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V880 DVI DVD/DIVX player

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by ian_guinan, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. ian_guinan

    ian_guinan
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    Anyone reading AVS here will no doubt have been wondering how good the Momitsu/Brainwave/Manowa actually is.

    Paul Caveller and myself had wondered to the extent we decide to get our hands on one each to try. Sadly all of the european supply seemed to have been snapped up in Germany so we imported two directly from the manufacturers (with much higher carriage and duty of course).

    The player itself is actually quite well made with a metal case, with the only flimsy thing to my mind the tray cover. The transport itself is a black PC style DVD transport with the outer cover merely acting as a flap.

    The player has a secret menu for region free which is immediately accessed by pressing the key combination;

    down
    up
    down
    up
    right
    left.

    This allows you to select region (0 seems to allow auto region select) and switch of macrovision. It also seems to switch off HDCP for the DVI which is nice ;)

    Personally I've not bothered with the component input as I've read elsewhere it is too soft, but it does offer scaling up to 1080i through 480p and 720p which is still pretty amazing for a player at this price point.

    The real buzz for me with this player was having a try of 720p via DVI to my projector a Toshiba MT8 as this offered a pixel to pixel output from the player to the panel of the projector. Since seeing my HTPC the lure of a player which could offer the same was just too much.

    Suffice it to say it works extremely well, the only disappointment is that the scaling in my projector and DVD source (said HTPC and a Denon 3800) are so good, it is only a slight improvement for me rather than the complete night and day improvement I'd hoped. Not enough to make me fight with my wife to keep yet another AV source in my rack :D

    For purely research purposes (of course) I downloaded a few divx encoded films via broadband. This gave pretty hit and miss results with only the newer encoded files playing. Suffice it to say some recent TV episodes in divx (again purely downloaded for research purposes) in particular played in widescreen with less pixellation than I usually see on Sky so could be worth owning one of these for this alone.

    I'm parting with mine (see reasons above) and Paul is also letting his go (he has a Meridian DVD player costing around 20 times the price against which it performed almost as well!) so if anyone fancies giving one of these a go it may be worth them checking out the classifieds. I think for someone wanting a new quality DVD source, who fancies HTPC but can't be bothered with the hassles (PC Friendly anyone?), who has a DVI input on their projector and a passing interest in divx then one of these could be just the ticket.

    Regards,
    Ian Guinan
     
  2. ian_guinan

    ian_guinan
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    Watching some DVDs

    For testing I've watched a selection of disks via DVI using 720p output from the v880 via a 7.5m Lindy cable (and P&D adaptor) into the M1 port on a Toshiba MT8 with the native aspect set.

    There are no picture adjustments from the player (no brightness, gamma, sharpness..straight wysiwyg from the v880) All adjustments were made on the projector quickly using the THX setup screens. Haven't had a go with AVIA..not sure how relevant it is to DVI anyway? (comments?)

    Star Wars AOTC r2
    Erm..wow!
    Reasonably fast load up and straight away the menus even are sharp crisp and clear. No visible jaggies. Without hesitation straight onto the Clone Wars and immediately impressed at how close to HTPC quality with much smoother panning then I've ever managed with Theatertek on my HTPC. Good vibrant colours and great black detail. NO mpeg artifacts seen and no 'sparklies'. Did see a small amount of 'shimmer' a little like combing on small areas with parrallel lines..could be pushing up against the limits of DVD here.

    About Schmidt
    Watched whole movie. No glitches. Great sound. realistic colour rendition. No mpeg artifacts or other nasties. A pleasure to just sit back and watch. I think the NTSC disk had overall better quality than PAL playback (less scaling going on in the player?)

    Tried a few disks that are spat out by other machines and they have all played without problem incluing various regions. I don't think I currently have any RCE disks but r1 is easily selectable if this gave a problem.

    Picture quality
    Excellent. Appears a little lighter than the output of my other sources as seems to have a lighter gamma setting. Good resolution of all the disk details with no blocking or other artifacts. Smooth panning particularly impressive (better than HTPC) though sharpness not quite up to HTPC standard.

