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my simple arcam dv88+ review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by jmack, Aug 4, 2003.

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  1. jmack

    jmack
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    right i have had my arcam dv88+ for nearly a week so i thought i would do i simple review/my thoughts

    1. its 6months old bought off these forums from siluro(top bloke)
    its silver and is running the software arcam sent me this weekend
    sw 4.12.0 driveware LT76

    2. the drive is silent (nothing to comment on that then)
    3. very easy to setup and make multi region (just select auto in menu)
    4. the audio delay on progressive scan output was an unexpected bonas (50ms i think its set too)
    5. the picture quality makes my old dvd player look rubbish(philips 962sa import), very detailed and sharp picture , bright and punchy , but no over bleeding of colours.
    6. not sure what all the chroma samlpe bug thing is about but i think i seen it on the red writing on the start of blade 1. its like the reds not matched up ,(not a big problem when it does everything else so good).
    7. audio is very good very clear voices on films (no probs on DTS as yet:)
    8.going to cost me loads of money on cd`s as they sound like when you go from to tape to cd the first time.(awesome noel gallagher singing the masterplan):D :D


    well thats it for now
    hope it helps someone whoes thinking of getting one
     
  2. Oasis-GasPanic

    Oasis-GasPanic
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    Nice review, I'll have to tell my neighbour to read it due to him needing a little push to get this player (he's demoed it twice and loves it but thinks it won't be as good setup at home:confused: )

    Cheers,

    BTW, I don't think The Masterplan has ever sounded bad on my system - PURE GENIUS. Noely...Noely...Noely!:D
     
  3. Captain chaos

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    Just a quick note here; I read the review of some of the DVD players on the "secrets of home theater" site and they said that the de-interlacer (Zoran 5) wasn't much cop, which is the one fitted in your Arcam.
    It failed half of the tests. I am currently looking for a top end player and have settled for either an Arcam or a Denon 2900 and I can't decide to be honest, both seem to have their good points and bad points.
     
  4. jmack

    jmack
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    captain

    i read alot about its faults too , but what ever your planning on buying there is going to be faults, i think its the overall package that counts , great picture /great sound/ uprgradable/ great customer service,

    i`m sure the denon has some faults too but does it make up for them with ugradablity/customer service i`m not sure as i never looked into that player,

    what ever you decide too buy learn to enjoy it instead of look for faults (learnt that from a year with a plasma );)

    good luck in your search

    (now what amp should i get ):devil: :devil:
     
  5. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Captain: Not happy with the S75?

    What don't you like about it?

    Gary.
     
  6. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Captain Chaos - Ref the Vaddis 5 deinterlacer, please be very careful when you interpret what you read. Firstly, there are several variants of the Vaddis 5 chipset family which are not identical and, secondly, the deinterlacing microcode has been updated by Zoran over time.

    What was seen on another brand of player launched nearly two years ago is not the same as what you get on the DV88 Plus. Please judge the Arcam units for yourselves vs the competition of the day.

    Sincerely,

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  7. cameronl

    cameronl
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    I have a dv88+ and love it (well most of the time anyway....). After owning it for 6 months I got to the stage where I wanted a little bit extra out of the progressive scan - which I got when I upgraded it to the Sil503 board.

    This is the benefit of the arcam - buy it now, and when you start to see its limitations chances are it can be updated in some way and if it can't be upgraded then chances are you need a better class of player.

    CaM
     
  8. rafaelp

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    John Dawson makes a good point, "Please judge the Arcam units for yourselves vs the competition of the day." I remember reading "secrets of home theater" concerning the Philips Q-50. "They" really liked this player and it passed almost every test except one, the "I took it home and it had bugs test"!.

    The "Secrets" testers (I am just guessing here based on their approach) never sit down and watch several movies from beginning to end with each player since they have so many players to test and so many tests to perform. If they had, they would have discovered that the player had a serious bug. After denials by Philips that the problem existed (...and ignoring all the postings from purchasers to the contrary) I got my money back (less than 30 days). I would have kept the player had the manufacturer admitted the issue and assured me the problem would get resolved. Based on other postings I believe the Q-50 problem was ultimately fixed and the manufacturer admitted to problems but who wants to take that chance with the 30-day counter going!

    Is the information provided through "Secrets"-type testing valuable? Absolutely! Is it determinative? NO!
     
  9. Captain chaos

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    Well Gary im not unhappy with the Panasonic, its just that im slightly underwhelmed by the image quality. I went to see a Denon 2900 today, and I took along some of my films, and to be honest, could not see a blind bit of difference in terms of pic quality, I was looking for all the same flaws in the image, and they were all there.
    The image didn't really jump at me and say "hey im £500 better than your player" it just looked the same to be honest.

    In fact, I don't know which player im more disapointed with, the Panasonic because I have it, or the Denon because I was assured the image would be brill, but it wasn't.
     
  10. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    That's very interesting.

    I knew the Pany was a good player, having seen it myself, but didn't realise it was that good!

    What display did they have the Denon feeding?

    Gary.
     
  11. Captain chaos

    Captain chaos
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    It was a DLP projector.
     
  12. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I saw the S75 on my HT1000 DLP pj, and what impressed me was the lack of artefacts and background noise, and the detail it could render. Having had a Toshiba 520 which was also very good, and a Philips 963sa, I can say that on my pj, the S75 was the better of the three. However, the only reason it beat the Tosh was because the 520 had a slight green shift for PAL. Otherwise it was very close.

