would appreciate comments on my DVD player shortlist



I am in the market to buy a DVD player. I currently have a 100Hz TV with no component connections, but I was advised on another thread to think about future-proofing against a TV upgrade (which might be sooner than I planned - 100Hz artefacts are really starting to get on my tit. But that’s another story.)

So, to get me out of paralysis-by-analysis mode, I decided on the following conditions.

Good picture/sound ratings from the reviews links page on this forum
Price no more than £500, preferably more around the £200-300 mark
PAL progressive scan
Ability to play as many recordable DVD formats as possible

And here’s the shortlist I’ve come up with (cue roll on the drums). These are in no particular order.

Sony DVP NS930V (possible MPEG artefact problems?)
Harman Kardon DVD30 (a bit pricey, but seems to get the best overall figures for jitter, signal-to-noise and other tests from What Video)
Philips DVD-963SA (some issues re getting PAL progressive scan?)
Limit DVDA900SE (no formal reviews available - apparently good sound but some build quality issues?)

I’d appreciate any feedback that those of you in-the-know could give me re this list. (I’m not really too fussed about the DVD-Audio or SACD performance – this functionality is just there because the machines I found that do PAL progressive just happen to have audio capability as well.)

What would your recommendations be? Are there any major problems with any of these machines? Does one stand out from the crowd? Are there any machines I’ve overlooked that might save me £££ without compromising picture/sound quality? Am I making too much of PAL prog scan as a requirement?

In short, I’m in the market for any comments that might stop me hemming and hawing and actually make a decision!


Previously Liam @ Prog AV
Harman Kardon are up to the DVD 32 now, which is every bit as good as the success of it's predecessor would suggest!

Altough, depending how you feel about spending no more than 500 quid, the Denon DVD-2200 (which is a little more than 500 quid!) is twice as good as those in your list and well worth a look!


Hi Liam.

Just been looking at the new HK DVD31 on your website. Though the appearance is radically different from the clunky-looking DVD30, the spec seems much the same. Can you tell us what the differences are? [I went to the Harman Kardon international web site, but it's not listed there. In fact, I could only find one other supplier who stocks this new model, and your company beat them on price by 24 pence!:)]

The HK really is getting towards the upper limit of my budget - I'd rather go for something at the top end of the middle range than the bottom end of the upper range (said he, in fluent gobbledegook). At the moment, unless I hear of any major drawbacks, the HK DVD30 / DVD31 is looking the best bet.


Novice Member
I had a Sony 730 which AFAIK is nigh-on identical to the 930 on the DVD-V side of things, that worked very well with my Z2 .. not sure what artifacts you're referring to, and probably wouldn't know what to look for even if I did. :D


Active Member
The Limit looks like good value and I have no complaints about either video or audio quality (which Is why I bought it in the first place I suppose). I've not had a problem with build quality, it's a solid piece of kit. My gripes are about the overall package, somehow it doesn't quite feel right. No power standby, poor JPEG handling, "anonymous" manual. Little things but they all contribute to an ongoing nagging doubt.

But, picture is great, and the audio is excellent. And its only £200.

I'm intrigued by the coment that the Denon is "twice" as good as the others. How do you justify such a statement?


Hi KraGorn,

Doubt if I would know either! My comments in brackets are just a very basic summary of potential problems I think I've gleaned from other people's reviews.

Thanks for the feedback, though. On an ongoing theme of "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing", my latest discovery is the concept of "layer change" - apparently the Sonys in general are prone to pregnant pauses that other machines don't have (or not to such an extent). Have you found this to be an nuisance?

I have this horrible feeling that I'm drifting back into paralysis mode, as every time I visit these forums, I just end up getting a better understanding of the depths of my ignorance!


I also have the Sony 730. Yes, it has a noticable layer change - especially having come from an HTPC which has none. My feeling, however, is that you either have a layer change or your don't; the difference between 1s and 1.5s isn't much in terms of interrupting the flow of a movie but no layer change is better altogether. If you don't want a layer change, go for the Denon!

I've also heard that the internals of the 730 are the same as the 930 but without the multi-channel decoding. Personally, I just use the digital output anyway so it doesn't matter so long as the video is good - which it is, especially for the money.

I had a Philips 963SA - albeit an early one - and suffered lip-sync issues with it (including on a replacement, so not just one bad player). They may have fixed this now but just be aware...



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