3 months warranty on DVD players;about what is worth. [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-02-2005, 09:13 PM
After owning Toshiba SD-3960 for about 6 months ($60...3 months labor warranty), it is starting to freeze after 10 minutes of playing (on every disc) . Took the cover off and inspect/clean/jiggle the moving parts and everything seem to be in working order. But the freezing continue. And store will not take it back after 30 days.

So now what to do:sent and get it repaired which labor costs will probably be more than dvd player itself, or just give up on it.

I though Toshiba be more reliable than other off brand DVD players which sell for half price. What a bummer :mad:

02-03-2005, 12:37 AM
Toshiba used to be one of the more reliable brands of DVD players when they actually made their own transports. The cheaper Toshibas are now based on a Samsung design.

I got my first DVD player in early '98, a Panasonic DVD A110. It still (sort of) works but often it'll skip for no reason. Before the A110 gave me any trouble I "upgraded" to a Panasonic DVD-RV80 for its onboard DTS decoder and that died without warning a mere 17 months later.

The Panasonics were replaced by a cheap Pioneer DV-353 (5/02) in the bedroom and a not-so-cheap Pioneer Elite DV-45A in the livingroom when it first hit the market (9/02). Both have never given me any trouble whatsoever and play everthing I throw their way (including DVD +/- R/RW). I also have a Pioneer DVD-R/W drive on my computer that has never given me any problems.

Everyone I personally know that has owned a Sony DVD player has had to replace theirs, including pricey SACD-only ES models, but oddly I've never heard of a PS2 dying, so Sony obviously knows how to make a reliable transport. Hmmm . . . .

When I decide it's time for an upgrade it'll definitely be another Pioneer for me.

02-03-2005, 05:48 AM
There's even been a slew of problems with the Pioneer 563 and the 578a's too...Toenail himself gave up after 2 failed units in span of 2 months and went to a Toshiba 3960 and a 4960, ironically.

I'm hearing that most of the sub $200 DVD players you find are being made on the cheap and there's a high return rate. A few buddies of mine who work at Sears and a private a/v store recommend buying cheap Toshiba's, Sony's, Hitachi's, Pioneers etc that you see on sale under $100 and replacing them every year or two when they fail after warranty. Or drop $300 into a decent one. Even then there's some issues.

Guess they don't make'em like they use to...err, back in the good ol' days of 1999.

02-03-2005, 08:58 AM
There's even been a slew of problems with the Pioneer 563 and the 578a's too...Toenail himself gave up after 2 failed units in span of 2 months and went to a Toshiba 3960 and a 4960, ironically. Kexodusc, can you elaborate, or point me to more information on troubles with the 563A? I have one of these units and have (had) two issues: First certain DVD-A's wouldn't play, namely Steely Dan's Gaucho. After some research, I found that a free firmware upgrade fixed that problem. Second, my SACD copy of Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon skips during the song Money. I got a replacement disc and it too skipped exactly the same way in exactly the same spot. I haven't found a fix for that problem yet.

Other than that, the 563A seems to be a great value for the $99US I paid for it. It seems to handle everything I throw at it, mp3's, vcd's, cdr's, etc.

02-03-2005, 10:26 AM
If you search the forums here, or read some reviews you'll probably hear more about it...I think to put it in perspective, the casualty rate of the 563A isn't astronomical, but given they sell so many, you hear about them. The problems I'm aware of in addition to the ones you've had are the player just crapping out and not reading anything, and skipping a bunch during playback. I guess it has a hard time converting the SACD signal to PCM (unlike true SACD players) too, and this is the result of a few problems. (apparently common among other brands too).

The 578 apparently is the worse of the two, with Pioneer either trying to pull a fast one on the market with the replacement to the popular 563A being built with inferior quality, or more likely being built on the cheap to compete with all the other rediculously cheap players out there.

02-03-2005, 11:32 AM
Thanks. I'll keep researching further, though this is the first I've heard of any documented problems other than (mine and) the firmware issues. From what I've gathered, it does *not* convert DSD to PCM - in certain modes anyway. In that price range, I haven't read of any other player that does true DSD processing. That's something Pioneer even left out of the 578 model. It is, however, built quite cheaply so I wouldn't be surprised with increased problems down the road. However, for the price, its allowing me time to explore high resolution discs without spending a fortune. Down the road I'll look at getting something more substantial.

02-04-2005, 07:45 PM
Thanks Slosh, kexodusc, Hawkeye for the info.

As I see it, there might only be two ways to buy a DVD player:

Buy the cheapest one that can be found, and it fail after three months warranty, replace it with another cheap brand.

Or buy a good DVD/CD player (such as Denon), and get extended warranty for it :)

02-04-2005, 09:56 PM
Or buy a good DVD/CD player (such as Denon), and get extended warranty for it :)
Stay away from Denon (and Yamaha) since they're based on Panasonic transports (at least they were when I was last in the market for a new DVD player in 2002).

FWIW, the Pioneer 563 only converts DSD to PCM when employing its bass management. The Elite 45A (or better) never converts DSD to PCM, and in fact uses a Sony DSD processor. The 578 always converts to PCM, hence the lower MSRP.
As an aside, the 45A is supposed to be among the worst offenders for CUE but I've never once seen it on my HDTV, even with key scenes pointed out by Secrets of H/T & HiFi, and . . . plays every DVD-A with no issues, this in spite of being manufactured very early in its production run and thus no firmware updates. I'm glad I don't believe everything I read ;)

02-05-2005, 04:25 PM
I'd be leary on shopping for DVDs by brand names or even computers these days. It used to be that HP used celeron and Pentium but now it's anything goes at any price - even the same computer model may have very different parts - a drive from this country and and a CD rom from another.

I picked up an ASPIRE DVD 900 or something and it's been excellent for the year+ I've had it. $50.00Cdn on boxing day and it has an excellent remote control far better than the Pioneer DVD player I own and the Pioneer cost about 6 times as much. The Aspire is even progressive scan, has a nice LCD display is slim and sleek has more outputs more features -- all the jpeg mp3 stuff etc.

Yeah it's built overseas but so is Pioneer and Toshiba and Sony. DVD players are toasters - they break you toss it in the garbage and get a new one. So I'd rather toss $50.00 in the can than $249.00 since the latter won't be any better for build but it might have a nice logo on it called SONY and some new fad feature.