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fmj DV139 - my first impressions

Discussion in 'Arcam Forum' started by Liam @ Prog AV, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. dbwinter

    dbwinter Member

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    I hope you are not referring to a comparison of a DV139 vs a Blu-ray player here.:eek::eek::eek:

    In the worlds of comparisons and opinions of all things audio and video related, Blu-ray (PS3) is a QUANTUM LEAP above DVD (DV139) on a 50" Pioneer PDP-507XD.

    The difference in resolution is obvious and I am talking here as Alba boom box vs Arcam Hi-fi obvious. The colours and richness of the image on Blu-ray is way, way beyond that of DVD and that is a fact.

    This is a silly argument and makes the DV139 out to be a miracle, which it is in an audio sense but for video, it really is one of the best DVD players available but is in ABSOLUTELY no way comparable to Blu-ray.:lesson:
  2. Clsmooth391

    Clsmooth391 Member

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    Have you actually seen the DV139 in action as your past postings suggest not? It is meant to be a step up from the DV137 that you have seen.
  3. Rakurai

    Rakurai Member

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    I've seen the 139 (side by side to a Toshiba HD-EX1 on a JVC D-ILA HD1 projector), and while it's a very impressive player, SD is still SD. No matter how good the hard- or software is at inventing the extra pixels.

    I can easily see the difference between SD and HD material on my 32" TV, let alone on my 95" projection screen, even at HD-Ready resolution.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my 137, which is a very impressive DVD player and a damn decent CD spinner, but there is absolutely no comparison to HD material.
  4. Clsmooth391

    Clsmooth391 Member

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    are you comparing the 137 or the 139 as you have mentioned both?
  5. Rakurai

    Rakurai Member

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    I've seen the 139 (and Tosh HD-DVD) on a JVC HD1 Full HD projector in my dealer's HT demo room, and own a 137 myself (together with a PS3 and Panasonic PT-AE900 HD-Ready projector --> montage picture).

    In both cases, the difference between SD and HD material was/is obvious ;).
  6. McFaber

    McFaber Member

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    Having owned a DV139 and presently own a PS3, I would say(HD)Blu-ray is better, but it's definitely not a night & day difference as some make out....

    The whole point of the DV139 is a machine trying to make the best of the legacy format(s) as well as it being multi regional DVD player combined with stunning CD/SACD/DVD-A with proper bass management....

    Is the PS3 or any good at all these?
  7. Rakurai

    Rakurai Member

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    The point of the PS3 is not to be all this, but to be a games console / media center with decent Blu-ray support. Also: I'm not sure about the prices in the UK, but one DV139 here will set you back about 7,5 PS3's ;).

    It's comparing apples and oranges. To me, the difference between SD and HD material is night and day, and I find the improvement in image quality alone well worth the extra expense on software. But that is just my personal opinion.
  8. UrbanT

    UrbanT Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure some of the DV139 owners can see the irony in their arguments.

    It has been argued already by some that a BR player is a waste of money as you won't see the difference in picture quality on a 50" plasma. But they are quite happy spending £1800 on a DVD player. Why? Are you saying that the DV139 produces a 'wow' picture over a decent £400 player, but you can't see the difference between a DV139 and a BR player?

    Forgetting the additional features different players offer, I find this argument strange to say the least, and smacks of a little AV snobbery, something I'm happy to admit I've suffered myself in the past. :)
  9. Clsmooth391

    Clsmooth391 Member

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    I spent less that half the RRP on the DV139 and have over 400 films so it more than justifies purchase with a such a large jump in quality over other dvds players (not to mention getting a decent cd player at the same time). As mentioned earlier there's nothing to suggest that blu-ray will be the new format for the mass market. So although the player is expensive, in the long run buying films on blu-ray adds up too.
  10. UrbanT

    UrbanT Well-Known Member

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    Whilst I don't disagree with what you have said, that wasn't the point I was making. I was saying that on picture quality alone, you have people argueing using a DV139 on a 50" plasma gives a 'wow' factor on SD material, but then see little or no difference using BR. Logically, that makes no sense at all.
  11. Clsmooth391

    Clsmooth391 Member

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    Ok, I think I can explain. The "WOW" factor for me come because I never imagined that a sd dvd plyer could produce the same quality (in my eyes - before I get flamed) of my hd/blu-ray players.
  12. UrbanT

    UrbanT Well-Known Member

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    You can't be flamed for having an opinion. But my opinion is that if a user believes their DV139 produces the same quality picture from SD material as their HD player produces from HD material, then the huge cost of a DV139 is wasted to some extent because I simply do not believe the same user would see any difference between a £200 DVD player and the DV139.

    In fact, I would quantify this by saying that I carefully compared the DV139 and the Toshiba XE1 on SD material on my 7ft screen from a 1080p native projector and the differences were minute. Stick on HD and the differences are obvious, as you would expect from the increased resolution.

    It was probably the defining moment in selling the DV139.

    It is just my opinion, but I don't think you can have it both ways. You can't say you see no difference between SD and HD material on your screen, and then justify an £1800 spend because it makes a significant improvement on picture quality over a cheaper SD player.
  13. Clsmooth391

    Clsmooth391 Member

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    The justification comes with having and buying a lot of films and getting a large improvement in quality for all of them + getting a v. good cd player. I got stung hard with hd dvds when I sold up and sd dvds seems like a safer/cheaper option at the mo.
  14. Monk888

    Monk888 Member

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    How does the video quality of the DV139 compare to the Denon A1Xv at 480p and 1080p?

