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Discussion Starter #1
I am searching for a high quality DVD player that has the following attributes:


o Progressive Scan Video (preferrably with either Silicon Image or Sage components)

o First rate CD player

o DVD-Audio


In my search I have found the following DVD players (I haven't been able to get lots of info or reviews on all of them):


Integra Research RDV-1

Marantz DV-12S1

Enlightened Audio Ultra


Also, I found the following players that are probably a notch or two below the ones listed above:


Toshiba SD9200

Panasonic RP91

Kenwood DV-5700 (I am not that interested in a carousel)


I know there must be others that I should consider. Also, price is of some concern, but I also have found in the past that you get what you pay for. I have owned and/or demoed several different progressive scan players and I definitely can see a difference in the picture quality.


I would appreciate comments on any of the above players or suggestions of others that I should consider.


Thanks,

Jeff
 

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Don't count out the Pioneer DV-AX10! It eats the players you mention for breakfast! If you order it from Hong Kong it will cost you U$3000 plus shipping. For that price Pioneer is almost losing money for each unit sold.
 

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Rob,


Pioneer uses the Genesis chipset for de-interlacing, and their MPEG decoders have the worst chroma flaw. Other than that, great recommendation ;)


Re-read the ground rules, Sage or Silicon Images for the de-interlacing!


Ok -- if $$$ aren't a problem, I'd say go with the EAD Ultra, then add on the Sage chipset for deinterlacing. This will in all likelihood be an outstanding player. The Integra and standard EAD use the Genesis chipset. The catch with the EAD is it runs out to US$5K with the Sage/Faroudja board. One really cool feature, if memory serves me correctly with a discussion I had with Alastair Roxburgh at EAD is that the Sage/Faroudja is an additional output, so you could watch with your choice of Genesis or Sage/Faroudja -- interesting to say the least if that feature remains in production units ;)


If DVD-A wasn't on your requirements list, I'd say that the Camelot Roundtable and the Ayre (very very expensive) would be worthy of consideration.


I haven't heard the Kenwoods on DVD-A yet, so I don't have a feel for them. Perhaps one of these days, I'll get one in to give a listen to.


Hope this information helped.


Regards,
 

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Jegold said "preferable" SI or Sage! The overall picture quality is so much more then the fact if the machine has the Croma Bug or not. It's great that you and SS have addressed the problem and it finally seems like the manufactures are acknowledging it. Personally I think the artifact from the CB is extremely exaggerated.


The attached picture is showing how bad the CB is from the AX10 when direct connected to a NEC LT150. I guess it doesn't get worse then this.
 

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It gets worse than that Rob. Try it on a Sony VP-10WHT (or whatever the heck that model # is).


The chroma flaw isn't exaggerated. It is a serious flaw, but end users will decide for themselves whether they can live with it or not.


You can. Others can't.


At its price point, I expect something that is awfully close to perfection.


When a $400 player can outperform a $3K (or more player) video wise, that's pretty much unacceptable in my book.



Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In light of some of the recent comments made in this thread, I think I should add some information about my situation. I am indeed looking for a new DVD player, the reason for this is my experiences with my last player, the Pioneer DV-AX10. I had the unit for 6 months and felt the overall video performance was not up to what I would expect from a player at it's price or even up to it's own audio performance. From my experiences, the de-interlacing by my Pioneer TV (Elite Pro 610) easily out performed the progressive (480p) output from the DV-AX10.


Recently, a local dealer loaned me an Arcam DV27 (uses the Silicon Image chipset) and I was very pleased with it's video performance. Since I no longer have the DV-AX10, I could not do a side by side comparasion. However, I could compare the Arcam's performance to the Elite 610's de-interlacing. The Arcam picture was defintely an improvement. The only drawback to the Arcam is lack of DVD-Audio. Based on my experience with the Arcam I would certainly look favorably on a player using the SI chipset.


Jeff
 

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I have seen the AX10 connected to a 10HT. That was actually the set up when I did the first audit on the machine. You are right that some people aren't bother with the problem. I would say most people probably don't even see the bug on the attachment! It might be that the AX10 mask the problem in a way, I leave that up to you experts to clarify. The point is that it's so much more then the CB, that contributes to the overall picture quality. I have had a few Malata 996 at home. Even if it's free of the CB, it's not just in the same league as the AX10. The AX10 produces a much more film like 3-dimensional picture.


CB or not, you don't buy an AX10 because of it's video performance. You get a $3000 CD player with three bonuses for "free", DVD-A, SACD and DVD-V playback.
 

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Rob,


You still haven't addressed the Genesis deinterlacing chipset in the Pioneer -- it's horrible on video-based material. I know, because my player at the moment uses the Genesis chipset.


The SI does better, and the Sage/Faroudja the best on video based material.


