RP56 test results...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by PaulKH, Oct 15, 2001.

  1. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Hi folks. I have a Pioneer Elite 510HD (53" 16:9 HDTV capable TV with built in high quality deinterlacer). I've been watching DVD movies off a Toshiba 2109 for over a year and mostly very satisfied. However, like most things, the more time I spend with it the more I've noticed the limitations of the player and the TV. BAAAAAD chroma (red) bug on the Toshiba DVD player. And the TV sometimes doesn't do the right thing deinterlacing and pull down, resulting in some 'zippers' or motion artifacts, or jaggies, or doubled bits of lines.
    Sooooo, with that said, I've been seeking out a progressive DVD player to see if it looks any better. After reading about the SAGE/Faroudja chip I knew I had to try a player with that in it, and amazingly the RP56 does. I paid $212 for the player at Best Buy.
    I have Vampire (apparently good) component video interconnects.
    I watched some of The Matrix first. Couldn't tell any difference between progressive and non-progressive. Hmmm...
    After reading about flicker reports, I watched Toy Story 1, I think it's chapter 4 which has been mentioned on that other site's tests, where the cowboy is standing by a cylinder with a red top - the red top FLICKERS noticeably in progressive out from the player, but NOT in non-progressive. Hmmm....
    On my Toshiba, Toy Story 2's opening action sequence shows the chroma bug horribly in the credits (big red area with the 'Toy Story 2' title) and in Zurg's control panel.
    On the RP56 - NO CHROMA PROBLEM AT ALL - looks SPECTACULAR.
    Now on to my all time favorite movie, 2001 (the new DVD pressing, finally in anamorphic). With the Toshiba, a number of scenes, particular the ones of slow crawls of HUGE moonshots looked jaggy and ragged when my otherwise excellent Pioneer Elite was trying to upconvert my Toshiba's 480i signal. With the RP56 however, this looks ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR!!!!! AWESOME, FANTASTIC, whatever... it's truly incredible.
    Last, I could swear the sound is better, but maybe that's my imagination. I am connected with optical on the RP56 vs. digital coax for the Toshiba.
    Well I'm going to play with it some more, but I thought this info might be useful to others here.
    Overall I'm definitely impressed so far.
     
  2. Rik P

    Rik P Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought mine 2 weeks ago, this is the my first progressive scan player (replacing old Sony dvsp-330) not to mention my new Mits 55809. I was wondering if you have used the cinema mode if so can you tell a difference (this is supposed to add detail to dark scenes, so the manual says.)
    Any way,
    I love what I've seen so far and have the HTF to thank for recomending it. This player is great and would recommend it to any one looking for a new player with progressive scan in the 250$ or less (in most cases), to take a serious look into it.
     
  3. Sean-D

    Sean-D Agent

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    I'm recommending progressive to anyone buying a dvd player PERIOD. Weather you have a progressive scan television or not. If you eventually buy a television with progressive scan inputs you will be ready to rock. And you won't have to go out and buy ANOTHER dvd player.(selectable 480i/480p)
    ------------------
    Sean-D.
    "If at first you don't succeed...,remove all evidence that you ever tried."
    [Edited last by Sean-D on October 16, 2001 at 01:21 AM]
     
  4. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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    "I'm recommending progressive to anyone buying a dvd player PERIOD. Weather you have a progressive scan television or not."
    Seeing as how progressive players are getting...um, progressively cheaper and better with each new generation, unless someone had definite plans to get a 480p capable TV within the next 6 months, I'd stick with recommending the under $200 interlaced models.
     
  5. Wayne Gallupe

    Wayne Gallupe Auditioning

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    How good is the RP56 at downconverting anamorphic DVDs for a 4:3 non-HD RPTV?
    About 2 years ago I replaced my Toshiba SD2109 with a Sony 530D because it performed downconversion much better than the Tosh. However, I am tired of lip sinc and layer change problems and want to replace the Sony. I won't be upgrading to a 16:9 RPTV for at least 2 years so I will use it in interlaced mode on a 4:3 RPTV for a while.
    Regarding the comments above, at well under $300 for the RP56, I'm not too concerned about DVD player technology advancement while I wait for my 16:9 upgrade.
     
