Review of Bravo D2? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 690 Old 06-11-2004, 06:28 AM
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Add my name to the list of disappointed D2 owners. I opened mine up yesterday, installed it and it worked fine for about 30 minutes. I entered the custom setting for my HS20 projector and did a quick adjustment on my projector for brightness and contrast and it looked amazing. (I left the D2 contrast and brightness in the center position.) I tried to load the AVIA disc for more exact calibrations and it said, "NO CD." So I tried to load Video Essentials, "NO CD" flashed again. I tried to load SW:Ep2, which I had been playing eariler and it too said "NO CD." I switched the power unit off and on and Voila, all of the discs loaded fine. But after resetting my custom settings, I hit play and the player locked up on the AVIA disc. Powered off and on again, and it was fine. Reentered the custom settings a THIRD time, started up AVIA, calibrated the projector, and put in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Played several scenes, skipped forward, backward. No audio glitches, no drop outs, no lock ups. So for now everything is ok. But I can't continue to re-enter the custom settings over and over. If i continue to have loading problems, its going back to vinc. I don't quite understand. This isn't rocket science. I have had a cheap $99 DVD player for a couple of years in my guest bedroom. It hasn't locked up once and it never has any problems loading any DVDs, CDs, CD-Rs, etc.
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post #92 of 690 Old 06-11-2004, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by microhof
Hmm. Three 1-to-2 second hiccups? Is this similar to what I was talking about, where one time my DVD just went black for a second? Yeah that's annoying. I have not seen that since I plugged it into my surge strip. If I start to see that more, I won't stand for it.

Yes, turning off the machine with the hard button makes me lose my settings. When I said I turned it off during my testing, I meant "standby" -- sorry.
Why does the players have a 1 or 2 sec hiccups? Is there a technical reason for it? These players do not have a memory where they load the movie and play from...so why this issue. I had once noticed this with my Pioneer 563A as well. Could not figure it out why.
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post #93 of 690 Old 06-11-2004, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by WynsWrld98
Has anyone played a video-based DVD (e.g., music video) vs. film-based DVD on the D2? On the D1 video-based DVDs stutter due to D1 not recognizing it's a video-based DVD and frames per second being different between video and film-based sources resulting in dropped frames.
I noticed while playing the AVIA calibration DVD that the opening title graphics stuttered as they panned across the screen. The introduction video seemed to play smooth, I think it might only be noticeable when objects pan across the screen.
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post #94 of 690 Old 06-11-2004, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ReeseG
Amen. You've hit the nail on the head.
I agree with you both but I submit that if the price DID go up by 50 dollars from version D1 to version D2, wouldn't that supposedly cover the exact part upgrade you have suggested? It seems to me that the D2 should be leaps and bounds above the D1, and admittedly for some it seems to be so.

My experience so far has been downright horrible. Nothing could pi$$ me off more than spending my money for something that arrives dead in the box. I got a response to my first email regarding my problem with the player (I had not asked to return or anything) from VINC tech support and they asked for my serial number which I responded to by saying that I would send it to them when I got home that night. After thinking about it for an hour or so (and reading these forums) I decided I really did not want the D2 if it wasn't going to perform exactly like it should so I requested that they process my return for a full refund and not charge me any fees or anything. What was the only reply I got??? A terse response of "Serial number?"... What kind of customer support is this? Sorry to "beotch" (to quote another forum user) but this just burns me. Send me a broken player AND fail to show even a modicum of simple email ettiquite??? I had questions in my email that no one even bothered to answer. You need my serial number before you can treat me like the customer (meaning the person who makes your business possible)? Come on VINC, get your @#$% together!!!!

My two cents,
Wiley
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post #95 of 690 Old 06-11-2004, 02:55 PM
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I think patience is the best policy at this point.

I agree that the V customer service is a bit curse, (when I called, I got the same type of experience) but if our problems are representative of the product release overall, their team is probably under a lot of pressure to find the source of the problems and remedy them.

WSILER, you might save yourself some stress by not pressing "2" and emailing them instead.

If it were me, I'd issue a blanket RMA for anyone who wasn't satisfied (for ANY reason) to use for product replacement and issue a statement regarding their commitment to customer service.

I know how difficult that can be (hey, I've been there). I also know their PR guy hangs out in the forums, so I know management at V read these threads... so between the feedback they're picking up on the forum and the RMA requests, it must be blatently obvious that we're beyond the standard .0000X %.

Being a small company, perhaps they can't afford to do a blanket RMA.

