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What happens when you hookup a DVD player to a "regular" amplifier?

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What happens when you hookup a DVD player to a "regular" amplifier?

Old 10-30-01, 05:34 PM
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What happens when you hookup a DVD player to a "regular" amplifier?

A friend of mine just asked me that question. He has a "regular" (stereo) amp and he wants to buy a DVD player. I assume the DVD player can decode the 5.1 signal but what happens to the sound? If he has 5 speakers and a sub hooked up, will he get 5.1 sound?

Also, can you suggest a good DVD player (with a decoder) for less than $200? My friend seems to be obsessed with JVC products.

Last edited by eXcentris; 10-30-01 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 10-30-01, 06:03 PM
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All DVD players have analog stereo outputs. If his receiver is stereo only, the player will mix the audio track into two-channel stereo. Also, some DVDs (especially those released by DreamWorks, Paramount and Fox) have separate stereo tracks on them.

No, hooking five speakers and a sub to his stereo receiver will not provide him with surround sound. What it will do is overdrive his amp and damage it.

Your friend doesn't need a special player or a player with a built-in decoder because his receiver will not have 5.1 inputs to take advantage of it. He would be better off getting a player without the added expense of an onboard decoder, then later getting a Dolby Digital/DTS receiver. There's no point in paying for two decoder chips at this point, and very few DVD players have built-in DTS decoding.

As far as JVC players go, let him know that they tend to have a lot of reliability problems. He would be better off with Sony, Panasonic or Pioneer.

Last edited by Mr. Salty; 10-30-01 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 10-30-01, 06:07 PM
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Re: What happens when you hookup a DVD player to a "regular" amplifier?

Originally posted by eXcentris
I assume the DVD player can decode the 5.1 signal but what happens to the sound?
He will use the analog stereo (2 ch) connection between the dvd player and receiver, and get 2 channel stereo only.

Originally posted by eXcentris
If he has 5 speakers and a sub hooked up, will he get 5.1 sound?
No. He probably won't be able to use the center and surrounds, and will have to use the high-level (speaker) inputs on the subwoofer. This will still (only) be 2 channel stereo.

Originally posted by eXcentris
Also, can you suggest a good DVD player (with a decoder) for less than $200? My friend seems to be obsessed with JVC products.
See above. He doesn't need one, since he can't use one. If he gets a new receiver, it'll probably have 5.1 decoders built in.
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Old 10-30-01, 06:17 PM
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Ok guys, thanks. Now I need to convince him not to buy a JVC DVD player.
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Old 10-31-01, 08:19 AM
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Originally posted by Mr. Salty
*snip*

As far as JVC players go, let him know that they tend to have a lot of reliability problems.
Hmmmm. I've not heard of the longevity problems with JVC yet. Where did this info come from? Most reports in hometheaterspot point to the JVC and Panasonic progressive players as two of the very best. At the low end of things anyway.

But in all fairness - they (all reports I've read) only talked about display quality, not longevity.

Just how quickly do they develop the reliability problems? Do you know what they (the problems) are?

Tnx.
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Old 10-31-01, 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by Janitor


Hmmmm. I've not heard of the longevity problems with JVC yet. Where did this info come from? Most reports in hometheaterspot point to the JVC and Panasonic progressive players as two of the very best. At the low end of things anyway.

But in all fairness - they (all reports I've read) only talked about display quality, not longevity.

Just how quickly do they develop the reliability problems? Do you know what they (the problems) are?

Tnx.
Most people had tremendous problems with the second and third generation JVC units. (XV-501 and 701) I have not looked in to more recent models, as my experience with my 701 soured me from buying their products again.
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Old 10-31-01, 02:09 PM
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Arghhhhhhhh! Stop the presses! I finally figured out that my friend DOES have a surround sound receiver. A Technics Dolby Pro Logic one:

http://www.supremevideo.com/audio/technics/saax530.htm

So! Looks like what he needs is a DD5.1 decoder (and DTS if he wants to). Now back to my question... He can:

a) Buy a separate DD5.1 decoder

b) Buy a DVD player with a built-in decoder which I assume would be cheaper than a)

Correct?

So, what are some good under $200 DVD players with built-in DD5.1 decoder?
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Old 10-31-01, 04:18 PM
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Yes, that receiver has inputs for an external decoder. You won't find many DVD players with built-in DTS decoding capability, and the ones that do have it are probably expensive enough that your friend would be better off getting a new receiver. The same goes for an external dedicated decoder.

I would have him look at the Sony DVP-NS400. It has a built-in Dolby Digital decoder and will also play CD-R and CD-RW discs. I think Sony just had a price cut, so you should be able to find this player for right at $200 or a little over.

My Sony has played every disc I've ever put in it. Be aware that a lot of cheaper players can give you fits with complex DVDs.
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Old 10-31-01, 06:39 PM
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Originally posted by Mr. Salty
Yes, that receiver has inputs for an external decoder. You won't find many DVD players with built-in DTS decoding capability, and the ones that do have it are probably expensive enough that your friend would be better off getting a new receiver. The same goes for an external dedicated decoder.

I would have him look at the Sony DVP-NS400. It has a built-in Dolby Digital decoder and will also play CD-R and CD-RW discs. I think Sony just had a price cut, so you should be able to find this player for right at $200 or a little over.

My Sony has played every disc I've ever put in it. Be aware that a lot of cheaper players can give you fits with complex DVDs.
Actually, JVC makes a couple of models with built-in DTS decoding (as well as DD, obviously). The SA-70BK (single disc) is about $250 or thereabouts. I own the FA90BK (7 disc) and paid $379, but you can probably get it cheaper now. It also has built-in DD and DTS decoders (as well as DVD-Audio). I've tested the decoders and they sound about the same as the ones in my Denon receiver. But if I had an old receiver that I still liked and it had 6 channel inputs, I'd definitely consider one of the JVC players. The JVCs also play MP3s, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, etc. The manual also says it can convert PAL discs to NTSC. I may be mistaken, but I think one of the newly released Toshiba DVD players also has built-in DTS decoding.
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Old 10-31-01, 08:47 PM
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Yup, I looked at info for the Sony NS400D and the JVC XV SA70BK this afternoon. The JVC has more features but is more expensive. My friend is no DVD or Home theater maniac, he just wants to put films in there and watch them. So, I told him he probably doesn't need DTS, or progressive scan (since his tv doesn't support it). The only thing is MP3's. I told him to ask his son if he downloads a lot of music from the net. It's up to him now.

Buy.com currently has the Sony at $199.00 with free shipping.
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