Philips Q50 review-updated

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andrew P, Oct 3, 2001.

  1. Andrew P

    Andrew P Second Unit

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    I spent more time with this player last night. I really love the look of this dvd player. It just keeps growing on me and now I have so much more room in my rack for other equipment. The picture is truly phenomenal. Im so impressed and as everyone knows on here I loved my RP-91. There are a few issues I am looking into though. I have heard that this unit in Korea has random freezes. I have not had any freezes or glitches yet. I have only watched 5 movies so far though. There is also a report when watching progressive scan movies in 2.35:1 aspect ratio that the image is shifted upwards and this is indeed true. The black bars are not even, but I do not think this affects the picture. It looks a little awkward at first since im used to the black bars being even, but this is a minor issue to me since the picture is so beautiful.
    The remote is serviceable, but it gets the job done. The menu system is different, but good. I also like the front panel displays in place of the standard readouts. This is truly a fresh and original product in these respects. I paid $499 for this player and I think this is the one to get especially if you have a 3rd generation HDTV display where scaling is not an issue. If not, I still highly recommend the Panasonic DVD-RP91. For those on a budget I recommend the Panasonic DVD-RP56. I think these are the top three players right now. Everything else is a notch below based on picture quality and cost.
    Once again here is the review in case anyone missed it:
    My next DVD player purchase is the Philips Q50. This is the first time ive ever tested a Philips dvd player. This comes on the heels of my Kenwood DV-5700 review (in which the Secrets report that came out a few weeks after the review pointed out the same things I mentioned-I felt good about being close to the experts). Once again, I have most recently owned the Sony DVP-S700, Denon DVD-2800, Panasonic DVD-RP91, Toshiba 6200, Onkyo 939, and the Kenwood DV-5700.
    My current player is still the Panasonic DVD-RP91. After reviewing the Kenwood, I could not justify the extra cost because the picture is at best equal to the Panasonic DVD-RP91, plus the load time on the Kenwood is painfully slow (an understatement for dvd players at this stage), and the unit includes a terrible remote. I expected more for $1,200 since the best dvd player so far (in my opinion) the Panasonic can be purchased for under $500.
    Build Quality
    The Philips player is very sleek and thin. I love the gray color and the futuristic look of the unit. In short, I think the dvd player looks amazing. I have grown tired of the look of the Panasonic so the Philips is a welcome addition to my rack. The Philips has a different front display though. I think this could annoy some people since the time readout is not there. The Philips uses pictures to show how much time is left. The display issue is not major for me because my dvd player is behind my seating area and the time/chapter info is available at the push of a button. Also, the Panasonic only has total time elapsed so I have never really used the front display for much. This could cause a problem for those people who listen to music cd's, but I do not use my dvd player as a cd transport. I believe in one separate component for everything. Supposedly the Philips Q50 has a great cd transport, but I have not tested that as I am more of a videophile than an audiophile. The unit weighs about 7lbs, but it is so thin (heightwise) that im not surprised. It does not feel cheap at all to me even though it is light. Overall, the most important thing to me with a dvd player is picture quality so here we go.
    Picture Quality
    I am still using a two TV setup. My 73907 and the Cinema 13HD. The Philips looks very impressive although a little softer than the Panasonic at first. I played with a few settings and I think this player is a winner. The unit rarely if ever combs except on subtitles and the picture is wonderful on both my TV and projector. The disc access time is about the same as my Panasonic and much faster than the Kenwood DV-5700. Overall I think with my limited time that the picture is beautiful. There are two component input jacks on the back of this player so there is no way to toggle between the two via a switch or remote. Im not sure if both can be hooked together at the same time because I have not read through the instruction book fully.
    This player does not exhibit the chroma bug in progressive mode (which contrary to some opinions is truly a major problem) and the de-interlacing is excellent. I have heard the interlaced picture has some of the worst chroma bug ever, but I never use that for my movie viewing. (A side note-according to Philips there was a fix for all US Q50's shipped.) I havent tested this to verify the claim. The layer change is noticeable, but not overly long on the few discs I tried. The remote is
    decent although I prefer the Panasonic remote. It is much better than the Kenwood though which is not a major surprise as that is one of the worst remotes ever produces in my opinion.
    Overall
    I think the Philips player is one to be reckoned with. I love my Panasonic DVD-RP91 and I think it is the current king of the hill, but for $500 with a sleek design and beautiful picture I think the Philips raises the bar slightly. I will put it through some more tests, but as of now I finally think I have a new dvd player. The picture is a tad better than the Panasonic DVD-RP91 and the Kenwood DV-5700. The only reason I would get the Kenwood is for the 400 disc capability, but if the access on that player is the same as the 5700 it could take years to access all 400 discs. Needless to say I have been one of the biggest backers of the Panasonic DVD-RP91 until now...
    Andy
     
  2. Han

    Han Second Unit

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    Very nice review, indeed. About the layer change... Since you have had so many different DVD players, has there been any that hold a candle to the Denon 2800 in this aspect?
     
  3. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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    Of the ten DVD players that I have owned (or own), the Denon 2800 has the fastest layer change easily...because of the buffering, I believe. But this should not be a big enough consideration in deciding on a player.
     
  4. Andrew P

    Andrew P Second Unit

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    The layer change on the Denon 2800 is the best I have ever seen, but the video quality leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion. I also dont think this should be a major consideration because at most a layer change is about a second long. For the most part they are put in better spots and sometimes I even have trouble unless I am sitting there looking for them.
    Plus, now that I am used to the Philips the Denon 2800 is big and bulky. I love the thin fresh look of the Philips. In closing, if a player has a buffer it is a nice added bonus, but the video always comes first and the video of the Philips is second to none at this stage (im hoping that none of the glitches mentioned above rear their ugly head).
    Andy
    [Edited last by Andrew P on October 03, 2001 at 11:15 AM]
     
  5. Marc Alexander

    Marc Alexander Stunt Coordinator

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    Has anyone used AVIA to check overscan?
     
  6. Andrew P

    Andrew P Second Unit

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    I checked the overscan with VE and the unit is definitely shifted upwards, but it still falls in the safe title zone (im not sure what that means). I know the Rp-91 had the same problem, but everything was shifted left. The Philips includes an adjustment for left to right centering, but not top to bottom.
    I played with the unit more last night and I still havent encountered any random freezes. Has anyone else seen anything like this that was reported in Korea?
    Andy
     
  7. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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  8. Robert_S

    Robert_S Auditioning

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    Does the Q50 scale up non-anamorphic DVDs? I think this is a key feature of the RP91.
    Robert
     
  9. Andrew P

    Andrew P Second Unit

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    It does not scale up dvd's, but this does not impact me because I have a 3rd generation Mitsubishi tv and a projector. For those of you where it is a problem I think the RP-91 is a no brainer if you are serious about video quality!
    Andy
     
  10. Andrew P

    Andrew P Second Unit

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    I had a few issues with my player so I returned it. Sometimes the unit would not recognize discs when put in the player for the first time. Has anyone else experienced this?
    Also, does anyone know when the upward shift fix is coming?
    Thanks,
    Andy
     

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