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46WM48 with Samsung HD945 or Panasonic S97?

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by KableMan, Mar 8, 2005.

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  1. KableMan

    KableMan
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    Hi All - I think i've pretty much decided on the Toshiba 46WM48P! :clap:

    I may still check out the Sagem D45 (thanks to a kind offer from MOSNR) and get distracted again :D but I think my mind is pretty well made up now. This forum has proved to be a boon :smashin: and bain :thumbsdow in my life of late! I think i've definately had information overload!

    The Toshiba was my first choice way back (they say you should just go with that and save youself the pain!) but I was then swayed by talk of blurs and the 50" Sammy - which is a fantastic looking and performing set but its just too tall and too costly for me right now and with DLP and HD set to go through a revolution in the UK over the next few years I thought it best to stick with a great performer that's economical too! Which would allow me to upgrade down the road without feeling too guilty (and upsetting the boss :nono: )

    So if I'm going to get the Toshiba I want a new DVD player to go along with it and I want to take advantage of that lovely HDMI connection so I'm currently looking at the Samsung DVD-HD945 and the Panasonic S97. I've ruled out other more expensive options such as the Denon's because they are just that - too expensive. And again I want to upgrade to a HD-DVD or Blu Ray player when they arrive.

    So i've read lots about them over on the DVD player forum but they don't mention the HDMI performance much and I want to hear from people who own DLP's and use these players - what do you think of them?

    What's bothering me: I've heard about jitters & jumps on NTSC and macro blocking problems with Faroudja :confused: and firmware upgrades?? I've also heard that the 945 is being replaced soon by the 950 :suicide:

    Things to consider: I have a large NTSC collection - probably 80% of my DVD's are region 1 or 3 and I continue to buy them as they are much cheaper and have, more often, better content. I have a decent PC (if a little noisey) with a ATI 9800Pro Video Card with DVI and I plan on using it for HD playback until I can afford a HTPC or HD-DVD arrives.

    So is HDMI the best connection? (i've heard it can solve/reduce the blur issue). I've also heard lots about Component and Progressive Scan (my current DVD player is 7 - yes 7!! - years old and has none of these connections - I currently use an IXOS S-Video) so I have also considered a Pioneer 575 or Toshiba 340E (again my eye is on quality + budget).

    So what do you think? 945 or S97? I'm hoping I can decide on the DVD player before they bring out a new TV or my wife leaves me :eek:

    Cheers
    KableMan
     
  2. mrmoo

    mrmoo
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  3. NPM108

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    Hey Kableman,

    I use the HD-935 which is DVI as opposed to HDMI and can say I am pretty satisfied with it. It has a very naff remote sensor which I hope is resolved on the 945 (users would have to confirm this) in that if you're not directly infront of it, then its rubbish!!

    I can't say I notice a huge difference when using 480/576P, 720P and 1080i and it seems to very much depend on the movie/source material. I can't say I get any jitters or jumps to be honest and I have mostly R1 discs so would hope it also is the same on the 945. With the 935 and my Infocus 4805 haven't noticed any macro blocking, but I will admit to perhaps (not sure) seeing it when using DVI-HDMI cable on the Samsung 46 DLP.....so am kinda wondering whether this is somehow related to HDMI or my imagination.

    I am now in the 'market' for another player so I don't have to run a long cable to either the PJ or the Sammy display and wanted HDMI, DVD-Audio/SACD and DIVX just to be fussy. I don't really use DIVX but occasionally friends bring round a disc encoded this way so want to be flexible.

    So far I am on hold because of the issues I read about with the 945 and no firmware seems to have been released.....my thoughts are that for some reason Samsung are crappy about releasing firmware, so this is a tad off-putting.

    What I like about the S97 is the fact it also does DVD-RAM usefull for the DMRE85 recorder and seems to have all the features I want. It does MPEG4 so should play DIVX (i think) even though it doesn't actually say DIVX playback. Prices seem to be more or less the same. Our US friends are great fans of Component and you can do the same with component in terms of 720p, 1080i etc I belive the advantage of HDMI, aside from future proofing is that everything stays digital so you aren't relying on D/A conversion and the A/D back again so in theory this should be slightly more superior.

    Whilst this won't affect you the 945 has the ability to have its HDCP disabled which is usefull for ppl who don't have HDCP on their displays.... Some ppl have discussed firmware updates for the S97 but it seems there are issues with PAL upscaling although as you say most of your collection is NTSC this shouldn't affect you too much. Some 97s have an issue where the disc keeps playing but the display blanks out which is odd.

    As has been written elsewhere both the 945 and the S97 have pro's and cons and you have to do a trade-off between them. This is the part where I would say that a decent A/V retailer should score over a web based merchant. Whilst we're not talking about a huge amount of money for an A/V retailer/specialist you would ideally want to be in a position to try out both for a couple of days and this is not something that a web-based service could offer unless you want to use the 30 days clause and return it as not being happy...however you will still have postage costs.

    So going back to what you can do....the 945 is due to be replaced shortly by the 950 I think it is so I really don't think Samsung will bother much with looking at sorting firmware on the 945....unfortunately looks like you will have to wait till April/May for the 950 so personally unless you are willing to make another change this year I would say that rules out the 945 depending on how the pro's/cons affect you.

    That leaves the S97, but again here until I read that issue with PAL upscaling have been sorted out I don't think I am going to take the plunge to either player just yet and will have to live with moving my 935 about or using my cheapo KTD I think its called for MPEG4 over component but with no upscaling.

    I just have far too many DVD players running around, all of which work!! A Sony 725D from the days, a Tosh 220E, HD-935, KTD player and also the DMRE85 will also play DVDs!!

    For a brief moment today I almost took the plunge on a whim to get the NeuNeo HVD208 http://www.neodigits.com/body/product/hvd208/feature.asp but then chickened out coz I wanted to see one working in the flesh first!

    Troubling times at the moment!!! I know this won't have helped much but I think ultimately you have to take a semi educated risk (at least thats what I like to call it) and go for one or the other!! :suicide:
     
  4. dalespitfire

    dalespitfire
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    I have the Tosh and the S97.

    Since installing the latest firmware to the S97 all Macroblocking issues are virtually gone now, and to my eyes the picture has improved too.

    It's a great combi. :smashin:

    I did originally think about the Sammy, but they were rare than rocking horse poo at the time.

    Have to say I am more than chuffed with what I have. There are endless tweaks you can make to the settings of the S97, so you should be able to make it perfect for your own preferences. :D
     
  5. kourosh

    kourosh
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    i have the tosh and panasonic ive also upgraded the firmware and the picture is great the panasonic is a very nice looking dvd player it retails at £300 but you can get it for £200 on the net i think either player would do the job untill the new hddvd comes out :thumbsup:
     
  6. Van300

    Van300
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    Don't waste your money until they bring out Hi-Def DVD players otherwise you'll have to fork out more dosh. I have the Pio 575A for now but will buy a Hi-Def DVD recorder once the technology war between HD DVD and Blu-ray is settled and 'affordable'.
     

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