diva and FMJ dvd models. whats best for what?


Standard Member
looking at a DVD purchase, but with second hand or new to choose from and so many models, wheres best to spend the cash? i would imagine that at the top of the list would be a 139, but how would a S/Hand 137 compare and what about a 29 27a 27 etc. can anyone put them in order with a one line review?


Active Member
This all depends on what the rest of your system is, your needs (dvd and cd, or just dvd?).
if you already have one of the latest Video Processors the the DV79 or 29 should be top of your list.
if not then the 137 or 139.
You need to decide on budget as well.
if it were me, spending my money again i would opt for a second hand dv29 and Lumagen HDQ Video Processor, then my other video components would all benefit.


Novice Member
I used to have a dv78 before upgrading to the fmj dv29. I have to say the difference in performance [and price!!] was obvious. My system comprises of mainly second hand and ex demo fmj kit and I'd recommend the same! I've also directly compared the dv29 with a dv27a and found the dv29 gave slightly more detail in the picture but you really had to look for the difference and the performance of a dv27a for the price represents real value.


Novice Member
Just wanted to say that I agree with p203557 pretty much all around:

- FMJ stuff is definitely better than its contemporary Diva equiv, and usually not by a small margin. Ex-demo is a great way to get reduced-price stuff.

- For DVD, if you don't require HDMI or SACD then the 27A's a great player for the money -- possibly even slightly better than some of its successors if you're using its excellent silicon images progressive deinterlacer rather than an outboard scaler.

That said, here's my one-line attempt. It assumes that you don't care about SACD, DVD-A, or HDMI, and you're going to run the player over component 480p. Addressing only this format, I would guess something like this for video quality in descending order:

139 / 27-27A / 137 / 29 / 79 / 78

Note carefully:

- If you require upscaling HDMI and/or SACD, you eliminate all options but 139 / 137.

- If you require HDMI but not SACD or upscaling, you eliminate all options but 139 / 137 / 29 / 79.

- I can't imagine you would require DVD-A and not SACD, but if for some reason you do, you eliminate the 27 and 78.

Personally, I'm keeping my 27A for SD DVD and waiting for the HD format war to settle out. It's a great player, SACD's nice but not really enough to force me into an upgrade frenzy, and my display has a nice-enough upscaler built in anyway to tide me over. The 27A's picture over component is pretty darn good for SD -- sure, it's not as good as HD movies, but 480i is a sow's ear no matter what you do to it and I just can't justify dumping another wad o' cash into a SD-only player.

But...if I were starting fresh, I'd go for the 139 to get that fancy newfangled deinterlacer and SACD, though! Others have said it's the last SD DVD player anyone needs, and from the specs and early reviews I'd say that's true. Too bad (for me) that it wasn't out with this featureset in, say, 2004. ;)


Standard Member
as usual, great and informative replys. generally we listen to music through our Sonos system. SACD and DVD-A i have never listened to and the DVD gets played when the family get together for the latest Pixar or disney offering. i will be buying a new plasma in the new year (replacing the 36" CRT) so how much of a difference should that make? from the posts i would
say that money no object its a 139. and for my modest requirements maybe a 29 or 27a?


Novice Member
SACD and DVD-A i have never listened to and the DVD gets played when the family get together for the latest Pixar or disney offering.
Um...I'm certainly not trying to start a war here, but are you really sure you want to fork over a bunch of cash for a serious DVD player just to watch the occasional family flick? (You already have a Sonos music system, so I presume you'd not be using any of these players for CD, though some of them are quite capable.)

Everybody's different when it comes to cash outlay vs. use tolerance, but with that kind of light use I know I'd find myself calculating cost-per-movie every time I sat down to watch and not enjoying it. We've had our 27A for a couple of years now and I still wince when I think about how much it cost vs. how much we have used it, and you can add that to the list of reasons I gave before for not upgrading. (I don't have any of those feelings about the display itself or the CD player, speakers, processor, amp, etc...just the DVD player.)


Standard Member
tvh3ad i make you right. i just bought a myself a 27a on ebay to peplace my 7se CD player and old (really old) DVD player. going shopping for an AVR350 next week.


Novice Member
If you are not going to use HDMI then you might be better off with a used Diva DV89. It´s component-out is far superior to most non-arcam-players HDMI. That is a very cheap option, an option which has got DVD-audio and the same Wolfson D/A as the last two FMJ cd-players (and present DVD-players). I have got one which feeds a projector with cinematic picture quality and I love it.

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