Pioneer DV696?

schnuffi

Novice Member
Thinking of getting one of these but mainly so I can play Divx, CD-r and DVD-R, etc as my old toshiba won't play anything "unusual". However, I'm also keen to try out DVD-A and SACD. At this stage I'm not interested in HDMI as I have a CRT TV and don't intend changing it until HD gets much more widespread. Would this be a reasonable player to go for and would it do justice to DVD-A/SACD disks? I don't want to be paying lots of dosh.
 

unique

Moderator
if you don't want to pay a lot and you want sacd/dvda then it's probably your best choice. the only other thing in the price range is the samsung hd950. i have both a 950 and 696, which i bought to replace the 950 as it had a few annoying (but not that bad) niggles. the denon 1920 is a lot more money and also has niggles

if you dont need the hdmi you could consider the older 575 pio that you might be able to pick up cheap. plays prettymuch everything the newer model does and you can download hacked firmware that adds loads of hidden features. you might be able to pick one up for about £60 (check richer sounds). the 696 can be had multi region for about £130 delivered. theres a few threads about it that you can find the prices and links
 

schnuffi

Novice Member
Thanks for the very useful reply. I'll look to see if the 575 is available anywhere. I had considered the samsung, I saw the link to play.com for £80 or so then thought about it overnight and then it was back up to £130.
 

schnuffi

Novice Member
unique, sorry to bother you again. I can't find an available 575 but have just seen the samsung 950 for £99. What are the niggles you hint at and would you say the pioneer 696 is worth the £20-30 more for my use which is basically, good SACD/DVDA playback, multi dvd compatibility and most importantly good picture quality for CRT?
 

Barzo

Well-known Member
schnuffi said:
unique, sorry to bother you again. I can't find an available 575 but have just seen the samsung 950 for £99. What are the niggles you hint at and would you say the pioneer 696 is worth the £20-30 more for my use which is basically, good SACD/DVDA playback, multi dvd compatibility and most importantly good picture quality for CRT?
Niggles that bother me as a Samsung owner (although I will soon be upgrading to a Marantz 7600 (on order)):

(i) If using HDMI, annoying message about HDMI audio not supported. This can now easily be fixed by firmware. I know you are talking about CRT pic, but it always pays to be future proofed.
(ii) Manual switching of PAL and NTSC. Player can easily be made multiregion, but it does not have an 'Auto' mode for disc format. This can be a real pain, although, to be fair, it only involves a few button presses.
(iii) No time remaining indication. Sounds minor, but it really gets to me. No way of knowing how much longer the disc goes on for.
(iv) Display light (blue). This seems to be a problems for some people, as there is a bright blue circle of light around the power/standby button which is always illuminated when the player is in standby. I find this quite attractive, but it has driven some people on this forum to distraction.

Hope this helps
 

schnuffi

Novice Member
Thanks everyone. Looks like the Pioneer, just need to find one in black for £120 or less.
 

unique

Moderator
schnuffi said:
unique, sorry to bother you again. I can't find an available 575 but have just seen the samsung 950 for £99. What are the niggles you hint at and would you say the pioneer 696 is worth the £20-30 more for my use which is basically, good SACD/DVDA playback, multi dvd compatibility and most importantly good picture quality for CRT?
if you do a scan on this site for both the 950 and 696 you should find a lot more discussion on them, but here goes...

i got a 950 which comes with hdmi-hdmi and hdmi-dvi cable, made multiregion by easy handset hack. connectiong via hdmi to tv and optical output to the amp, and setting to bitstream out audio means that you get a "hdmi audio not supported" type message that appears on the screen for a few seconds during each title set on the dvd (once the movie is playing, if you don't stop it, it will only show once). this is because hdmi audio wont accept bitstream, and there arent seperate output settings for the digital amp out and the hdmi out (the 696 does tho!). you can turn off the message, but it stops all on screen messages. unfortunately when you turn the machine on and off it loses this

likewise the front display (time etc) is very bright to say the least. again you can turn off, but it loses the settings when you turn the player on/off

and it doesnt auto switch pal/ntsc. no probs if you only play r2 or r1 only discs, but if you have a fair mix, its a pain as you have to turn the dvd player on, switch to pal/ntsc, turn off the warning messages, and turn off the display. which you have to do without a disc in the player and the tray closed, or whilst the disc is properly stopped and not showing a menu

these inconveniences are a bit of a pain in the ass, which many dont like. you can flash the firmware to remove the warning message, but not fix the auto pal/ntsc or front light

lastly, when the machine is off (or in "standby"), there is a blue light around the power button. it looks nice until you turn the lights off in the room and notice its extremely bright. it fills an otherwise pitch black room with light, thus no good in the bedroom, or annoying in some livingrooms

