Still Tempted By DVD-A

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by PaulBoy, May 27, 2001.

  1. PaulBoy

    PaulBoy
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    I am saving up my pennies to buy a nice new DVD-A player and with a budget of £500 I have my eye on a Toshiba 500E (must bt multi region & play CD-R)
    HCC this month mentioned a new Panasonic RA71 which has just come out and should be in the same price range
    If anyone spots a review of it I'd be dead impressed
    If anyone has a Tosh 500E & would like to give me a considered opinion I'd be very grateful too
    TIA - Paul
     
  2. nickoff

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    PaulBoy

    See the attached owner review of the 5200, which is the Australian model of the 500E (same spec's) -

    "Just thought I would write a quick review on the new DVD player I just picked up. I payed $1250 for it multizone (RRP $1500 without zoning)(Note - this price is Australian $$)

    I upgraded from a Pioneer DV414 which I was reasonably happy with but wanted DVDA as I am hooked on high qaulity 5 channel sound similar or better to that I have experienced on Stings 'A brand new day' DTS CD which is encoded in DTS at 24bit 96khz split into 6 channesl whereas DVDA's are capable at 24bit 196khz into each of the six seperate channels!

    What can I say? in one word, awesome!

    I only currenlty have one DVDA title, 'strauss' which sounds pretty good but not my 'cup of tea'. I have Deep Purple - Machine head on its way which I have read is like they walked back in the studio yesterday and re-recorded the album!

    The picture quality is markedly better than the Pioneer. There are three DNR modes which DO make a difference in reducing pixelisation
    and giving you a more movie like sheen (I think it actually only does a similar effect to that of 'smart blur' that you use on images in photoshop but it does look better, I tend to leave mine on line enhance which really brings out the detail on Dinosaur and Bugs life on a CRT TV.

    I won't bother describing all the features, as I am sure anyone interested already knows what it does and if they don't then they can go to www.castel.com.au and find out.

    I had to rebalance my speakers using a sound meter and white noise after moving to the Toshiba paying particular attention to rolling off my subby. The toshy was causing my subby to have a heart attack when playing the same movies I used to play on the Pioneer with the same Speaker setup. The Toshy seems to put out a much richer and broader sound signal whch I had to account for.

    The unit has both DTS and Dolby digital onboard. I own a Onkyo 676 which I was using for DTS and Dolby Digital processing. The difference between the two was that the Toshy decodes seem to be brighter with maybe bit more headroom meaning less muddiness in complicated sound scenes. The Onkyo as most will know is well know for having bags of power on tap and had a raw underlying punch and presence to its sound stage which some noted was harder to listen to but I decided I found more engaging overall and thus is still my decoding choice.

    The V remote,onscreen NAV and setup displays all work whilst the movie plays on in the background unlike my old DV414. This is great for immediately seeing changes on your picture as you tweek.

    The unit is also a two tray DVD player, which I have immedately found handy when demoing multiple discs or otherwise I usually keep a CD of MP3's in tray 2 so I can put on some (100 songs @ 192Kb/s!) music between or after watching a movie.

    Some little fun features are the screen saver which comes on after 20minutes to stop you burning your coatings on your tube irrevocably and also the ability to do a screen grab at any time and then use it as
    the background for your DVD instead of a blue or black scrreen.

    This unit happily plays HDCD's (20bit cds), CDR's, CDRW's, VCD's, DVD's, DVDA's and of course CD Audio. However, one thing it also does which is not mentioned anywhere in the documentation is that it also plays MP3's with full ID3 tag support! I was using a Compro MP1055 plugged into one of my video channels up until know, no longer. Where the compro decoder would every now and again drop out or stutter, the Toshiba does not, I have owned two different portable MP3 players and neither come close to the Toshys ability to play MP3's.

    In closing, in recent mag reviews this baby beat the equivalent new Denon DVDA capable player at over $3k in terms of picture and sound, at $1250 inc. zoning this baby is awesome. This is one unit I don't think I will be upgrdading for quite a while.

    Rating 5/5 "
     
  3. PaulBoy

    PaulBoy
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    Nickoff ...
    Thanks for that - exactly what I was after
    I gather you like the Tosh then !!!
    You're right about the quality of the multi channel music - I have one classical DVD-A (Grieg) which is OK but its the Rock stuff that really shines - I have Machine Head which you sid you had on order - It is like they just recorded it yesterday - Shame its only the length of an LP (even with one extra track thrown in) The others I have are Foreigner & ELP - ELP was made for multi channel sound - Not just the gimmicky speaker jumping stuff either - The bass really makes your sub rumble ...
    All four DVD-A discs sound fantastic so I cant wait to hear the improvement on a DVD-A player (I've got a Pioneer 626 at the minute)
    My Denon 3801 should do DVD-A justice too so Im really looking forward to the upgrade ...
    Thanks again & let me know what you thought of Machine Head ... Paul :)
    PS GET ELP NEXT :D
     

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