciever, the -13.5 is what I came to using Video Essentials but I like to run it hot sometimes. When using the 6 channel in I have to put it at 0.0db which is a little bothersome having to change it back and forth just to listen to DVD-A.

    Dont get me wrong I'm in no way preaching this is an all powerful DVD player but for the price tag its got a lot of great features and a decent DVD player to play around with DVD-A with.

    Jeremy
     
  2. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    Its OK for interlaced use (almost any player is fine for that) but for progressive scan its pretty poor. I checked on test patterns with an AVIA DVD and it produces a lot of flashing artifacts and has poor de-interlacing for video titles.
     
  3. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Personally I wish someone would come out with a dvd-audio player with only enough video circuitry to provide a Chevy-quality interlaced picture (for music videos, menus & artist interviews) and that's all. If someone is buying a player to play a hi-res format, and there are sub-$100 players that provide nice progressive scan images, why bother with sophisticated video features on an audio-oriented player (especially universal models)?

    This is how I decided on my Pioneer DV-656A last March: it seemed to be an Elite player without the glossy accents, since Pioneer's MSRP was $329. And several posters I trust said it uses Burr/Brown DACs, a very good thing. I barely glanced at its video specs, since I already had a Panasonic dvd-video player.

    LJ
     
  4. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I'm just the opposite of Lance. Leave off the DVD-A and/or SACD and give me the best deinterlacing and scaling available.

    Seems one can't find a decent progressive scan player anymore without having to pay for dvd-a and such, and mfgs are sacrificing pq to put in dvd-a at the price point.

    So let Lance have his dvd-a player with rudimentary video capability and let me have a good dvd video player without dvd-a.

    I buy my dvd players in order to watch movies, not listen to music.
     
  5. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    I agree completely Steve. Thats why I bought a used Panasonic XP30 on EBAY to get the best video quality for movies. I used to have a DVD-audio capable JVC but never used that feature. I saved some money with the XP30 instead of paying more for the XP50 with DVD-audio, both have the same Faroudja-based video circuitry.
     
  6. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Different strokes for different folks. However, I think Lance is basically saying the same thing as you guys. He doesn't want mediocrity on all sides due to the trend toward convergence. He wants to see players that are excellent at video and bare minimum on audio AND separate audio-oriented players that excel at audio w/ bare minimum on video side.

    Personally, I think these makers should just strive to do the best they can at each thing, whether it be a video-oriented player or audio-oriented or universal. Then we can all have our individual choices based on our individual needs/desires.

    _Man_
     
  7. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Man,

    Couldn't agree more.
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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