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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone -- I've been a long time lurker on this board and have gained quite a bit of knowledge from it. Decided it's time to give something back... since there's so little information available on it, I decided I'd post a mini-review of Sony's 400 disc DVD changer, the DVP-CX777ES, that I just received. Here goes:


My setup:

Toshiba 65H80

Onkyo TX-DS989 (no upgrades)

Paradigm Reference Studio /40s, /ADPs, /CC, Servo-15


First impressions: Construction isn't as sturdy as the DVP-9000ES it replaces. Given that I paid a lot less for it than the 9000ES, I guess I'm not too surprised, but I was kind of expecting the same quality chassis. The silver finish looks nice, but I'd rather have it in black.


Video quality: Fantastic! Finally, the chroma bug that's annoyed me for so long is gone! The reds in Toy Story, neon signs, etc. look great. This was something I was really worried about since I got burned by it on my 9000ES. Everything seems a tad bit more detailed as well.


Audio quality: N/A -- everything goes through the Onkyo via toslink.


User Interface: The DVD catalog is nothing to write home about. It's kind of slow, the text entry sucks (thankfully there's a keyboard interface), and it's certainly not all that pretty. I suppose it will get the job done, though.


Loading Discs: Easy enough. Hit the open button, the door slides open, and you just pop them in. I need to investigate this more, but in order for the DVD to show up in the catalog, you need to hit the load button. This scans every disc in the changer. Perhaps it will read the info the first time you play the disc?


Remote: Nice enough. More ergonomic than the 9000ES remote. I don't like the way fast-forward/reverse works though. Instead of fast-forwarding while holding down the button, you have to hit FF to start, then play to resume normal speed.


Overall, I'm really happy with it. The main reason for buying it was to be able to take the 200+ DVD boxes out of my living room, and it certainly has allowed me to do that. With the improved video quality over the 9000ES, I couldn't ask for more (well, a better user interface would be nice I guess ;)).


Guess that's about it for now. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll reply as soon as I can.


Thanks,

James
 

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QUOTE"

"Audio quality: N/A -- everything goes through the Onkyo via toslink


Please explain how you get the audio out of the Sony and into the Onkyo? I am considering the DVP-777ES. if only it had a DVI/HDMI output.

Alfrado
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
alvorne -- I connect the DVD player to my receiver via optical digital cable. I let the receiver handle all of the decoding/processing. I have not tried the analog audio outputs (for SACDs, etc.)


buler -- Yes -- it autoplays when you turn on the player. It is pretty annoying.
 

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Funny..I posted my review this morning (got one over the weekend), but didn't see yours, or I would have just tagged along...:)


Pros:

- Video is superb, at least compared to my old progressive scan player. Very smooth, even on my 73" Mits.


- Loading a disc is relatively quick, compared to what I expected. No disc takes more than around 10 seconds or so to load


- It's smaller than I thought, although I hadn't seen a megachanger before




Cons:

Most of my cons have to do with the unbelievably crappy user interface for searching discs. Any suggestions would be appreciated:


- In what I consider the most egregious problem, I can't skip up or down a page at a time when looking at lists of discs. This is horrendous. If I have 100 discs in a folder, I don't want to have to scroll down one item at a time, especially since it takes a second or so for new items to scroll in due to the damn thumbnail. This is unbelievably annoying, and almost made me dump the unit. Sony actually has the gall in the manual to say that you can "easily" get to the next 5 on the list by punching in the number of the disc at the bottom of the list - how about a dang button instead, Sony?


- The changer menu for the loaded discs uses thumbnail cover art, and defaults in case the disc doesn't have one. It's a cute feature, but this takes several seconds per page of 5 disc titles that gets splashed up. I can't find any way to ask for just a text list of titles, which would be much faster.


- Aside from dumping discs into the 4 user folders (which I eventually did), I can't find a way to quickly go to, say, all comedies. There is a "genre" tab, and you can sort by genre, but there doesn't seem to be a way to jump between genres, besides scrolling through an entire genre to get to the next one. And given the scrolling problem I mentioned above, that can take forever.




Overall I like the unit, and will most likely keep it, but I can't believe that no one at Sony sat down and actually tried to use their crappy interface without raising red flags. It seems to me that they could have spent a little more time and come up with a much better way to sort and find discs in a 400-unit changer. I know that some or all of these problems were there in other Sony units; anyone with one of those have any suggestions?
 

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That's great to hear that the video performance is so good.


Just wondering if anyone has had a chance to test the SACD performance?
 

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I am thinking of getting a DVP-CX875P. I was wondering if anyone knew how the video compared to the 777ES? Just don't have the funds right now for the ES.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
boobookitty -- sounds like are reviews are pretty similar! I haven't spent that much time with it yet, but it sounds like I'm in for some more frustration with the user interface...


