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HK DV25 vs Arcam DV88, my thoughts


Prominent Member
I have notice a few people asking about upgrading their Dv25.

I have just done this and thought I would share my thoughts.

I was going to spend about £800 to £1000 on a DVD player and thought with HD no more than a year away I would be better saving my cash and have a stop gap until HD players are ready

At this point I must tell you that I use an Iscan HD+ between the DVD Player and the Projector (Optima H78)

Allan and I have spend the last two hours comparing and would say that he is much better at describing the benefits than I am so if you see this Allan feel free to add any comments.

The advantage or disadvantage, depends how you look at it, of useing a scaller is trying to see the differences.

But after two hours the thing that struck me about the DV88 was how clean the picture looks. Its just that bit sharper and more 3 dimentional. The other thing that is obvious is how it handles motion better than the DV25. For example the begining of Star Wars AOTC from when you get the initial storey to the camera panning up thro the star field just seem smoother, more film like.

The DV88 seems to handle fast panning shots better giving less motion blur. The colours also seem bolder.

We also tested Star Trek, Insurection, which Allan tells me is a good DVD to check for motion stutter and he commented on the fact it was a tad better than his HTPC, praise indeed from Allan as he is far more critical than I am.

So I feel I have done the right thing as I nearly spent £800 on a Pio 989 and recon i probably would have seen very little improvement (Anyone who would like to prove me wrong is welcome to bring their 989 round for a test :D )

So for me sticking with the scaller and buying an older quality player has been the right thing to do.

For anyone wanting a good quality image, from my experience, you could not go far wrong from buying a £200 DVD player and a Scaler. Even more reason if you watch Freeview or Sky thro a PJ, I have my Pace Freeview thro the scaller and the results are great


Prominent Member
Mods can you ghange the title to 'HK DV25 vs Arcam DV88, my thoughts' please


Established Member
Hi Peter,

Thanks for time spent demo'ing the two DVD players through your iScan. The HK didn't quite cut it compared to the DV88. Everytime we switched back to HK it always looked a bit flatter and softer. It also didn't have quite the same rock solid image stability and smoothness that the DV88 has during pans.

I think the DV88 and iScanHD+ is the first time I've had doubts put in my mind regarding the superiority of HTPC. I left thinking the DV88 and scaler was quite a bit better than my HTPC in regards to image quality and smoothness of pans (my current bug-bear, along with motion blur). When I got home I played the same scenes through my setup and realised that the ND4 filter I've got on my H79 is a bit too dull so put the ND2 back on and I would say that that puts us at about the same brightness level. This also improved the picture a bit and I thought it was now a bit closer to the DV88 and scaler though probably with the HTPC just slightly behind still. The biggest difference, I think, is that the HTPC looks a bit grainy whereas the DV88 and scaler has a smoother, glossy look without sacrificing the detail.

All in all, I think the DV88 + iScan HD+ is fantastic. I'm still contemplating going that route myself but a lot depends on whether I can permanently get rid of the stutters in the HTPC that have come about since upgrading to a higher res projector.



Distinguished Member
thanks for the post Petrolhead the results were what i was expecting i think on a smaller screena 42" PDP for example the difference you see would be far less obvious, any chance if you still have the 25 you could give it a quick compare to th DV88 without the HD+ in the chain?
(I am assuming you had both outputting 576/480i to the HD+ via component?)

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