Best DVD Player under £1000 with HDMI

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by TarMoo, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. TarMoo

    TarMoo
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    My initial impression was that the Denon 3910 is the player to go for, but many people are reporting problems with it.

    Alternatives are the Pioneer DV-868AVi and Arccam DV79. There is not much comment on this forum about the 868.

    Is there a consensus as to the current best DVD Player under £1000? :)
     
  2. RayP

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    Rasputin,

    I bought a DV79 from Superfi in their Christmas sale and saved £200! It's an excellent player and unlikely to be replaced in 3 months time unlike those from Denon who seem to come out with a new model every new moon.

    Don't get me wrong - the Denon 3910 is still a very good player and you're unlikely to be disappointed with it but there are very few reported problems with Arcam and it was the number of those that made me think twice about a Denon player. My Denon A10-SE continues to impress so I'm not a Denon basher. :)

    Cheers,
     
  3. Jonny1973

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    With both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray DVD launching within the next 12 months, I would not spend more than £100 on a new Standard Definition DVD player.

    Hi-Definition players will probably be available by Autumn 2005.
     
  4. TonyA

    TonyA
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    I agree...

    I was looking at the Denon 3910 but the price for what is a "player" only option, with the technology advances that are just around the corner, was imho too much.

    I've opted for the Panny DVD-S97 (available for around 200 quid) - and the picture from this has knockced my socks off (and thats just over RGB SCART - I've not tried HDMI yet!).

    Good value, for me, for now - until around this time next year!

    T.
     
  5. Mark Antony

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    If your spending that kind of money I take it great sound quality on cd and dvd as well as visuals are important.

    As a great cd/sacd/dvd-audio and dvd player the 3910 is worth it, i've had no real problems with mine - as long as you have the latest firmware you shouldn't either.

    Denon do launch machines annually, but a dvd player is never gonna be an investment, my 3 year old arcam FMJ is worth 25% of it's original £1600 price now!

    As for hi-def being out this year, it may well appear in the states b4 xmas, but I doubt any player will be under £1000 for at least 12 months after launch - and plus there's still they fact that they haven't decided what resolution the discs will be in, the first one's could well only be 720p - which you'll either upgrade it a later date to the 1080i/p versions or there'll be little visual difference between them and pal 576i!

    M
     
  6. Winnie Pooh

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    I haven't had any problems so far. :thumbsup:

    I think they play not in the same league compared to the Denon 3910. ;)

    I think there won't be any general consensus but: :D

    The Denon 3910 clearly gets my vote. Having it now for 6 weeks and it caused me no grief only fun. Build quality is top. Picture quality through DVI-D is excellent even wiht scart using RGB is high quality – very flexible solution for almost every type of video and picture material. Works very well together with the Philips 32PF9986 (EXT1-RGB & DVI-D). The quality of the Burr-Brown DA converter stages is really good. They are on the same level as professional AD/DA converters like i.e. RME Fireface, RME ADI-8DS, DAC-1 or Apogee. Even if you only use the stereo audio outs watching DVD picture quality the analog sound quality through a decent hifi set is still impressive compared to superior Dolby 5.1 sets. For listening CD’s the sound quality is way on top in comparison with my good old Cyrus DAD-1. Which is no wonder due to age of the converters used in the Cyrus. BTW no problems playing video on Tayo Yuden DVD+R burned with PX 708UF so far.

    I would recommend the Denon despite of the lack of Blue Ray etc. IMHO best value for the money if your are looking for nice high quality of picture and sound. Really nothing wrong with it - excluding availability of latest multi region firmware of course.
     
  7. Rasczak

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    Another vote for the Denon 3910 from me - although I trialled the Arcam DV79 as well and came very close to buying that. What tipped my decision was that I listen to virtually no music thus the audio benefits of the Arcam weren't that much use to me.

    If I were you rasputin I would head off to your local store and trial both Denon and Arcam units to see what you prefer: not just in terms of PQ, audio but also user interface, style of unit etc.

