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  1. #1
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    best used DVD players (non-universal players)

    so, i've decided to keep my Pioneer universal player for SACD and DVD-A and purchase a nice DVD player only for movie performance.

    Mainly looking for older 'flagship' type models that have aged well.

    This player is for movie watching only.
    (I own an analog 50" Hitachi 4:3)

    progressive scan is not important
    quality video/audio playback for DVD
    must be black in color
    component output
    coxial or optical audio out
    budget max. = $300.00

  2. #2
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Honestly, with that price point I don't know if I'd bother with a used unit. DVD players have all kinds of moving parts and Lord knows what the previous owner has or hasn't done with it. For $300, you should be able to buy a heckuva nice dedicated dvd player with more than enough video performance for your set to handle. While I rarely recommend Sony for audio purposes, their dvd player's picture quality is always highly rated. Denon rarely skimps on their scalers and processors as well. You might look into them.

    I'm OK with buying used amps, preamps, and maybe speakers. Source equipment I'll alway buy new. Call me paranoid, but at least I'll sleep better at night.

  3. #3
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    Honestly, with that price point I don't know if I'd bother with a used unit. DVD players have all kinds of moving parts and Lord knows what the previous owner has or hasn't done with it. For $300, you should be able to buy a heckuva nice dedicated dvd player with more than enough video performance for your set to handle. While I rarely recommend Sony for audio purposes, their dvd player's picture quality is always highly rated. Denon rarely skimps on their scalers and processors as well. You might look into them.

    I'm OK with buying used amps, preamps, and maybe speakers. Source equipment I'll alway buy new. Call me paranoid, but at least I'll sleep better at night.
    My reference player is a sony, and it does downconversion flawlessly. I wouldn't touch a used DVD player. Topspeed is right, for $300 you can get a great DVD player with excellent picture quality.
    Sir Terrence

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  4. #4
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    Agreed totally; why spend $300 on a used model when you can get, as Terrence said, a kick ass new deck for probably under that if you search around......

    Oh, and that was a good move utilizing a single player deck for movie watching only duties....they are the better in quality, if you ask me, as compared to a changer of some kind, for MOVIE watching, and, really, unless you are having a non stop film marathon, how often do you play so many DVDs back to back that a simple single deck wouldnt do? I love my single disc Panny DVD deck; when a film is over, I get up, take the disc out, and return it to my library; in our old age its becoming harder to stay awake for more than one film anyway, eh?

  5. #5
    JSE
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    Hey Tarheel,

    My buddy just bought this player. It seems to do a great job i think he has had it for about 2 months or so and he really likes it. Seems well built and a pretty good buy. Might check it out? Seems like Topspeed has/had a CA amp. He may be able to speak to their general quality? Could be wrong about that though.

    http://www.spearitsound.com/Cambridg...udio_DVD55.asp

    JSE

  6. #6
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    That looks like a nice deck, as I will soon be in the market for a replacement player for the Panny deck I had packed up and shipped from my previous residence; its a non-progressive DVD Audio/DVD Player Panasonic deck, but Im looking for something a bit more upscale from this model and I dont utilize the DVD Audio functions anyway.....

    Does that Cambridge player you sighted with the link have the upconversion feature to make standard discs look like HD? I didnt see it in the link......

  7. #7
    nightflier
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    $300 players

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the $300 price range, isn't there significant difference between different chips (like the Faroudja) and the quality of the video?

    Personally I'm gona stick with my current player until the smoke clears over the BluRay-HDDVD battlefield, but if I had to buy a new $300 player right now, I'd look for the best possible picture quality.

  8. #8
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    "Personally I'm gona stick with my current player until the smoke clears over the BluRay-HDDVD battlefield"

    You know something, you make a really good point.....I didnt even think about that.....what if we upgrade our decks now before HD DVD explodes on the scene and makes all our titles we have now obsolete anyway, unless its gonna be backward compatible.....I think you may be right in sticking with our current players, even if it DOESNT do the upconverting thing like Im looking for.....because HD DVD is on the horizon, and serious HT enthusiasts are going to have to see if its going to be worth the upgrade from standard DVD and IF we are going to have to begin purchasing ALL our titles in our collections all over again.....