DanHT -- If I get some decent cables this weekend, I'll try out some SACDs and see how it sounds.
 

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SACD doesn't support a digital connection AFAIK. That and no receiver has a DSD decoder to do anything with the digital data it would receive. There are some multi-format players that convert DSD to PCM before the analog section so they might be able to put something on a digital out. Right now there are very few digital outs for high-resolution audio and the few I am aware of are for DVD-Audio only.
 

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Weldon,


I have a Denon 3803 and a 400 disk 985V changer on the way. How will this hook up? I was expecting to plug in the component cables and the optical cable to one input on the Denon and select that input whenever I want to play a DVD or SACD from the player. Will I need to connect the analog cables to another input and select it when I want to hear an SACD?
 

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You'll end up with different inputs on the receiver for DVD and SACD. You can map the digital toslink or coax connections to the component video in for DVD which will give you one-button access to the DVD audio and video. PCM audio from CD's would also go through the same digital out. For SACD, the 3803 has one multi-channel (7.1) analog input (labeled EXT1) to which you would connect the 5.1 analog output from the 985V. To listen to SACD's you would need to select the EXT1 input on the 3803.
 

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Sorry...posted this on the other thread before I saw this one. I would love to have someone with one of htese units answer my question.


Arthur,


Thanks for the first impressions of this unit. I looked at one today but the dealer had just received it and had misplaced the box and manual in their warehouse. Needless to say, I didn't bring it home with me!


I hope you find work-arounds for the problems you identified. The issues that you identified would seriously irritate me also.


I would appreciate your comments on one of my pet peeves. I despise all the garbage you are forced to endure on the front end of DVDs. Do any of the memory file features on this player allow you to define a start point and configuration for each disk slot and then have the player return to the defined configuration and start point when the slot is selected for subsequent plays?


I look forward to additional comments on the unit as you work with it.
 

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I don't know for sure on this unit, but I asked the same question about the "bookmark" feature on previous Sony DVD jukeboxes and the problem was the disc had to load before you could select the bookmark and jump to that section of the movie. If the DVD didn't allow for navigation during the FBI warning, etc. you were out of luck.


My eventual solution will be to rip the DVD's to a fileserver and strip out the ads, trailers, etc. to avoid all this stuff. I don't have the money to do this now, but I'm not buying the 777ES because I'd rather save up for the HTPC / fileserver solution.
 

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Weldon,


It is true that for any current receiver you must use the full set of analog cables. In fact, this is exactly how I plan to mate this DVD player for SACD to my receiver when I get it.


Interestingly enough, though, I just read a Sony brochure, and apparently the new Sony ES receiver STR-DA5000ES (also in the same silver color), will utilize digital amplifiers that will take in a digital DSD bitstream directly. So there must be some propreitary SACD digital connection on this DVD player available for use only with the new Sony ES receiver (coming out in October I believe).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I may have spoke too soon on the chroma upsampling issue. With my previous player, a bright red area would look like it had black lines through it. The DVP-CX777ES does not exhibit this problem, but I've noticed that the top/bottom edges of some red fields display a similar problem.


Does that mean that Sony still hasn't completely fixed this or is this a DVD issue?


It's not that it's really annoying (because it isn't, especially since I've only seen it a couple of times), but come on Sony...


Is there any sure-fire way to test this?
 

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I've got a new 985 sitting downstairs, but I haven't opened it yet. I'm not sure that I want to keep it. I'll probably open the box to look at the manual.


Since it operates the same as the 777, here are a couple of questions


Do CDs have the same issues with requiring the display of a thumbnail or can they go text only?


Can you program a sequence of CDs to plays (such as play CDs 44, 65, and then 93) or do you have to select each one as the last finishes?


James, you wrote: "Loading Discs: Easy enough. Hit the open button, the door slides open, and you just pop them in. I need to investigate this more, but in order for the DVD to show up in the catalog, you need to hit the load button. This scans every disc in the changer. Perhaps it will read the info the first time you play the disc?"


Is this scanning every disc a slow process? I would like to be able to pop a CD in and listen to it immediately. I'm ok with it not showing up in the catalog until later.


Are there any comparable products? Large changer that plays CD/DVD, preferable SACD. Perhaps a better user interface?


Thanks

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I haven't loaded any CDs yet, so I can't comment specifically about that.


You do not need to scan every disc (which is a slow process) when you enter a new disc. You can put a disc in and play it immediately. If you want it to show up in the catalog, you do need to scan it, though -- either by hitting the load button (and scanning everything), or loading it manually (i.e. by playing it).
 

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Could we trouble you to post a picture of the rear panel? I can't find any images of the connection panel anywhere on the internet.


Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jgabrius
Could we trouble you to post a picture of the rear panel? I can't find any images of the connection panel anywhere on the internet.


Thanks!
Try Curtchfield. They have the non-ES version.
 
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