    I can't agree with that - buy the best machine you can afford that does the job you want. For all we know the HD DVD players could turn out to be poor DVD players - you can bet your bottom dollar that when the time comes serious enthusiasts will have seperate DVD and HD DVD players...
     
  8. ritesh

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    868avi has longer warranty, virtually trouble-free user-reviews on every forum, most silent transport system (no whirring sound), best of all actually plays the disks rather than wanting the disks to be extremely clean and balanced, the word macroblocking or noise/haze due to upscaling doesn't even get a mention with the 868. Secret's player of the year, 5/5 on whathifi, homecinemachoice and other publications around the world....

    For fixed pixel displays, and disk readability reasons; I can never recommend ANY Denon let alone 3910 ! For CRT and other non-fixed pixel displays AND if you are lucky to find a player that plays all your disks; THEN 3910 might get a mention...

    868avi definately the pick of the bunch as far as features and PQ is concerned !

    Ritesh
     
  9. MAW

    MAW
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    Any particular reason for this? Seems a curious view to have. What's the difference between Denon and say the Pio 868 to give you this view?
     
  10. Mark Antony

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    Well the 3910 also got joint secrets player of the year 2004 and as far as picture quality goes got higher marks! I've never had any problems with it reading disks, heard any noise from it or seen any macroblocking...

    But as has been said the best thing to do is to try all of these machines with your display or worse case scenario side by side in an a/v shop with a similar display and see what you like the best.

    M
     
  11. BAN5HEE

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    The 868 is the nuts. Nuff said... :D
     
  12. MAW

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    Moderately pointless statement, my friend. It does give good results on HDMI, but component is sad, and I'd put my money on the Denon for CD music. So as always, it's component matching that matters most, which is why I asked what was felt to be wrong with the Denon for fixed pixel displays. I've seen the Denon with a Pio.435 plasma, and with a NEC XM3. The 435 was excellent, the XM3 horrid beyond belief.
     
  13. ritesh

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    Denon uses FLI chipsets (like a lot of others) and that's what's wrong with it. These chipsets are known to produce macroblocking, which is ESPECIALLY the case with fixed pixels displays.

    Your experience above is exactly the case in point; take your new Denons to various plasmas/LCDs with a few disks that especially exhibit the macroblocking bug and it will become clear to you why the prestinely clear signal from the Pioneer is the one for these displays.....

    Regarding disks playback, it ain't too hard to reproduce either, take a few rentals, a few burned DVD+Rs or something and see what success rates you have....

    Trust me, I have been through all this and thus am speaking from experience, see this thread from me
    here over at the Australian forum...

    After my adventures with Denons, I am currently trialling the Pioneer 969AVI (in UK the corresponding model is 868AVI), the only difference being the UK version I think has the SCART; in US it is the 59avi.

    As far as the Secrets score is concerned; the Pioneer was released, like .... ummm... over a year ago... and there have been some firmware upgrades since to remove what small gripes they had over at Secrets. If they did the tests now, the differences between the scores of 868avi and 3910 would be miniscule if any. But in PQ, especially for plasmas, Pioneer is the one !

    If you were to go with Denon, 2900 is the one to pick for these displays; the SIL chip in that one is a beauty !

    But IMHO, so far with my brief testing, Pioneer is a step up...

    cheers,


    Ritesh
     
  14. Mark Antony

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    This why he need's to view the machines on his equipment, rather than take people's advice as gospel, as all your complaints with Denon's product I haven't experienced and I've used it daily for over 5 months and rent about 3-5 titles a week so get lots of scratched discs to watch!

    The denon has equally had firmware upgrades since launch, that have been equally effective in minor-flaw removal so the difference in picture quality, in favour of the denon still stands - as does it's superior cd playback ability.

    M
     
  15. Henry

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    Just from the differing opinions in this thread and the hundreds more in other threads, it should be clear that there is no right answer - apart from the one you make with your own eyes and ears.

