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Pioneer hdmi worth it?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by patmyhead, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. patmyhead

    patmyhead
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    Hi
    The HDMI cable that is the new kid on the block ,I read that some guys are upgradeing??? to the HDMI DVD players from pioneer
    I was wondering after watching the same film on my Arcam then on the panny HS2 the difference was quite marked the arcam was far far better on vison & on audio the arcam blew the panny away
    my point is as the new pioneer dvd's are surposed to be mid range players if this HDMI interface is as good as they say & i couldent see that much difference between component input & HDMI at the manchester show
    Would a quality player like Arcam etc match or beat the pioneers on video? I would think that on sound the Arcam would run away with the Gold medal
    OR have i got the wrong end of the stick
    P@T
     
  2. lumpsucker

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    P@T

    I dunno about the arcam but I am upgrading from the Panny HS2 which I will retain as an editing / recording device. So given that I have just got my 504 the 868 would seem like the best bet. I should have it in the next week or 2 so as long as it is an improvement on the HS2 then I guess I'll be happy.

    I should say that I think the recording quality of the HS2 is fantastic, but agree that RGB DVD output is limiting.

    Cheers

    Simon
     
  3. patmyhead

    patmyhead
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    what i am more concerned about is the sound quality will the pioneer players give out sound to match the picture ,as to me the sound is as important as the picture
    P@T
     
  4. Phil_Yeoman

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    I wouldn't say that £825 represents a mid range player. The pioneer, from what I have read is a little limited on component but shines on HDMI its sound capabilities are on par with other simarly priced players.

    As is the norm the sound will definitly have an "eastern push" and will be less smooth than some european players. Having said that the big pioneer are now leading the pack in terms of sound quality and I am sure that a well setup 868 will not disgrace the family name

    Phil
     
  5. chez

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    I have the same concerns - I've gota Meridian 596 DVD Player and am considering the 434, at which point I'd consider getting an 868, but although the PQ may be better due to HDMI, I'm worried whether the audio will be a let down?
     
  6. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I would leave HDMI another year, might even get a decent multi channel audio working by then, at the moment it is all just too early :)
     
  7. gandley

    gandley
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    the big pioneer is definately not leading the pack. ok my ax10 is superb but with the 868 the performce sonicly was lacking. even via i-link it wasnt up to scratch. the 900e walks all over it and that can be had for £499. also the 2900 through my amp was quit away ahead of the 868i and dont get me started with the A11(but that is twice the cost).

    i would only buy yhe 868i if u plan to buy a pioneer plasma or a sony HDMI PJ.

    the pic via HDMI isnt bad . though the deinterlacing still isnt up to scratch but a bit better than old pio dvd players.

    my 9500e on the pioneer 434 gave a slightly better pic than the 868i via HDMI. but the tosh costs £1400 so the pio puts up a reasonable fight. However the A11 is a league above the 9500e and also has dvi out.

    so sonicly the pioneer is in the same league as pioneers cd players. cheap and nasty but fine if u like dance music.
     
  8. gandley

    gandley
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    there is alot hype surrounding HDMI and DVI, lets face it dvd player sales are slowing down. HDDVD isnt quite ready so there needed to be a big push to get dvd player sales moving again.
    enter HDMI/DVI. Also this gets the tech out for testing and fully ready for HDDVD which will take true advantage of this connection type.

    and yes HDMI isnt a huge leap forward today. my mate who owns the 434, 868i combo luvs the plasma but is disapointed with the dvd player, he expected more.

    there realy isnt that much difference between a hdmi deck and a deck feeding component of the same price point. Not as much diff as people want us to think.

    well at least i have a buyer for my toshiba deck
     
  9. Phil_Yeoman

    Phil_Yeoman
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    gandley

    I try and be objective when I review a product and you have to conceed that any product that includes a new widgit will have a premium attached to it. On the other hand we can all pick the best bits from other products and compare them the reviewed item.

    What we are talking here is essentailly at present a unique product and this makes comparaitve review a little difficult.

    I my humble opinion their is no AV setup of any price that is not made to look like a transistor radio by a well setup dedicated music system. If we are talking sonic performance outside that of movie sountracks then the A11 is absolutly trounced by CD players costing a quarter its price. This does not detract from the A11 being a great DVD player.

    The 868 is no levinson but it does provide a very good first step into an all digital transport as such it it is woth the asking price.

