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Home Cinema Review Pioneer 520

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by flyingotter, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. flyingotter

    flyingotter
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    Hello,
    I looked through your exellent site the last couple of weeks and after carefully choosing I was on the point of ordering the Pioneer 520 DVD recorder.
    Just picked up a copy of the september issue of "Home Cinema" to discover that there is really something serious wrong with the inbuilt tuner of this machine?!
    Never heard that in this site or any dutch sites?!
    Anybody who knows more about this? Thanks a lot for answers.
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    If you use the internal tuner of any DVD recorder your not going to get the best from it - use a Freeview, Sky or NTL box and never look back.
     
  3. flyingotter

    flyingotter
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    Sky not available in Holland!
    But will get digital TV next year with 80 channels.
    At the moment we have analog cable TV.
    Will have to wait for that!
     
  4. eddyad

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    I have a 420 and its analogue tuner is fine. In the UK we use UHF channels 21 - 68, divided into 4 (I think) groups for aerial customisation, for analog and digital TV. In my area there are digital multiplexors on chs 23, 26, 28, 30, 32, 33, and analogue channels on 21, 24, 31, 34, all from the same transmitter. There are no problems with cross channel interference. Pictures from the DVD to the TV through the AV1 TV out scart are as good as the TV tuner (Sony).
     
  5. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    Haven't read the review so not sure what the issue is, however the *10 series had vary poor quality analogue stages that messed up any composite signal sent into them, including the analogue tuner, giving rise to some very nasty artefacts. The *10 series in my opinion had the cheapest and dirtiest multi-media chip for Analogue to Digital conversion it was possible to source or include on a chip, and likely the *20 series is no different.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  6. eddyad

    eddyad
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    I haven't noticed any problems with recordings made from analogue channels via tuner or in recordings made from an Freeview STB which only has composite out from its 'recorder' scart (RGB is available from TV scart)
    I'm playing back in s-video as the TV only has one RGB scart and that is used for the STB.
    Recordings certainly seen as good as off-air. I haven't done A-B comparisons as the point of recording was to watch missed programs.

    The "Pioneer 420 - well impressed !" thread doesn't mention any problems either.
     
  7. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    You probably will not, however it doesn't mean the problems aren't there, you are just lucky enough not to have noticed them (if you ever do it will become very irritating). However any composite input (not S-VHS or DV) is mashed up much more than it should ever be on the Pioneer *10 models. Remember my comments only apply to the *10 series, and then only a few have noticed this problem on those models, we all have different expectations and level of tolerance, so if you are happy, fine.

    I doubt they have made any improvements on the *20 series in this respect, and having looked inside a *10 model and seen the components used and levels of screening, believe me, cheap and cheerful has been Pioneer's aim with these models.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  8. Mikey45

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    Sounds like scare mongering to me;) If the "problem" pertains to the *10 series then why tarnish the *20 series by mentioning it?!
    I recently bought a model 720 and have to say that recordings made on the internal tuner have been first class and I'm more than happy with this product!
    Incidentally, I took some photos of the 720 internals before installing if someone sadder than myself wants to see any!!
     
  9. Benfica

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    Well, I have a pioneer 5100 and I can say that recordings made on the internal tunner, at SP mode, are just equal to original broadcast.

    No problem whatsoever.

    Actually, my TV allows for me to have the screen splitted in half, and I can simultaneously whatch the same channel:
    - in one side using the sony TV tunner
    - in the other using the Pioneer 5100 tunner (connected to my TV via RGB scart)

    And honestly i can say: no diference at all !

    Best regards,
     
  10. eddyad

    eddyad
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    I had forgotten that my Sony TV has 2 tuners, so I've done side-by-side comparisons of:
    (1) TV analogue tuner vs. 420 analogue tuner feeding TV with s-video and
    (2) Freeview STB feeding TV direct with RGB vs. STB feeding TV through the 420 - composite in to s-video out.

    After about 30 mins playing with this I noticed the following:
    In (1) the 420 tuner source was marginally less sharp then the TV, but a tweak on the 420 Picture qulity 'Detail' (sharpness) corrected this.
    In (2) the 420 picture was slightly less bright and detailed than the STB direct to TV, but I suspect this is beause the STB feeds RGB to the TV but only composite to the 420 (RGB not available from STB 'record' out). Switching the STB output to the TV from RGB to composite is immediatesly noticeable.