    DVI output comes in the following flavours;
    480p
    720p
    1080i
    DVI 768 60Hz
    DVI 1024 60Hz

    Component comes in;
    480p
    720p
    1080i
    in either RGB or YPbCr so could be handy for CRT use.

    Build Quality
    This a a cheaply made player, but it is trying to be a little more than some of its fellow far east machines. It is slow to react to remote instructions and the remote itself is plasticky (one for a quick Pronto job methinks). Nothing has fallen of it and the buttons are all fairly positive. It has a headphone socket and volume control on the front, and the rear connections are well made and firm.

    DIVX/JPG/MP3
    Sounds obvious but it won't put detail into a poorly encoded DIVX. Included in the box are some example divx files which are quite simply of DVD quality. Your average downloaded file is shown no better or worse than on your PC. It is quite nice how the player recognises any ISO disk and gives you the option of playing back audio, movies or pictures though. Seems to play .avi, .mp3, .jpg from DVD-R quite happily and allows playlists so should make for some quite monster slide shows or music sessions.

    Documentation
    Not as bad as it could be, but not up to even the standard of some. Has an amusing table listing LD as one of the compatible disk formats though..couldn't work out where to slot the disk ;) .

    Conclusion
    Not quite yet a keeper for me as I'm happy that for the moment my HTPC/DVD player/projector setup is giving me almost as good a picture, but a very close run thing. If I hadn't already spent £900 on my DVD player I would be getting one of these babies instead. Speaking to Paul Caveller he even says the same about the very expensive Meridian he has! I will however be keeping my ear to the ground re. DVI equipped players and await the coming months with some excitement....I bet the big boys don't let you turn off HDCP on their DVI equipped players though..

    Regards,
    Ian Guinan
     
  3. mikeaitch

    mikeaitch
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    Hi Ian

    I was just about to decide between the themescene H56, sony HS10 HitachiHT1000, and Sharp 91E

    The more expensive 2 would have to run as is for a while, while the sharp or sony would likely be treated to the hcpc route.

    Given what you've seen, do you have any recommendations?
     
  4. ian_guinan

    ian_guinan
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    With what I've seen it looks as if finally it is realistic to think of a standalone player providing HTPC levels of quality for projectors with DVI inputs. Whatever you are buying I'd make sure the DVI port is acknowledged as working well (have seen some reports questioning if the Ae300 for example has fully functioning DVI).

    I've honestly not seen any of the projectors you mention (gave up looking when I found the Tosh MT8!) but of the bunch have heard the most praise from HT1000 owners. To be honest you're still best to see them yourself whenever possible.

    Regards,
    Ian Guinan
     
  5. mikeaitch

    mikeaitch
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    Thanks Ian, guess I am trying to find out if I can do without the HCPC or not, I guess the new player won't pay the new T2 extreme edition, so may need to look that way in the future. you mention disabling of hdcp- pardon my ignorance, but what is hdpc and why do i want it disabling?
     
  6. ian_guinan

    ian_guinan
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    T2 Extreme needs a PC with >3Ghz to run smoothly...quite an investment. In time who knows..perhaps Microsoft will let someone do it in silicon.

    HDCP is a copy protection protocol that most DVI playback devices are forced to output. Many projectors with DVI so far do not have this protocol and will therefore not play back HDCP coded content (ie. most DVDs)

    Ian Guinan
     
  7. MattH

    MattH
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    Ian, I could be interested in one of these and have seen your post in the classifieds, but I have a question regarding the sound quality, basically how good is it. I will be using a Denon A1SR and M&K speaker set up, is this player going to get caught out by this set up. Am also expecting to buy HT1000 very soon and as you say some of the comments on AVS re the D1 and HT1000 are incredible.
     
  8. ian_guinan

    ian_guinan
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    I am no great audiophile but have found the audio output to be good. Paul Caveller (who is selling his too) is far more of an audio fan and has had his running digitally into a Meridian processor with Martin Logan speakers and was suitably impressed.

    It seems as if the Bravo D1 may in fact be made by the same people, but lacks PAL playback and the multi region ability. I've read the reports from HT1000 owners and think it could be a good combination.

    Regards,
    Ian Guinan
     

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