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Anybody hear anything about this offering from Yamaha, or even better, does anybody actually own one. Somebody in some forum somewhere mentioned it, so I googled it and there are few us dealers that actually offer it. It's price seems to be around 170 and it's a universal player. http://www.yamaha-uk.com/dvd_players/?product_id=91


It seems to be a europe only model but there are american websites who have it for sale. Just wondering if anybody actually owns this player. A search on this forum didn't produce any real matches.
 

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I was also trying to find info on this player and coudl not find much of anything. Yamaha USA/Canda did not have it on thier website. Anyone own this unit?
 

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I just bought a unit from a local HiFi shop here in Burlington, Ontario. Haven't set it up yet but I did audition it at the shop. It looked great running on the projector there but it was a relatively brief review as I was pre-occupied with speakers! It has some nice features as well: progressive scan, DivX playback, CD Upsampling, SACD and DVD-audio. Cost was 249.00 CDN pls tax. For me, it was nice to get the same maunfacturer as my receiver, it looked good, I trusted the build quality and am confidant it will sound great with music. I was tempted to go high-end and get the DCDi Faroudja-equipped processor, but figure given the cost I might as well wait for HD-DVD or Blue-Ray.


I'll post my impressions next week as the PJ doesn't arrive till Monday. I'll probably give some music a listen this weekend though as I plan to set up the other equipment: Yamaha RXV657, DVDS657, Paradigm Titans X 2 (L,R), Paradigm Atoms X 2 (RR, RL), CC-170 (C) and PDR-8 Subwoofer. My cabling is on an UPS truck as we speak! The Pany AE-700U HD projector and HDTV PVR are coming next week. I plan to build a DIY screen once I have decided the ideal screen size for the room.


:D Needless to say I'm excited :D


I'll post a full review of the player and my experieince with it by the end of next week!
 

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As the title says.....WOW.


My projector arrived early and I picked it up on Saturday morning. I proceeded to spend the rest of the day stripping 12 gauge speaker wire and fishing interconnect cables. Once I have the PJ mounted and all the components in a new media center, I'll try to post a detailed account with some pictures.


Suffice to say, I went from being impressed to blown away. I watched Black Hawk Down and the U2 Elevation Tour DVD on Saturday and was very impressed. However, on Sunday I spent some time with the manuals and tuned up the receiver, and more important to this thread, the DVD player. So with progressive scan turned on and the receiver properly hooked up I can tell you that the Yamaha S657 is a great DVD player.


Keep in mind that Im not comparing it to alternatives . And my baseline is the non-progressive Sony changer I purchased back in 2000. Im not an overly fickle person and these are just my overall observations. So for what its worth:
  • Basic Imaging and Progressive Scan: This alone caused me to move my feelings from impressed to 'blown-away'. It really does a great job of producing sharp images from the DVD. If I had to make a subjective guestimate, I would say this increased the sharpness by 5-10% and the difference was very apparent. I think this is especially important since the image size right now is 16:9 at an 86" diagonal. It certainly makes a big difference when comparing a 480i signal. My personal reaction is that it moves the image quality (though not the overal resolution) closer to the kind of impact that a full-on HD image conveys. I put in Finding Nemo for the girlfriend and we were both impressed....great colors, sharp images. Sin City was just as good looking and very sharp.
  • Menu Interface: The internal menu is very easy to use and labelled and should let you tune the player easily and quickly. It also has a few brightness settings and black level settings that I'm still experimenting with. But their definitely nice to have and along with the PJ's features, I do feel that I have a wide range of options to fine tune the picture to my tastes.
  • Music: After calibrating the speakers and receiver (the receiver supplied YPAO tuning mike is awesome.....tuning took 5 minutes and advised me on all the wiring corrections I had to make) I popped in Coldplay's latest DVD. The sound was great as far as Im concerned. I'm not a music afficianado, but I do enjoy my tunes. The music seems very full-bodied and much more distinct than I am used to. I have yet to try the Upsampling feature, but I'll update the post once I do.
  • (UPDATE: I tried the Upsampling feature last night. Based on the Yamaha documentation, the idea in principle is that by increasing the times the system samples the CD, you can more fully render the sound with its full range, detail, etc. Using the latest Coldplay CD, I tested it witout upsampling and with, on a variety of modes include unprocessed direct audio and various sound processing programs. My general feeling was that with the upsampling there was an incremental increase in the quality of the sound....highs seemed slightly crisper, mids and bass were slightly more defined. This seemed a bit more pronounced on some of the DSP programs. It was a hard to make a very-detailed assessement but I did feel that after trying the two out a number of times, upsampling simply sounded better. An unscientific test? For sure. But for whats its worth, I think the feature improved the sound and therfore has value.)
  • SACD/DVD Audio: I haven't tried it yet. One point to mention is that you will need a receiver that can accept multi-channel inputs. This means running basic interconnects from the player to your receiver. I did not realize this, did not have enough spare cables to do so, and don't have any SACDs or DVD Audio disks so I can really speak to experiencing it. Suffice to say that the player supports this formats.
  • Construction: The player itself is relatively slim and looks great paired with my Yamaha receiver. The case appears solid and well-constructed. No complaints

Overall: I'm really quite pleased with the player. Paired with the PJ, receiver and speakers that make up my HT, I have no complaints and only good things to say about it. DVDs on the big screen with the new size and sharpness really feel like new material. My girlfriend asked why we had never watched this U2 DVD before......despite having watched it twice! So it definitely made an impact. I would recommend it based on my positive experience thus far. One last point to make is that at least in Canada, the pricing was about 50.00 above the lower model. This got you SACD, DVD-Audio, DivX and WMA playback and CD upsampling. IMO, the price difference is worth it for these additional features.
 
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