  6. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    OK, did some more testing tonight. Summary: Unfortunately, I'm going to return the RP56.
    First let me say that yesterday I didn't do back to back testing on the RP56 and my old (non-progressive) Toshiba 2109 because of the hassle with recabling. I was certainly curious yesterday to know how what I was seeing on the Panasonic compared with the Toshiba and couldn't REALLY say for sure what I thought it looked like on the Toshiba. So tonight I did do comparisons.
    The first DVD I tried tonight on the RP56 was Saving Private Ryan. I thought the picture was EXTREMELY dark (I know the movie is dark, but not THAT dark, and I noticed yesterday that The Matrix seemed dark too). I realized I'd set the DVD player to its 'darker' setting though as opposed to 'lighter' (although who knows which setting is letting through the 'real' setting). I tried the lighter setting tonight and it was really no different to my eyes. I also tried the 'Cinema' setting which is supposed to make the picture brighter in dark areas in particular, but again I couldn't tell any difference. The piece I set the A-B repeat on to test was right in the first action sequence on Omaha beach when Hanks is still in the boat and they do a close-up on his hands and then him drinking out of his canteen. His hands were barely visible! It's as if a 'contrast' setting on the Panasonic is too high.
    Later I tried the same piece on the Toshiba I played the same segment and his hands were nicely visible and the overall bright/dark seemed about better.
    At this point I should also mention that yesterday I definitely noticed that the color/contrast balance on the RP56 is DIFFERENT depending on whether it's in progressive mode or not! I think the colors looked richer when the player's NOT in progressive mode. Someone said the progressive mode looked brighter, but I think it looks more washed out with higher contrast (so darks are darker and lights are lighter).
    Next I tried A Bug's Life. Looked good (great) in progressive, and lousy in non-progressive. Later I was to confirm what a review I read said, and that's the non-progressive (interlaced) mode of the RP56 really isn't very good (jaggy/grainy). Maybe they only use the Sage/Faroudja chip in progressive mode. I later played A Bug's Life on the Toshiba and the colors were MUCH richer and nicer without being oversaturated at all. I did notice some motion artifacts on my TV until I put the *TV* in 'PureCinema' mode which does the 3:2 pulldown on the TV. The problem with the TV's 3:2 pulldown though is it doesn't always guess right on the material and of course it has no flags on the DVD to read to know what the material really is (video/film).
    I tried 2001 again on the Toshiba and the RP56 and it looks 1000% better on the RP56, so it's not a BAD player by any means.
    One other drawback I found on the RP56 was not being able to set progressive mode from the remote. I wore out a pair of shoes almost going back and forth from the couch to the player to switch! And because my TV aspect ratio locks to full on progressive, I need to take it out of progressive to look at non-anamorphic material so I can stretch it right with the TV. Another compromise.
    Did want to mention one final plus on the RP56 though. I'm shocked to admit, but I'm now SURE the sound coming out of my speakers was crisper and more accurate from the RP56 than the Toshiba, and both were connected to my receiver digitally! However, the RP56 connects with optical and the Toshiba with coax, so maybe the receiver doesn't do as good a job with the coax, but I really thought the bits were basically passed as is from the player to the receiver and that the receiver wouldn't care and would have the same bits internally. But there it is, my impression: RP56 wins on audio!
    So combining my two reviews on RP56 vs Toshiba 2109:
    RP56 pros:
    Progressive!
    Sound!
    RP56 cons:
    No progressive on/off setting on remote
    No aspect control
    Weak colors and overly high contrast
    Red flicker bug on progressive output
    I think I'll see what else comes along in the next few months since I wasn't really in a hurry to get a new player.
    Maybe the new Toshiba 4700/5700 will appeal more.
    Hope this is helpful.
    [Edited last by Paul Higginbottom on October 16, 2001 at 09:33 PM]
     
  7. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    (dang - why can't users delete their own posts!?)
    [Edited last by Paul Higginbottom on October 17, 2001 at 05:19 PM]
     
  8. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    bump - thought this might be useful since there's a lot of talk about the RP56...
     
  9. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Great follow-up review Paul. With regards to:
     
  10. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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    "I noticed the same. The picture, in 480p seemed overly bright and washed out. So, I set it to the darker option which was better but still seemed washed out. I chalked it up to "well that's what progressive looks like". "
    You couldn't have seen a difference between the "light" and "dark" settings via the 480p output on the RP56 'cause the 480p output is locked to the "dark"(or 0 IRE) setting. Only the 480i output can actually be switched between light and dark (7.5 IRE and 0 IRE). Most all 480p players are like this.
    Jim
     
  11. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Jim - haha - good job I didn't see a difference then [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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