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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to replace my Pioneer Elite DV-05 with a newer progressive scan player, and have my sights on the Sony 999ES (my budget is $1,000 max).


I'm primarily interested in the 999ES' video capability rather than its SACD or audio capabilities, as I have SACD in another music room. Right now my DV-05 feeds through component cables into a Mitsubishi WS-55859 55" RPTV, and audio through a Denon 3802 amplifier.


Can anyone comment on whether the 999ES' progressive output is much better than the DV-05's interlaced output when viewed throught the Mits?


I am thinking of getting the 999ES through the internet, and don't want to have to return it and eat restocking fees and shipping if it doesn't outperform the DV-05.


Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by sonusfaber
Can anyone comment on whether the 999ES' progressive output is much better than the DV-05's interlaced output when viewed throught the Mits?
I have NOT seen the Sony in action, but I would be it would greatly outperform the Pioneer Elite DV-05 since it's a "modern" progressive scan DVD player and can probably de-interlace better than your Mits HDTV can.


I'm sure other Sony 999ES "fans" will post their replies here too.


I would even go as far as saying a $230 Panasonic DVD-RP82 would result in a much improved picture over the DV-05 simply because of the video processing components being used.


Have you considered a Denon DVD-3800?


Keep in mind, I'm a Pioneer "fan" and have mostly Pioneer gear.... :)


Good luck!


Peace....
 

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The 999 will outperform your pioneer. You should be aware, however, of a few video problems that the 999 has. Mostly minor but it seems worse for some than others.


See the "Has anyone received their 999ES yet?" thread in this forum. Start about in the middle of the 22 or 23 pages there. That's where the members start to get their players. For most of us 999 owners the otherwise stellar performance (especially in audio) more than offsets the weaknesses. If you read far enough (toward the end) you'll find that I found some interesting settings that help. The thread is below.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=167640
 

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sonusfaber,


If your budget permits up to ~~$1K and SACD is not what you want, I'd recommend you audition at least one other player around this price point before picking the Sony.


IMHO, you should carefully evaluate BOTH the Sony and the Denon 3800. The Denon probably has superior deinterlacing (progressive ouput) than the Sony (Denon uses one of the aknowledged top two DVD player deinterlacer chips out there, while Sony's is proprietary ..... and how good?) and the Denon does not produce the chroma upsampling error from it's decoder (the Sony does). The Denon also offers interactive video parameter adjustment and the Sony doesn't. The Denon's gamma adjustment capability is quite comprehensive - don't know about the Sony's being as thorough, one way or the other. The Denon offers fairly complete (other than fixed 80Hz bass crossover) bass management for its analog outputs - which I use for CD/DVD-A sound and DTS/DD 5.1 movie sound, but the Sony might do this too. However, of course the Sony has some other features (other than SACD) that the Denon may not offer - beyond raw video and audio performance.


Please keep your sanity in trying to pick a player! ;)


(BTW, I have nothing against Sony equipment, as my amplifier and equalizer are Sony and I have one of the best S-VHS VCR's ever made for the consumer marketplace - a Sony unit with Faroudja circuits inside.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Guys


Thanks for the input. Sounds like I may have to look closer at the Denon.


kevinca1,


Could you please elaborate more on why you favor the 3800 over the 999?

There aren't too many direct comparisons between these two players, so your input would be much appreciated.


Thanks very much!
 

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Just my two cents. I agree with Bob on the 999ES...read more on it on the recommended thread.


But I need to comment on internet purchasing. I only buy things I KNOW I want via the net, usually at the lowest price. For my audio/video components of signifigance, I almost always buy from a local retailer. I know I pay more, but I get my money's worth.


I will usually buy and return a bunch of things to audition them and get the right one (after getting guidance from places like this forum). With my 999ES I think I made 5 seperate purchases and returns of different players, but in return for this flexibility I bought there, and paid around $100 bucks or so more than I would have on line.


Granted you can do the "less than gentlemently thing" and buy and return players from your local retailer, then return them all and buy off the net, but that is usually just not right (some people don't care about this ethic though).


Now that said, you can threaten to do that unless the salesman cuts you a pretty good deal (never quite as good as online but it is some leverage), and that sometimes works.


