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Pioneer DVL-919 DVD/Laserdisc Player (1 Viewer)

Dick Boneske

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Has anyone on this board used the DVL-919? I don't recall reading that model number in the numerous discussions about Laserdiscs. I believe when playing DVD's, this player outputs component video and 5.1 audio exactly as DVD-only players do. Laserdisc video is output through composite or S-video and the audio via AC-3 RF or conventional two-channel analog outputs.

Other than requiring a decoder for AC-3 RF audio with Laserdiscs, what are the pros and cons of this player? They are often on ebay at reasonable prices versus some of the high-end Laser-only players from Pioneer.
 

Hartwig Hanser

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Oct 9, 1998
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My 919 (European model) has only composite and S-Video output for both LD and DVD. Picture quality with LD is acceptable, but reportedly more expensive players have clearly better picture. DVD quality isn´t as good as in my newer Pioneer DVD player via component output.
I bought my 919 in 1999 as both replacement of my older LD player and first foray into DVD. Now it serves for the occasional LD playing only, which happens every one or two months.
bottom line: if you are into DVD you get much better players today for less money. if you are into LD I would recommend a dedicated LD player.
an AC3 decoder is nice, but today not necessary:
1) almost every AC3 LD is available as AC3 (DD) DVD
2) Dolby Prologic II does an acceptable job on the stereo sound (although AC3 on some LDs is really sensational: True Lies, Strange Days, Twister...)
 

Walter Kittel

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I suppose it depends upon how you are planning on using the DVL-919. I'm pretty much in agreement with everything that Harwig has posted. For DVD playback there are absolutely better players that are less expensive. LD playback on the DVL-919 is decent, but dedicated players ( CLD-704, CLD-97, CLD-99 for instance ) are going to provide better performance.

My DVL-919 has component playback for DVD, as well as S-Video and Composite. DVD video can be switched between Component and S-Video. LD video is, of course, via S-Video or Composite.

As a lower priced alternative to the more expensive dedicated LD players it might make sense. I don't know what type of display you have, but (obviously) larger displays are going to be less forgiving.

In this day and age, I would not use a DVL-919 as my primary transport for DVD.

- Walter.
 

gregD

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Another 919 owner here... and I'll also echo the above posts.

For the money, it's nice enough... I'd characterize the picture as 'good' in DVD via component, and 'decent' in LD via composite -- as viewed on a 32" CRT... nothing fancy.

If you're a critical LD viewer, or want to archive LDs on DVD-R, you'll need to move up to an older / refurbished player... search 'Laserdisc' on this forum to discover where to buy.

Models to look for (in descending order):

Pioneer HLD-X9... $3-5k... Japan only
Pioneer LD-S9... Japan only
Pioneer Elite CLD-99
Pioneer Elite CLD-97
Pioneer Elite CLD-79
... these 3 are desirable, available.
Pioneer CLD-D704
Pioneer CLD-D703
Pioneer Elite CLD-59

Another option, if you own the 919 already, is to have Pioneer refurbish and upgrade your player... customer service discussed it with me by phone a couple months ago, and they seemed to be fairly wired to the 919 (the only LD player in production anywhere), and the possibilities for enhanced video... I'm considering it for mine, as my LD viewing is not overly critical.
 

Dick Boneske

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I now have a CLD-1080 Laserdisc player, which has only composite video output and does not have an RF output for AC-3. I am happy with my separate Pioneer DVD player connected through my Pioneer 1014 and to a Toshiba 57HX81 via component video. There is no comparison between DVD and LD video or audio quality. However, many of us with a LD collection would like to optimize what is available and have DD 5.1 sound from the LD's that were recorded that way. It's too bad Pioneer didn't keep putting the RF AC-3 decoder on their receivers.

It sounds like the CLD-99, 97, or 79 would be good choices for LD playback with the option of using the AC-3 output and a decoder.

I've noticed many members stating they use composite video outputs on LD players rather than S-video. Isn't S-video superior with components like I have?
 

Walter Kittel

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Common wisdom is that you use S-Video if the LD player has a better comb filter and you use Composite video if the display device has a better filter. Admittedly I don't know the relative merits of your Toshiba vs. the CLD-79 or CLD-9x players in terms of filtering, but I would guess that composite to the Toshiba would produce better results.

- Walter.
 

greg_t

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Your Toshiba HDTV likely has a 3D comb filter. It's comb filter will be better than most ld players, so for the most part I would say you should use composite output from LD into your HDTV. I would still try it both ways though because I'm not sure of the quality of the 3D comb filter in the Toshiba.

I disagree about the audio statement. I find LD audio on general to be better than DVD.
 

Rachael B

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Dick, the only LD players that I recommend using the S-video out of are the HLD-X9, LD-S9, CLD-97, and maybe, 'an I mean maybe the CLD-99's?

The CLD-99's comb filter seemed real good back in '95 but now, it's definitely dated. My '99 model Sony XBR tube set has a better 3-D comb than the 99's and many other sets do too.

The DVL-919 is an average LD player by Pioneer's post '94 standards, 50 db S/N for video. Your old 1080 will perforn at or around 48 db. The better LD players perform at 51 db and more. The 919 would seem like a big improvement against the backdrop of what you're used to. I wouldn't stop at the 919 though, I'd proceed on to the better players as prices on them are falling.

my fav players in descending order:

HLD-X9 muy expensive
LD-S9 stille pricey
CLD-97
CLD-95 ...same composite as the 97
CLD's 99, 79, D704, D703

Remember, when using composite video that the CLD-99 might as well be a 79 or 704.

