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Bravol D2 vs. Pioneer DV-59avi for P50

446 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  quobar
People on the DVD player forum like the 59avi over the D2 for some fairly obvious reasons such as more formats, better build quality. How comparable they are on digitally output video pq is a matter of debate. However, in the Sept issue of Stereophile Ultimate AV, there's a review touting the D2 as a very good, cheap match for the P50. In fact, the reviewer bought it.

The D2 can be had for less than $200 and the 59avi for less than $900.

My needs are fairly narrow. I don't care about other formats beside DVD right now and I'm running audio from the DVD player through a high end stereo system. I hesitate on the 59avi because I just sunk a lot of money in the plasma and audio system. Also, how close are we to HD DVD? Would the Bravo tide me over? And how good is the sound out of the stereo outputs from the Bravo? I wont compromise there. I've never been able to locate a review of the D2 sound. Is it half decent?

Appreciate any input on these two units and any other suggestions on a DVD player compatible with the P50.
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Quobar, there is a good reason why many people would prefer 59AVi over D2, and for the most parts these reasons would be reliability and build quality, although I would not be surprised to hear that some people are quite happy with their D2s and had no issues with them whatsoever.

Having spent so much on a great video display, you probably would not want to end up with an unreliable and subpar video source. I understand that you would want to spend as little as possible to get a decent player. Therefore I do not think your only options are either D2 or 59AVI.

But to narrow down the choice of DVD players for you, the folks here would need to know the following:

- what IS your budget?

- how do you prefer to output video signal - through digital interface (DVI/HDMI) or analog (component)?

- how do you prefer to output audio signal - through digital interface (TOSLINK, coax) or analog (stereo RCA)?

- does your stereo system have the capability of decoding Dolby Digital / DTS information?

As for the HD-DVD timing, IMO do not count on them for the next 2 - 3 years. The first generation of HD DVD players will most likely be pricey, and also for quite a while selection of regular DVDs will be much wider than HD DVDs.

On a side note: your post belongs more to a DVD player forum rather than here, although I understand your desire to hear from other owners of the same plasma display.
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Budget: I could afford the 59avi, it wouldn't break me. The question is whether the D2 is a reasonable bargain for my purposes.

Video output: Right now I'm using component for cable, which leaves either another component or DVI for best DVD pq. Some have noted DVI to be a tad better than component for DVD.

DVD audio output: Analog stereo.

Stereo system capability: I'm using a tube integrated amp with no decoding capability.
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Others will probably chime in. As for me, based on your answers I definitely think you should ster away from D2.

Video: if you are open to use either DVI or component then your choices are much much wider. Although ideally you should be getting a better picture via DVI since you have a plasma display, in reality there are many decent players that output excellent video via component interface. But as far as D2 goes, forget about using its analog component video interface. People primarily buy it for DVI.

Audio: aside from relibility issues, I would primarily be concerned with D2's analog audio output. I have never auditioned D2 but based on what I heard it does not use top notch components in its audio circuitry. Since audio is important and you would not compromise on audio quality, I would definitely stay away from D2. If you were using a digital audio output though that could be a different story.

Btw, I am quite puzzled - on the one hand you place a bar for audio quite high, on the other hand you chose not to benefit from much higher resolution of DolbyDigital/DTS, leaving aside DVD-A/SACD. But its your choice.

Given all this, I would say there are quite a few players off the top of my mind that should fit the bill: Denon DVD2200 / 2900 / 2910 - superb audio and excellent video. On a more mainstream side: Denon DVD1910, Yamaha S1500, Pioneer DV563A / 578A, Samsung HD841 / HD941 (soon to be released). There are more choices perhaps from Harmon-Kardon, Panasonic .... lines, ...but given the fact that your budget would not break I would definitely go with Pioneer elite DV59AVi - curently one of the most reliable and ggreat performing player. It would be money well spent.
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Make your life easy. Buy the D2 for $200. If you don't like it, resell it at a $30 loss and move up the food chain.

Crutchfield has the Denon 2910 expected in 2 weeks for $650. That would also be a good choice (as is the entire recommendation above).
Thanks for the input. I'd particularly like to hear from P50 owners willing to share their experience with DVD players.
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