Is the Arcam DV88 the best for video?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by GavinBrowne, Jul 24, 2003.

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  1. GavinBrowne

    GavinBrowne
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    Hi everyone,

    I am about to upgrade my DVD player and thought I would canvass a few opinions. I currently have a Sony 725 feeding component to an Iscan Pro then on to a Barco 708 Data. Roland has advised that I would see a marked improvement in picture detail if I changed DVD players. He recommended something like a Denon 3800, but having spent a couple of nights reading up on this player, it seems that many people have had their share of problems with most of the top end Denon players.

    In looking for a suitably good alternative I have kind of settled on an Arcam DV88. I don't think I need the DV88 plus as I will most likely not use the prog scan option and continue to feed the projector through the Iscan. (Roland reckoned this would do a better job of line doubling). The other advantage of going for a basic DV88 would seem to be that there are a reasonable supply of ex-demo units around at between £500 to £650. I'm not particularly looking for great CD performance as it will 99% be used for DVD.

    What I would be particularly interested to hear is if there are any other machines I should consider in this sort of price bracket and what are peoples experiences of the DV88.

    As a bonus can any of you DV88 owners confirm whether there are any issues with playing DVDr discs?

    Cheers,
     
  2. Captain chaos

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    me too please, im in the same boat as you!
     
  3. gringottsdirect

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    July 2003, no way I would spend that much for DV88 performance and ergonomics.
    A £100 Toshiba from www.richer-sounds.co.uk feeding your I-Scan is an alternative to consider.
    I have a DVD-3800, it works fine but obviously it is soon to be an old model.
    If you are determined to spend £600+, try a Pioneer 757 ?
    I would have another pow-wow with Roland before you decide. :)
     
  4. cameronl

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    hi there, I have the dv88+ (with sil503) and must say that unless you are going to be watching your movies on a big screen in progressive mode there is no way you should get yourself any type of arcam dvd player!

    Try a second hand toshiba 210/220 for about 60 - 80 pounds for a similar ish quality in interlaced mode.

    CaM
     
  5. GavinBrowne

    GavinBrowne
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    Hi,

    Thanks for the comments. I spoke with Roland again this morning and he still reckons the Denon 3800 is the way to go. I am watching my movies on a 7 1/2 feet wide screen, hence the desire to get the best output quality possible. Roland has seen my setup and has specifically told me that his Denon 3800 produces more detail in the shadows than my Sony.

    After a bit more research it would appear that the 3800 does not seem to suffer from the same issues as the other Denon (2800 MKII and 2900) decks.

    I have sourced one ex-demo 3800 model at £599 which would be upgraded with the latest firmware and made region free.

    It looks like I will go that route. I take it that you don't think that the difference in picture quality is worth the extra money over a Toshiba at £100?

    Your comments are appreciated.

    Cheers,
     
  6. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    I'd go with a DV88, you can probably still find some older DV88's that dealers have left, for a decent discount.
     
  7. camlogan

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    hi there, I think the progressive playback of my DV88p+ is fantastic through my sim2. That said, in interlaced mode (which i never use) there is not alot of difference between the dv88+ and my old toshiba 210.

    If you want a progressive image and good cd playback then the arcam dv88+ is a good choice. In interlaced mode a cheap dvd player may well be as good as a 600 pound one.

    CaM
     
  8. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Arcam
     
  9. Matt F

    Matt F
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    Just to throw an alternative into the arena - the Sony DVP-NS999ESN is supposed to be pretty awesome in the picture quality department (as you would expect from a flagship "ES" model) and now does NTSC and PAL progressive scan.

    Techtronics advertise it (multi-region) at £740.

    That's where my money would go.

    Matt.
     
  10. Captain chaos

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    You can pick up an Arcam 88+ for £850 brand new.
     
  11. Nick Laslett

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    Both the Arcam Diva 88 and FMJ27A suffer from the Chroma Upsampling Error.

    Some people are not bothered by this issue.
     
  12. GavinBrowne

    GavinBrowne
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    Thanks to everyone for their advice and opinions. I have bought a Denon 3800 today which will hopefully arrive at the end of the week. I picked up an ex-demo multiregion model in black for £600.

    To be honest this is the player that Roland Brooks originally recommeded I buy to get a better picture on the Barco Data 708 he installed for me. I'll let you know how it compares to my current setup later on this week.

