Progressive DVD player for Panasonic PD30


Standard Member
My Philips 963 SA DVD player has started to fail to play DVDs, after about 1/2 hour of playing the DVD starts to stutter and then stall (could be heat related).

I have been very happy with this combination for a few years, and I thought the picture quality of the 963 SA was excellent. I have lost touch with the latest DVD hardware so I am looking for some advice on which player to buy next.

I am looking at £200 maximum, I don't really care too much about sound, HD, upscaling etc just want something with a good picture on the PD30 using component.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance


Standard Member
I reckon it boils down to a choice between

Pioneer 575
Panasonic S97/S49
Denon 1920

I guess these are all pretty good DVD players, and there may be a lot of difference between them, which one do you reckon would give the best APL progressive pictures on a Panny PD30?


Standard Member
Although the Philips DVD 963SA is rather old now it does have a 13 bit video DAC and DCDi etc.

Phillips DVD 963 SA: 13 bit 108 Mhz
Pioneer 757: 12 bit 108 Mhz
Denon 1920: 11 bit 216 Mhz (DCDi FLI-2301)
Panasonic S49: 12 bit 108 Mhz

The Denon seems to have a double frequency video DAC but only 11 bits per sample. A guess there will be lots of other factors which determine the final image quality?


Established Member

First off, I can not comment on either Phillips DVD 963 SA, the Denon 1920 or the Panasonic S49 so this may or may not be of any help.

What I can do is tell you that I have a Panny 32PD50 which I have been using in conjunction with a Denon 2900 via s-vid interlaced and then using the TV's 75/833i (for most viewing). Result is an excellent picture.

I have also used the 2900 using component progressive. Again with excellent results. I would also say that the difference between the two above bearing in mind the TV size and my seating distance is minimal. All this I know you are not that interested in I know.

The bit that may be of interest for you is that I have recently bought a Pioneer 575 which I have been testing on using the same cables and set-up as stated above and I have to say that I am very happy with the results. The picture again is excellent.

What you have to remember though is the price difference between the two units here, say some £500. The picture from the 575 is superb, however the picture from the 2900 is better. But I can honestly say I can not see £500 worth of better.

As a comparison the 2900 has a softer more 3D quality to it the gives it a more cinematic feel, the 575 has a sharp image which has great detail but is somehow 'flatter' (can't really describe it sorry).

The biggest difference between the two units (although the sound from both differ's) is the build quality. The 2900 has a sturdy metal tank like build, the 575 has a naff plasticy feel which can also be slightly noisy in comparison when in use. In this respect you get what you pay for.

Also done some testing with a Panny DVDS27 though scart connection but as it was Prog Scan info you were after will skip that and get to the point.

In short the £100 I have just spent on the 575 was a steal, this works really well with my set-up and though I favour the 2900 (only just) I can honestly recommend that you put this at the top of audition list and give it serious consideration before your purchase.

575 Still in use at the moment as it is my new toy.

Can put the extra £100 you have budgeted for towards a high-def unit when they eventually appear :) .

Hope this is of use.



Standard Member
Thanks for the reply eatstatic

Its good to know the Pioneer 757 works well on the PD50 (I have a PD30 and have had no problems with it). People have said that the Phillips DVD963SA picture compares well to the Denon 2900 even although it was 1/3 of the price, the same may apply to the Pioneer 757. Out of interest why do you use S-Video to watch DVDs? I always watch DVDs on component progressive scan. I have to say the I like the sound of the 2900 as well, since it seems to give extra depth to the picture.

My wife didn't like the 963SA, she said it was too noisy and it spoilt here enjoyment of the DVDs (the volume is normally turned down quite low), how does the 757 fare on the noise front?

As far as the component cables go I have the Scorpion cables from the chap people recommend on the forum (Mark Grant?).


Established Member

First off the reason I have a player hooked up through s-vid is that so I can access the on screen menus from my amp as this allows me more flexibility.

This not possible which using the component cable. Also the component cable (belden - Mark Grant) as a rule are hooked up to my projector so the the TV is fed an interlaced signal via s-vid and the projector is fed a progressive image via the component. I use the Projector for most film vewing.

As mentioned before I have not really seen much difference to be honest between switching from s-vid to prog scan on the TV when using the Denon especially when using the TV's Pixel enhanced Pixel Mode (although this does not suit all types of viewing, it pretty good for most).
Through the Pioneer 575 it is a bigger difference though but still not that noticeable.

Other reasons for purchasing the Denon 2900 and Pioneer 575 are for the ability to play DVD-Audio & SACD. But the main reason for the purchase apart from the performance of course was for the lack of any Layer change as this has always been a real bug bear of mine. With the Denon there is an 8meg buffer which deals with the issue, with the pioneer it is just mega fast and as yet I have not seen one.

As for the noise from the 575 it is distracting while loading but I hav't noticed it while watching anything. Live in a terraced house so can't always play at a volume I would really like to.

Again hope this if of use.



Standard Member
I ended up getting a Pio 575 from Richer Sounds.

I have calibrated with DVE and the picture is fairly good using progressive scan to the Panasonic PD30.

Are there any tweaks that can be made to the Pio 575 for the best picture with my setup? all I have done so far is to enable progressive scan and increase the sharpness to fine.

It is difficult to compare the Philips 963 and Pio 575 picture quality objectively since I can't see them side to side. I guess I just need to watch more DVDs, it would be fair to say that there is not a lot between these players.

The Pio 575 has more responsive menus and is also quieter.

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