apart from that, the machine functions reasonably well. it wont play VOB files on the disc, but will play divx and mpg. i have a few discs of video clips and had raw vob's which played on an older cheapo player, but not this, which was also a minor niggle, and i found if you have avi files it doesnt like, it sometimes will refuse to play any files on the disc. stick an avi file it doesnt like on a properly authored dvd as part of a spare directory, and it wont play the disc at all. (ie. you take a dixv file, convert to dvd vobs and stick the original file on the same disc if there is spare space - ive done this in the past a few times)

the 696 on the other hand comes in silver and black (the rest of my gear was silver, with the 950 sticking out a bit), and is multiregion delivered for £130 (i got mine from KK electronics - the details are on one of the other threads). no hdmi cable tho, so thats another £10-£20. i used the cable from the 950.

the 696 plays everything the 950 plays, as well as vobs. it has no niggles at all. having a 575 with hacked firmware, i think its only a matter of time until there will be the same for the 696, as the hacked firmware on the 575 allowed long filenames to be displayed properly for mp3/divx etc, as well as the option of having movies start immediately when you put them in, instead of all the guff at the start, and menus etc, as well as other hidden settings.

as you won't be using hdmi, the price difference would be £30 more for the 696 for a delivered MR version (you might get it R2 only for £10 less, but unless you have the remote to MR it, you will need to wait for firmware which may invalidate warranty). i spent £130 on my 950 and a futher £130 on the 696 to replace it (the 950 still works perfectly, its now a bedroom set), so i thought it was worth it, particularly as it matches my pio tv and other av gear, so double bonus

if you think about it this way, spend £30 more and you don't have any annoying little things to worry about

the only downside to the 696 that some people have mentioned is some jaggies in r2 playback material when upscaled. on my 50" tv i can only really notice this if i sit up close (mind i play mostly r1/ntsc which doesnt have this). i don't think you will notice this on the crt however

soundwise, at the price range, i doubt there will be much difference between the two for sacd/dvda. i havent done a side by side comparison tho. as for compatibility, i did find a few discs the 950 wouldnt play, but the 696 did. i've had no problem whatsoever with dvdr's on either machine, whilst some people have reported problems with some sticking on the 950, i think thats bad discs or burning, as my only problems were due to the authoring. the pio's have always been well known for being able to play anything you could throw at em, oh and the 696 plays divx ultra, whatever that is (i think it allows menus), so it is a newer chip

hopefully that helps, but search for what other folks have said here
 

schnuffi

Novice Member
Thanks for the extensive feedback, much appreciated. Looks like the Pioneer is the most stable.
 

bparkes

Standard Member
Ah well, looks like I'll have to pop down to Costco to find out as that would make it worth buying straight away - I'll update this thread if I manage to get there over the weekend!
 

bparkes

Standard Member
Just incase anyone's interested, as above at costco it's a silver 490 that's for sale in Costco for £74.99 + VAT.
 

the filmmaker

Standard Member
I Have spoken to two sales assistant from two different companies and both of them tolled me that Pioneer were replacing the DV-696
 

NX3

Well-known Member
Pioneer as per most brands bring out new models every year and the 696 has been around a while. However that doesn't make it a bad machine, it just means something new is coming, that may or maybe be as good.
 

PhilipL

Well-known Member
Hi

The technology hasn't really changed much and their isn't a lot more the manufacturers can do to improve DVD, hence the move to high definition or sticking upscaling features on them.

I have also heard that Pioneer are not replacing the 696. It is more than likely they will stop making DVD Players all together to concentrate on Blu-Ray. However is the Pioneer 696 actually made by Pioneer? Look at the list of components at the PioneerFAQ website at http://www.pioneerfaq.info/english/dv696.php?player=DV-696AV&question=Chip

None of the system chips are made by Pioneer, and these chips are found in a variety of DVD players cheap and expensive.

Regards

Phil
 

NX3

Well-known Member
The main decoding chip on most brands is brought in from other companies, they all do it. Zoran, Sigma, SunTech, Mediatek are the most command chips used today used by Toshina, JVC, Pioneer etc... I wouldn't worry about. Ford cars don't always use ford engines, Toyata do deals with GM on certain models and so on. I've got a Western Digital hard drive with chips on it from motorola, samsung and TMC. Its what any cost effective business does... even Sony, Mercedes, Porche etc..
 

Greg Mandel

Active Member
I would not be at all surprised to see Pioneer just "reissue" the 696. They stopped investing in DVD, and are just waiting for HD/Blu-ray to take off. Indeed, part of the licensing agreement for next gen players is that companies have to stop making DVD players in the next couple of years.