    As a player for the HDMI challenged system it can be bettered

    Phil
     
  10. gandley

    gandley
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    but its not unique. dvi is hdmi without the audio. there are quite a few dvd players with dvi out. DVI/HDMI is the same quality.

    and it depends if your after a complete package. if pic is fantastic and sound is awfull this detracts from the viewing experience.

    but why would i play a cd on it and your wrong the A11 isnt just a dvd player. its a sacd player as well and dam fine it is to. look to the usa threads to see many compare it more favourable to there high end dedicated sacd decks.

    so next time do your homework first
     
  11. Arsenal

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    I've found a sure fire way to make sure you're not upset when your 868 arrives.. go back to watching dvd's on your ps2!! I've been doing this the last couple of nights as i already got rid of my old dvd player, and though its better than i had expected (with component and optical out), i think any dvd player over about £80 would seem like a wonderful upgrade from here! ;)
     
  12. ancientgeek

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    Gandley

    Pioneer 868 audio quality "cheap and nasty but fine if u like dance music."

    How do you account for your perception that the 868 is of poor audio quality, given that, using i-link (as you did) the player has zero responsibility for the sound; the exact bitstream from the disc is presented to the AV amp, and jitter from the player (the only variable component of the bitstream) is eliminated using the rate control and re-clocking?

    As far as I can see, any i-link connected player cannot help producing identical sound with the same AV processor/speaker/room setup, whether the player costs £50 or £50k.

    Therefore your criticism must be of the AX10 D to A conversion, not of the 868.
     
  13. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    so all i link players are identical?
     
  14. Phil_Yeoman

    Phil_Yeoman
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    Ooh we don't like our baby critised do we :nono:

    Try remebering that when you talk about others kit

    Let me tell you about my homework.

    I effectivly own 3 separtate AV setups and two music only setups. These range in cost from around £800 for the bedroom AV up to £70,000 for the HC. My Music only systems are £2000 and £15,000 respectivly.

    Now from this you could get the impression I kinda take all the AV/HiFi quite serious. You would be right I will at any one time be in the process of upgrading at least one component from one of the systems, a process that involves me auditioning prospective replacements in my own setup for at least a period of one week.

    Over the years I have managed to isolate each setup and not to compare products from different price points. I make my decissions based on my own feelings about a product coupled with price and a little must have thrown in. I use the forums to help me make up shortlists of units to audition and to highlight any functional problems that may exist with the product.

    I have auditioned the A11 in my AX10i setup and for movies it performed very well. The sound on movies was also very good. where i beg to differ is on its abilities as a musical source. When compared to my Roksan Kandy KC-1 player that cost around £900 less it was left wanting, sounding flat in the midrange and decidely fat with the low. Yes the a11 play every disc you can throw at it but my collection consists of only 30 or so mutlichannel music discs compared to around 1200 standard CD's (I actually prefer the latter).

    As I have said before, your paying the money and its your eyes and ears its got to please. In this hobby their are no absolutes and one mans "crap" is anothers "pride and joy". An lets face it none likes their pride and joy slagged off.

    Phil
     
  15. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Edit:- i was writing my reply whilst the above poster was doing his, so i am not ganging up!-:End of Edit!


    I have to step in here!

    I have read countless 868i threads in which people including gandley have bashed the 868i.
    Not not meaning to just knock gandley by the way, it's just a lot of these comments happen to have come from him.:rolleyes:
    Why are some people so against this player?
    Is it due to it having HDMI, and the fact that people are quite "wrongly" assuming it instantly means it will be better because of it?
    So it's bugging people who know better, when somebody says they will buy it just because it's got HDMI etc?
    I know HDMI/DVI doesn't mean better, just as iLink doean't mean better.
    It is always "how" it is done that counts.

    But...

    I have bitten my lip countless times reading these threads, out of respect for gandley he has at least compared it side by side with the 2900/9500/900e etc.
    However...
    Using the Pioneer plasma is not a good idea when trying to compare video quality. As it may look better with certain DVD players than others. ie one brand may just suit it's quirks better.
    The H56 has been mentioned as a test source, but cannot handle DVI HDCP(or was it just PAL PS?) as far as i understand?, not giving the 868i chance to show it HDMI/DVI output.

    How can you rate the denon A11 based on other peoples reviews, even going as far as comparing it to other denon DVD players without even setting eyes on one?

    Comments like Pioneers are fit for "dance music" only, doesn't give me the impression of somebody who is very subjective, just malicious.

    The 868i works very well with the AX5i amp via iLink when playing SACDs, due to the AX5is DSD chipset. Unlike the AX10i(doesn't have DSD), SACD doesn't have to be down converted to PCM before processing. The AX5is DSD chipset allows full resolution SACD sound.
    Yet using a high quility SACD player via analogue still might sound better through the AX10i due to it's higher spec etc.
    It comes down to how much you want to spend!

    I am the first to admit i'm no audiophile, yet i do at least think i know quality sound when i hear it.
    Maybe the 868i/AX5i isn't "Sugden" quality, but it isn't meant to be.
    It's a jack of all trades, master on none.
    I was truely amazed at the quality of CD/SACD playback from this DVD player via iLink.
    Yet gandley rates it as dance music only quality?
    Will the A11 sound better?
    I would hope so at nearly twice the price!
    Yet a sub £1000 (maybe a lot less) CD player would beat them both...