    So 420 tuner source or processing of an external source doesn't seem to present any quality problems with a CRT TV. If anything it seems to improve the composite input from the STB if the STB's composite feed to the TV is anything to go by.

    Perhaps the Home Cinema reviewer(s) suffer from a poor TV signal? Ours are pretty good 30 miles from Rowridge (Isle of Wight), but we do get occasional interference from French transmitters - usually in hot weather.

    For time-shift TV recordings I've been using LP mode. Easily good enough for TV progs.
     
  11. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    You will not necessarily see a difference, it isn't about sharpness or picture quality, but artefacts that are introduced on certain fine patterns or detail, these artefacts do not affect the whole picture, only certain areas of it and are not present all the time. These artefacts are not introduced from the encoding or from a poor quality tuner as such, but a poor quality PAL comb filter. Note that for America using NTSC they get a nice 3D comb filter as it is easier to implement on NTSC, but PAL relies on a run of the mill cheap and dirty design comb filter bundled onto a basic multimedia chip.

    A more technical explanation can be found from someone responding in this very forum when I first posted my observations, a quote:

    "But the reversal to notch filtering along the horizontal edge of the luminance multiburst in your pictures does make it look like the comb filter in the recorder is particularly 'stupid'. Even the comb filter in my Philips TV, with its analog delay lines, does a better job along vertical transitions. The problems with the comb filter in your recorder look very much like the comb filtering in my ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon card, so I can imagine what it looks like in motion. Awful..."

    The thread can be found here http://www.avforums.com/frame.html?http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116452, it is a real problem on the 10 series, and I wouldn't be at all surprise to find the same components causing the same problems on the 20 series, but haven't had a chance to play with one yet.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  12. Benfica

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    To Philip:

    I've tried to look for the pictures (about this issue) you mention in the other thread, but could not find them. Is it possible that you post an URL to them ?

    I didn't understood other thing: does the problem you mention (artefacts) only happen when you use the upconversion from the tunner to RGB out or they also happen when you record from the inbuilt tunner to HDD / DVD ?

    These problems happens only in CRT TV or other types (Plasma, or whatever) ?
    What was your TV configuration, namelly regarding things like NR (Noise Reduction) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) ? I ask this because sometimes these TV modes/features tend to introduce some artefacts. I've have them both OFF.
    If you are willing to, I think i can send to you (if no other member that has a pioneer model and lives in UK is willing to do it) a DVD-R with some tunner based recordings (in all recording modes if necessary) in order to exactly identify what are these problems you mention.

    Because, I really never saw them . But I would like to go deep on this subject.

    Best regards,
     
  13. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    It doesn't matter about the output RGB or S-Video, although the better quality offered by RGB will of course make it more noticeable.

    It isn't related to the type of monitor, however the more complicated and sophisticated the monitor (i.e. digital noise reduction etc) then the more likelihood it is able to mask the problem like it would with any other unwanted PAL interference problems. The problems are visible while monitoring and it is recorded that way.

    It wasn't introduced by the TV's processing or AI controls, I was able to do some detailed comparisons with exactly the same connections between the 5100 and the original Pioneer 7000 that is miles above in terms of quality. Direct comparison between the 7000 and 5100 were staggering. Anything recorded on the 5100 via a composite input or the internal tuner was over processed (PAL comb filter artefacts aside) regardless of noise reduction settings. The over processing made the recording appear artificial and "lifeless", a direct comparison with the Pioneer 7000 and it was obvious the Pioneer 7000 produced a recording that looked miles better, and you could watch it and forget it had was a recording, no chance of doing that with the Pioneer 5100 as it had any live feel stripped away in the awful overprocessing.

    Yes I played infinitely with the picture creation controls, but could never get it to match the quality of the older model.

    If you are happy with your recorder then do not go looking for problems.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  14. Benfica

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    Yes, I'm happy with my pioneer 5100 recorder. So, suppose you are right - no need to look for problems when I can't see them.

    Anyway, thanks for the info.

    Best regards
     

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