    God, I hope not........

  9. #9
    Indifferentist Slosh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    I own an analog 50" Hitachi 4:3
    In that case I wouldn't even bother. A friend of mine has an old, analog 36" Sony XBR and a $2,000 (msrp) Pioneer Elite DV-09. When his CD changer died he replaced it with a cheap Onkyo 6-Disc DVD changer and its picture quality is very nearly as good as the once-flagship Pioneer. Of course my friend still uses the 09 but said he wouldn't spend that kind of money if he had it to do over again. The DV-09 is a very nice player with exceptional build quality but the difference in picture quality between that player and one that cost 1/10th its price for interlaced analog component video signals just isn't worth the money, IMO.

    Now, when you get an HDTV that's a different story
    Originally Posted by Troy: She has that same kind of cleft-pallet, slightly retarded way of singing that so many other people find endearing.


  10. #10
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    If it were ME, I would do this:

    Take that $300 and buy a nice new higher end universal changer and move the Pioneer over to your other system. I'm assuming you have the Pioneer 578 (or similar) which is on the entry level of DVD-A/SACD players. $300 will buy a much better sounding unit for your SACD/DVD-A needs.

    Also, like everyone else, I wouldn't touch a used player. A high end used player that was $600 4 years ago will be eclipsed by a new $79 player.

  11. #11
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    as always, great responses and i'm gonna follow everyones advise and search for new. Now, someone mentioned different chips like DCDi and such.


    Is there one superior chip out in the market and for my budget $300?.


    Also, have a CC gift card for $162, so i'll start there. Thanks.

  12. #12
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    PM edyct on this. He seems to know quite a bit about current scalers and processors. Faroudja is very well respected.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
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    Glad I saw this. It isn't as easy a question as you might think. The Faroudja DCDi chips are well respected, and for good reason. Faroudja revolutionized the deinterlacing of video, virtually eliminating (in most cases) the failure of discreet video fields to line up without gross mismatchng. One or the other of the company's chips can be found in numerous DVD and display devices (Denon, Panasonic, et al.). But other options exist. Silicon Optics makes good, popular deinterlacers, as do other manufacturers like Zoran, Genesis, Pioneer, Sony, etc. Also, deinterlacing chips have to be complemented by good MPEG decoders, at least. The Faroudja chips have been known to interact with certain displays and MPEG choices to exacerbate a problem called macroblocking--patches of discoloration within solid colors. A good deinterlacer won't compensate for a poor compression reader.

    That said, many video imperfections often go unnoticed until brought consciously to people's attention. Once seen, however, they can become annoying, though not necessarily to everyone. I would venture to say that most of us react favorably to strong color rendition and the absence of gross artifacts like false contouring, dot crawl, black/white crush, and pixelization, especially if we are already familiar with them. Depending on the size of the screen, seating distance, and display calibration, many people live quite happily with such flaws as the chroma upsampling error, bad edits between video and film material, jagged edges, etc. if they have no reason to suspect that anything is wrong. In other words, these video flaws tend to remain conceptual (if recognized at all) until, or unless, they come perceptual because of some change in the viewing environment that makes them conspicuous. Than all hell can break loose, and we become insufferable to normal people.

    We used to have a running gag about this phenomenon in audio. We'd warn people against listening to music reproduced on extraordinary systems, because they might get hooked and start spending unconscionable amounts of money on regular upgrades. Every step along the way, we're tempted to say, "It can't get any better than this," only to find out that it can. Oops, there goes another few grand.

    Okay, I've digressed enough. At this point in DVD's life, a lot of solid players are available for $300 or less. I've seen many of them discussed on this board. None of them is perfect (none of the higher priced ones is either, if perfection exists along a sliding scale). Sometimes you have to choose between the buck banging more for video than audio or vice versa, HDMI performance over component, degree of universality, and other considerations. If you stay with the big boys, generally you can't go too far wrong (though they are all capable of a dog or two when you get below $150 or so). I won't make any direct recommendations, because I can imagine that almost any one of them will meet with someone else's competing preference. A video poison for me might remain undetected by the next guy, and vice versa. Before you buy, you should have your priorities established and know where you're prepared to compromise, if necessary.

    Ed

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