In the end though, if you find a good retailer and good sales person you can forge a relationship with (these guys are hard to find), you end up with a person who will call you when new stuff comes in, cut you good deals, help you make decisions that fit your tastes, etc. You don't find these guys at Best Buy usually, but you can find them in some slightly more upscale stores. For the extra few bucks you pay, you get a lot of service and benefits, that tend to pay off in the long run.
 

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to me the 3800 just looked cleaner and sharper. looked more life like then the 999es did. also the layer change was also a big plus to me the 3800 had hardly any but the 999es saw many.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for the feedback.


Bob and Xphile:

I went through the long 999ES thread, there's a lot of info there! Actually had to print out everything to make it easier to read! I had my heart set on the Sony, but after reading about some of the problems (probably minor) and others' input on the Denon, I'm starting to rethink this. I'm hoping that if I get a later production 999ES, some of the problems mentioned would have been fixed. I guess I will have to decide for myself after I've found a place that carries both of them and can compare directly.


Xphile:

I kind of agree on your comments on internet buying. No doubt, this would be a big purchase for me (actually it's gonna be my Christmas present from my wife!), so I've spent a lot of time researching the dvd players. The only retail store around here that carries the 999ES is Tweeter, and the sales guy I spoke to wouldn't budge from $1,199. With 6% tax, that comes to $1,271. I can get it through the net from J&R or Oade Bros. for around $900 delivered (I bought my Sony 777ES SACD player from J&R, and had no problems). That's about $370 saved, which is a lot for me, even with taking the risk of not liking the player and having to return it into account.


I haven't mentioned the internet price to the Tweeter guy, and they mentioned that they only match local retailers' prices. If they can get within $100 of the internet price, then I'm willing to go for it locally and try the dvd out.


Last night, I played the Fifth Element (Superbit version) on the DV-05 and looked for the red button and Zorg scenes (paused). The red button look pretty much solid, didn't see any signs of the chroma bug there. The Zorg sign had some fuzziness around the edges and the blue wasn't as solid compared to the red button. Also, the scene where the police car makes a 180 degree turn, the windscreen didn't show much jagged lines. Am I looking for the right things here? I'm going to bring this disc and test it out on the 999ES in the store today and see what I find.


Thanks again for the great feedback.
 

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The chroma bug isn't all that easy to see sometimes. You have to pause the picture to even see it if it's there at all. That's the way it is on my 999. In fact all the glitches are minor on mine. This is still a great player IMO and it gets a truly great picture. The only glitch that really amounts to anything is the shimmer. If we can force Sony into a fix we may even get rid of that.


The workaround I posted in the other thread should not be discounted. It works! I know we should be able to get the right results using Progressive but the workaround lets you enjoy an equally good picture using the Interlace mode until a fix comes about. This is possible as long as the TV can do the 3:2 pulldown. It would be great if, when fixed, the picture would be even better in Progressive mode.
 

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It does not seem reasonable to spend $1k on a DVD player where you have to work around known problems and hope Sony will address them in one form or another. Fortunately, you seem to have a retailer who will let you test out this player so you can see if these issues are important to you or not. I would highly recommend trying to view material using the same kind of display hardware you are using at home. Unless the SACD is very appealing, to “working around†the DVD stuff is a bit onerous. Some people find the problems negligible while others are more troubled. Spending $1k to be troubled is not a good deal IMHO.


Regards,


Ian
 

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Don't bet the farm that the Sony or others will outperform the DV-05. I'm still using a DV-05 interlaced into my Sharp 9000 DLP projector. My "other" DVD players include a Panasonic DMR HS2 and a Panasonic VR32. I've also had a Panasonic RP91 and RP56 in my system, as well as two "low end" Toshiba players that my kids have.


I'll let you in on a little secret. Running interlaced component into the Sharp 9000 they all look really good. Yes, there are some minor tint, color, contrast and sharpness differences that are visible on test patters in Avia or Video Essentials, but without a direct A/B comparison I doubt you would notice the differences, and these can be adjusted either on the projector or player.


Of course if you need DVD - Audio or progressive scan, then another player besides the DV-05 might be in the cards. Progressive scan doesn't work so well in my system. I've found that progressive into the Sharp results in some "ghosting" or "ringing" of sharp vertical, high contrast vertical lines - this is easily visible on sharpness patterns and is less visible on program material. Others have reported this effect on other DLP projectors as well. It has something to do with analog/digital conversion and shaping filters of the internal scalers in DLP projectors. Using an HTPC or bypassing the internal scaler is one way to minimize this effect. For that reason, I and others prefer to use the interlaced output of our DVD players into the Sharp 9000.