Back to the subject at hand. Wsiler, you're words also hit a strong note. We might expect the uplift to be fixes, but it could have been as simple as Sigma passing on increased chip costs so we can't assume there.

The real question is, after a year plus of either hearing or putting up with not so respectible QA/QC/Build quality, do we have the patience to continue down the same ole' road.

Whether you get off at the next offramp is up to how much patience you have for a product that can blow away (in image quality) pretty much anything else out there...when it works.
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post #96 of 690 Old 06-11-2004, 03:49 PM
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LOL - Good points all, ReeseG.

I can imagine that these folks are inundated with return issues as you suggested so a little slack may be in order on my part. I also realize that this is a niche market as far the product goes. Most consumers are pleased with the $30 brand X DVD player from Wali-world and never even know that there is much much more than can be gotten from DVD as a digital source. So be it. I got myself into this with my greedy little desire for higher image quality... I just would like the process to be a little easier.

I think you may have pointed out the source of my angst perfectly. A slightly less terse reply to my email and some form of "Hey, we appreciate your patience and are working on it" statement from VINC would have been greatly appreciated. How about a simple explanation? What is happening, why is it happening, and what is their return/replacement policy in this case. They told me they will replace it but I want to know about a full refund. The RMA policy is outlined on their website and says the following....

---------------------------------------------------------------------
V, Inc.’s return policy allows for Products purchased directly from V, Inc. to be returned by you after obtaining a V Inc. return authorization number (RMA) during the thirty (30) day period following the date of purchase for a refund of the purchase price actually paid less a ten percent (10%) restocking fee per item returned?

{....}
This return policy does not apply to defective product please see V, Inc.’s product warranty policy for warranty terms and conditions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Alright, I will bite. Warranty information for the D2 is not posted on the website. The D1 warranty is there and pretty much states the normal junk though it does say they are not responsible for fixing damage incurred in transit (from a direct order site? They package it and ship it don't they??) .

So far, my impression of VINC is...
Great marketing team (got people's attention and their site looks really professional)
Great image quality if it works.
Terrible customer service.
Terrible quality control.

Sure, we could cut them a little slack but this is a consumer market where even companies with great products perish because they cannot get the implementation right. If I am going to shell out $250 (and rising from the current trend) for anything, I expect it to work and I certainly don't want to have to buy another one in 6 months because mine dies and the company has gone belly up due to backlash from their poor implementations.

Regardless, thank you to all the people who posted their positives on this player. It gives me a little hope that this could be a good product if/when they iron out the QC problems. If they take mine back (like they should) I am going to hold out for the D3 revision or a product from another company that brings a similar product to market (with better service and implementation).
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post #97 of 690 Old 06-11-2004, 08:21 PM
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Had it running late into the evening ... unfortunately I wasnt able to watch any longer ... but no glitches reported... after about 5 hrs.. Maybe I got a good one since I am a dealer but given that it was the wrong product.. as it was labelled a HD1.. I kind of doubt it..

I didnt have time to dial it in yet ... just in case something did go wrong I didnt want to waste my time.. and therein lies the problem... time ... what is more precious than this??

The support problems are obvious.. too many issues for too few people to handle... take call after call of issues all day and one can become pernickity.. Take Credit and Collection people for instance... dealing with negative crap all day can have an effect on how they treat people..

I get a good reaction pretty much all the time when I give a pleasant response and try and understand what some of these people are going through in a day.. Like I mentioned in a prior thread albeit poorly written.. How many people are going to phone these people at V Inc and tell them that they are tickled with the video images being fed by this low ticket item to their projector... when there is no problem...

There is still no need to be pernickity...and there should be some kind of knuckle smacking if you get a response that you think is inadequate the only way it will improve is to speak to a the persons supervisor.. You will be doing the company a favor... If the supervisors attitude sucks... speak to their supervisor... Someone will eventually take notice and take some action compelling steps to correct it.. Its a pain, but if you want to assist a little company like this that is attempting to put out a great niche product it will eventually get corrected... No company executive wants to get the aforementioned review repeated over and over that their customer service and quality control gets an F.. Trust me someone will care...
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post #98 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 09:20 AM
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After fixing my loader problems(gluing that piece of plastic back on), I am still experiencing lockups galore, don't know how much more I can take.
I was watching Timeline last night and it locked up at chapter nine. It took about 1 minute to respond. The only one that worked was the open command. I started the disk again and went to the chapter selection screen and chose 9-13 and it locked up again. I finally had to watch the rest of the movie on my denon 2200, man it was terrible after having watched it through DVI. I've had my theater for 6 months and I can't believe what I was missing not having DVI. I guess I will just have to send it back to Vinc.I will miss it while it's gone.
Are there any other dvd players with dvi and picture controls that I could get instead?
David

