£250 or £700 on a player?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by RayP, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. RayP

    RayP
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,344
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    Ratings:
    +928
    The DVD market-place is polarised. At one end we have players as cheap as £50 and at the other players of over £1000. My 4 year-old Phillips 950 (£400) refuses to play some disks that will play in my £40 DVD player in my PC.

    So, despite it having decent picture quality I've decided that as it's so pernickity about playing some disks the time has come to for a replacement. From what I've read of the Arcam DV78 player the quality of the pictures can only be appreciated if you have a large plasma or TFT screen. Right or wrong?

    I have a 32" CRT JVC TV (RGB Scart enabled) that has served me well and until such time as the plasma vs LCD debate clearly shows which one I should go for I'll stick with it.

    So, now to my question. If I spend £700 on the Arcam will I see the picture benefits over say a £250 player and will disk reading be any more reliable than it is with the Philips 950 (which never seems to have been reviewed by the AV press)?

    I don't mind shelling out if I know I'll see the benefits but my main concern is that I get a player than can read all my disks or is this wishful thinking? Does anyone else have problems with DVD players refusing to read some disks?

    Look forward to hearing what you think.

    Cheers,
     
  2. AML

    AML
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,989
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Ratings:
    +228
    Its hard to answer your question. I have a 1000quid player (Denon 3910) and even though it plays all my DVD's really well, it doesnt play copys at all.
    Considering peple like to copy stuff off the TV and make copies of DVDs for their own personal use, its surpriseing Denon would put in a drive that doesnt play copies well.

    If what your looking for is quality, then a new high end player will deliver. But that does not guaranty it will do everything to your satisfaction. Just becase it cost a lot doesnt mean it does everything.

    Its probably best to have both a high end player and a cheaper one from more than one maker.

    The other thing you need to start asking yourself is:
    Get a good player now or wait for the new high definition formats like HD DVD and Blu Ray to get under way?

    Those players will support DVD's as well as the newer formats. Im sure we will be asking ourselves these same questions in the future though.
     
  3. RayP

    RayP
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,344
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    Ratings:
    +928
    Thanks for your reply. I don't have any plans to play copied DVDs. I suppose I'm in a minority camp - all I want is the player to deliver a high quality picture from a original DVD.

    <<Its probably best to have both a high end player and a cheaper one from more than one maker.>>

    Arrgghh! That's what I wanted to avoid. In any case there's no guarantee neither player would be troublefree and where do I put all this kit? :confused:

    As you have a player I was considering prior to reading all the problems with Denon DVD players does it read all the original DVDs you put in it? When I said my Philips won't play some I meant the menu won't display and I can hear the player trying to unsuccessfully access the disk's menu. I want to avoid this in any future player. Is that a reasonable expectation?

    I'm aware of HD services in the future but the problem I have is that I've bought DVDs that won't play and I know it's not a problem with the disk - it's the player. No point having a player that you have no confidence in. I also wanted to get some opinions from people who have a great deal more knowledge than me before I go to a dealer.

    One final point ... I have a 14 year old Meridian CD player (206b) and was hoping that the Arcam DV78 would be good enough sonically to fulfill two rolls. That's why I am leaning towards a Arcam and not a Denon.

    Thanks.
     
  4. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    2,906
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    50 Rue St Georges, Paris.
    Ratings:
    +32

    What model JVC tv ?
    Does it have component video inputs in addition to RGB scart ?

    The picture quality of cheapie players can be superb, recently I saw a Toshiba 46WP48 DLP tv showing Shrek 2 using a Toshiba SD240 DVD player @ £50, it was terrific.
    We tried some other discs before asking to see our more expensive player, a Denon DVD-3800 was substituted. Using the same scenes there was a difference immediately in clarity, sharpness, detail and in particular the panning across the colosseum in Gladiator, and the panning across the buildings in the initial fight scenes of Gangs Of New York was visibly smoother and better defined losing the " jaggies " of the cheaper machine.
    The difference was small considering the Toshiba cost £50 and the Denon cost £1000, the law of diminishing returns applies to DVD players extremely well.
    The Toshiba was connected using component video inputs and both DVD players were in Progressive Scan mode.
    The best advice would be to have a home trial of your intended Arcam with your JVC tv and make YOUR decision on whether the difference in price is justified.
    Possibly if you are going to be buying a plasma or LCD you will want to use a DVD player with HDMI connections, these are available now around £150. Allegedly former Tag McLaren guru Dr Udo Zucker uses a Samsung DVD-HD945,
    I remember a thread in which he posted his thoughts on the previous model
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-134965.html
    possibly he feels the new version is an improvement otherwise why use one rather than an expensive player ?
    Apologies to Dr Zucker if I am mistaken ! :cool:
     
  5. RayP

    RayP
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,344
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    Ratings:
    +928
    Hi,

    Thanks for lots of good info. The TV is a JVC AV32WFP1 - 5 years old this month. No component video - just RGB Scart. Given this and what you say about £50 players giving those costing several times more a run for their money it suggests I shouldn't spend lots because the lack of component video won't show a more expensive player at its best. Is the screen size a limiting factor too? The review of the DV78 suggests a minimum screen size of 32" and higher was recommended to see what a player of this calibre can achieve.

