With Blu-Ray / HDVD around the corner is it worth upgrading to a higher-end player?



I am considering selling my Pioneer 59-AVi in exchange for the Denon 5910.

I'm not sure if it would be worth it though, with the first next-gen players probably only 6-8 months away... How do you guys feel about this?

Would you justify an upgrade from a Pioneer-Elite to the Denon flagship at this point so late in the game?

I don't really have any major basis for wanting to upgrade, apart from an issue with layer changes on the Pioneer which I find unacceptable. I'm hoping the Denon might offer better resolution with PAL-NTSC sourced playback and with the addition of SACD output, it just seems like an overall stronger contender than my current Pioneer.

What's your opinion?

Would you sooner wait to see what new hardware is on the horizon for next generation formats or take the plunge now in favor of hopefully obtaining an overall better playback for your home theater?

My main impulse to upgrade at this point is that the Pioneer is relagtively new... 3 months max and still under warranty. I think it's a 3-year extended warranty. It's professionally chip-set modded for all-region NTSC/PAL playback and the casing and paneling is all brand new. I figure I could easily repackage it ll up with the original box, manuals, warranty cards and remote and put it up on Ebay for a good $1000 U.S. + shipping.

I have another mid-range JVC to unload also which could probably pull me in another $200 US.

I'd already be more than halfway towards the Denon... but is it worth the money?

I haven't Googled any comparison reviews between the 59-AVi and the 5910 yet, but I just wanted to get your opinions on the matter.

What do you guys think - enjoy my current set-up for the next few months and than take in all options, or hell yeah lose the Pioneer and go for the 5910!?


Well-known Member
if you likely to use HD a lot within the next year or two then wait and get a HD/BR player.....if its unlikely to see much HD use and you want top notch performance then go for the Denon......you can always trade that in when you wanna buy a HD/BR machine at a later date......


Well I cant honestly say how much HD use I will see in the coming months as it's dependant on the way the next format develops and whether or not we'll still see two competing formats, release contexts, etc.

Would you say the Denon 5910 is a significant upgrade from the 59-AVi?

Given that any next gen. players will certainly be backwards compatible and that hardware alone will likely surpass even the highest flagship SD players, I'm just not sure what to do...


Standard Member
My suggestion would be to try looking at it as if HD wasn't part of the equation - would you do it then?

But HD is part of the equation and can't be ignored? Oh yes it can. 6-8 months will see the first generation players arriving, but if past history (CD, DVD) is anything to go by, the first generation players will be overpriced and glitchy. There won't suddenly be a glut of HD material either, and it's pretty much a guarantee that backward compatibility or not, the first gen HD players won't touch the Denon (or the Pioneer for that matter) in a match of Std. Definition performance.


Well-known Member
cmcg55 said:
But HD is part of the equation and can't be ignored? Oh yes it can. 6-8 months will see the first generation players arriving, but if past history (CD, DVD) is anything to go by, the first generation players will be overpriced and glitchy. There won't suddenly be a glut of HD material either, and it's pretty much a guarantee that backward compatibility or not, the first gen HD players won't touch the Denon (or the Pioneer for that matter) in a match of Std. Definition performance.
Have to agree with cmcg55, 1st generation technology is normally pretty poor compared to the more mature technology available after at least a year.

Take WAP for instance, people on the border ready to jump up to the new phones found that 6 months later into their contract, everyone else was getting faster access with better features at a fraction of the cost on their handsets.

Take CD Players, how many people have got a CD player from when they had been around in the first year perhaps and still rave about them?
Normally it's the models later on that become the classics

2nd generation technology products are normally produced, because the 1st generation of products used the technology, but not any way near it's potential.

I'd agree that a great player now should beat the 2nd gen players for a while to come. Plus it's not a dead investment in a flagship, as it can be resold when you decide to upgrade and a decent mature-tech product like this should hold it's value better than a 1st gen 'manufacturing experiment' :( (Perhaps a little harsh).



Well-known Member
Why not invest in a quality scaler with either the realta or genum chipset, That way you could feed it an interlaced signal from your 59avi`s HDMI socket. This will benefit all your equipment now and will support 1080i deinterlacing when Blueray or HD-DVD turn up. The result would be equal if not better than getting the 5910.