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post #99 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 09:46 AM
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Send it back...give it one more shot, maybe yours got damaged in the shipment. If the new one is crappy, I would say adios to Vinc and get your money back.
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post #100 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 09:49 AM
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Last night, I turned my Bravo D2 on, and loaded "The Last Samurai." Guess what? No loading problems, no glitches. Played the entire movie without problems. It looked great. Hopefully my "no CD" incident from the previous night was just opening night jitters. :)
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post #101 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 10:27 AM
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Shadowbox,
What kind of display do you have? Don't you love the picture quality from dvi? The D2 has rendered the scaler on my Yamaha rx-z9 useless as tits on a boar hog.
David

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post #102 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 01:03 PM
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Here are my latest experiences...

So far it has played through LOTR:ROTK, Pleasantville, two different television shows, The China Syndrome, and Phenomena. Also I did that test I discussed where I hammered it with 100 pieces of media.

Only now did some of the freezing happen to me, while watching Phenomena, at about the 1 hour mark. They were hiccups as have been described, 1-2 seconds, not layer changes. Video/audio locks up for a second and/or stutters momentarily.

It happened once, then several seconds later. So just to make sure it wasn't a DVD problem I rewinded and played it again. Didn't happen in the same spots. However once it gost past those spots, it happened again, and this time it even seemed like it may have dropped me out of Zoom 1 mode when it happened (although I *had* just been using rew/ff, so maybe that's what caused the drop out of zoom, my memory is hazy and I find it impossible to intentionally reproduce).

Then the movie finished after that point with no more trouble. I went over at the time it stuttered to see if the player was abnormally warm or something, and I didn't think it was.

I still have some more films to watch this weekend so I'll keep looking for it. If it happens once or twice for a couple seconds once in every 9 hours of viewing, I think I can live with it. After all, sometimes comparable stuff happens in the real theater anyway, around reel changing time...

When this player is working like a charm, which for me it has for at least 32396 out of 32400 seconds (99.988% of the time), the picture is, as I have said before, fantastic.

Now, sometimes on DVDs if there is a scene cut, I can sometimes swear that I see a brief combing effect all of a sudden, for a small, small fraction of a second. I can't tell if it's just me or if it's really happening, and it doesn't happen on all scene cuts or on all DVDs. Perhaps this is one of the things that the DVD shootouts tests for -- bad progressive processing on poorly executed (either by actual digital editing or by bad flags on the DVD) scene cuts? Anyway, to complain on this matter for very long makes it sound worse than it is. I honestly don't give a crap that it happens, as even if it were perfect, the human eye will still continue to play tricks on you anyway during scene cuts. And maybe that's all I'm seeing anyway.

Hopefully I won't see these hiccups increase in number and frequency as I complete the "break-in" period. But I guess I am watching as many films as possible right away so I can uncover these while there is still time to complain. I will keep you posted.


And to answer someone's question about how these hiccups can occur... When the player is reading the DVD I would be nearly positive that it is buffering the data somewhere. Meanwhile, the top of the buffer is being fed into the chips that make and output our beautiful picture. If anything happens to be slown up for whatever reason in either the buffering side of things (which would involve the loader and the circuit that reads and buffers it), or in the processing side (the REALmagic chip and supporting hardware), then a hiccup could occur. Depending on which side of things is lagging, there are a myriad of different possible remedies. For example, if it is a case of the buffer sometimes being filled too slowly, the best solution would be to make the buffer a lot bigger, but, sometimes that may not be possible for any number of reasons -- maybe one of the chips they are using to read or store to the buffer only has enough addressing bits for so much buffer space. Or maybe a bigger memory chip would have required a more delicate manufacturing procedure that would be passed on in the form of a $20 price increase, or who knows what else... And we also know that it's highly likely V Inc doesn't even have control over most of this as they are getting larger components from elsewhere. So, I venture to say, only if you are willing to pay thousands of dollars for your DVD player (and not always even then) are you going to be getting equipment for which a bunch of people sat around perfectly and flawlessly matching every hardware component up accross the different interfaces as to provide real-time performance that rivals the performance which something like a pacemaker or flight controller must provide...
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post #103 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 01:21 PM
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A little history:
I was one of the users who was willing to power cycle my D1 every time it crashed, and play cat and mouse with the unpredictable loader. Since I use a DLP front projector with a DVI-D input, the pure digital image was just too good, not to work around the DVD player's quirks. The D1 superceded my Denon DVD-2800, which you may know is a fantastic analog progressive scan player. However the 2800 looks like crap compared to the upconverted DVI output from the Bravo (even though the $800 Denon was the =best= image I could find for under a grand). Clearly this was the way to go, I just wished I could have the build quality of the Denon with the DVI-D capability of the Bravo.

