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Choice ZOOM.CNews: Best DVD Players.

ZOOM.CNews Choice: Best DVD Players.

HD Ready or Full HD TVs and projectors have already taken pride of place in our homes and require a high definition signal source, which logically follows that it is time to replace the DVD player. So let us ask ourselves a simple question, is it time to buy … a DVD-player. Yes, yes, it is a DVD player, because the main requirement for a modern video source, the availability of an HDMI output and the ability to demonstrate a signal with a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels, is already within the reach of a modern DVD player, and the choice of discs is not just great – all videos are or filmed on planet Earth is now available for sale on DVD.

A good DVD-player today is simply obliged to carry a scaler “on board” in order to raise the DVD resolution to high-definition and an HDMI interface to transmit it to the TV.

However, it should be noted that to provide a high-quality high-definition picture, a sufficiently powerful processor and DAC are required (if the signal is removed in analog form). The rest of the requirements for modern DVD-players have remained unchanged for several years. It is multi-format, ergonomics and good image and sound quality.

Convenience of control and multi-format, these are the main features of a good DVD-player.

Recently, there has been a lot of price differentiation in the DVD player market. Most manufacturers have concentrated their efforts on the development of inexpensive devices, others have high-quality devices of the Hi-Fi and Hi-End class in their assortment, and only a small part of brands offer devices of an average cost. Nevertheless, we will try to break down the models we have chosen into the usual three categories – budget, medium and top.

This division is in some way conditional, since there are many models that are average in nature and budget in price..

460 x 100 x 355 mm 1.86 kg 2700 rubles 430 x 250 x 45 mm 2.3 kg 3500 rubles 430 x 39 x 192 mm 1.5 kg 3200 rubles.

420 x 49.5 x 215.5 mm 1.8 kg 5500 rubles 420 x 45 x 266 mm 2.5 kg 9000 rubles.

High Budget DVD Players.

435 x 107 x 309 mm 6.3 kg 23,000 rubles 429 x 100 x 300 mm 8.5 kg 30,000 rubles.

VVK DV718SI is a product of one of the market leaders of inexpensive technology, VVK company. VVK DV718SI is not just an inexpensive DVD player, in many ways it is a completely unique device. Its main difference from competitors lies in the smaller overall dimensions of the case and the original design of the front panel.

At a very modest cost (about 2-3 thousand rubles), it is equipped with a good video DAC with a capacity of 108 MHz / 12 bit, and also carries an HDMI interface on board. The upscaling capabilities are good, but not maximum: 720p or 1080i. Full HD resolution with progressive scan this, and almost all other inexpensive devices, is not able to produce.

Budget BBK DV718si is not at all cheap in its capabilities.

The multiformatness of the player even goes beyond the usual budget possibilities. In addition to standard and compressed audio / video formats, VVK DV718SI is also capable of playing high-definition DVD-Audio format. Of course, the presence of high-bit audio DACs and support for DVD-Audio are far from the only condition for obtaining high-quality sound, and therefore in no way implies Hi-End indicators of the audio path. Still, it is worth noting the traditional advantages of VVK technology – multi-zone, as well as the ability to read low-quality and scratched discs.

Another nice feature is the Q-Play function, which allows you to immediately start watching a movie, without watching non-rewindable ad units..

BBK DV718SI design has an original transparent front panel.

Well, and, of course, no budget player is complete without the karaoke function, which is also available in the VVK DV718SI. The controls for this player are more than well organized. The original design console not only looks good, but is also very easy to use. The same can be said for the excellently designed menu with a truly intuitive interface.

Another modern innovation has touched the design of the VVK DV718SI – there is a USB connector for connecting external drives and MP3 players.

DVD-player Samsung DVD-HD850 with strict design and finish reminds the best examples of Hi-End technology.

The next two players fell into the budget niche only for reasons of price, since their cost is in the range of 2.5-4 thousand rubles. But, in essence, these two devices are top or pre-top models in their lines, providing very high indicators of quality and functionality. The first player in this subgroup is the Samsung DVD-HD850 HYPER series DVD player. This is an incredibly stylish device, the design of which echoes the hi-fi technology of the last century.

The main idea of ​​this player is to work as a digital audio-video signal source. Its proprietary video DAC is only 10 bits wide, automatically making HDMI the preferred connection method. The analog audio outputs of the player are simplified to simple stereo, and the DTS signal can be obtained only at the digital output.

