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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DVD Dreamâ„¢ System DAV-C990 or the 770





I know it's new & not very many would have seen or bought this unit yet. But I'm curious as to the quality of the DVD player incorperated in it. Say compared to the Panny RP-82. It might be a nice system to go along with the new Sony Grand Wega II's. $1000 is allot to pay for this unit though. The 770 is priced at $600.

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...A1ReM&Dept=hav
 

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The Cxx0 series available in North America (maybe other places) differ little

from the S550/S880 (single disc models) which have been available in

other parts of the world for months.


The S550 won What-HiFi's product of the year award (UK magazine).

The UK folks have suspicions about this as it's impossible to believe

What HiFi did a thorough analysis of the unit and didn't encounter the bugs

(below). Nor have they visibly stepped up to the plate to get Sony to fix

things.


I would STRONGLY encourage you to do some research.


The 550/880 suffered from a 'subtitles' and other DVD firmware bugs

which are documented, but VERY difficult to get Sony to admit/repair.

[Look at http://www.avforums.com and search for S550 or subtitle bug for

more info.] I also saw a CXXX owner complaining of this on a US B&M

retailer's web site.


I personally have the S550 (I'm in Hong Kong), and while I think the movie

audio is excellent and the video is good enough, the user interface and

disc handling are below average. It takes a long time to start a disc,

there are only two search speeds, you can't forward past the 'startup

scene' on many DVDs, DVD menus are funky at best, etc.


Mine currently has this buzzing when first starting a DVD, this will be

Sony's second attempt to repair that (after one trip to replace the CPU

board to resolve the subtitles bug - making three service calls for a unit

I've had maybe 3 months - note I can't recall EVER bringing consumer

electronics in for service/defects before).


If the looks of the unit are important to you I can recommend it, if

you can find other machines attractive look around some more - on

avforums you'll see folks talking about competing models which are

cheaper.


Common wisdom from the UK and other places is the version with the

tiny cube speakers is enough for movies/small rooms, the version with

the tower speakers MAY be more suitable for slightly larger rooms and/or

audio listening.


I personally don't care about the changer for movies - although here in

Greater China there are many movies on VCD - which requires a disc

change mid-movie (and would make a changer useful). Go figure why the

changer versions aren't offered here... Seems like there's no real price

difference changer/single after converting currencies.


--Sam
 

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The UK magazines have been recommending this one, it's worth a look

if you can find it in your area. It's also significantly cheaper than the Sony

but won't beat it in a beauty pagent (not that we buy this gear just 'cause

it looks good! :D )
 

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Generally I recommend buying a DVD player and seperate home theater speakers, rather than these "integrated home theater" systems. For example, Kenwood and Onkyo have some nice (although less "cool" looking) surround setups in the ~500 dollar range, to which you would add a DVD player.


The C-770 and S-550 are some of the first products based on a different new hardware/software design from Sony. Which is why as of right now, there are a few really annoying bugs left in them. Because Sony does not offer home firmware update (for example by burning yourself a CD-R), this means that if you buy one of the players now, you would want to take it in to get updated a couple months down the road when the bugs have all been worked out. For example, on a few discs there is a weird video flicker at the layer change. The latest firmware in Sony's shops doesn't yet have the fix for this.


Apart from the bugs, the unit is decent but not great. Loading a disc is pretty slow, though. Progressive quality (if you use progressive) is good in film, but if you watch a lot of TV on DVD (especially anime), you would be better off buying a player with a Faroudja deinterlacer, such as many of the newer Panasonic players. Picture quality and audio quality are generally good. The player's menu system works well for CDs and MP3 discs. MP3 support is good but not perfect. The player will play pretty much any MP3 you throw at it from any encoder, but it doesn't play WMA. It has a nice GUI displaying directories, long file names, etc... but the file names don't scroll left/right so if they are REALLY long, only the first part will actually show on the screen. Random play is available, but there is no playlist and there is no fast forward/fast reverse for MP3s.
 

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"Sony DAV-XXX0 has firmware bugs and Sony won't admit/repair"


"Sony put fixes in new machines vs. upgrading those in the field"



"DAV's still have firmware bugs which aren't yet fixed ... plan to bring it in

for an upgrade later."


DVD players aren't exactly _NEW_ technology - so how's your appetite

for OWNING the beta version??


Sounds like a pass to me. This is a real benefit of the Internet we don't

have to listen to vendor stories of being "the only one" without the real

facts.


--Sam


P.S. my own personal Dream System - or should I say NIGHTMARE SYSTEM

is at Sony service as 2 different technicians were unable to fix the latest

problem - which in my _inexpert_ opinion is a DVD drive alignment problem.
 

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DAV-S550 received by Sony (Hong Kong) early Dec - should be 'fresh

stock'. V1.24 firmware, still has the 'freeze frame on layer change'

bug - at least with component progressive output. Basically it

keeps the last frame up on the screen until the ?laser refocuses

on the second layer? of the DVD.


If you do/don't experience this bug please post your firmware version -

which can be found by:


1) ejecting any disk

2) press stop and display buttons on main unit while turning volume control

to the right.


Exit from this service menu by pressing standby on your remote or

power on the front panel.


Thanks.


Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the input guys. For now I went ahead and just got a Panny RP-82. I still really like the tower speekers that come with the system. It's to bad they just don't sell thease peticular speekers only as a system.
 

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Quote:
Basically it keeps the last frame up on the screen until the ?laser refocuses

on the second layer? of the DVD
Huh? Are you describing the fact that when a DVD layer change occurs, there is basically a short pause in the movie? This happens on every DVD player on the market, all that varies is the length of the pause.
 
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