Sony 5-disc Repair or Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Chris Baucom, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. Chris Baucom

    Chris Baucom Stunt Coordinator

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    A recent power surge has damaged my 4 year old Sony 5-disc changer. It is repairable to the tune of around $80. It is a non-progressive scan model, but has served us well. The surge also took out my 10-year old conventional 26" RCA TV.

    Should I repair the DVD player or take that money and upgrade it to a progressive scan? I guess the TV decision comes in to play here. Since we may upgrade our TV as well, am I correct in assuming that the quality of DVD set we get depends on what TV we decide on (HDTV, etc?) Not sure if we'll go HDTV yet, but will probably at least go 16X9.

    Finally, are there any brands I should look at orstay away from? (I like Denon, have been looking at the 1910).

    Thanks for the much needed advice.
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    IMO, it is not worth it to repair any old DVD player, especially an interlaced one, because for another $20-$40, you can get a new one. You aren't going to find many 16x9 TVs that are not HD. YES, you should go with a progressive player, but not until you get an HD capable TV. Denon is a good place to start [​IMG]
     
  3. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Denon 2900 would be an amazing pro scan player to own. [​IMG]
     
  4. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    You do realize that (in 99.9% of cases) SDTV (standard def) signals look like crap on an HDTV.

    You need to first figure out your viewing habits.
     
  5. Howard_You

    Howard_You Stunt Coordinator

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    Really? So by crap do you mean compared to hi-def or compared to the same signal on an interlaced TV?
     
  6. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    I think what Rob is saying is that the SDTV channels are not the crisp clear channels you will see on a plain old tube TV. On my 40" RCA HD RPTV the SDTV channels look pretty bad compared to the HD channels. The bigger the screen, the worse they look too. I have actually taken to viewing the SDTV channels through my Gateway DVDR since it is hooked to my TV via component cables. The picture is a huge improvement over the same channels viewed over my STB and hooked up via S-Video. SDTV channels on a 16x9 TV also will display in 4:3 Aspect Ratio and will usually have the black (gray) bars on the left and right sides of the picture. I choose to use the "Cinerama" mode on my TV when viewing SDTV channels since I worry about burn in. The center is pretty much OK in this mode, but the extrmeme left and right sides of the picture are stretched. Not so much to be annoying, but still noticeable. Someone on the AVSForum.com suggested buying a line (ahtenna) amplifier to improve the picture of the SDTV channels from Radio Shack and he swears by it, but I haven't tried it myself. One word of encouragement is that you do get used to the quality of the picture of the SDTV channels, but it take a while to accept the picture the way it is. It did for me anyway.
     
  7. Chris Baucom

    Chris Baucom Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the input folks.

    Regarding the picture quality of SDTV on a HDTV set, does the notion that the picture is poor also apply to HD or HD-ready CRT models, like the WEGA series? Just curious as that series is under consideration to replace our 10-year old RCA box.
     
  8. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Funny story:

    My Sony WEGA 27 inch non HD set has a fantastic picture off of the coax cable going from the wall to the TV.

    Now. My dad's XBR400 HD Monitor, also from Sony, also has a spectacular SD AND HD picture. Same exact configuration.

    My Zenith c3237 HDTV has an ok picture of regular cable and excellent HD picture.

    I'll say this to you: In the CRT Tube market, Sony truly is, justifiably, the king. If you have the money, they're oh so worth it. They are the best.
     
  9. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    So far as direct view CRT TVs go I concur that the Sonys are indeed excellent, but I have also had excellent results with the Panasonic 27", 32" and 36" sets I have owned. The problem with larger CRT direct view sets though is the weight. Sony has a 40" set that has an excellent picture and I think JVC does too. Unfortunately, they also weigh over 300 lbs. I'll stick with my 40" CRT HD RPTV.[​IMG]
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The Panasonics have better color and PQ, IMO, but I still went with Sony for the main TV. One thing you will want to do is go check out the TVs in person. It takes a little getting used to watching regular TV on a widescreen with all the various stretch modes. Looks great for WS DVDs though. Broadcast looks just fine on my Sony.
     
  11. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    I would stack my non-HD 35" CRT Toshiba against any non-HD Sony or Panny of equal size any day. For live HD broadcasts, such as football games on ESPN, the standard cable picture is outstanding!
     
  12. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Could very well be, John. Panasonic and Toshiba also have made some very nice TV's. I just know that, when you start getting into Sony's WEGA or especially XBR class, they are second to none. [​IMG]
     
  13. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    EricRWem: I disagree.

    Chris: Do your research and check out Toshiba, Sony and Panasonic. You don't have to pay almost twice the price (Sony Wega or XBR) to get an outstanding non-HD picture.
     
  14. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Why? [​IMG]

    This general statement leads me to believe you disagree with my entire statement. If so, I'd love to know what TV(s) in the CRT tube class, HD or otherwise, you would consider superior to the Sony XBR class.

    I'd say once you go below XBR, you probably start finding very comparable TV's across the board with Sony, Toshiba, and possibly some other brands. Apples and oranges. Personally, I still like the Sonys more often than not, but it can be a real toss-up, in all honesty.

    If you feel like it, I'd love for you to elaborate on your answer, please. [​IMG]

    I just really think that certain Sony breeds are hard to beat, especially the XBR class. [​IMG]
     
  15. Chris Baucom

    Chris Baucom Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone for your comments.

    I have to admit I'm having a hard time with this decision. I love home theater and want good quality equipment for watching DVD's. But I watch limited TV (we have only basic cable), which puts me in a small demographic I guess.

    Here's a question: Do HDTV tuners cost on the order of $1000? They don't from what I have seen. The "HD-ready" WEGA's are at least several hundred to $1000 less than the comparable HD WEGA. Are people going the route of buying a HD-ready TV and then purchasing the tuner later?
     
  16. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Eric: Don’t get me wrong, I think Sony makes an excellent TV. I own a 21” Sony CRT monitor, which I love. But, the XBR series SHOULD be in their own class, they are certainly in their own price class. My point is, you don’t have to spend 50-100% more money to get a comparable picture for a non-HD CRT set in the 27-36” range.

    Chris: Especially when you are connecting to an analog, standard cable signal.
     
  17. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I only have basic cable too, and I very seldom watch TV. I bought my 16x9 set to watch moves.

    All of Sony's TVs for this year have dropped considerably in price. The Toshibas are very good too, but for me it would still be between Panasonic and Sony. The Sonys still have a few features I like that most others lack, such as multiple display settings to calibrate for different sources.

    At 27-36" it would be tough to pick a bad TV from one of these manufacturers.
     
  18. Chris Baucom

    Chris Baucom Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    Do you mind if I ask what model you went with?
     
  19. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Chris, about 6 months ago I needed to replace my old Panasonic in the bedroom. After much research (online & in-store) I went with the 27" Toshiba 27AF44. It was one of the best picture-vs-price values I found. The 27A44 is actually an even better value, but the 27AF44 had a significantly better picture. I bought mine at HH Gregg for $379, but I think it can be had for about $329 now. Compare the picture of a 27AF44 to a 27” XBR and see if you can justify the price difference. Good Hunting!
     
  20. Chris Baucom

    Chris Baucom Stunt Coordinator

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    John P., Thanks for the information, I'll look at those.

    John G., what type of display do you have?
     

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