    Cheers,
     
  13. Branxx

    Branxx
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    Gavin,

    Check this for sale thread Arcam DV88+ DVD player. If you dig a bit deaper you find out why is the player on sale and what is being replaced with.

    If you are not convinced with the reason for sale you may at least end up with cheap DV88+.
     
  14. GavinBrowne

    GavinBrowne
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    Branxx,

    Thanks for the reply. I actually placed a bid for this player at the start of the thread. I too am investigating HTPC, but in the interests of complete user friendliness and ease of use I also want a very good DVD player. I am prepared to use a PC for my source at some point, but my wife and kids are more likely to use the DVD player.

    From the reviews I have read of the Denon 3800 I don't expect to be dissapointed.

    Thanks,
     
  15. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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  16. mikeq

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    Gavin,

    I'm in Edinburgh also.

    If you are interested I can bring round my DV88+ and let you see how it compares to the Denon.

    Regards
    Mike
     
  17. GavinBrowne

    GavinBrowne
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    Mike,

    I would indeed be interested to see how the DV88+ compares to the Denon. I got the Denon today and so far I am having a bit of a nightmare as it does not seem to want to read all of my DVDR discs. Fine with most of them and fine with all original discs including RCE region 1.

    When do you want to come round?

    Drop me a PM and we can sort out the best time and swap details.

    cheers,
     
  18. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    I think I see why.

    The important thing is to deinterlace the mpeg2 video before it is converted to analog. That's what these progressive scan capable players do (such as Arcam 88+ and Denon3800), that analog input deinterlacers/scalers cannot.

    I take it that you feed 480p/576p straight to the 708 and only use the Iscan for other analog sources?

    cheers,
    Rob.
     
  19. garmtz

    garmtz
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    I have seen the progressive scan of the Sony DVP-NSV999ES and although very detailed and sharp, it misses on the lack of artifacts compared with the Silicon Image and Faroudja chipsets.
     
  20. Captain chaos

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    Yes, ive actually heard that the latest Sony ES model is the biggest pile of poo since the dinosaurs were around.
     
  21. mikeq

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    Took my DV88+ to Gavins last night. He has a very impressive dedicated cinema room, I was quite dissapointed to come back to my 42" plasma after seeing the 7½ ft screen.

    Anyway, I'll let Gavin update you on what he thought of the DV88+.

    Mike
     
  22. garmtz

    garmtz
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    Indeed.
     
  23. GavinBrowne

    GavinBrowne
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    Hi Everyone,

    Well as Mike said, he brought his Arcam DV88+ round to my house last Wednesday night so we could do a comparison with my Sony 725 DVD player. My equipment is a Barco 708 Data as supplied and setup by Roland Brooks. It is being fed by component from the Sony to the Barco via an Iscan Pro. My screen is a fixed panel Draper Screen also supplied by Roland which is 7.5 feet wide 16:9.

    What we did was to try and compare the 2 DVD players as directly as possible so we might spot the differences. As the only way to feed my projector is via the iscan we had to switch off the Progressive output on Mike's DV88+. We had a couple of copies of 2 discs, Monsters Inc, Donnie Darko, so we set up both players playing both discs at the same time and simply swapped which one was feeding the iscan. I personally thought that the Arcam had the slight edge, but it was very difficult to pinpoint exactly what might have been better about the picture. (read, not enough of a difference to justify spending £1000 on a new player).

    then we tried playing a few other discs on both machines one after the other as we only had 1 copy of each film. after looking at Gladiator and a few others we both came to the conclusion that there was very little if any difference in the image being shown on the screen regardless of which DVD player we were using. Bear in mind this is on a screen size of 7.5 feet wide in a dark room.

    So the end result is that Mike has saved me spending £1000 on a new player. mike's setup is different from mine and therefore justifies the Arcam. His plasma can take the progressive feed and as he doesn't have an iscan it is an altogether neater solution to higher picture quality.

    I want to thank Mike for taking the trouble to bring his player round for the comparison test. I suppose the only way I am going to get an improvement in picture quality is by going down the HTPC route. Luckily I have already planned for this and I have a PC in the cupboard where my kit is housed. I just need to start investigating what the best bits and pieces I should put in it are. I can already get a pretty good picture from it, but as yet I have no 5.1 sound output.

    cheers,
     

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