Originally Posted by mwiebelhaus
I have had my Elite 09 for two weeks now and thought I would add my comment:
I compared the 09 to my long time reference PS3. Both of them were set to 24p output, which were in turn fed to two inputs of my Lumagen Radiance. The Radiance outputs 48p to my Marantz VP11S2. I use a 9ft wide 2.35 Stewart 130 screen with this setup.
When playing Blu-Rays, the 09 puts out a better picture than the PS3. The big difference is the clarity and three dimensionality of the 09 picture. I see more depth and dimensionality to the picture with the 09 than the PS3. Not every scene in every movie, but enough to make the difference worthwhile. I also see a bit cleaner small detail in the picture with the 09 vs. the PS3. Leaves on a tree are a bit more countable with the 09 vs. the PS3. I hesitate to say it but the picture has a bit more solidity and fluid motion with the 09. I would not notice that difference without having looked at my PS3 for hundreds of movies over the last year and a half.
For DVD's, all I want is a clean 480i image from a player as I let my Radiance do all the scaling and de-interlacing. That the 09 provides quite well. I had been using a Toshiba HD-A35 to output 480i to my Radiance. I find the 09 to be its equal except again I notice more depth and dimensionality to the 09 picture. I do not watch a lot of DVD's any more so I did not compare performance here like I did for Blu-Rays. Still, I have no complaints with picture quality here.
Audio? I am waiting for Meridian's HDMI box at the end of this month so for now, I am using Coax out. FWIW, I did find Dolby Digital and DTS audio via the 09 coax superior to the optical from the PS3. Somewhat more dynamic with improved sound field imaging. I am looking forward to using the dual HDMI outputs. One HDMI out is video only to my Radiance and the other will be audio only to the Meridian 621 HDMI audio processor box. Even if this did not make a difference in audio performance, it is a nice convenience. One less box that I have to loop HDMI through to extract video again is one less HDMI handshake issue I have to deal with, always a good thing.
My equipment sits out in the room. I really appreciate the good looks of the 09. The Piano black finish, the positioning of the buttons, the tasteful and understated graphic labeling, the lack of silver finish work on an otherwise black fascia, it all results in a very handsome unit that can hang in there with my Meridian components.
Build quality is awesome. I know for some this is a non-starter, but I truly enjoy components built as well as this. The drawer mechanism is silky smooth. The panels and plates that make up the casework are solid pieces that make the player feel monolithic when you pick it up. The layout of the back panel has quality connectors laid out as I like. In operation, the unit is dead quiet (quite a change from the PS3!). The construction internally is first class, with quality boards and power supplies. My overall impression here is that the designers took great pride in putting out the best player they could. One really needs to experience this in person to appreciate it fully.
I would summarize my comments by saying that the 09 is worth the purchase price to me. Blu-Ray picture quality differences that individually seem small add up collectively to a noticeably more compelling image with the 09 vs. the PS3. DVD performance is certainly up to my expectations. High def Blu-Ray sound waits to be heard. It could well be another source of improvement with dedicated HDMI audio out, but at a minimum, is a worthwhile convenience. The looks and build quality are impeccable. If the 09 at all intrigues you, do yourself a favor and evaluate one for yourself.