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Sony DVP NS955V Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by flynnstudio, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. flynnstudio

    flynnstudio
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    Thought I'd just post this capsule review of the Sony DVPNS955V since I couldn't find a 'real world' review when I was looking for a new DVD player and I can't afford to spend £5K to replace my current setup...Personally oscilloscope reviews do little for me and the confusion in choice was driving me bonkers. I'm just a movie buff on a reasonably limited budget and I just wanted great cinematic involving but FLAWLESS experience. I hate nasties, hums, jaggies, motion strobes - anything distracting and I couldn't seem to find anything that didn't show or list certain flaws. Well, I jumped in and chose what I consider the best 'non-DVI' player available (for my budget). Sony's QS range NS955V. I'm very glad I did.

    Here's the capsule review

    I have just upgraded from a Panasonic DMR-E50 which I felt was 'ok' via s-video but as I say not a patch on the scart -> TV connection. The panny created noticeable jaggies and strobed motion on the HS1. It was a bit 'wooly'.

    Picture - I'm using component connection to a Cineza VPL HS1 projector which has a native 800x600 triple LCD 4:3 panel system. Previously from my panasonic via S-video it was never what I'd call hot - I always 'knew' that the TV had better clarity of image but that this was 'big!! - not anymore!!!
    The HS1 now reports 576/50P as the connection with PAL DVD's.
    I had to set the NS955 to 16:9 and let the Cineza deal with the wide-screen processing between 4:3 and 16:9. Set like this its perfect - the right ratio regardless of 4:3 or 16:9 from source needing no compression.
    I'm using the 955 on Cinema 1 setting and the HS1 on defaults with all processing off. For HS1 users my contrast is at 80 and everything else is at 50 (for the first time!!). Colour Temp is High.
    I'm projecting an approx 2Mtr X 1.5mtr screen image from about 6Mtrs.
    BTW - The HS1 does need PITCH BLACK at 50 brightness but this ain't for watching daytime TV now is it!!

    The difference between the old and the new is stunning. It was the hardest thing for me to perceive when people described the picture quality but once you see its just wonderous - here are the key differences ;

    1: Ultra-smooth motion. It's like the frame rate is so smooth and fine that the motion just glides. Somehow you can 'take more in' - there appears to be more dignity in the image - if thats not a weird way of defining it. No strobing of jerkiness. Fluid.
    2: Blacker blacks, starker tighter tones and contrasts. Colour, brightness and contrast are more cinematic - subtle yet strong and balanced but the image is definitely smooth rather than soft, or fuzzy or sharp and brittle. I don't like oversaturated nasty blurring colors or razor sharpness with slicing edges. This is natural. The skin tones on the faces in Once upon a Time in the west are so natural you can almost see the dirt in their pores! The occasional wierd 'nasty black' patches have gone!
    3: Resolution - The image is significantly tighter on most dvd's, on some DVD's it's just unbelievably better. The 'bounty hunter' chase sequence in Star Wars clone wars now has so much depth of field, so much clarity that it's like watching a different film - Its now really engrossing!!. There is no 'surface shifting' that I have noticed on other screens and players. It's a tight solid image. The scrolling text on the opening of Star Wars was a revelation. so tight, solid, and crystal clear.

    Again cinematic. No jaggies, no hash or chroma buzz. 'wooly' no more!!

    Somehow everything seems less 'digital' if you take my meaning.

    If I had to use two words I'd just say 'SMOOTH' and 'CINEMATIC'

    The progressive scan DVP and HS1 combo is working perfectly and now makes the freeview receiver on my JVC 32' CRT TV look really rather nasty in comparison. The TV is NOW the second rate viewing experience !!

