Panny RP-91K and Denon 2800 Showdown

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Lee, Jul 18, 2001.

  1. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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    I had a few local members of the HTF come over to my new house yesterday to compare these two fine players. My current progressive player, the Toshiba 9200, sat this one out as we were all very familiar with that picture on my ISF-calibrated 65" monitor. I have a Denon 2800 with a blue dot, which I believe is the latest firmware upgrade. I have been very impressed with the picture it provides. It is a little soft, not to my disliking, but definitely different that I am used to. It seems very film-like. When I finally received my Panasonic RP-91, I was very eager to try it out..after reading such glowing reviews by the esteemed Obi and others. I also liked this player very much--I was very eager to see what my friends thought.
    When they first arrived, I had Toy Story 2 playing on both players. I refused to tell them which one was playing at the time. I wanted the real double-blind test. Surprisingly, they both did pick out the Panasonic picture as being the sharper one. More impressive to me was the solidity of the colors from the 91. I had been testing out the Denon all week and loved the fact that is a great looking picture with no noticeable layer change at all. Even my wife noticed this, where she is usually pretty oblivious to any upgrade I make(whew!).
    Later on, I started picking out non-anamorphic DVDs. I have a ton of these...actually, I have a ton of DVDs to begin with. I just had a lot to choose from in general. We sampled Titanic, Enemy Of The State, Fist Of Legend, and others. The big surprise was the similarity of Die Hard non-anamorphic on the Panny, and the anamorphic on the Denon. The new Die Hard was better but not nearly the drastic difference that we thought there would be.
    I already had DVD-Audio with my Toshiba 9200, but we would have liked to sample how the Panny handled it...but we ran out of time.
    I also had an Onkyo 696 on hand to try out the Dolby ProLogic II, but we also ran out of time for that. How do you guys manage to switch all those wires when you have people over?
    My conclusion is that both of these players are winners. I have been a Denon fan for years--I still have my DP-45F turntable from 1984. If I had to pick a winner, it would be a tough choice--but my choice would be the Panasonic RP-91. The non-anamorphic scaling capability is the deal-maker for me. DVD-Audio is just a bonus. There was a bit of combing on some of the supplementary material, where I had to go into the menu and force the switch to video. Other than that, the Panasonic is definitely the finest Genesis chip-based player I've seen to date, no contest.
    Hopefully, my friends who were here last night can also give some of their input. They can probably give a better interpretation of their opinions than me.
    ------------------
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    [Edited last by Michael Lee on July 18, 2001 at 06:23 PM]
    [Edited last by Michael Lee on July 19, 2001 at 07:39 AM]
     
  2. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Thanks for posting your experience. Your testimonial, along with the other glowing reviews the RP91 has received, has made me decide to go ahead and jump in on the fun. I'll be picking it up this Saturday and coupling it with my new Panny 47" TV. Can't wait!
    ------------------
    My dealer of choice (especially if you live in So-Cal, I highly recommend them): www.yawaonline.com
     
  3. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    "I have been a Denon fan for years--I still have my DP-45F turntable from 1884."
    Gosh Michael, I didn't know they even had electricity back then [​IMG]
    Sorry, just had to point out that typo....thanks for the review on the two units. I just read the Widescreen Review's thoughts on the Denon 2800 (August issue) and it was a phenomenal performer to the reviewer. Of course, they haven't looked at the RP91 yet. Looks like there's a couple excellent players available that are affordable to the mainstream audience. They sure have come a long way in 4 years with the DVD format.
    Jeremy
     
  4. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Carlo,
    Any more info on your new Panny?
    E-mail me with your thoughts if you get a chance...I'm definitely ready for a HiDef set and this looks like the deal.
    Jeremy
     
  5. William Anthony

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    Michael,
    I'm on the island also. Where did you get your player, and how much? I here the new Toshibas are supposed to have an even better chipset than the Panny. Wondering if I should hold out? [​IMG]
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    [Edited last by William Anthony on July 18, 2001 at 06:37 PM]
     
  6. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Jeremy,
    You've got mail...
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    My dealer of choice (especially if you live in So-Cal, I highly recommend them): www.yawaonline.com
     