The fact that PS3 was late, and customers are staying away until the format war gets settled just means that instead of the 696 being the last of it's generation, Pioneer have had to reissue it for marketing purposes, but really it's just a stopgap until HD/Blu-ray.
 

gixxerman

Novice Member
Thanks everyone. Looks like the Pioneer, just need to find one in black for £120 or less.
- I got mine from Amazon UK (delivered) in black for £119.

It's a little stylish beauty. I'm very very happy with it.

I updated the firmware to the v3.01 update found at Pioneerfaq - which was very very easy, once I renamed the .bin file to .BIN - d'oh :rolleyes: - and it is now multi-region just by pressing a button. Result.
(Amazon do not supply multi-region version of this player but like I said making it multi-region could not have been easier).

I use loads of Xvid & Divx files and I find this player fantastic, it never has turned it's nose up at anything I've tried in it - save for once when it decided a file was the wrong resolution and beyond SD DVD (it wasn't & I never did get to the bottom of why it did that).

It's like night and day compared to my old Toshiba SD 350e - which wasn't that bad - but the Pioneer is a miles better machine.
 

OneManArmy

Novice Member
I Have spoken to two sales assistant from two different companies and both of them tolled me that Pioneer were replacing the DV-696
Do you have any info as to when in April are they going to do that? I want to get the 696, but if a new model is coming out I wouldn't mind waiting for a week or so.
 
E

ellebubi

Guest
Thinking of getting one of these but mainly so I can play Divx, CD-r and DVD-R, etc as my old toshiba won't play anything "unusual". However, I'm also keen to try out DVD-A and SACD. At this stage I'm not interested in HDMI as I have a CRT TV and don't intend changing it until HD gets much more widespread. Would this be a reasonable player to go for and would it do justice to DVD-A/SACD disks? I don't want to be paying lots of dosh.

Hello everybody (this is my first post :) ),
I am also interested in buying a 696 since I read What Video's very favourable review.

I own a Sony KLV27HR3 TV with no HDMI connection and look for a replacement to my old Sony NS405.
I think I will switch to a HDMI capable TV in 2-3 years' time, and I considered the option of buying now something cheaper than the Pioneer, without HDMI connection. By the way, in 2-3 years prices will decrease and I could surely buy something better at a lower figure.

Nevertheless, without taking into account the HDMI question, is the 696 still a valuable option for its price? I mean, is it so better in RGB and audio output than lower price models?
If the Pioneer is so good in 'standard' AV quality, without considering HDMI, I will buy it. When I will be ready to buy a HDMI TV, I will also have an already compatible player.

thank you

PS - Can't find any available DV575 anymore, in this part of Italy.
 

J80FAB

Novice Member
I need to take back a naff Tevion 8000 DVD player back Aldi which I bought in September, have hardly used it that much & it's started playing up by not wanting to recognise some discs or skips.

Anyway have had a look at this Pioneer & thought it might be a good option.

It claims to have 'audio delay' in the specifications.

I've looked here, in the instruction manual, on the pioneerfaq website and can't seem to find anything about this feature :confused:

It would be useful to have this as my amp doesn't have it & it may prove to be useful when it comes to upgrading to a flat panel TV.

Can anyone please elaborate ? :lease:
 

NX3

Well-known Member
ellebui, the 696 is a great player. It has its own proper thread at :

http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=365162&page=44

its long ! There were a few issues but the latest firmware has fixed those. I'd recommend it, its not fussy about discs like some brands, has a great picture, upscaling is pretty good and its good with divx and xvid in my experience.

The 696 is better than the 490 as the lesser models from pioneer sugger from jaggies. The 696 uses a different chipset and doesn't appear to suffer with this. The details are in the main 696 thread if you want more info.
 
E

ellebubi

Guest
Nx3,
I think all of you techies have convinced me!
After all, I have always thought that good products I buy for good prices remain good with the passing of time.
 

unique

Moderator
I need to take back a naff Tevion 8000 DVD player back Aldi which I bought in September, have hardly used it that much & it's started playing up by not wanting to recognise some discs or skips.

Anyway have had a look at this Pioneer & thought it might be a good option.

It claims to have 'audio delay' in the specifications.

I've looked here, in the instruction manual, on the pioneerfaq website and can't seem to find anything about this feature :confused:

It would be useful to have this as my amp doesn't have it & it may prove to be useful when it comes to upgrading to a flat panel TV.

Can anyone please elaborate ? :lease:
no audio delay on the 696. i've not had any problems with mine on my pio plasma, so you shouldn't really need the audio delay

the denon 1930, a better player but twice the price, has reported audio synch problems, thus an amp with delay is suggested, but you shouldn't have a problem with the 696. i think it's amps that normally have the delay, rather than the player
 

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