Back to the DV-5. I love the "elite" look, certainly more elegant than the others listed above. Also, it seems to track everything, I never have a glitch even with rented discs. Lastly, the Pioneer to my eye still has better depth and film like image that I prefer over the others. The Panasonics seem too sharp (for lack of a better word) and more digital rather than film like to my eye. Anyway, before I spent big bucks on a new DVD player, I'd connect it in my system, do some basic calibrations and then A/B it against the Pioneer DV-05, you might be surprised.


Corey J
 

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mooneycj, if you haven't compared the 999 to the DV-05 don't be too sure the 999 will not outperform it. Even in a properly adjusted interlace mode. The DV-05 is a very nice player but the Sony does get an excellent picture. Again, everyone has their own opinions. Perhaps in your setup the DV-05 may be better for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I decided to take the plunge and order the 999ES from J&R. Should be here next week. I really hope that this player will outperform my DV-05. J&R just got in a new shipment, so maybe I'll get a newer production unit that just might be different. I'm not holding my breath on this, but we'll see.


I went by Tweeter with the E.T. disc to test out the 999. They also had a Pioneer DV45, so I got to compare them both. The 999 displayed the shimmer as noted, but did not do so on the next shot a few seconds later. This really puzzles me. The window blinds on the DV45 was rock solid (the salesman was floored when he saw this demonstration!). I thought the overall PQ on the 999 was better than the DV45, but the salesguy said that it might not be a fair comparison as the video cables were different etc.


However, they wouldn't budge from their list price of $1,199, so I walked and ordered from J&R. Bob, let's hope that the Sony people get back to you to remedy this problem. I thought long and hard about ordering this versus the Denon, but I think the shimmer is the only problem I see and I'm willing to overlook that for the overall PQ. Moreover, I'm in the SACD camp and have a few multichannel SACDs that I can play with the 999ES.
 

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sonusfaber,


You should look at my last notes on the scenes with the shimmer in the other thread.
 

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The shimmer seems to be the biggest problem. The C-bug on most players has to be hunted for if it's even there at all. Why the shimmer is displayed at the start of the scene and not after that is the big puzzler. There are some other DVDs that have some shimmer as other members have mentioned. Mostly it lasts for a couple seconds and is gone.


Remember, if you can't put up with the shimmer, you can always set the 999 up to run in the interlace mode. If you do it right the picture is as good as P-scan. Then you don't have the glitch. For audio, this thing is great! No glitches here.


I hope you have good luck with a newer model. Perhaps it will work as good as mine and not be as bad as some of the others. I am preparing to write the national address given to me by the Sony Reps. I hope I can open their eyes.
 

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I should probably be posting this in the other thread… but it relates to Bobs comment:


“Why the shimmer is displayed at the start of the scene and not after that is the big puzzlerâ€


As the credits roll at the end of each episode of “Band of Brothers†(starting with Co-Producers Gene Kelly) they jitter as they roll up the first two-thirds of the screen, and then roll smoothly. The really weird thing is, if the movie is reversed and played back, the credits don’t jitter. I suspect there is some kind of flag thing happening, where the player is slow on the trigger. Anyway, its one of a few weird things I’ve seen on the 999es.


Regards,


Ian
 

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I wish I'd have heard that before I sent my letter off to Sony, Ian. I would have included it in my report. This is something you could point out to a rep if you called. If you do call make sure you get him to turn in your info to an engineer or someone higher up.
 

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Sorry about that, Bob. Actually, I really liked the way “Band of Brothers displayed on the 999es in progressive. I wondered if it had something to do with the transfer, since “Band of Brothers†was originally a video transfer (I think). Also, I thought “Attack of the Clones†looked great with the progressive output… and it came from a direct digital transfer. I have heard it postulated elsewhere, that its not how good a player works with good material, but how well it handles problematic material, that separate good players from the others.


… And I have talked to the techs at Sony (level three). As I reported awhile back, they wanted me to send in my player (and gave me a work order) so they could take a look at it. I’m holding out until the end of Christmas season before I cross that bridge though. At the time I spoke the tech, they had no problems listed in their database for this player. Perhaps that will have changed by January.


Anyway, I’m hoping others will post their firmware version and buy date (see other thread) to see if there has been an evolution of firmware.


Regards,


Ian
 
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