    If you can get the opertunity to try an HTPC, you will then get an idea of what is possible detail wise. What projector is it you have again? I can't remember, sorry.

    Gary.
     
  13. Captain chaos

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    I have an A300. And I understand I can't do 1:1 pixel mapping as I have been told about 10000 times, but still don't actually understand what it means.
    I may go down the HTPC route, its just that I don't want to have to spend hours and hours fiddling with settings and so on.
    Also, is there a PC bios which fires up within a few seconds, I know this sounds really lazy, but my current PC (this one) takes about a minute to boot up.
     
  14. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I see your point.

    1:1 pixel mapping means that the image resolution that the graphics card can output is identical to the image resolution of the display panel.

    So in my case, I can output a standard monitor resolution of 1024 x 768, and that will perfectly match the 1024 x 768 display (DMD) in my projector. So for each pixel of data sent to the projector, there is a pixel (mirror) to recieve it.

    In your case, you have a non standard display, and IIRC, due to the pjs internals, it won't allow a pixel to pixel rendering of the input, even when using special software designed to generate custom timings and resolutions.

    Maybe a DVD player with dvi or vga out will give you the quality you want, but not sure how even they will look on your projector. Does it rescale all inputs to fit the panel, or will it leave a border of unused pixels?

    Gary.
     
  15. Captain chaos

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    In actual fact Gary, I was not impressed at all with the image quality of the projector in the demo room, the chap said it was a DLP one, and cost £4K. There was some amazing screendoor on the image, and it wasn't bright at all - we were in a pitch black room!
     
  16. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Must have been 800 x 600 or 848 x 480, and you were sitting less than 1.8 times screen width?

    It was possibly a Sim2 H200(DMF?), and wasn't set up properly by the sounds of it - a common error with those models by some accounts.

    What did it look like?

    Gary.
     
  17. jmack

    jmack
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    call the police my threads been kidnapped

    only joking guys :D :D
     
  18. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    oops, sorry jmack, got a bit carried away.... :(

    Cap - take it to pm?

    Gary.
     
  19. jmack

    jmack
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    no worries

    carry on here its quite intresting
     
  20. jmack

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    john dawson if you looking in

    can you tell me what the self test thing is in the menu for?

    cheers
     
  21. cameronl

    cameronl
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    i have a dv88+ and a sim2 DMF and to me the image quality looks amazing - I'm sure it wasnt a DMF as getting one for only 4k new would be a result to begin with.....

    CaM
     
  22. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Hi jmack -

    "self test" is in an engineering menu and is for just that - the microprocessor sends out various comms signals to different parts of the player to see if they respond as expected. If not there's a problem and this tells us where to look. On the DV88/89 family some later parts won't work as they are for the optional PS board. If you ever run this test you must reset the player afterwards by turning it off and then on again 5 secs later with the power switch.

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  23. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Cam,

    I only thought of the Sim2 HT200 because it can be had for around £4000 now, and I've heard a few tales of them appearing dim when not being set up properly.

    I saw a Sim2 HT200DMF at www.projectorsareus.co.uk, and Jeff Paynter had set it up himself (he knows what he's doing) - best image I saw on demo that day, even marginaly better than the NEC HT1000 which I bought in the end (the Sim was more expensive 6months ago).

    I just asumed that for a DLP to have noticable screendoor, it would have to be low res, or too close to the viewer.

    Any ideas what current DLPs would be on dem and cost around £4000?

    Gary.
     
  24. cameronl

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    hi there Garry, perhaps an over priced Sim2 HT200 or an older demo model of a Sim2 HT200DM?

    I guess it depends alot on what DVD player is being used with the projector as well. My old toshiba 210 playing through the sim2 shows a bright and colorful pictuer but the detail is farily poor and shots of the sky looks pretty horrid.

    When using the DV88+ (in progressive with CRT more off) the detail was far better but it also seemed a little darker than the toshiba. Now that I'm using the Sil503 board it has both more detail, procduces faster pans and is lighter. :smoke:

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that my Sim2 (at least for me) requires the right partner (which I now have) to get the most out of it - I could see that giving it the wrong screen or dvd player would make the picture look dark, less detailed etc...

    CaM
     
  25. cameronl

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    btw Garry, I would be interested to know about the different resolutions of the nec ht1000 compared to the Sim2 DMF.

    Seeing as the nec is 1042*768 - did you notice alot more detail with the nec or is this not so relevant when watching dvd's (and playing xbox which is native 800*600).

    sorry for going slightly off topic...

    thanks

    CaM
     
  26. jmack

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    hi john cheers for that i wont be messing in there

    on sat i received a upgrade disk from arcam 4.12.0
    and today i received another disk from arcam 4.12.0

    should i load the todays disk aswell or is this just a spare?

    cheers
     
  27. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Sounds like a spare :)

    Did u get any release notes with it.. I would like to know whats in the latest release - I have not noticed any difference on mine.. but I guess they are under the bonnet updates :)

    Cheers

    Matt
     
  28. jmack

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    no release notes just disk and instructions:)

    matt
    do they do a sortware disk to ad more delay to the audio or am i asking to much?

    week old and very happy with it(stunning in fact)
     
  29. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Not as far as I know.. I think the delay is fixed internally..(not that I have been able to try the Prog scan feature on mine yet..TV does not support it :) )

    Cheers

    Matt
     
  30. siluro

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    Hey James

    Just been catching up on your thread and im glad she went to a good home:smashin:

    And thanks for all the kind words:blush: :cool:

    lee
     

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