Yet another "what should I buy?" thread (blush)


Distinguished Member
Currently buying home cinema sound system (see other threads on the subject if nosy). Sticking with my present television for now, which is a 32" widescreen model, about 3 years old, RGB input and "100Hz" display but certainly not progressive scan in any meaningful sense. Says in the manual it can handle NTSC signals. I don't plan to use the system much for music. DVD-A and so on are merely a matter of mild curiosity. It's the film performance I'm most interested in.

So, two questions immediately spring to mind:

1) Is it worth getting a progressive scan machine and buying region 1 discs on the grounds that the next time I upgrade my television I probably will get a progressive model?

2) How cheap can one go before the quality of the digital sound output (for decoding by separate processor) begins to be affected?

A couple of store people have told me that it's safe to go down to about £500, but that below that the quality of the bitstream is affected. However a different rep swears blind that the film sound quality got from an Arcam FMJ DV27 (£1600) is detectably better than what you would get from a £1000 player.

I've been thinking about a Denon 2800 Mk II, as although it cuts corners they seem to be in areas I don't care much about - on-board audio DACs, lack of DVDA, and so on - and has what sounds like rather good video circuitry for the price; but with all the messages on this forum about dodgy firmware for the 3800 I'm beginning to be less certain.

A part of me is tempted to go all the way down to a Toshiba 510, or Pioneer 656 but I'm concerned that this will get me below the "good sound" threshold. Vaguely considering Pioneer 747 or Toshiba 900 as well. Would welcome suggestions.


AFAIK the denon firmware problems have been corrected with the latest firmware update.
As for the Tosh 900. I have just got one and love it. It gets rave reviews on this forum, and can now be bought multi region/RCE for £700. Sound and picture are excellent!!
If you are outputting the sound to an amp via coax/optical then the quality of the sound will be more dependant on the amp (not totaly, but to a large degree!).


Distinguished Member
If you are outputting the sound to an amp via coax/optical then the quality of the sound will be more dependant on the amp (not totaly, but to a large degree!).

Yes, well, that really is the point, isn't it? How much of a degree? Clearly if you can reach a point where the incoming digital signal is completely unambiguous, then getting a more expensive DVD player will make no difference to the quality of film sound. Sharpening up the digital pulses won't make any more difference to the decoding proces. (Obviously if the DVD-player is doing some decoding or D/A conversion then it's a different story). So: at what price point can one say "anything above this won't improve the quality of the digital signal"? Or alternatively "below this price point you may be compromising your film sound"?

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