  7. Darryl_B

    Darryl_B Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    It's nice to hear you guys are doing this stuff...
    I recently switched over to the RP91 from the Sony 9000...
    I didn't need the SACD portion of the 9000, ( I have the Sony 333ES SACD)..... Thus far, the video on this player is the best I have ever seen......
    ------------------
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    Steven R. Simon
    HTF Administrator
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  9. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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    I should also mention that two friends that came over last night ordered the Panasonic 91 right there on the spot. I obviously wasn't trying to sell them on it-I just wanted feedback. My friend, John, has the Pioneer Elite 610 set which locks in full when in progressive mode. This player, I feel, would be perfect for him.
    Jeremy,
    Thanks for pointing out the typo. Sometimes it seems like it was that long ago! I've been looking for that 2800 review in WR but I haven't seen it yet.
    William,
    I purchased my player from...me. I am opening a Home Theater retail and custom install business here on the North Shore. You are definitely invited to stop in anytime and introduce yourself. I have owned mostly Toshiba DVD players myself, but this Panasonic floored me. Have you heard if the new Toshs would lick the chroma bug?
    Darryl,
    A Bug's Life is a great idea as I do have both copies. I will try that out when I get a chance. I did not hear that about the Die Hard series or Fox in general--that is interesting.
    Steven,
    There is a group of us that get together quite frequently. I am really happy to have met them all and to get together as often as we do. I tried out the 9000ES a while ago also, but preferred the Toshiba 9200 over it.
    I am keeping both players though, I think. One will go with the front projector and the other will stay with the 65" Toshiba.
    ------------------
    Sound InSight Audio Video
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    [Edited last by Michael Lee on July 18, 2001 at 10:16 PM]
     
  10. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    If DVD-Audio is not that important to some of you guys, then you owe it to yourself to check out the Skyworth 1050P DVD player. If you want the best video available right now this player has it. It has a Faroudja digital de-interlacer in it. Many who have seen both the Skyworth and the RP-91 prefer the Skyworth picture. The only caveat is it dosn't have DVD-Audio.
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Kevin Coleman on July 18, 2001 at 10:24 PM]
     
  11. William Anthony

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    Michael,
    You have to let me know where you are on the North Shore, and the name of your business. I have heard these Tosh players are supposed to be very good, and at a great price.
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  12. KeithR

    KeithR Second Unit

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    Michael, i am assuming you are talking abouot your Seleco...long story short, I have a black DM coming in this week [​IMG] ...and will be running it via RP91. I hear the picture is outstanding. Do you have the throw ratio btw? I hear it is 2.2:1
     
  13. EricK

    EricK Second Unit

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    As one of the individuals present for the showdown, I was extremely impressed with the Panny RP91. Not only was the picture solid for 16x9 dvd's, but its scaling non anamorphic dvd;s to 16x9 was absolutely stunning. Starting with Titanic, I went from not being impressed with this disc, to being blown away as the scaling that the Panny did.
    Enemy of the State looked like it should, almost near perfect when scaled to 16x9 by the Panny. Very impressive...
    We were pleasantly surprised that the Panny could take the old non anamorphic Die Hard and bring it damn close to the new anamorphic Die Hard. WOW! This one really speaks volumes for the Panny RP91.
    I was also impressed with the Denon 2800. Picture quality was not short of stunning, but probably the only thing that makes me want the Panny, over the Denon, is the Scaling feature that the Panny has. Also the fact that the RP91 is retailing for less then the Denon makes it an even better buy. Throw in DVD-audio decoding capability and you have a clear winner!
    It will be interesting to see if any other manufacturers can add the scaling feature onto thier next generation of players. In fact, if Denon could get that scaling feature and throw in dvd-a with their silicon image dvdo chip for under 600, I would be first on line for that! However, I am definitelty picking up an RP91 very soon!
    On a side note, WILLIAM ANOTHONY, you have been invited to hang with us many times...if you are interested however, feel free to drop either myself of Michael Lee a line. We'd be happy to induct you into our local Long Island group.
    Anyone else from the local area are also invited to join our group! Let me know!
    Eric.
    ------------------
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  14. DanG

    DanG Stunt Coordinator

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  15. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    It really sucks living 2-5,000 miles away from all you gents [​IMG]
    It's tough to hold a Home Theater meeting here in Anchorage, no one shows [​IMG] I guess that means I have to buy every piece of gear that comes out and try it myself..ha ha!
    ...maybe more trips to the local A/V store for auditions.
    Actually, just wanted to pipe in on your thoughts of the 2800. Were you guys able to watch the layer changes on any discs? If you were, isn't that buffering system slick? I dig it, and some point out that it isn't all that big of a factor. Also, the quickness that it can change chapters... how does the speed of the 2800 compare to that of the RP91, IYO?
    I've seen the RP91 in action and I agree, it's a phenomenal picture...however, my buddy that's got it has an XBR so it's not the traditional "big screen" picture of larger 16:9s.
    Apparently, Stacey Spears (sp?) from AVscience is about ready to release the results of DVD shootout #2, both these units will be included. Should be a good read.
    Jeremy
     