    I haven't mentioned my other hardware - Denon A10SE amp, B&W CM4s, CMC and B&W DM600 S3 (rear) plus decent cabling.

    However,decent music reproduction is also important so this is why I thought the DV78 might suit the bill and your link clearly shows the more expensive players are better at music reproduction. Decisions decisions...!!

    I'll sound out a local dealer and see what they feel about a home demo. One thing you didn't mention is whether refusal to display a disk menu is a common occurence. I've had several disks that have been replaced because I thought they were faulty - turns out the player is the problem and despite cleaning with an Ixos cleaner it still won't play some disks which is really annoying.

    Cheers,
     
  6. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    2,906
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    50 Rue St Georges, Paris.
    Ratings:
    +32
    You may find using the S-Video input preferable to RGB with your particular tv. It's lack of Component Video Inputs rules out using Progressive Scan abilities but more expensive players can display a performance benefit with Interlaced output through S-Video / RGB Scart too.
    If you are not known to the dealer, perhaps they will allow you to pay for a DVD player on the understanding you will be refunded without quibble if unsatisfied . If they have confidence in their products there should be no difficulty.
    A 32" CRT is capable of showing the differences in picture quality but it helps if you know what to look for. Actually, in truth it probably helps even more if you don't - then you can be happy with the cheap one ! :D

    A refusal to play a DVD menu should not be a problem. :cool:
     
  7. pjclark1

    pjclark1
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,463
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Thailand
    Ratings:
    +271
    don't waste your money
    Spend £50 on a player like the DK digital 915 (plays divx and mp3 too)
    Then if you think you can see a difference go out and spend more (but you won't)
     
  8. RayP

    RayP
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,344
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    Ratings:
    +928
    Interesting advice. I always thought RGB was superior to S-Video. You live and learn. as far as being able to see the difference goes I work on the principle that you don't have to be an expert to know what you see or hear. Same applies to hi-fi - Fiften years ago I bought an Audiolab 8000C/P and it sounded great.

    I'll sound out my local dealer. Thanks for your help.
     
  9. RayP

    RayP
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,344
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    Ratings:
    +928
    I'm sure the picture quality will be more than acceptable but what about sound quality? Building something for £50 means compromises. Still, I'll let my eyes and ears do the judging when I visit a dealer. Thanks!
     
  10. stripe

    stripe
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,291
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +123
    I've got a Limit DVDA900se which is a good £200 DVD player, with a very nice picture through the progressive scan (I know you won't be using this) and also very good through the RGB. The best part is that it also benifits from being tuned by Cyrus, so it also a very good CD player.

    I now use this as my day-to-day CD player also hooked up to a AVC-A10se and it sounds superb. If you do a search on it you'll find a few other members are using this as a CD player too.

    Good luck.
     
  11. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2002
    Messages:
    27,155
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +3,023
    I think a player around the £100 mark would be worth considering. I went for a Sony NS585 and it is brilliant. The other player I was looking at was the Pioneer DV470 which is also around the same money. I didn't have the need for the DV575 with the SACD and DVD-A.
     
  12. RayP

    RayP
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,344
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    Ratings:
    +928
    Michael,

    This sounds interesting. I remember Mission Cyrus from my hi-fi days - a reputable brand. I'll search around to see where it's available from. This topic has proved very interesting. No-one has recommended any of the serious money players. Having spent £400 four years ago it seems illogical to spend less than half that now and get a better player but the DVD market has changed dramatically since 2001.

    You live and learn! :thumbsup:
     
  13. pjclark1

    pjclark1
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,463
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Thailand
    Ratings:
    +271
    what about sound quality?
    I always let my amp do the digital decoding, so I've never really cared what the player does. As for using s-video, if you are happy with that low a quality picture, why not stick to VHS.
     
  14. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    2,906
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    50 Rue St Georges, Paris.
    Ratings:
    +32
    S-VHS surely. :rolleyes:
     
  15. RayP

    RayP
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,344
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    Ratings:
    +928
    But the player is the source and any information lost by the source cannot be retrieved later no matter how good the equipment. This is the golden rule of hi-fi and must also apply to home cinema. Each to their own I suppose.

    Cheers,
     
  16. RayP

    RayP
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,344
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    Ratings:
    +928
    Whilst I don't dispute you're happy with your Sony, 30 years of hi-fi experience keep telling me that a £100 source feeding £1200 of amplification and £1600 of speakers is a bit imbalanced. Are all the hi-fi rules out of the window now? 50% on the source, 30% on the amp, 20% on the speakers are the rules I've grown up with. Are there new rules now? Do digital sources really make that much difference compared to analogue?

    This isn't a go at you nwgarratt - just a rhetorical question :)

    Cheers,
     
  17. pjclark1

    pjclark1
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,463
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Thailand
    Ratings:
    +271
    I thought the whole point of digital sound and component video was that
    the dvd player only passed on the information from the dvd to your amp
    and screen, without doing any/much processing at all.
     
  18. RayP

    RayP
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,344
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    Ratings:
    +928
    Indeed it is but it's how it retrieves the data that makes all the difference. Digital may be more accurate than analogue but if life was that simple no-one would need anything more than the cheapest player going. Consider too the mechanics that rotate the disk in the player. Vibration, damping and the quality of the laser all make a difference - honest :)

    Cheers,
     

Share This Page

Loading...