I wouldn't let my undies get too bunched over AC-3. Many of the thusly encoded LD's fundamentally sound better in good ole PCM anyway. If you get an AC-3 equiped player, satisfy your curiosity and buy an outboard AC-3 demodulator if you like. I predict you won't use it much. The attracton to LD for me these days is antique movies and concert discs, where there's never AC-3. OK, GONE WITH THE WIND has AC-3 but the PCM sounds better, IMO. I love those 30's and 40's films on LD myself....

Good luck on your proposed upgrade! Be patient, don't shoot the first deer you see unless it's an X9, S9, or 97!:)
 

John S

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I tried to make that point, but failed...

I do find the PCM, with modern 2 channel surround modes to sound better than a lot of the AC3 as well.

The composite -vs- svideo, definetly comes down to which device has the better comb filter. My display has a particularly poor one, even average LD comb filters best it by a wide margin.
 

Dick Boneske

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As a result of your comments, I looked at and listened to the Eagle's "Hell Freezes Over" LD with my CLD-1080 with the existing composite video connection. The video is really quite good--not much different from the DVD of the same program, but with a little more noise. I had always listened to DVD's using DD EX and let the reeceiver switch to Stereo with LD's. But, by forcing PROLOGICII, the sound is much better than Stereo--not far from DD EX.

I guess sometimes input from others like you makes a person take a look from a different direction. Now, I need to decide if less video noise is worth getting a better LD player.

Thank you all!
 

greg_t

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Derek,

It depends on the comb filter in the display device. For example, I have a Pioneer Elite HDTV, it has a great 3D adaptive comb filter, the same one that is in the HLD-X9 and LD-S9 ld players. If I hook up my 79 via composite, I use that comb filter. If I hook up via S-video, I use the inferior 3 line filter in the 79. I really wouldn't worry about the "recombing" of the composite signal. It isn't worth worrying about. I can gurantee you that my 79 looks better using composite out to my Elite's 3D comb filter than it does using it's own S-video out. The 79 is a wonderful player and can be had for a good price. It, to me, is well worth the money if you want quality laserdisc.

Again of course, it all depends on the quality of your comb filter. I just wouldn't let the fact that some players recombine the composite output be much of a factor in my buying a player. The 79 is a great player, you'll love it.
 

Rachael B

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Derek, the newer 3-D comb filters in sets, or outboard, will seperate the composite better than the 79's on-board 3-line comb will. Remem,ber we're talking about 1995 comb filters in these players. In '95 they were pretty durn good, but a few years later and now 10 years later, these comb filters are mostly obsolete. Most LD player's S-video outputs should be duct-taped over, IMO.

I think the argument over the S-video tap is actually about the CLD's 97 & 95. ..or maybe it's them too? I know their video tap was debated in length over at AVS Forum some years back. Stille, these two player's composite is better than the newer 99/79/704's. The newer players shifted engineering and resources to providing S-video, seemingly.

The X9, 97, LD-S2/LD-X2 and 95 are the best players for composite video, IMO. You proably wouldn't want to use it with the X9 but you could, with certain video processors...which I certainly don't have (!), I suppose, maybe...?
 

greg_t

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You can set it to OFF. It will retain that setting until you unplug the power, then it will default to ON if I remeber right. I still have my 79 but haven't used it since getting my X9. I remember I had to turn it to OFF when using it on my Elite HDTV because it made the picture noticeably worse. I did use it when connected to my analog TV.
 

gregD

Second Unit
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Jan 16, 2003
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Rachael...

What kinda 'falling prices' are you talking about?

Particularly on the Elites: 97, 95, 99, 79.

And where does one go looking for them?

This thread got me to thinking LD again... I don't watch them so much, but I really am interested in archiving all that classic animation (some 1300 short titles!) I bought on LD onto DVD-R... at least some time before laser rot sets in.

And whether by refurbishing the 919 or buying a better discontinued model, I'd like to have a reasonably good video source for that task... AC-3 is not a factor -- I have few AC-3 LDs, and DVD-R audio dubbing is analog-only anyway.

Whataya think?
 

Rachael B

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GregD, maybe all prices are not falling. I know CLD-97's are selling for a little lesss than they used to. I've eye-balled a few on e-bay in the past month. I may buy myself a 97 sometime in the next year or so...? I want one.

Before you decide to put all our LD's on DVD-R, I suggest you investigate how long DVD-R's last. I'm thinkin' that DVD-R's might not last as long as LD's do. If you were to transfer the LD's it would benefit you greatly to use a better player than the 919. I'd try for a 97 or 95. 95's don't have the rep of 97's, or the S-video output either, but they sell for less consistently.

I'd cruise e-bay, forum classifieds, and Audiogone. Recently, on an LD thread here, an LD-S9 was offered up. Be patient and aim high is my best advice. If I was gonna fix the 919, I'd only do it for an extra player, preferraby. :)
 

gregD

Second Unit
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Thanks Rachael

Didn't consider DVD-R longevity... maybe I should also think about getting those toons on a hard drive somehow.

Yeah, deep down inside I know that my mid-level 919 can only be re-furb'd so much... there's no substitute for superior lasers, transports and components.

Or maybe I'll just 'fageddaboudit' and wait for them to re-issue all those toons on DVD... which is sorta in progress now anyway.
 

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