  16. DanG

    DanG Stunt Coordinator

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    quote: Originally posted by: Darryl_B
    Mike, actually this is why recently there has been some speculation that Fox isn't really doing real "Anamorphic" transfers in some of their re-releases. They may be simply scaling the non-anamorphic transfer master to anamorphic. Out of curiosity, have did you notice any similarity with any other anamorphic/non-anamorphic comparisons? I think A Bugs Life would be an excellent comparison.
    [/quote]
    Predator in FOX REIMAGINARY-ANAMORPHIC was another disaster. Check out this review originally posted at AVS by DevoX:

    "(I originally posted this to the PT56WXF95 mailing list, but I think some of you would find this interesting as well. It has to do with hardware & software but I believe, right now, it will be more relevant to the hardware group.)
    Howdy gang,
    I had been thinking about this for a while and tonight I have proven it. Here's a GREAT way to show off your new Panasonic RP91 DVD players and prove that Fox is a cheap ass studio.
    Last December I picked up the Predator 16:9 enhanced release. It was a brand new re-release of the classic Arnie action flick. In December of 1998, I picked up the original non-anamorphic release of Predator.
    When I first watched the 16:9 release, I was very disappointed in the image quality. It was very noisy, grainy, and the DTS soundtrack had really bad use of the LFE. I pitched it into my box of crap non-anamorphic DVDs.
    So tonight I decided to dig out both of the discs (the original and the more recent 16:9 re-release) for comparison.
    First, let me preface this with the following: I had always suspected that Fox used a non-anamorphic source transfer and vertically scaled it for the anamorphic release. Tonight's experiment proves this -- and more.
    Both discs, on Chapter 17 at the start. Take a look at both of them. Compare.
    Compare their faces on each disc. There is NO added detail on the anamorphic release. The Panasonic RP91 does the same thing as Fox did for this release. They just scaled it vertically.
    But here's the kick in the ass... and it's a BIG one... Fox did something really, really WEAK to the 16:9 release. They must have done a NEW transfer in non-anamorphic and then vertically scaled it... using a DIFFERENT SOURCE PRINT. Compare the damage to the print in the 16:9 release to the pristine print used in the original release. It's weird! I also believe that Fox added grain to cover up the interpolation they did. Because the original release is noticably less grainy than the newer 16:9 release. So, if you are lucky enough to have both discs, do your own comparison. Let Chapter 17 play a few seconds and watch. Fox really, really sucks.
    Praise the RP91 for allowing us to have a GOOD transfer with GOOD black levels and GOOD color saturation.
    -- Robert
    (To summarize: Yes, the original 1998 DVD is night and day better than the newer 16:9 release, even though the newer release is anamorphic... but this only applies if you have a Panasonic RP91 that can scale non-anamorphic titles.)"

    [Edited last by DanG on July 19, 2001 at 12:18 AM]
     
  17. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    Well Hell!
    Now we all know where to order our Panny from!! [​IMG]
    Whats the price Michael?
    [​IMG] "Charlie don't surf."
    [Edited last by Henry Carmona on July 19, 2001 at 12:20 AM]
    [Edited last by Henry Carmona on July 19, 2001 at 12:22 AM]
     
  18. DanG

    DanG Stunt Coordinator

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  19. Andrew V

    Andrew V Stunt Coordinator

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    Just another attendee present at this DVD Player Showdown chiming in. This being my first time seeing the Panasonic and the Denon preform I must say that I was very impressed with both Units. The only different that I noted between these two players was the Panasonic being a little more darker then the Denon. This might have been due to the Fact that we didn’t have enough time to properly set both of these players up. I also noted that the colors on the Panasonic were much more vivid then that of the Denon.
    I’m sure this has been stated before but when we compared the Scaling Feature on the Panasonic to that of the Toshiba’s TV the Panasonic came out the obvious winner.
    Watching a non-Anamorphic movie with the Panasonic’s Scaling feature really brings life to these DVDs and you get to see them like never before.
    Jeremy: We didn’t have a chance to watch any layer changes with either unit since we were so pressed for time with all the things to try out. [​IMG] However we did notice when changing options in menu, etc. that the Denon was faster than the Panasonic.
    ------------------
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    [Edited last by Andrew V on October 20, 2001 at 11:30 PM]
     
  20. Darren Hunt

    Darren Hunt Agent

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    With all this talk about the 91 doing non-anamorphic scaling capability, could some one fill me in with some details?
    I have an older Toshiba TW56F80 (non progressive) and am wondering if this functionality would work with my set or not. Essentially, does your monitor have to be progressive to get this ability?
    Thanks!
    Darren
     

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