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If I had to choose, I'd go w/ the Philips and pray for some of the issues to be fixed.


Even w/out fix, the Philips offers a pillar box mode that would allow me to watch 4x3 DVDs w/ black side bars, instead of grey ones (from my TV). If they fix it to also scale letterboxed DVDs, then that would be great, and I would run out to buy one.


The Philips offers PAL->NTSC conversion and can also be remote hacked for region-free playback, which the Denon cannot.


Also, although I'm not specifically looking to jump into multichannel audio (yet), I'd prefer SACD over DVD-A just because of title selection. I listen to mostly classical music and also like a little jazz, and SACD is where those are at right now.


I suspect video quality should be very close between the two given all I've heard although some may prefer one over the other. They both use Faroudja deinterlacing and have no chroma bug and probably no Y/C delay problem.


The Philips does have some quality control issues right now though, so be warned if you choose that player.


_Man_
 

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I only heard the 1600 once for an extended period, and speaking only for cd performance, I wasn't impressed.It sounded about the same as my denon 370.(I'm talking analog,using the players dacs).For the money,the 963 is a heck of a cd player-I really doubt you can touch it for $400 unless you find a heavily discounted Es sony.Haven't heard enough dvd=a players to comment,but the 963 has excellent sacd IMHO.Of course if youre talking about dvd thru digital I doubt there would be much difference.
 

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Thanks.


So the CD performance is better on the Philips DVD963SA? What about DVD sound performance? Would it be the same as my preamp/processor will be decoding the signal?


So, I should get the Philips DVD963SA?


I can get the Denon DVD-1600 locally, but I'll have to order the Philips DVD963SA online as it is not available locally here.
 

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It would depend on what you will use it for.There have been enough posts about video problems to make me hesitate in recommending it .For my part I have not had any of the problems,and most of them are so obvious they would be impossible to miss.I can't believe I have the only 963 with good video,but who knows?If you work thru the long thread on the 963 you will see some people complain about it being too bright,others complain about it being dark.The one thing to look for seems to be build date,as the players for the usa market seem to be improved over the earlier eurapean version.I got mine from onecall if that helps.But having read all the complaints I was resigned to using it only for sacd-cd playback. For $400 it seemed worth it.But the video has been great too at least to me..(all I had owned before were toshiba 2109 and 5109,so I dont feel comfortable reccomending it for video-what do I know?)If all I was going to use it for was dvd.and only thru digital, I probably would have looked for something else,because of all the problems people report(again,though,I haven't had any)But as a $400 cd-sacd player I think its a no-brainer.
 

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lonwolf615,

I have also been looking at this player. I have the Toshiba 5109 with sony 10HT Front projector. How does the sound quality of 963 compares with the 5109? I have a big problem with the components output (progressive) of the 5109 and I have to clean them every month otherwise I get vertical bands on the screen so I am hoping to replace it with the 963. They are of very poor quality. Since my projector is 16x9 I do not have issue with the pillar bars. The only concerns are reliability. Looked at a photo of this unit and there isn’t much in it as far as quality power supply etc. your comments are appreciated.


Regards

Amir
 

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The 1600 got great reviews and even got #2 dvd player in a major dvd shoot out. Best thing to do is to view it yourself as people have different opinions on things. Just cause one person posted they liked it or hated it shouldn't weigh that much on your purchase.


That said, I have the 1600 and love it. I went from a ~$250 sony dvd player to this one and the picture is much sharper with no artifacts. Sound is great and no complaints. I purchased mine after viewing it in the store (cant really tell much in most store setups) and reading MANY reviews and posts. It had the features I wanted, good reviews, no posts of it being a lemon, so I bought it locally so if I did have issues with it I could return it.


Also, the denon 1600 seems to be the mid level dvd player to compair the others to. The 1600 and the panasonic rp91? seems to be the top midrange players for video. The denon has gotten rave reviews for its sound.
 

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I agree with EricD - make your own decision, not just what other people tell you.


I also have the 1600 and am very pleased with it. Why buy a player with so many complaints about it, especially if you can't buy it locally, difficult to return.


Much has been said about the limited display capability of 4:3 material in progressive mode - I will not rent or buy a dvd that is not in widescreen format and I tell the clerk they lost a sale/rental! If you do have some 4:3 material, the 1600 can be changed to interlaced mode from the remote and use your tv to scale it to your preferred mode.


Good luck!
 

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But there are lots of widescreen DVDs that are not 16x9, and that's where aspect ratio scaling is so desirable. Also, I'd much rather have black side bars than grey ones for the occasional 4x3 OAR movie or TV show.


Finally, if PQ is what you're after, then visible scan lines from many TV's zoom modes do suck, if you ask me. And that's besides the fact that TV zoom is bad for subtitles when you need them.


But yes, it's hard to recommend a player that's got so many issues surrounding it. If you get the 963sa, definitely make sure you can return it if you have any problems w/ it. Couldn't you get a good local dealer to special order it for you perhaps?


_Man_
 

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Amir:I don't know about the reliability=no problems so far but its only been three months.As far as sound I ran the 5109 thru digital and let my receiver do the processing,so I can't make a fair comparison there.I do like the picture of the 963 a lot more than the 5109 however-more filmlike.
 
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