Toshiba listened!! The SD-5980 is a solid HDMI player!

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Halen, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. Halen

    Halen Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, so I picked this up last night because it was all Best Buy had as far as HDMI players. I had read many poor reviews about the 5960 and 5970, and figured this would be no different. Boy, was I wrong! Now I'm not much for giving detailed reviews (I'd rather spend my time watching movies), but here is a very, very quick rundown of this newly remodled unit.

    First things first, Toshiba included an HDMI cable!! I had bought a Monster Cable Ultimate HDMI Cable for $149. I did some swapping between the two and found no difference at all, honestly!

    Second, the remote has range! At least 14 feet which is what my bedroom allows for testing. Response time on the remote is nothing like what I read about on the previous models' reviews. Now it could be a tad faster, but nothing worth complaining about. It even has an HDMI button you can press to switch between 480p, 720p, and 1080i.

    Third, the video quality is great! The Incredibles never looked so good! Liv Tyler on Lord of the Rings never looked so good! Even Jenna Jameson never looked so good, or her three girlfriends!! [​IMG] Oh, and they all sounded awesome too!

    And finaly, the MENU for the setup is easy and user friendly. There are a lot of abrevieations so you initialy have to go to the manual to find out what they mean.

    Overall this is a great "gap filler" while we wait for HD-DVD players. I'm sure you might get a bit better quality and more options from a high price DVD player, but at $149.99 this is a bargain, especialy since there is a HDMI cable included!

    I know my recomendation here isn't yet worth much, but I'd recomend you at least try it. It really seems like a big improvement from what this model used to be. I think Toshiba was listening to all the complaints everyone had!
     
  2. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Halen, I've got a Tosh SD-4900 that I use for multi-region and PAL>NTSC conversions. Do you happen to know whether the 5980 is hackable in the same way?
     
  3. Halen

    Halen Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry Rich. I just got the player yesterday. I really wouldn't know. Honestly I don't know much about hacking DVD players anyway. I'm sure someone else here could chime in if it is even possible on this type of player.

    Again, sorry.
     
  4. John S

    John S Producer

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    I'll have to look at one.


    Is the build quality any better than all the junk in this price range? Now that would be worth something to me...

    I love my Zenith, but man, light flimsy trays, basic basic cheapo computer level drives / transports???

    I'm just used to better equipment in general than these modern DVD players.
     
  5. Halen

    Halen Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd say it's still kinda "cheapo" stuff. Although I'd also have to add that it is on the upper end of the "cheapo" stuff. It still is pretty darn light, and the transport is computer quality. But at this price range I'm guessing it's hard to find something built like a tank without sacrificing some major options.

    Like I said John, it will fill in the gap from now until you purchase an HD-DVD player, which looks like a smaller gap everyday.
     
  6. John S

    John S Producer

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    "Upper end of the cheapo stuff" Classic... Thanks for the review / impressions. [​IMG]
     
  7. Kelly Grannell

    Kelly Grannell Second Unit

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    I would LOOOOVE to buy a Toshiba (friends and family discount thingie), too bad I'm completely turned off by this brand.

    My first gen and 2nd gen DVD players died after 1 month out of warranty, my protable 7" DVD player (the red coloured one) have to be replaced 4 times in 3 months, another lowest end DVD player from Toshiba also died within 3 months, they replaced it with a new one, then died again in less than a month, they replaced it again... I sold the brand new replacement on eBay immediately.

    At the same time, my Panasonic DVD-A300 from 1997, Pioneer DVD/LD combo player (1998), Sony 550 (around 1998), Panasonic RV-22, 32 and RP56 (all more than 3 years old) are still going strong. I gave them all away (now I have a new set of DVD players, almost 2 years old) and they are still playing movies with no problem (at least according to the people I gave those DVD players to)

    Their track record on my personal experience is worse than Samsung (my husband got his HDTV replaced more than 3 times in 2 years because they can't fix it, and in the end Samsung actually issued him a cheque for the price of that TV)
     
  8. Halen

    Halen Stunt Coordinator

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    Dang Kelly, I guess it's a good thing you get a discount, huh?

    I've been using this player everyday as soon as I get home from work (except for during Houston Rockets playoff games), I've seen "The Two Towers" & "Return of the King" back to back on Wednesday evening/morning. Not heating up problems so far. It is much too early to tell how it bode in the long term, I hope Toshiba redeems themselves a bit with this player.
     
  9. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Secrets just posted their testing results for the SD-5980 HERE.
     
  10. John S

    John S Producer

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    Looks like a dang solid player for films (most imprtant to me).. Looks like a winner for the price.
     
  11. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    It's too bad that, according to the Secrets evaluation, the SD-5980 clips above white and below black information when using an HDMI->DVI adapter. If it weren't for that problem it looks like it would be a great affordable alternative to all of the upscaling players that are based on the Faroudja FLI-23xx chipset.
     