    For kit costing up to a grand, any decent dealer will dem them for you side by side and probably let you take them home to test out there on your own display device.

    I went through the exact same shortlist and plumped for the DV79 over the other two. But that was just my favourite of the three.

    One word of advice though. If you do dem them at home, make sure you spend a bit of time calibrating the display to get the best results. When I first tested the DV79, I wasn't overly impressed. I posted to that effect and John Dawson suggested calibrating the input on my 504HDE and it made a big difference - so much so that I bought the Arcam.

    I doubt that you'd be disappointed with any of the machines to be honest as I found them all to be very good indeed, but you really need to spend some time with them and preferably at home too. Hey, it's great fun playing around with different bits of kit too! :smashin:
     
  16. Jonny1973

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    The standard resolution for both formats of Hi-Def DVD is 1080p.

    It's TV where there are two standards (720p / 1080i). It's upto each channel which format they choose.

    I doubt that budget players will be a £1000. The PlayStation 3 will be a Blu-Ray player too. I can't see the PS3 selling for £1000. £500 maybe.
     
  17. Mark Antony

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    Unfortunately the manufacturers and studio's formulating the standards necessary to make a unified format haven't decided on which resolution HD-DVD or blu-ray will be as standard.

    A lot of people are hoping it's going to be 1080p, at least it can then be downconverted for those with displays that can't handle resolutions this high, but be semi-future proof when 1080p displays become more mass-market, but there's been lots of discussion and tests done at 720p and 1080i and until they decide no-one knows and the longer they leave it the less likely product will be available this year.

    As for budget players, when dvd first came out, the cut price players didn't appear until at least 18 months after the nationwide launch, and if you think a budget hd-dvd/blu-ray player (or ps3 for that matter) will be as good as playing back a normal dvd as any of the £1000 players mentioned then I think you'll be disappointed.

    As for PS3, that's almost certainly going to have a blu-ray drive in it, I'd agree with you on the likely hood of price, but as blu-ray dvd isn't going to be available for at least another 12 months and they haven't even announced titles as yet, then you could be in for a long wait for it to appear!

    M
     
  18. MAW

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    1080p would throw the cat amongst the pigeons just like sky did with their little 720/50 hdcp bombshell. Not a well supported resolution.
     
  19. ritesh

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    Quite true, I guess one should try them all.....

    But I guess another thing I should mention is "value for money". In Oz, there have been huge price drops in the Pioneers (in US Denons have a price increase); I am not sure of the reasons for these price changes....

    In any case, what that means is that Arcam DV79, at current street prices; is more than double the cost of the Pioneer; and the Denon is like 30% dearer !

    I have no idea of the prices in Europe; but if it is similar; I'd say Pioneer is also excellent value for money; as we really are hair-splitting as far as PQ is concerned.....

    Henry, on a separate topic, I am curious what made you tip toward the arcam DV79 (apart from the CD/DVD-A playback); especially when you have a Pioneer plasma. Which DVD players did you trialled; and was there much difference between them? May be a rating out of 10 might help the original poster?

    From me, I trialled the various Denons; and the Pioneer; and if I were to rate the Pioneer 9.5/10 for PQ; the Denon 2900 would be a 9.2/10 and 2910/3910 would be around 9/10. In short we are not talking huge differences by any means. compare to something el-cheapo like a Yamaha S540; which would be like a 6.5/10. Whether you are willing to pay for these types of increases is upto the spender I guess..... This is just for PQ !

    As I said, just purely for PQ, I'd have been very happy with say a Denon 2900; but for me the disk-readability became an unacceptable issue....

    In short, when selecting a DVD player, I guess apart from the PQ or SQ, there is much more which might come into play, various features, value for money, etc. etc. Depending on one's situation, it is these things which might tip someone one way or another.....

    But as everyone has said, each setup and display is different and should be trialled as such; WITH proper calibration...

    Ritesh
     

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