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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to replace my cheap Apex DVD player that keeps hanging during DVD play back. ARRR!! The Apex died in less than one year. The warranty was useless after 90 days. :( OH Well! It was only $35. Most of my HT system is fairly old. A high end DVD player would be underutilized. Plus, our TV is an analog, non-HD one. So, progressive scan isn't even important. We're planning some redecorating / remodeling in the near to mid term future and will replace most of the older equipment then. Heck we don't even have full power OTA HD in Denver yet! Double ARRR!! :mad:


I'm looking for an inexpensive DVD player to tide me over (
Pioneer 578a, Toshiba 3960, Yamakawa 238 or 288.

Features required

Good to great PQ. I know this is asking alot of an inexpensive player.

Good to great audio from DVD playback. I know this is asking alot of an inexpensive player.

Reliability is important to me. I don't want to replace it in one year.

Fast layer change

Inexpensive. It will be replaced later with a high end unit. Perhaps HDDVD or Blu Ray. :cool:

Features nice to have

DVD-A and/or SACD. However, I don't any of these disks at the moment

Karaoke. My kids like this.



Here's my take on the models

Pioneer 578
Pros

Plays DVD-A and SACD

Has gotten good reviews here for PQ

Solid review in the DVD benchmark test

Best Buy has it on sale for $99
Cons

There are reports of the 578 not playing certain DVD-A disk

Bad comments about SACD playback

Appears to be discontinued by Pioneer

A few more $ than the other players

Toshiba 3960
Pros

Solid review in the DVD benchmark test.

I think Costco has it for $60

Costco has a great return policy

Available at Best Buy for $70

Great reviews of the 3960 here

Good to great CD playback
Cons

Doesn't play DVD-A nor SACD

Yamakawa 288
Pros

Great reviews of the 288 here

Plays karaoke. My kids likes that

Plays DVD-A

Can be made region free. Not too important
Cons

Must mail order

Unknown brand and reliability

Doesn't play SACD

Seems to be some hype here about this model and brand.

Too bright display

Yamakawa 238
Pros

It's sister model, the 288, has great reviews here

The least expensive unit here

Can be made region free. Not too important.
Cons

Must mail order

Unknown brand and reliability

A compact unit. It will not work well in my current stack

Doesn't play DVD-A nor SACD

Seems to be some hype here about this brand.

Too bright LEDs

No display. Not too important


Any help, guidance or comments would be welcome. :cool:
 

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Stick with the Toshiba. No sense in spending any more than that for your setup. I have one as a temp while my Panasonic RP91 is being repaired and it works OK on my 92" front projector (Optoma H30). Picture quality is soft but decent. Should look fine on a smaller direct view.


Better to wait and when you are ready, check out all the info here before heading out. I built a home theater based on recommendations here and I have been amazed at the low cost and outstanding results. This place is a gold mine of information.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mike

I fully agree. avsforums is the best audio/video forum I've found. I'll be picking brains anytime a need something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Smithy
Why not consider the Toshiba 4960 , since it also has SACD & DVD-A?
I'm not finding this locally. I did a froogle. The best price is $120. That not too much (+$20) over my self imposed limit. However, the SACD and/or DVD-A is just a "nice to have" at the moment. I don't have either type of disk yet. Are there other reasons (better PQ, better sound) to push my budget up and go with the 4960?
 

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Given the $99 sale price at BestBuy, maybe it would be worth trying out the Pioneer DV-578a and see what you think. Try out the DVD-A and/or SACD and see what you think. The issues people here have with SACD playback might not be issues for you. I haven't read the SACD comments on the DV-578a, so take this with a grain of salt.


The reason I mention this as an option is you can return the player to BestBuy if you find you don't like it for whatever reason.


Just a thought.. :)


Peace...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I swung by Costco over lunch. They only have the Toshiba K740. I search here shows that's an OEM version of the 4900.


Some research here turned up that the SD-K730 was/is better than the SD-K740. The 730 had much better DNR
 

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I picked up a Pioneer 578a myself yesterday. I bought a couple of SACD hyrbrid disks(Bethoven 1 & 2 and Aerosmith Toys in the Attic). Aerosmith seemed a bit "gimmicky" to me but the sound quality was very good, the classical SACD sounded excellent. DVD-A also was very good (Neil Young Harvest). Redbook CD sounded fine to me too - although I didn't spend much time listening to CDs. cnet has a pretty favourable review of this player as well. I don't have an HDTV so I can't comment on progressive scan output. For the price (C$160) you really can't go wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I picked up the 3960 yesterday at BB. Just finishing hooking it up. I'll see what it looks like in a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The wife and I watched Animal House (Secret Edition?) last night. The PQ looked good. Though I didn't heavily evaluate it. I watche the LOTR,FOTR, Bridge of Kasadoom (sp?) chapter this morning. Needed to check that I had gotten the Dolby Digital connection right. ; - ) It looked and sounded nice. Again, I didn't closely evaluate it. The only thing I noticed was during Animal House, there was a split second where the picture and sound "flickered". A narrow black bar crossed the screen. I'm assuming this was the layer change. I remember one or two other glitches (maybe a split second black screen). However, that could have been part of the movie. All in all, decent for $65 + tax. The warranty looked good. 90 days or less it will be replaced with a new or refurb unit at no cost. 91 days plus it will be replaced with a new or refurb unit for a "nomial fee". Both cases you're responsible for the shipping to Toshiba.
 
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