    Sound Quality - Using optical into a Yamaha 5.1 system with active sub and full size centre and rears

    First thing - the sub is set to -5db by default - you need to zero db this otherwise you loose the point of the sub. It's tucked away deep in one of the audio menus - make sure you don't forget to set it!!This could be the source of some accusations that the sony is weak in bass - no way!!It's got a seriously warm bottom end - far more powerful than the panny was putting out..
    I can seriously put that myth to rest. This is competent across the entire frequency range. This thing has crystal smooth highs, a nice balanced seamless mid and bass, and sub which actually vibrates the furniture.

    Back to Star Wars in the 'bounty hunter' chase sequence when the speeders pass by you can litterally feel a subsonic sound strobe of individual vibrated pitches pass through you and the couch, and even the floor - but it's never boomy or droning. It never swamps the room - it's a very tight powerful and punchy bottom end but fat with it. The highs are sharp and smooth. It's got a great sound. Very vibrant but real.
    Separation and timing is faultless.
    The engine whine of McQueens Porsche in Le Mans now really screams and starts to howl and grind in a way I'd never noticed before...It just draws you in...

    Build Quality : great remote, funny little thing but it works, nice velvety smooth tray glides silently. No player noise. Haven't noticed any layer change yet either! Looks superb.

    It multi-regions perfectly and NTSC is just seamless and always perfect on the screen.

    All I can say is it's a fantastic piece of kit. Anyone with an 800*600 res projector who just wants to plug in, do a bit of menu tweaking to pair it up correctly with your setup and get a fantastic cinematic enveloping and gripping experience then just make sure you at least try this one. As it is I've got 80% of the HDTV experience for £230 delivered (from superfi)- the DTV of HDTV via progressive component is going to do me just fine for now!!

    I'll happily wait until HDDVD and HD Projectors are sorted out and at least second maybe even third generation, and half their current prices.

    There you go - I hope this helps someone!!

    Cheers,

    Chris.
     
  2. andya

    andya
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    thanks for that review i think i will get one of these myself
     
  3. flynnstudio

    flynnstudio
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    Excellent. Let me know how you get on...you won't be dissapointed...plus superfi have a 7 day return policy so you rally can't lose!.
    I'm going to order Dark Side of the Moon on SACD to see waht all the fuss is about...I'll post back when I know..always been a bit reluctant because it's so good already in vanilla stereo - almost worried about 'locking myself' down to only being able to listen to it on the SACD!!..but one just has to try these things!!!
     
  4. BillSykes

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    Just thought I would add my wholehearted praise for the NS955 too.

    I've had this for about 6 months now and am constantly impressed by the stunning picture quality and sound (coaxial :dts: :cool: ). I have recently purchased a 32" LCD (Philips PF9986) and (despite an annoying connection adaptor blunder by Philips) have fed the NS955 through progressive to the screen.

    It is simply wonderful to watch :eek: .

    Although I have found that the Progressive Auto function can be distracting as it occassionaly tries to change format.

    Other than that niggle I am a very happy punter :smoke: .
     
  5. poggs

    poggs
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    HAve any of you guys managed to get it to play Xvid yet?
     
  6. GFS AV

    GFS AV
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    whats the PQ like through RGB scart??
     
  7. Phill_1981

    Phill_1981
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    I haven't :(
     
  8. Phill_1981

    Phill_1981
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    Very good, this is how I have it connected to my Philips 32PF9986 LCD :thumbsup:
     
  9. Brolac

    Brolac
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    It's available for £214 delivered from Crystaltec though don't know what they're like,anyone?

    b
     
  10. Jez

    Jez
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    I am looking into getting one of these multi-region flynn is yours multi-region?

    Bit worrid it might not play everything i throw at it like my old S735D?

    All regions RCE?????

    Thanks for the review though :)
     
  11. eddemans

    eddemans
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    I've recently got myself a ex-demo unit and can say that I'm very pleased with the overall sound and video quality.

    Had been thinking about the recent models, but they don't have SACD. And there is the XS597 SACD/CD model, but that was more expensive and I reckoned that this one would have better quality. And DVD to boot :smashin:
     

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