  12. Kelly Grannell

    Kelly Grannell Second Unit

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    If there is any change when using HDMI -> DVI adapter, that means there is something wrong with the adapter. The signal path is digital, literally the difference is only in the type of connector. That just doesn't make scientific sense.
     
  13. Kelly Grannell

    Kelly Grannell Second Unit

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    Yup! I can get them at wholesale, but our bad luck with that particular brand really baffles us.
     
  14. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    The issue is with the video processing circuitry in the player, not the adapter. From the HUGE Denon 3910 thread at AVS Forum:

    Yes, you can run HDMI out to DVI in. It is done quite commonly these days. The Denon 3910 reportedly has the HDMI/DVI Blacker than Black bug when doing that, however -- NOTE: firmware fix on the way.

    That bug aside, HDMI is, by design, backward compatible with DVI. An HDMI/DVI adapter cable or adapter plug literally just switches wires around to the right pins for the different style plug -- there is no active processing going on in the cable or adapter plug. When the source and destination connect, a handshake is performed that tells the HDMI source the display wants to be thought of as DVI. The source then locks into the DVI standard. [HDCP -- copy protection -- compliance is checked at the same time.] The same happens in reverse if you hook a DVI source to an HDMI display.

    Keep in mind that DVI does *NOT* include audio signals. So if you want audio to get there as well you will need to run separate audio from the source to the display.

    If both source and destination are discovered to be HDMI during this handshake, then there are ALTERNATE standards available which provide higher bit depth and YCbCr format vs. RGB format for the video. The handshake then goes on to select the best bandwidth/format supported at both ends. This is for future expansion since commonly available displays today that include HDMI input don't yet take advantage of any of this -- they use only the DVI standards albeit via the HDMI plug.
     
  15. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    I'm going to ressurect this old thread because I just bought this player yesterday to go with my new HDTV. Is the general consensus still that that this player is a worthwhile machine?

    I've had previous good experience with Tosh, my current DVD player is a five year old Tosh 2150 which still seems to perform flawlessly. Hopefully the 5980 is the same.
     
  16. Joseph Shaw

    Joseph Shaw Stunt Coordinator

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    I personally would have chosen the Oppo OPDV971H player myself if you are on a budget. Second only to the Denon DVD-5910 on the Secrets list and an MSRP of $199.00. Even if you're not on a budget it's a great player.

    Joseph
     
  17. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    Guys,

    Let's not talk about hacking dvd players here.... Take it offline please....
     
  18. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I bought a 5980 for my week old Sharp Aquos LC-GA5U last night. They shook hands with each other just fine on initial hookup, and the Sharp does have all those alternate HDMI standards. The setup menu on the Sharp for those standards defaults to "auto" which worked just fine with the Tosh.

    I did a quick calibration of the set with this player using the AVIA disc and all was well. I was even able to fix some red push and green underpush in the set's user menu, very cool.

    I played parts of Gladiator at 720p via the HDMI connection and it looked just amazing, very close indeed to the true HD I've seen on HBO.

    Then I tried the torture test--the Non-Anamorphic Titanic.

    The Tosh player does not have any kind of scaling feature, just a rather nasty looking zoom which I do not recommend.

    The Sharp tv does have a zoom, but it doesn't work on incoming 720p, only 480p or 480i.

    I set the 5980 to output 480p over HDMI, put the aspect ratio control on the Sharp on Zoom to correct the geometry on the non-anamorphic Titanic, not expecting much from the combination of 480p scanrate and the set's zoom.

    To my surprise this combination resulted in a picture every bit as good as that of the anamorphic Gladiator running to the set at 720p.

    I can highly recommend the 5980 as a good budget upconverting player (got it for a "buck and a half" at BB), and if you have lots of non-anamorphic dvds can recommend the combination of this player and any of the 26-45 inch Sharp Aquos LCD sets as beyond compare.
     
  19. BrettN

    BrettN Extra

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    In another forum (ecoustics), someone mentioned a hack to convert the Toshiba 5970 to a region free player (including PAL via HDMI). The procedure is:

    This makes US-sold Toshiba 5970 region free!!!
    Codefree via remote control:
    -open the tray
    -type 2403960 (each time you press a digit button
    you'll see a cursor advancing on the screen)
    -press enter to cycle to region 9
    -close the tray
    -turn the player off
    -turn it back on

    Works also with RCE!
    Pal movies work great via HDMI!!

    Does anyone know if this works with the 5980 as well?
     
  20. Ian B

    Ian B Stunt Coordinator

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    I also bought this dvd player about a week ago and am very impressed with the picture quality. So far, I have watched: The Incredibles, Alien vs Predator and Finding Nemo. The color palette for Finding Nemo was almost touchable as if you are underwater with him. The only thing that I do not like is that if you use the HDMI cable, you have to manually change the audio options if you do not want to use your a/v received. Other than that, you can't beat this dvd for $135.00

    Ian B
     

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