If you watch concert DVDs with any regularity (and I watch them fairly frequently) this is a huge problem.


For the budget I listed a couple of options that are going to perform better than the Pioneer, which I stick to.


The fact that the original poster mentions that he tried a DV-AX10 in his system already, lends me to believe that the combo of Chroma bug and Genesis chipset was unpalatable. I know I'll be picking up a different DVD player after the first of the year for playing back DVDs only, as I am dissatisfied with the performance of mine for DVD-V, but it kicks butt on DVD-A ;)


Regards,
 

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To jegold - glad you liked the Arcam DV27 :)


I thought you might like to know that an upgrade to DVD-Audio is scheduled for this player for the spring of next year. No price has been set yet but I can promise it won't be ridiculous. You might want to take this into account in your deliberations.


Sincerely,


John Dawson (Arcam)
 

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jegold,


I also have an Elite 610 and am looking for a DVD plaver to go with it and would like a player with the SI or Sage/Faroudja deinterlacer and an MPEG decoder with no chroma bug.


Since the 610 locks into "FULL" mode with 480p coming in from a progressive player, are you considering a player that also offers some scaling capability so you don't have to switch the player into interlaced mode and zoom using the 610's modes instead for non-anamorphic films?


I've considered the Arcam DV-27 in the past but I don't really know a lot about it yet. Do you happen to know:


1) What scaling modes the DV-27 has for dealing with non-anamorphic material when left in progressive output mode?


2) How do you switch the DV-27 between interlaced and progressive output modes?


3) Does the DV-27 have a single set of component output connectors and they are used for both interlaced and progressive ....... or does it have two sets of component output connectors that are always hot - one set for progressive and one set for interlaced?


Thanks for any help you can give.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Phil,


I am certainly no expert on the Arcam, I only borrowed it for one night. The message posted just prior to yours was from a John Dawson of Arcam, hopefully he could shed some light on the subject.


I do know the answer regarding the interlaced and progressive output - the Arcam uses two sets of component output connectors, one for progressive and one for interlaced. To do the tests on my system I actually connected the Arcam to my system using both sets of component connectors (I temporarily switched one set from my HD satellite receiver for the test), this made it very easy to do an A-B test comparing the interlaced and component outputs. From what I recall from the owners manual, you can't switch the signal coming out on the progressive connectors to interlaced (again, maybe John can give us a definitive answer). If this is true and it doesn't do the scaling, then viewing non-anamorphic material could be a problem (personally, most of my DVD collection is anamorphic wide-screen movies).


Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by John Kotches


You still haven't addressed the Genesis deinterlacing chipset in the Pioneer -- it's horrible on video-based material. I know, because my player at the moment uses the Genesis chipset.
Actually, the Pioneer uses a proprietary deinterlacer. The Genesis gmVLX1-ax chip (the only Genesis chip available when the DV-AX10 was designed) has 160 pins. The chip in the Pioneer is marked "Pioneer PM0024AF" and has 208 pins.


Of course, this does not address the performance of the Pioneer's deinterlacing, just the fact that it is different than what would be expected from the Genesis chip.


Best regards,

Charles Hansen
 

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I guess the PM0024 mask the CB better then the Genesis? Take a look at this attachment.


Charles, in front of the PM0024 chip, there is another Pioneer chip. On my AX10 there is a modification done. They have added a few other ICs and caps on top and around the "standard" chip. From the new IC there are approx. 25 cables running all over the PCB. Do you know if this is the DVD-A upgrade or if it's the region/macrovision/PAL prog hack?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by pnichols
jegold,


I also have an Elite 610 and am looking for a DVD plaver to go with it and would like a player with the SI or Sage/Faroudja deinterlacer and an MPEG decoder with no chroma bug.


Since the 610 locks into "FULL" mode with 480p coming in from a progressive player, are you considering a player that also offers some scaling capability so you don't have to switch the player into interlaced mode and zoom using the 610's modes instead for non-anamorphic films?...

Pnichols,


I was in a situation similar to yours a few days ago when I decided to go look for a better DVD player to match with my Pioneer Elite Pro-510 HDTV after having been disappointed with my combo of Pioneer DV-37 DVD player and Pioneer Pro-510 for a while. I was frustrated by the fact that the color accuracy, image definition and overall image quality rendered by DV-37 is unimpressive for the price and there is no aspect ratio control of any sort in the DVD player or TV, which makes my non-anamorphic DVDs very painful to watch.


