DVD & Home Theater Gear Discuss DVD and Home Theater Equipment.

looking for UNBIASED info about DVD players

Old 08-26-00, 06:47 PM
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I know I can get this info from Sound Advice or Circiut City (forget Best Buy, cuz they don't know sh_t)... I am looking for a good, quality (not top of the line) DVD player that can play all types of media including CDR or CDRW. I know some players won't pick up a CDR or CDRW and some have a built in MP3 decoder which would be an added bonus. Also, do all DVD players have DTS/Dobly Digital decoding/Optical audio output? Also, what about max line resolution, the Toshibas get 500 progressive, and 540 interlaced, does it matter and what players can do better than that? One more thing, should I not even look at refurbdepot.com?? They have great deals...
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Old 08-26-00, 07:51 PM
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www.audioreview.com has unbiased user reviews of tons of DVD players. From the sounds of it, i think the Pioneer DV-333 would be perfect for you. Not all players have both an optical and a digital coaxial output(the pioneer i mention does as does my Sony). For example the Toshiba's only have a coax out. Max lines of resolution is the same for all interlaced players at about 500. Progressive players have more (don't quote me on that as I'm not all that informed about progressive players). One thing that players do very differently is the anamorphic downconversion to a 4:3 tv. My sony has a soft look to it while the Toshiba is so sharp you can see alot of flaws in the picture the scan lines themselves from a few feet away. If i were you I wouldn't buy a refurbished player online. Too many possible problems and the fact that it is online would make returning a pain in the neck. I got my Sony for under two hundred and I had gotten a toshiba online for around the same price both from www.mercata.com. Look around and see what you can find. Check out those audio reviews too. I think the Pioneer may be just what you're looking for.

Dave My DVDs My Humble Home Theatre
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Old 08-26-00, 09:24 PM
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A bit OT, but I'm not sure that there is such as beast as an unbiased review. Contrary to dfbennett, I find audioreview to be a singularly biased and unreliable source for equipment reviews. Few posters there actually there listen to competing products for extended periods in their homes; they merely echo why they purchased or hate a particular product. At least with a "professional" reviewer in a monthly magazine, the reader has an opportunity to learn the reviewer's taste and develop an opinion as to their reliability.

My suggestion is to use reviews as a starting point to narrow the field. Pick a few promising products, then try them in your home.

I use Perfect Vision and SGTHT as my starting points. Its also helpful to develop a good relationship w/ a local specialty shop (not a chain like circuit city, etc.) since they often allow in home trials and offer liberal trade in policies.

In the end, it comes down to what you think; trust your own eyes and ears.
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Old 08-26-00, 09:27 PM
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Perhaps you are right but many of the individual reviews on that sight are written quite nicely. I've had 3 different DVD players that were all in the same price range, and I would always compare the items. I do agree though that some people on there aren't exactly the greatest reviewers, it is still a valuable resource.

Dave My DVDs My Humble Home Theatre

[This message has been edited by dfbennett (edited August 26, 2000).]
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Old 08-26-00, 11:01 PM
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I would second dfbennett's suggestion of the Pioneer 333. It is very well made, it's not expensive and it probably has all the features you would ever use.

It's two generations newer than my Pioneer 414 and I've never regretted getting that one.
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Old 08-27-00, 02:48 PM
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Thanks for all your input guys! I've done a little research from the CNET and Audioreview web sites and it has received great reviews... As everyone mentioned, this is perfect for entry level and will hold its own if you have good TV/Receiver/Speakers, which I do, so the Pioneer DV-333 seems to be the way to go. I almost bought the Toshiba SD2200, but my bro-in-law has it and come to think about it, he never uses both trays, cuz you can only watch/listen to one thing at a time and never uses those useless little extra features except to show off the zoom which is annoying when your trying to watch a movie... CDR/CDRW compatible is what I really wanted. Thanks again!
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Old 08-27-00, 03:57 PM
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I also agree with the pioneer 333
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Old 08-28-00, 10:06 PM
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For CDR/W, the Pioneer 333 is an excellent entry-level recommendation.

I'd stay away from Phillips models (825). The resolution has been measured to be lowered - comparable to laser disc.

A few Sony models can do CDR/W, but they're either older models or cost more than the Pioneer 333. If you didn't need CDR, the Sony 360 would be another worthy choice.

Good luck.
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Old 08-29-00, 01:58 PM
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The Apex AD600A is the only one that I know of that plays mp3s. It can read cdr's obviously. I haven't tried cd-rw's. The sound is great, picture only OK. But, it's only 180 at CC and a few out there still have the hidden menus.

PS the remote sucks.
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