It will be a fair amount of time till these new formats become mainstream as i would not exactly say Hidef is a priority for most Homes and i can see the cost of the new media being back to the prices when dvd first showed up.

Personaly i would get a great dvd player now (well i would go the scaler route with a half decent dvd player), more so if you have a large collection of DVDs. I dont think we should expect DVD quality to be very good on the next generation format so you may still need a good deck for your old collection of discs.

Hidef DVD is just too uncertain right now, so why wait when you can have great now.


Thanks a lot for your opinions guys!

If it wasn't for the fact that I recently spent over 1g on my Pioneer Elite earlier this summer, I would upgrade in a heartbeat.

The recent reviews I've read of the 5910 have definitely opened my eyes though and I'm just the type of compulsive spender that when willing to pay top dollar, needs to have the best.

I do see what you're all saying about the first generation HD hardware. I was willing to embrace it flaws and all, dependant on the direction the studios and disc manufacturers would take in regards to product.. but perhaps I should give it a year and wait for the technology to be perfected (or at least better optimized) before laying out more for less, in terms of quality.

2007 seems so far away though. :)

Another benefit of being an early adapter to HD is that, when the real top-of-the-line flagship products come out 3-4 years down the line, the incentive to upgrade is much greater because you didn't just drop triple digits for a mid-range unit which was previously considered tip of the iceberg only a year or so earlier...

Anyways, I agree I'm probably looking much too far ahead.

As far as the advantages of the Pio Elite 59-AVi and thew Denon 5910... is there a significant and distinct improvement in quality and performance right away, or do both have their subtrle pros and cons?

And gandley - I do have a good video scaler - the newest Key Digital HD Leeza; picked it up only a few months ago.

I'm not sure if it'd be worth the aaprox. $700-1000 upgrade?

What do you gusy think, I've yet to read any comparative reviews between both units?

I have a feeling the Pioneer would do better in the audio department, even though the Denon is now offering some vary nice sound features previously unavailable on past models. It's definitely a sexier looking player, I love the sleek paneling on my Pio Elite and it's a very sturdy build!

I do NOT like the way it handles layer changes, and from the feedback I've gotten from the Denon 5910, I have a feeling there would be a marked improvement in image quality, though I'm not sure how much and if it would be a matter of tweaking and calibrating hardware or not...

The image on my Pioneer right now is quite soft, but that's probably because I'm running component cables. I'm gonna be wiring for HDMI next week when I receive the proper adaptors to feed into the Arcam amp I have connected. Perhaps I'll wait to see how much improved the picture is before making up my mind... the layer change on the Pioneer is really pushing my decision though, I'm really not happy about it (and it should NOT be present at all in such a high end unit)!

Any more suggestions?


Well-known Member
The picture will be sharper via HDMI, i didnt think the pio was that good via component, not a strong point.And yes the layer change is bad.

does the leeza accept an Interlaced signal from HDMI?, if not thats a bit of a downer. I had the denon 5910 (but uk version)for a while and it is good, its not perfect and i would not say its a huge difference in pic but it is better. Layer change again is good but not seamless all the time so you will still see some layerchanges. (the denon 2900 is still king of layerchanges in my book).

A new denon model is out soon and also the new marantz 9600 which looks quite nice as well as the new pio 989 (79avi) so you have plenty of choice


Well-known Member
my 3910 shows no layer changes so far, and i've run a fair few discs, older ones and newer ones......mebbe a challenger for the layerchange king title...lol....

personally i'd like to hear the sound from the flagship, picturewise i'm not actually that bothered, unlike most people when i watch a film, the sound features very highly for me......but if the sound was a marked improvement then i might consider it.....(assuming i had anywhere near the moolah too....lol)


Well-known Member
When watching a film there is very little difference from a mid range dvd player to a high end one as far as sound is concerned, if any. I would say your AMPs decoding will be far more important as regards the sound quality with films.

Oh and the 3910 is not seamless unless the more recent firmwares have made the Layer change a bit better since i had my 3910, i did spot quite a few layerchanges with it but it is definately up there with the best as far as layerchange is concerned.

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