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Ultimate Picture Quality over HDMI


Standard Member
Chaps & Chapesses....

The time has finally come for me to part with my hard earned cash on a DVD player. My requirements would appear to be simple, but my research here and elsewhere has only gotten me so far.

Having ruled out a HTPC (I spend all day working with PCs and just want to be able to come home, put a disc in and push 'play') I'd be grateful for any advice on offer.

Quite simply, I'm after the best PQ I can get when displayed on an 80" or thereabouts image from a projector - probably a Sony HS50. The only other requirement is that it uses HDMI due to the cable length (15m).

DVD-A & SACD are not important to me - I already have a Naim 2ch Hi-Fi that does me just fine.

From what I can see, my choice would appear to be one of the following :

Pioneer 868
Denon 3910
Arcam DV79

They all appear to have their own particular strengths and weaknesses - the Denons buffer and potential for scaling the image are appealing, but the reports of macro-blocking are a little worrying; the Arcams poor remote and 'huge' layer change pause I could do without, but the 480i/576i to an external scaler might be useful; the Pioneer can scale and output 480i/576i, but appears to suffer CUE problems...........

My other dilemna is the whole external scaler question....... if this really is the route I should be exploring then is there any point in buying one of these expensive players ? - would I be better off getting a cheaper player (2910?) SDI modded instead ?

Fear not, I have every intention of demoing all the contenders, although I fear it may be impossible to find a dealer stocking all 3....

So........ any feedback, good or bad, would be most gratefully received....



Hi, i got a HS50 and a 2910. Generally they are ok, there seems to be a bit of an issue with the 2910 using HDMI, (first unit HDMI didn't work, replacement unit ok, but occasionally sync problems). I use a DVI to HDMI cable which has had no problems so far. I use a Cyrus preamp and amp for audio, and have been impressed with the 2 channel virtual surround sound setting on the player. Image quality for films is great, but for documentary (video) dvds you notice the poor quality of the source and a little bit of judder/macroblocking, i don't know if it is the player or just poor compression of the original material.

I would strongly recomend you demo any kit you are going to get, i didn't -didn't want to wait for stock etc, and i wish i had. the PJ has an lcd missalignment of a couple of pixels, which is not really enough to get it replaced, but it is just enough to notice every nownagain. That will vary unit to unit, hence the demo first, try the actual one.

Initially i just wanted a plug and go, not a pc, for similar reasons to you, but when i plugged my lap top in to the projector an played a film the quality was not far of the dvd player (4 year old ti powerbook, connected with a cheap vga lead). the improvement i thought i would get using a dedicated player was not half as much as i did (obviously sound is loads better through the player). I would like to try a DVI connection on the back of a new laptop, coupled with a digital out of the sound output it could be great.

The projector is great apart from the slight lcd issue, very quiet, great colour and great contrast.



Established Member
I don't have a scaler but am considering one, I also have an 868 so would feed 'i' via HDMI .. however, if I were starting from scratch I'd probably go for the cheapest SDI-modded player I could find, as long as other aspects like SACD/DVD-A weren't a concern.

I personally don't consider CUE an issue, hence the Pioneer.


Established Member
i got the panasonic s97 attached to a sanyo z3 and it really is superp i also tried it on my mates sony h50 and its the same superb quality at 720p and 1080i


Standard Member
Thanks for the input so far guys...

Blue2 - Don't worry, I'll definately be demoing first, even if it costs me a few pounds more to find a dealer where I can demo and then buy the same PJ !

andya - interesting....... hadn't really thought about the Panny.....

KraGorn - I'm beginning to think the cheap DVD/SDI/Scaler option is the way to go too..... must have a chat with Elliot @ PJ.......

Keep it coming guys - all good stuff :thumbsup:


Standard Member
Hi Mark,

Budget is around the £3k mark, but flexible if there's a VERY good reason !

The PJ is pretty much decided as I'm prone to rainbows and need horizontal lens shift if the projector is going to go where I'd ideally like it.....


Mark Antony

Established Member
Fair enough. Just to say that if you spent more on the PJ then you wouldn't need the scaler (which for one worth having and a sdi mod on both units is prob £1-1.5K on its own). I have a 3910 running 720p dvi into a toshiba MT8 on an 82" screen, and picture is phenomenal - regardless with a 3910 I don't think you'll really need an external scaler as it really does do a great job of deinterlacing/scaling and the PJ probably won't benefit from a scaler as much as if you were watching on a huge screen of 130" plus.



Established Member
Philips 963SA and Iscan HD (HD+ not needed) connected together by SDI. Will give incredible pictures on any display, you'll get proper 48Hz NTSC and your Freeview / Sky will look great too.

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