    I would be interested in the A11 myself, as i believe it would be a step up from the 868i.
    But i'm very happy with the 868i, so don't see the need to change etc.
    HDMI gives me the option of digital interlaced ouput(480i/576i), which can be fed to a high quality de-interlacer/scaler.
    DVI is progressive only which restricts the output to PJ only.(could still be scaled though, but not much point)
    I imagine the DVI progressive from the A11 will be very special though, so unless you need a scaler for other things like i do, connecting straight to the PJ might be best.

    As for the continual comments on the component output to be "poor".
    Rather than just come on here and agree/disagree. I have spent the last week finding some answers!
    The 868i passed all the video tests from AVIA, without throwing up anything that i can think gandley doesn't like about the 868i.
    I have to agree, there IS a difference between interlaced and progressive from the 868i.
    Not that you would be able to spot them whilst watching anything.
    Interlaced can slightly be affected by the length of component leads.
    ie chroma delay can be spot on with a 1m lead, but be out by .07 with a 10m lead.
    Progressive, tightens the complete chroma channel and gets rid of any delay.
    As i have mentioned before, the Pioneer has a wealth of picture adjustments available to fine tune it to your needs.(inc chroma delay)
    I do wonder if people are mistaking it's clean (almost clinical) picture for lacking "ommph".
    Detail levels are very fine indeed.
    One area the 868i(most Pioneers) is poor, is de-interlacing.
    Totally agree with gandley on this one.
    On close examination, the denons would walk all over the 868i.
    I know what to look for with bad de-interlacing/scaling. Yet once i was seated at a normal viewing distance. The Pioneers de-interlacing just wasn't a problem with most scenes.

    A real world problem effecting any DVD player is postering or graduations on any colour transistions.
    The Pioneer is one of the best i have seen in this respect.
    A blue sky for example has lots of subtle shades of blue/white.
    Or a sunset has oranges/browns/blacks.
    All these transistions between hues should be smooth and realistc with no visable steps.
    The Pioneer is capable of doing this smoothly. Not many other players i have seen are.
    The only time i has seen gradution steps, is if they are in the source.
    So i would describe the Pioneers component output as very good.
    It's just that the denons may be better!

    Ps
    gandley, please don't take it too personally. But you have been a little strong in your constant trashing of the 868i both here and on AVS. I just thought it only fair to give another persons perspective!
    You can fall out with me if you like, but you are putting people off from buying one, as they assume you are some great authority! :D
     
  16. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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  17. gandley

    gandley
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    LOL i am a:devil:

    first sorry phil yeoman. i did bite a bit on my reply thread it was 1 30 in the morning and i was amending a drawing a fine work m8 manage to mess up. so was a bit stressed.

    as my opinion goes on the 868i thats the way i see it. i dont see how u can say a comparison on the 434 insnt good enough.

    i have owned the 717, 737, 747 pioneer dvd players and used to think they were the be and end all as all the mag reviews raved about them.
    then my eyes were opened by a friend who bought an 900e.
    this showed the light soud of the pioneers.

    I never play a cd on any dvd player. Ihave a high end NAD system for that.

    in my first post i didnt compare the A11 to the 868i as that is quite unfair. Also the A11 isnt perfect an does have a couple of niggles that need to be ironed out by firmware

    no offence taken fulabeer, thats what forums are for. if we all agreed what would be the point of a forum. isit not to get a feel for products based on peoples opinion.

    BUT like anything Demo first. just coz i think somthing is tat dosent mean someone else will and if you read correct you would see i advised the chap to buy the 868i. as for his setup its the best option.

    but personaly i think the 868i should of been better. but compromise my feelings as it is cheap at £780. cant have cake and eat it.

    and the divy who thinks all ilinks are created equal, funny, very funny
    ilink is just an information transport. garbage in garbage out

    fulabeer i was in usa, portland just over a month ago and spent some time with the 5900 as my relatives there have one and those very tasty zenith plasmas. so my opion was not based on others thoughts but what my own i eyes saw. they previously owed a pioneer elite player. Nice in black

    oh and the dance music handle is quite valid, it does do dance music quite well, sounded very much like the pioneer car cd player i had. just it failed to convey anthing else too well.

    and how the hell did you get your marantz pj so quickly ***

    I think i need to learn to be more tactfull. i see it, i say it.
    would be lousy at politics lol
     
  18. Arsenal

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    So can i ask what is there in a similar price bracket (within £200) to the 868 that offers better picture and/or audio.. cos although you say you aren't comparing it to the A11, you don't seem to be comparing it to anything similar to it?
     