We are a reseller of V Inc products, so I may be biased. However I am first and foremost an audio/videophile, which is the reason we started carrying the V Inc products in the first place.

The good news is that our stock of the V Inc Bravo D2 arrived last week. We have not had any DOA players as reported by users in this forum. I will stay abreast of our RMAs and report if the DOA rates seem high.

Of course I immediately replaced my D1 in my home cinema with the D2. (BenQ PE8700 DLP, native 720P, 16x9 @ 110"). First action, use Video Essentials to calibrate the display. Super happy to now have brightness contrast control on the DVI output. It is not a particularly fine control, so I used it to get into the right range, then fine tuned from the display. Much better black levels and contrast (without clipping highlights) than I could get on the D1. Still would have liked to have seen a gamma adjustment (as on the Denon 2800). The new remote is much larger and has luminous labels on the most common functions (nice touch). It's not exactly stylish (looks like a Sony remote circa 1988). However it is comfortable to use, and has excellent range. The D2 does EVERYTHING I tell it to...no delays, no lockups. I have watched 5 films on the Bravo D2, all flawlessly. The front of the D2 is mirrored and the rest silver. Better looking than the D1, but to me still looks like a cheaper player. But I remind myself it =is= a cheaper player!
On the D1 the price was great ($199), but the player had so many issues, I really felt one got what one paid for. However in the D2, I think it's just great value. You won't mistake the build quality for a Denon or Pioneer Elite, but for a savings of $500-2000, I can live with basic wrappings, as long as it functions well. So far the D2 has lived up to my optimistic hopes that V Inc would get it right on the second generation. The only quibble I have is that on the main menus, it still causes an audible click/scratch noise when selecting some items (are you listening V Inc?). No other brand that I've tested does this. Fortunately it has no impact on watching films. V claims to have improved the analog component out on the D2 also. I have not tested this, however I strongly suspect that if you have a =large= analog-only display, you are better off with a much more expensive player (e.g. Denon or Pioneer Elite). However if you do have a display with DVI capabilities, especially an LCD, Plasma or DLP, this is simply the closest image I have ever seen to film. Until they release HD DVD content, I don't think there will be any substantial image quality improvement. With a great display, the limit is now the actual source material!

The Bravo D2 is available from us for just $234.95 ($15 less than MSRP) from our website.

Feel free to contact us with any questions!

Jesse Menczer

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post #104 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 01:32 PM
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I am amazed, concerned and intrigued by all the problems being posted about the V Inc Bravo D2. Our customers tested about 20 units in the first week of shipping of the D2 and had no out-of-the-box problems.

Could there be bad batches? Or pallettes that got dropped on their heads by shipping companies??

V Inc handles direct sales returns themselves. However if you buy from a reseller (like us) we handle returns. We offer no restocking fee for defective items, and can offer advance replacements. Sorry to self-promote, but since many of you sound disgruntled, remember what VAR stand for "Value Added Reseller". Ironically we're cheaper too.

Anyway, I will continue to keep my pulse on these units, and will report our experience of failure rates with these units.

Has anyone tried all the different types of recordable/rewritable DVD media on the D2?

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post #105 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 02:16 PM
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My thoughts on power:

I've been reading about people with power problems. e.g. Regular brown-outs causing loss of settings, glitches etc.

I have three words for you: Uninterruptable Power Supply

Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS) are basically batteries with power smoothers. So electricity is stored for when it is needed, and the output electricity is very clean. They also act as very effective surge suppressors. All computer servers use them for the same reason.
You can buy a used small UPS (e.g. 400VA) for as little as $100. You should have one on your entire A/V setup (excluding a CRT TV, which requires too much load). Most people with front projectors will report brighness variation unless they use a UPS. (it's a light bulb inside!). I use two UPSes, one for the audio & video sources/components and one for the projector. Electricity is the life blood of your home cinema, I can't recommend more strongly using UPSes to provide the best conditions possible for your expensive and sensitive equipment.

