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Arcam DV79 - is it worth the money?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by docfeelgood, May 13, 2004.

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  1. docfeelgood

    docfeelgood
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    Hello all.

    Please don't take this post as me criticising the DV79. I have demoed this unit and was fairly impressed all round.

    However, my question is this:

    How can Arcam justify £999 for this piece of technology.

    Both Panasonic and Sony are releasing HDMI based players very soon which will probably retail for around £300 - or less.

    These players will also upscale.

    Don't tell me that the HDMI picture quality from these players will be significantly worse than the Arcam. They will probably use similar or the same chips and software.

    I'm sure the 'build quality' of the Arcam is better.... but the most important aspect is the performance and I'm sure the Panny and Sony will be adequately 'built' and will perform very well.

    I'm also sure that the CD replay is better on the Arcam.... but is it really £700 better ?

    I think the price points that the older 'last generation' Arcams can be picked up for is closer to the mark.

    From my demo and what I know is coming from Sony/JVC/Panasonic etc... I believe a more realistic and fair price tag for the DV79 is about £599.

    I think we pay too much for the 'Arcam' name when they release a new product.

    Just my opinion :)

    I'd be interested to hear your comments on this one.

    best regards

    :)
    Doc
     
  2. Wolvreen

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    Arcam are not as big as the Japanese companies. Its not really comparing apples with apples.

    They are aiming for a niche market of better picture quality and CD sound, maybe the difference is not huge but people are willing to pay a lot more for a little more gain (especially PQ).

    High end kit improvement to price is a law of diminishing returns.

    I am really pleased that Arcam, a British company, is able to compete globally in the AV market.

    IMHO they need just a few minor tweaks and they could be huge, they really seem to know what they are doing.
     
  3. YellowCows

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    Doc,

    Seems to me your mind is made up on all the issues, which is fine.

    However, whether it is 'worth' the extra £700 is really relative. It all depends on what you're looking to get out of it.

    Audiophiles and videophiles looking to extract the last bit of information, transparency, sound quality, video fidelity etc. believe it is absolutely worth it (and then some) to spend double or triple the amount of money on a player that will, arguably, not give them anywhere near double the picture or sound quality.

    Most people, on the other hand, are sufficiently impressed with the most basic of DVD players, and with the advent of digital outputs like DVI and HDMI, I've heard many argue that the gap between high-end and low-end is now much smaller.

    My personal opinion is that high-quality (i.e. expensive) componentry still makes a difference, even when an analogue-only expensive player is pitted against one of the new cheaper models with DVI/HDMI. Take for instance the Samsung 935 - with DVI, DCDi and HD scaling. Sharp as its picture is, to my eyes, it still does not approach the quality of 2-year old top models from Arcam and Denon, saying nothing of the night and day difference in sound quality.

    I don't mean to state the obvious, but if you get to test these new Sony and Panny models, and you're pleased with the output, what do you need other people's opinions for? I certainly won't try to force my views on you. But since you asked, here are my two cents: always go for the best that you can afford, as long as there is a discernable benefit. That way, you can keep the machine for longer without getting the 'upgrade itch' every 6 months!

    HTH :)

    Moory
     
  4. NicolasB

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    Traditionally the biggest strength of Arcam players has been the quality of the Audio output. (That's not to say that the video isn't good, it is, just that the audio is superlative).

    If you are looking for a DVD-Audio player, the Arcam DV79 is likely to be pretty good value for money at that price. (It will also probably do a fair job as a stand-alone DD/DTS decoder, which would be useful for some people).

    If you want a combination DVD/CD player, but don't care about DVD-Audio, the DV78 will probably be good value.

    If you only care about video output, you might well be better advised to buy from a manufacturer that hasn't decided to spend so much money on audio features.
     
  5. docfeelgood

    docfeelgood
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    Thx for the replies.

    YellowCows.... I have not made my mind up about anything. In fact the DV79 is the only HDMI player I have demoed and as I said 'I was impressed'.


    I'm just questioning the price.... and opening up a discussion.

    I thought that forums were about this... and getting other peoples educated opinions.....

    cheers

    :)

    Doc
     
  6. Promised Land

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    Slightly off topic,as I'm going to mention Denon not Arcam,but I feel this is still in the vein of this topic.A month or so ago I replaced my Toshiba SD220 with a Denon DVD2200,reason being I had bought my first PJ(PLV-Z1)and immediately began to notice a lot of artifacts due to the bigger(much!) screen.However,although the Denon doesn't have such bad "block noise"(the main thing that was bugging me),it still has quite an evidence of this,which for £500 I wasn't expecting.I think the moral of that story for me is don't buy blind(as I did),always get a demo.
    However,it's not all bad.........................the sound is f :censored: g great!I am hearing things on cd's I didn't know were there before and films,especially DTS encoded,sound so much more vibrant.So I think the afore mentioned "law of diminishing returns" hits the nail on the head really.My financial circumstances won't allow a never ending quest for perfection,but I can understand how people become obsessed with it!
     