The list of playable formats contains all common audio and video standards (DVD-V, Video CD, CD-DA, MP3, WMA, DivX) with the exception of DVD-Audio and SACD (which, in our opinion, are completely irrelevant in technology of this level).

Samsung DVD-HD850 has a good set of connections, but there is no multichannel analog audio output, it is simply not needed.

The video is upscaled to standard 720p / 1080i. Samsung DVD-HD850 has one very tempting option that favorably distinguishes it from its competitors – the presence of a Jog Shuttle on the remote control with the ability



to smoothly adjust the playback speed.

Samsung DVD-HD850 remote control has the most convenient control tool – Jog Shuttle..

Closes the top three budget devices JVC XV-N650. This is the classic slim multi-format DVD player, the top of the JVC lineup. It can be used equally well as an analog and a digital signal source.

The presence of HDMI with the ability to scale up to 720p / 1080i is practically the norm today, but the 14bit / 108 MHz video DAC is already a serious claim for the highest quality analog video output. According to user reviews, the sound of the player as an audio component is excellent, and it favorably distinguishes it from the background of other brands of players.

JVC XV-N650 is a classic budget DVD player, but 14-bit video DAC speaks volumes about the seriousness of the device.

Among the playable formats, there are all common today compressed and standard audio and video formats (DVD-V, Video CD, SVCD, CD-DA, MP3, WMA, DivX), without claims to the audiophile DVD-Audio and SACD standards. Among the pleasant and convenient features are the ability to quickly launch, a convenient high-resolution graphical menu, and well-organized options for visual rewinding and searching for episodes on the disc. The design is classic, very pleasant to look at, not devoid of sophistication and a sense of style.

The fact that such players are sold for only 3000 rubles is only a consequence of the current situation on the market. The quality indicators and functionality of the JVC XV-N650 a couple of years ago would have provided it with a place among the players in the price category of 4-10 thousand, to which we are going right now..

It must be said that practically no new products appear in this group. Most of the “middle peasants” either dropped in price to quite budget 3-4 thousand, or disappeared altogether. The greatest activity in this price group is shown by brands that were previously exclusively sound and came into the niche of video technology only with the development of the home theater segment..

The first representative of the mid-range price group is the new classic DVD-player Pioneer DV-600AV. This unit continues the tradition of previous series such as DV-X8X and DV-X9X. Among the distinctive features of these lines, which have been preserved in the new model, are the simple technological design and the presence of a full set of control buttons on the front panel..

The functionality of the Pioneer DV-600AV is beyond praise. It is absolutely multi-format and supports, in addition to the standard set of DVD-V, Video CD, SVCD, CD-DA, MP3, WMA, DivX, both high-resolution audio formats: both DVD-Audio and SACD. And one more pleasant surprise – the ability to play not only WMA, but also WMV files. Thus, with an HDMI connection, you can get full 1080p at the player’s output.

The analog part is also good and has 12bit / 108MHz characteristics. As a means of expanding the capabilities of the player, there is a USB input on board, which allows you to connect an external storage device or MP3 player. With an average cost of 4000 rubles, the Pioneer DV-600AV is more than an interesting acquisition..

Pioneer is a very well-known brand in the world of audio and video equipment, and Pioneer DV-600AV is a very solid AV source..

Another device of a similar price is Sony DVP-NS78H. Despite its modest cost, it has all the hallmarks of an elite technology. Its design is strict and consistent.

The front panel is made of sheet aluminum. Expensive appearance is fully confirmed by excellent technical equipment. Upscaling is made up to uncompromising 1080p and in addition, there is the possibility of using a number of image enhancement systems that are not often found among DVD-player options..

Sony DVP-NS78H, like many other DVD players, comes in two colors..

The Precision Drive 3 system provides the most accurate reading of information from the disk. The dual laser pickup and Dynamic Tilt Compensation function serve the same purpose. The playback control and the player as a whole are very well implemented.

In terms of multi-format, the Sony model cannot compete with the previously mentioned Pioneer, but, nevertheless, it supports all major formats: DVD, SVCD, VideoCD, CD-DA, DivX, MP3, JPEG and HD JPEG, including native SACD. The set of Sony DVP-NS78H outputs is somewhat simplified. For example, there is no multichannel audio output (obviously, the focus is on the HDMI interface).