The only thing you really need to know when shopping for a UPS is not to overload the unit. Buy one with a high enough VA rating to support the equipment you plan to run off of it.

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post #106 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 07:19 PM
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Jesse..

I appreciate your comments on the unit.. but also since you only have 4 posts you should know that the self promoting on the sale of the units is a blatent violation of the rules here..

Robert
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post #107 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 07:55 PM
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Micro, everything you said, I agree with and has also happened to me, like I mentioned before. I went back and watched FOTR extended and it didnt stick at the spot it had the hiccup at. I watched three movies in a row...no hiccups. The picture is fantastic. If it doesn't lock up then yes maybe I will live with it if it happens again. That Discount guy should be kicked off the forum and his posts should be removed. This forum is not about all that crap he wrote...sorry. Micro or anyone else, do you think the audio for DD and DTS sounds as good and loud as other DVD players you have used? I swear I have to turn it up more with this player.
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post #108 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 08:04 PM
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Max-
Every source device will have different audio ouput levels, good to hear your Bravo is behaving.

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post #109 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 08:07 PM
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Hey Jim, do you know what these hiccups are that Micro and I ae talking about? I thought if you adjusted your audio levels with your receivers pink noise, then it was set for everything you hooked up to it....so I should use pink noise with a DVD like DVE?
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post #110 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 08:13 PM
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You can use the pink noise to set the relative levels for all channels and distances. Then all source's channel levels will be balanced.

Not only are source levels different, but also different movies and CDs.

-Jim Noyd
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post #111 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 08:21 PM
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Jim, whats up with the IR conflicts on Pioneer receivers? My D2 conflicts quite a lot and much more than the V880. Can this be fixed?
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post #112 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 08:29 PM
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max - I have not really played around with my one other DVD player's sound since getting my 6.1 system (it arrived just a few days before the Bravo). However I deliberately tested my system using the scenes in Moria immediately before and during the Bridge of Khazad-Dum, as I heard it really tests the bass output of your system. I enjoyed the sound, however, you're better off asking someone who is more picky about audio than I.

Jim Noyd - any reason you seem to be ignoring our questions about the video/audio freezing hiccups? :)
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post #113 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 08:45 PM
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Is anyone out there using the D2 with a Gefen switch/amp? When I run the D2 through the Gefen switch, the DVI signal drops whenever I hit STOP or EJECT (when the splash screen should appear). I can only get a picture back by a soft power down and up, or by cycling through the TVMODEs until I am back on DVI where I started. When the signal is gone, I can cycle the switch or the projector and it doesn't help. Only cycling the D2 works. If I hook the D2 up directly to the projector, it works perfectly. It's a mystery. Seems like the D2 is either getting something it doesn't like from the Gefen, or not getting something it is expecting. Any insights?

When the signal is there - it works flawlessly. No loader problems. No lockups. Great image.
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post #114 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 08:52 PM
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The Gefen is a piece of junk as far as I'm concerned. I own a Bravo D1. I returned the Gefen and bought a Dtronics DVI switcher and couldn't be happier! So far it blows the Gefen out of the water on every level from IR response, all DVI connections on back of unit and costs pretty much the same as the Gefen, works everytime, etc.
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post #115 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 09:04 PM
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Jim - Do you mean the pink noise that is in my receiver or use a disc like DVE? I know movies have different levels.....thanks. :) What about those hiccups? I guess me and micro can keep asking until someone responds...lol
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post #116 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 09:16 PM
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We're looking into the IR conflict with Pioneer receivers.

The Gefen switch may be related to how your display is finding the signal from the switch. What display do you have and is it HDCP compatible? It may need to be told to find the source again. Try switching the Gefen back and forth or the display input selector.

Can't really quote about audio/video freezing as it can be attributed to many factors in the playback chain. If you think it is from the Bravo alone, get an RMA. Just know these reports have been limited in number. Their QC testing is finding very few failures.

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post #117 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by maxvengeance111
Jim - Do you mean the pink noise that is in my receiver or use a disc like DVE? I know movies have different levels.....thanks. :) What about those hiccups? I guess me and micro can keep asking until someone responds...lol
Either pink noise or DVE or Avia.

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post #118 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Noyd
Their QC testing is finding very few failures.
I am curious, as I'm sure a lot of people around here are -- what can you tell us about their QC testing procedures?
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post #119 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 09:33 PM
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No

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post #120 of 690 Old 06-12-2004, 09:42 PM
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Esh...well..there you go...no on QC. If the hiccups keep happening then i will give a new D2 a shot. Thanks for the audio help.
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