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Pioneer 444 or 545 - which?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by bertha, Jan 2, 2002.

  1. bertha

    bertha
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    Happy New Year to all - but not so happy for my Wharfey I bought a cheap n cheerful dvd player untill the DVDA etc..sorted itself out, now it looks like it's going to take a while & I feel an upgrade coming on, me old wharfey has been getting fussy with certain discs and lip synching seems to be a bit iffy..I'm going to get it cleaned..but I'm going to donate it to my kids and get a new toy for me..anyway to cut a long story short can anyone tell me the differences between the Pioneer 545 & 444 it looks more or less like an extra scart socket but is this worth the extra £70..if any users of either of these machines would like to voice an opinion I would be very grateful...thanks all


    Berth
     
  2. Grubert

    Grubert
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    Okay, here goes. The 545 has:

    * 2 SCARTs (one of them only pass-through or composite out)
    * Advanced audio features (hi-bit upsampling, Legato Pro). Perceived only with good audio equipment. Nice if your DVD doubles as a CD player.
    * Vastly superior remote with jog/shuttle and whatnot (it lights!).

    I bought the 545 because of the two last things. Picture and sound quality as a DVD player is exactly the same. Consequently, the 444 is selling like hot cakes, whereas the 545 is not.

    If it had component outs it would be just perfect.

    Regards.
     
  3. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Funnily enough I bought the 545 for the reason that you didn't as I felt that the extra scart socket would make life much simpler with the Digibox routed through the 545 into the RGB socket of the TV.

    It was only a £50 difference when I bought it.
     
  4. Guest

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    I've just ordered myself a 545, as an upgrade for my DV-525

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1316015801

    However, I think it's a bit of bad thinking by Pioneer. Having both the 444S and 545 looking virtually identical. The average joe who just wants a DVD player is obviously going to go for the 444 when they are browsing in Currys....

    It would have been nice if the 545 got a few more features than the 444. I chose the 545 because of the 2 scarts and the remote, but it would have been nice to have a step up in performance from the 444 for my money too.

    I paid £269 for a multi region, RCE compatible, Macro disabled machine from http://www.multiregionmagic.co.uk.

    And as I still have my DV-525 for a few days yet, it will be nice to compare the two players side by side to see how the newer 545 compares to my the 2nd generation 525 when my new player arrives tomorrow.

    Mark
     
  5. bertha

    bertha
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    thanks all - I do listen to a lot of music and the extra scart would be handy I'll sleep on it I think - heard a few good things about multiregion magic so I reckon I'll be getting it from them too..hope you enjoy it Mark when it arrives...

    thanks again


    Berth
     
  6. dbloor

    dbloor
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    I agree with all the above and bought a 444 cos:

    a) I am probably gonna buy a pronto so dont need the remote
    b) my tv has 3 scarts so dont need the pass through
    c) I have a good cd player so dont need that
    d) at 200 quid it is more "disposable" when either DVD-A or SACD takes over

    Just my thoughts, and I used to spend heaps more in the past on hifi (Linn, Naim etc)

    Cheers

    D
     
  7. Guest

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    OK, so my Pioneer 545 arrived this morning...........

    thought I'd tell you what I think. I'm comparing it against a 2 year old R2 Pioneer 525.

    First off, the build quality IMO is not that great. There a plastic feel to it, and I can't decide whether I think it looks really classy or really cheap. Not too sure about the display either. It has dots as opposed to lines and they aren't as bold but that's no major problem. I'm also not too struck on the fascia layout, the buttons look and feel a bit cheap IMO

    The remote Control is excellent and a joy to use. This was important to me as it was a major reason for me upgrading. It feels great in the hand and is a good size. The Jog wheel works great too. It will be a joy not to have to switch the lights on in the room to see what damm button I'm pressing!!!

    Another plus is that during playback the player is virtually silent, in fact it is silent. The 525 was rather noisy

    I was dissapointed to see that the GUI hasn't at all been updated in two years. The on screen menus are excactly the same as my Pioneer 525 and are nothing to write home about. They look rather dated.

    Picture quality is good, however I can't really tell any difference between the two players. The 545 does have alot more picture tweak options which is nice and I was able to achieve a picture more to my liking.

    Haven't really had chance to explore the sound yet though.

    So, was the upgrade worth £280?

    No, the player is great but there isn't a major bump up in performance or features to justify the cash. So really, I paid for a silent transport, a good remote, 2 scart sockets, multi region support and a few picture tweaks. I had to have the upgrade though

    But hey it's still a great player and should tie me over till I can justify a splash out a really high end player.

    Mark
     
  8. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Mine was an upgrade from a four year old Pioneer 606D and I could notice the difference.
     
  9. bertha

    bertha
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    Mark, you don't sound too thrilled with the build quality which is disappointing to hear - the quiet mechanism does sound good though (so to speak) my current machine the old wharfey should hopefully be a more considerable jump in quality than yours & the price is right so hopefully you'll get a couple of years pleasure before moving on..
    thanks again for the feedback


    Berth
     
  10. rbooth

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    Be aware that R1 (60hz) DVDs on the 444/545 when using RGB suffer from banding on some TVs. I have had two 444s with this prob which affects my Loewe TVs. PAL (50hz) is however fine.

    If you have a lot of R1 DVDs and intend to use RGB check player works OK with your TV. Symptoms are apparent in low contrast scenes when banding/artifacts may be apparent. My 525 back to back with the 444 doesn't suffer from this prob. Frustrating as the 444/545 are otherwise excellent players.

    Rob

    (search for pioneer 444 banding on the google groups for further info on this issue)
     
  11. Radiohead

    Radiohead
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    Be aware that the 545 uses a better 54MHz/10-bit Video DAC, rather than the lower spec 27Mhz unit found in the 444.....
     
  12. Grubert

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    Sorry, Radiohead, but I think you're wrong. According to Pioneer Germany, it is the 646 which gets 54 MHz video DAC on its RGB output.

    Regards.
     
  13. Guest

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    http://www.avland.co.uk lists both the 545 and the 444 using a 54MHz/10-bit Video DAC.

    The UK pioneer website also says the 545 and the 444 have a 54MHz/10-bit Video DAC

    mark
     
  14. Guest

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    Just wondering also. I was looking at the remote for the 444 and could not see a "Video adjust" button

    The 545 has one and this opens up various picture tweaking options. Does this mean then that these options are not present on the 444???

    Mark
     
  15. Radiohead

    Radiohead
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    No - I'm right.

    Friend of mine runs a shop and confirms this (as have Pioneer)

    This is, according to Pioneer, the main reason for the price differential
     

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