So I started out by looking for DVD player with Sage or SI chipset AND some sort of aspect ratio control/auto scaling feature in my next DVD player after reading the DVD Player Shootout #2 article. I could not find one on the market that has both features. (Sucks!). I was tempted by Denon DVD-2800 and Kenwood DV-5700, but none of them has any aspect ratio control feature, which is important to me. So I reluctantly turned to Panasonic DVD-RP91 which has the aspect control/auto scaling feature but has only Genesis chipset. I took one home for auditioning anyway. Boy, was it a big improvement over Pioneer DV-37 and Pioneer TV's own internal de-interlacer! Colors are much more accurate, no chroma bug, better definition, more 3-D like image. All my reservations and doubts about Genesis chip are gone out the window. Plus, the auto scaling/aspect ratio control feature in RP-91 works beautifully on my 4:3 and non-anamorphic DVDs and it is the best on the market! I am happy as hell! (I really don't care about Genesis's de-interlacing performace on video-based material as most of my collections are movies.)


On the audio side, RP-91 is a disappointment in terms of both DVD-Audio and regular CD playback. However, the the price I paid, I have no complain!


All in all, I highly recommend RP-91 (notwithstanding Genesis chipset). Its video performance and smart auto scaling feature are simply outstanding for a DVD player under $1,000. Don't get hung up on the Sage ir SI chip mindset. Compare them all and then judge for youself which one fits your needs better.


I am happy camper with RP-91


Hope this helps!


JackD :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bmwrob
I guess the PM0024 mask the CB better then the Genesis? Take a look at this attachment.


Charles, in front of the PM0024 chip, there is another Pioneer chip. On my AX10 there is a modification done. They have added a few other ICs and caps on top and around the "standard" chip. From the new IC there are approx. 25 cables running all over the PCB. Do you know if this is the DVD-A upgrade or if it's the region/macrovision/PAL prog hack?
The Toy Story logo looks pretty good to me in this screen shot.....


Peace....
 

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John Dawson,

Welcome to AVS.

Any chance of Arcam producing a multiple scaling rate player.

I am currently using a Cinematrix moded Sony 7700 with my Barco 808s with great results.

These are still (as far as I'm aware) the only Multiple scale rate standalone players (apart from HTPC) in the world.

Although the Princeton was about to be released it has disappeared along with Lord Lucan.


Also will arcam produce an all singing all dancing machine capable of playing anything 5" disc?


Eric
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bmwrob
I guess the PM0024 mask the CB better then the Genesis? Take a look at this attachment.


Charles, in front of the PM0024 chip, there is another Pioneer chip. On my AX10 there is a modification done. They have added a few other ICs and caps on top and around the "standard" chip. From the new IC there are approx. 25 cables running all over the PCB. Do you know if this is the DVD-A upgrade or if it's the region/macrovision/PAL prog hack?
Regarding the chroma bug, please remember that many (most?) machines will hide the artifact when paused. If you captured the screen shot while paused, this may or may not be a valid test.


Regarding the internals of the Pioneer, I can't say for certain without seeing the insides of this machines. However, I would say that it extremely unlikely that a region-free hack would require anything so elaborate.


According to the service manual, the large chip next to the PM0024 is the SACD decoder chip made by Sony. I believe that the early AX10s were shipped before the DVD-A spec was complete. It may be that the extra parts allow for the DVD-A watermark decoding. If you can post a picture, I may be able to provide more information.


Best regards,

Charles Hansen
 

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Charles, Yes I'm aware of the pausing can hide the CB (this is not the case in the above picture). I also notice that the picture is not saying that much as it's so heavily compressed.


My unit is a MkII Japanese version i.e. DVD-A upgraded. I believe there is not much it has in common with the U.S version(at least not the audio card, which is completely different). I believe not even the Video card is the same. The Mk I had a SW region hack, the MkII, is suppose to be a HW hack. The Mk II version of the S10 also only has a SW hack as it's using a different card.


On my video card I have a Motorola Chip (200+ pins) next to the PM0024. The only other chip with many pins on that card, is the one that I can't fully see as it has the modification on top of it (I think it says "Pioneer" on it). I can try to take a picture of it.


Where did you manage to get the service manual from? I have sent x numbers of mail to all Pioneer hubs asking for it, without success!
 

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Rob,


Manufacturers such as Charles likely have access paths which you or I do not have ;)


Can you clarify this statement:
Quote:
Charles, Yes I'm aware of the pausing can hide the CB (this is not the case in the above picture). I also notice that the picture is not saying that much as it's so heavily compressed.
Are you saying that your picture was taken during playback as opposed to pause?


Or are you saying that the picture is so compressed and small that you can't see any detail?


Just curious.


Regards,
 

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Due to the attachment limitation of 100K, I needed to save the file a few times so it got small enough. These actually smoothen out the jagged lines and also screws up to colors. The result is a fuzzy picture with even harder times to find the CB.


If you search here at the forum, you can see have a link from TK Chan, with much more professional pictures taken.
 
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