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DVD player - high price units

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by bnewbie, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. bnewbie

    bnewbie
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    Hi,

    I'm looking to complete my bedroom setup and was wondering whether DVD players from the likes of Roksan/Musical Fidelity (basically £500+ units) are really much better than say a Samsung or suchlike which maybe around £100?

    I haven't got a surround sound setup - just a 2 channel stereo one (as it's a bedroom) and the picture will be going out to a Plasma screen.

    Basically I suppose what I'm trying to say is that is it worth spending £500 on a DVD player over one that costs about £100 or £150?

    Cheers for any advice,

    L
     
  2. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    Generally the answer is no. However if you've got a top end projector or an awesome sound system the answer is yes. However there are plenty of electronic devices that perform better than their price would indicate and plenty sadly that don't live up to their price tag at all. Before you buy an expensive dvd player make sure you compare it with a medium price or even low priced unit just to make sure you can see/hear the difference. You may also see or hear a difference and still not actually care about such a difference as its very minimal. I tend to prefer dvd players that have good all round functionality and are a joy to use and don't have annoying quirks or minor problems. Other people seem to be determined to get every single tiny bit of sound detail out of their system. Another might be obsessed with getting the very, very best picture. My personal hates are juddery panning shots, poor disc reading and anything that kicks you out of being immersed in watching the movie like frame skipping. I can sacrifice some some picture detail if the overall visuals are natural and realistic and move fluidly.
     
  3. Cable Monkey

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    You get what you pay for. As long as you choose carefully. Of course the laws of diminishing returns apply but for some the small differences/improvements make the expense worthwhile. Perversely your setup demands an outstanding player with picture capabilities to look good on a plasma and excellent 2 channel performance normally reserved for decent cd players.
     
  4. bnewbie

    bnewbie
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    Thanks for the advice, it's much appreciated.

    I think what I'll do is try and find a half decent unit for around £200 or so with HDMI (i'm not sure this is possible?) as the Plasma has input for this (it's a Pioneer PDP505XDE).

    The reason why I'm a little worried about spending more is that in two years we should be seeing stuff like blu-ray or the other next gen DVD format so I don't want to splash out 500-600 quid on something that won't be of primary use in a couple of years time.

    Thanks again for the advice,

    L
     
  5. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    I don't know what his stereo system is but its pointless matching a dvd player with outstanding dynamic sound to a sound system that is more limited. This is especially true if your downmixing 5.1 movie tracks to 2 channels. Then the sound system has to work even harder as its getting a greater mix of frequencies put through just two speakers. What once was seperated out to subwoofer, centre and rear speakers is coming out of just the two main speakers. The key to good sound is matching the abilities of all sound components so there is no bottleneck. Reduced dynamics in the sound with slower rise and fall times and reduced frequencies all help a mediocre sound system cope instead of creating distortion in both the amp and speakers. Its just worth remembering 3 channels into 1 is a lot of extra sound information and a better quality dvd player will create even more problems for a more basic amp and speakers.
     
  6. bnewbie

    bnewbie
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    My apologies I didn't give any information on the sound aspect. The amplifier is a Musical Fidelity X200-R and the speakers are Canton CD300.

    The reason I stuck with 2 channel instead of going all out for a 5.1 is mainly space as it's a bedroom (hence also the lifestyle-ish choice of speaker).

    Cheers for the info that you provided with my limited information given.

    L
     
  7. Cable Monkey

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    I don't think that gear will have a problem handling down mixed 5.1, do you? ;)
     
  8. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    That sound system certainly shouldn't have any problems handing the sound but the results will obviously be less effective than quite a humble true 5.1 setup. Effective meaning less surround immersion even if the clarity of sound is very, very good. Probably worth remembering to use the dvds own 2 channel audio track if it has one rather than the simple mixing down to 2 channels that players can do themselves from the dvds 5.1 track. Unless your lucky enough to have a player that can alter the downmix sound levels on all channels. Generally its better to slighter reduce the subwoofer output for 2 channel downmixes. Some dvd players have standard low subwoofer output which makes them a bit poor for true 5.1 setups but ideal for 2 channel downmixing.
     

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