  19. gandley

    gandley
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    you obviouly didnt read all threads then. look again. did i say he could get better pic Quality at his price point?
    did i advise him to buy the 868i?

    i think youll find all i said is the sound quality wasnt quite there. but that the pic was comparable to my £1400 9500e when used via hdmi on the 434.

    christ if u guys read properly it would save a hell of alot of server space:laugh:
     
  20. Phil_Yeoman

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    Gandley, remember to take your pills :smashin:

    In regards to a comparable player that does have better picture and sound and also falls around the same money you could take a look at the Marantz DV8400. Costs around a grand and has a very good chassis.

    Phil
     
  21. gandley

    gandley
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    Must enhance my calm.

    no not the 8400 (shakes head) which cost £1000- £1300 depending where u look
     
  22. Arsenal

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    You've got me wrong there gandley, i respect your opinion (as you may have noticed in your threads on the A11, i'm drooling over it purely based on your say so!).. I just couldn't see the point in pointing out the bad points in a player when the only other players discussed come in at about twice the price, we need a comparable price/performance alternative or two!

    Cheers Phil thats what i was looking for, I will take a look but in all honesty i expect the 868 to be perfect for my little setup.. though it should be of use to others in a similar boat.
     
  23. gandley

    gandley
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    ok see what your saying. and i think this is where the confusion is stemming. i dont look at price i look at what i get and if its cheap then thats a bounus.

    so what i should of said is at £780 via HDMI and a pioneer plasma, better cant be had for that price for PQ with 868i. i still dont like the sound but even then if you havent heard better you wont compare right.
    this is y advised to get it. just my wording may have been screwy or deemed malicaus(its a dvd player, not ya momma)
     
  24. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Fair points gandley:smashin:

    You are sounding more reasonable by the minute:D

    Sound And Vision managed to secure my S3.
    As far as i can tell, there are two in the country.
    I have one, Greg Snow has the other.
    Next shipment is due January.

    I have spent yesterday and today taking some screen shots which i will post on my website, as soon as i get them back from Max Spielmanns. (being put straight to CDRom)

    Although you may be disappointed to learn, that the images are from the Pioneers poor component output!
    I have got an 10m HDMI to DVI on order, but i am being messed around about it being delivered.(not S&Vs fault but the marantz rep)
    So if you are right, the screenshots won't be showing the S3 to it's full potential!
    Although, i would defy anybody to point out ANY defects in the images i was trying to recapture.
    I say try, because anybody who attempts screenshots knows. Getting what you are seeing onto film is near impossible, but i like to keep trying!
    The reason it has taken me so long to complete these images, is due to the immense picture quality from the S3/Pioneer combo.
    I keep watching the films, instead of taking pictures.
    I'm continuely awed by the detail, and clarity on offer. Made worse by the fact that i know will be even clearer when hooked up via HDMI/DVI.

    Not to upset CRT owners, but i feel i've gone from video images with my Barco808s to film with the S3.
    But i still maintain a proper filtered 1209s or above will still beat the S3 hands down in overall picture quality.
    But i would say it would take a Cine9(MaXX), to beat it's clarity/sharpness.

    gandley, i guarantee you will love the S3!

    But be careful in your selection of material, as this is the most revealing "digital" projector i have ever seen.

    You will find scenes take on a new feel, as things never seen before become apparent.
    ie how dirty most props are, and background detail once smudged, suddenly become visable.
    Textures become razor sharp, giving the scene more 3D depth.

    I feel some work will be needed setting a full grey scale track. Avia grey scale steps does show some very slight colouration in some steps.
    I haven't run the self calibrater yet, so will be interesting to see if it sorts this or not!

    I would have used my HTPC for the screenshots, using TheatreTek via DVI.
    But believe it or not, i feel the Pioneers component is actually better.
    Maybe not quite as detailed, but i'm having trouble with postering/Mpeg artifacts with TT.(Via DVI)
    This may just be a driver/filter issue, so i will ask Jeff for some advice.

    Will post back once the screenshots are uploaded...:smashin:
     
  25. gandley

    gandley
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    fulabeer,

    that sounds great. i reckin the 10bit processing of the PJ coupled with its faroudja stuff are doin the trick. and the chroma filter definately helps with colours, stopbanding etc..

    Just hope i got time to watch al this stuff as im realy getting hooked on UT2003 online at mo. funniest thing ive played in ages
     
  26. gandley

    gandley
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    Must enhance my calm.

    no not the 8400 (shakes head) which cost £1000- £1300 depending where u look

    The DV-8400 is Marantz's newest universal player. It begins life as an OEM’d Pioneer kit, although the audio stage is entirely new. The player suffers from many of the same problems associated with Pioneer's previous units. Even the DVI-out has the chroma upsampling problem, but I was not able to test it since the port was not active when I had the player. The audio stage of this player is excellent though, but it lacks a little in the setup and bass management areas
     

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