    The DV137 was a disappointment and as my initial fears provded wasn't even up to Pio898 standard with some image querks.

    I'm going for a demo the DV139, but have read the denon 3930 is on par image quality wise, is this true (apprecaite the sound quality of the denon is way behind the CD play back of the Arcam)

    I like the idea of a single box solution (wife friendly), but at £1800 I expect it to match the image quality of the Denon A1XV which makes badly producted DVD moves look fantastic.

    Dont get me wrong I love Arcam, but at £1800 is needs to be perfect, otherwise I'll consider an A1XV (available for around 1900 now and I know the image quality is top notch)


    Thanks,

    Mike Paul

    [/I]
  15. McFaber

    McFaber Member

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    I'm sure the DV139 is now around the £1500-00 figure, maybe less...it's definitely not £1800-00....;)
  16. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer Active Member

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    Errr...... actually the list price for the DV139 is still £1800. Still a great player at that price in my book too.

    I'm sure it will show the Denon DVD-A1XV a clean pair of heels on the audio front too.
  17. McFaber

    McFaber Member

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    Ooops....well there you go, it is £1800-00...:blush:

    I thought Arcam reviewed the RRP on all their product lines?
  18. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    I prefer the Arcam to the Denon on all counts. The ABT deinterlacing and HQV are on a par in most areas, but I think the ABT film locks a bit better on weirder material. It doesn't have any noise reduction, but noise reduction really is for TV sources not DVDs which would be clean and far less compressed anyway. Noise reduction always damages some small element of detail, so it wouldn't be something you would keep on all the time on a DVD player (if at all).

    Audio the Arcam more than gets it! The only strength for Denon is DenonDigitalLink directly into a Denon amp, this is lossless, jitter free, digital audio direct from player to amp which also includes some proprietry control software. However this is only compatible with certain Denon amps, and having to use a Denon amp is a shortcoming in itself IMO. Certainly not as musical as the Arcams, also no particular benefits in m/c sound except for having Audyssey.

    Scaling I think both Denon and Arcam DV139 introduce a smidge of edge enhancement. But I'm being a bit anal here because I'm comparing it to the performance of dedicated video processors which alone would come with a 4-figure price tag. Both Denon and Arcam obviously use chipsets from the bigger VP manufacturers, but in just their simplest integration (I use a DV139 AND a VP...).

    From a distance I reckon the Denon and Arcam would appear to give similar images, but when you get down to the nitty gritty you will see one or two more deinterlacing artefacts on the Denon than you would the Arcam. For audio, I think we all know which way we are leaning.....
  19. Bilbo77

    Bilbo77 Member

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    Updated my DV139 yesterday with the new firmware.
    Am I the only one who thinks that it made a major improvement in PQ?
    Or maybe I'm just going crazy :rotfl:
  20. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    PAL deinterlacing has seen massive improvements.
  21. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    Well not massively, but easily noticeable. Obviously easily noticeable otherwise you wouldn't have said! I'll just quit now while I'm ahead.
  22. Bilbo77

    Bilbo77 Member

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    Glad to hear!
    I noticed that the upscaling is much better definied and handles motion a lot smoother than before.

    Amazing work Arcam :clap:
  23. Baaz

    Baaz Member

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    I just ordered this little jewel for £1400 (Demo-ex)

    The anticipation is excruciating... :D

    /B
  24. ripclaw

    ripclaw Member

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    I've also done the update to version 5.06 this past weekend and it does seem to be slightly better on PAL playback, although I cannot be sure. I am impressed with Arcam releasing regular firmware updates on an already very stable product. :thumbsup: to Arcam.

    Liam, I think I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again: for video playback, the DV139 is essentially an iScan VP30 with the additional ABT de-interlacer board. Is Arcam responsible for the tweaking to the video side of things, or is ABT (Anchor Bay Technology) providing Arcam with these improvements in video via firmware? Just curious about this as wouldn't it be illegal for Arcam to provide modifications to another company's designs? Arcam do have an agreement with ABT so we are probably reaping the benefits of this partnership.
  25. McFaber

    McFaber Member

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    I'm sure you won't be disapointed...:)
  26. leon

    leon Member

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    sorry if its been asked loads of times but when was the last 139 firmware upgrade released ?? ive been of the forums for a while due to building my home cinema in the lost conversion ..
    if there was one within the last few months could i have it on a email please or a link .. i would like to keep it up to date ohh !! and the the other question how do i look for the version i have was it something to do with one of the button on the front panel when booting ?? up
    many thanks
  27. cammy

    cammy Member

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    hi there!
    if you go to the sticky at the top of the arcam owners forum there is a link to it.
    to find out which firmware version you have press stop and pause together on your 139.
  28. leon

    leon Member

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    thx for the info " where is a blank cd when you want it ":thumbsup:
  29. Theo Maxtible

    Theo Maxtible Member

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    The latest version - 5.06 - came out (or at least has been available) a week or two ago. There is a thread about it just a few down. I hope this helps.:thumbsup:

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