  7. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I think this is a fair price for what it offers. It is a well thought out and balanced player but ARCAM are on a bit of a role with DVD players at the moment. Certainly my prefered choice over many others at all bar the bargain basement stuff where I wouild look to Tosh or Pannies
     
  8. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Does the Arcam upscale? As i was after an 868 but cannot seem to find one for love nor money, cheers inza
     
  9. docfeelgood

    docfeelgood
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    inzaman.... it doesn't have a built in scaler.

    It does however output 480i via HDMI..... which is good to plug into an external scaler.
     
  10. bobbypunk

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    Just a few statements that sell Arcams products to me:
    Build quality directly affects picture and sound quality,
    Arcam products are made from higher quality components giving more reliability and better performance,
    Picture and sound quality and their worth are subjective,
    Panasonic have anounced their HDMI player @ £400 not £300 and Sony at the moment haven't even anounced details to their Reps,
    It is unlikely that Arcam will use the same chips and software for HDMI and even if it was the case it would still be affected by many other things as their is more to the video playback than just the chips and software (Tray, Power supply, Video processor, internal cabling, output terminals...)
    This is not a personal attack on you it is just a few bits that may give you help in seeing why some people like Arcam equipment and if YOU can't see the difference then use the cheaper equipment and save yourself some money, but there is alot of reasons why you should think your theory through again. (some of which I probably missed out)
     
  11. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Who has edited my posts?
     
  12. buns

    buns
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    are you sure someone has, this thread is duplicated in the arcam forum and I believe you were posting there too

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  13. YellowCows

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    Doc,

    It was not my intention to be argumentative or anything other than constructive. I don't know what exactly in my post you took exception to, but please don't be offended.

    My point was, trust your own eyes and ears (and your budget). I, or anyone else, may tell you that it is worth the extra 700, but if you were happy with the Panny, why should you be swayed by my opinion? You're the buyer, and you shouldn't feel compelled to spend over the odds because I told you it was worth the money. I wasn't trying to shoot you down for asking a question - in the end, I did give you my personal opinion.

    I know you didn't need me to tell you that, but it's just that you asked a very subjective question, and most people on this forum will tell you just what I've told you - 'suck it and see' - given that the Arcam is undoubtedly good, you decide whether it is worth the money or not.

    I hope I've put it in a nicer way. :)

    Moory
     
  14. docfeelgood

    docfeelgood
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    No offense was taken YellowCows.

    Thx for your comments :)
     
  15. gandley

    gandley
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    the down side of coarse to the improved pic DVI and HDMI offer, is that disc related issues now show up a treat. Got to be honest thou i could not do without the HDMI input on my PJ now.
    Its awsome
     
  16. gregwwright

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    I have just upgraded my sony 7700 for an arcam dv79 and I have to say I am stunned by the jump in quality.

    Obviously arcam have a reputation for their audio quality and I can only reiterate what a superb cd player this machine is. The dvd playback is also topnotch. I am using a Meridian processor/speaker system and the difference over the sony is just phenomenal. I was a bit dubious as to whether this was going to be a worthwhile 'investment' since the sony had a very good reptation at the time.

    I cant comment on the HDMI perfromance because I havent got my plasma (yet) but the main reason I bought the dv79 was it had all the features I was looking for with an audiophile pedigree. Obviously the only thing missing is sacd playback which is a bit of a pain but hey soemthing had to give.

    So is it worth £1000. I can only say that to me it is worth every penny and in my system works fantastically. Of course if you demo the cheaper players and they sound great then why pay more - thats the point of having a demo
     
  17. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Thanks for the reply doc, i was tempted with the Arcam although i do agree they are on the higher end of the price scale but you get what you pay for. I think i will just have to continue with my quest for a pio 868 as i really dont want to invest in an external scaler.
     
  18. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    No stuff went missing on scaling. Unsure why as it wasn't controversial :) Moi ;)

    I was questioning the wisdon of wanting scaling on the HDMI players. I think there is more merit to transfering 480 and 576 i or P signals and JUST let the display device do the scaling. Then the comms protocol doesn't fall flat on it's face and the device can deal with ALL necessary resolutions with ONE scaling operation. Far better for quality IMHO.
     
  19. buns

    buns
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    Sorry Nic..... I have often said something on one thread thinking it was another..... obiously you arent as barmy as I!

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  20. rags

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    edit - ill start a new thread :blush:
     

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