This model will undoubtedly interest people who prioritize the name, style, quality and reliability of the equipment..

The casing thinness of the Cambridge Audio DVD89 is deceiving, this DVD player is a serious mid-range unit.

While the two previous players, with outstanding functionality and quality, have a cost as close as possible to the budget, the latter is a typical representative of the middle price category. DVD The Cambridge Audio DVD89 is a truly versatile player that claims to be both audio and video source alike. Its appearance is more reminiscent of a traditional Hi-Fi component.

On the face of the typical signs: heavy metal body, aluminum front panel, minimalist design.

Cambridge Audio DVD89 DVD player colors.

The name of the player promises even more than its appearance. Cambridge Audio is one of the most famous and popular brands in the hi-fi audio world. The technique bearing this name regularly (and, I must say, deservedly so) receives the highest awards from various specialized publications.

And Cambridge Audio DVD89 itself is no exception. It has won numerous awards for 2006 Best DVD Player. The end of 2007 is already in the yard, but it still remains very competitive.

The presence of HDMI with upscaling up to 1080i and a 12bit / 54MHz video DAC are not the height of technology, but they are quite capable of showing a high-quality picture. And the increased sound quality of the audio section paired with support for DVD-Audio and SACD – this already belongs to the category of eternal values ​​that will delight for many years. The player’s switching capabilities are very wide. In addition to HDMI output, there is also DVI; high quality analogue outputs are presented in full.

The cost of Cambridge Audio DVD89 today is about 7-8 thousand rubles.

The previous two units from Sony and Pioneer were middlings aiming to get closer to the budget category, while the Cambridge Audio DVD player looks more like a device that came from the Premium category. And, moving on to top-class devices, we note once again that practically this entire niche is occupied by brands one way or another specializing in sound equipment. This means that the players themselves, almost by default, are high-quality audio-video sources..

High Budget DVD Players.

The more expensive the equipment is, the less frequently the rulers are updated. This is a characteristic feature of Hi-Fi and Hi-End equipment. Therefore, the first device that we recommend in the top category is the already familiar Yamaha DVD-S2700 DVD-player.

In appearance and in essence, the Yamaha DVD-S2700 is a classic high-end universal player. The design and shape of the body leaves no doubt that we are dealing with a Hi-End audio-video component. This design is traditional, ageless and versatile.

Such a device commands respect only by its appearance, but, if necessary, it can demonstrate a gorgeous picture and great sound..

Yamaha DVD-S2700 Highest Class Universal DVD Player.

The technical specifications of the Yamaha DVD-S2700 are surprising. It uses a powerful video DAC with 12bit / 216MHz characteristics, the Faroudja DCDi system and a number of other solutions that allow you to get the maximum quality, both at the analog and digital output. Scaling the signal at the HDMI output is up to the maximum possible 1080p.

The sound path, adapted not only and not so much for cinema as for high-quality multichannel audio, is implemented no less impressively. Four powerful two-channel audio DACs, separate power for audio and video circuits, Audio Direct mode – obviously, the sound of the Yamaha DVD-S2700 was given as much attention as the image. The result of combining all these technologies and capabilities in one package has been more than positive.

And if we take into account the good omnivorousness of the player, which equally successfully reproduces both standard and compressed audio and video (DVD-Video, SVCD, VideoCD, DivX, WMA, MP3, CD-DA), we can say that the Yamaha DVD-S2700 is not only high-quality but also an absolutely universal signal source.

Yamaha DVD-S2700 has the richest set of connectors.

And right there it is worth making a reservation that at a cost of about 20-30 thousand rubles (namely, this money costs a premium class DVD player) versatility and the highest quality is more the norm than an out of the ordinary fact. And confirmation of this is another representative of this price category, the Pioneer DV-LX50 DVD-player. Unlike the previous device, it has a modern design.

Black lacquer, fashionable this season, provides the ideal stylistic compatibility of the Pioneer DV-LX50 with almost all modern TVs of various brands and especially with the native plasmas of the KURO series.

DVD-player Pioneer DV LX50 will give odds to many HD-players in terms of solidity of appearance and electronic filling.

This DVD player is equipped with the latest technology. It has the ultimate multiformatics, supporting all common media file types (WMA, MP3, WMV, DivX, JPEG, JPEG HD) and all known optical disc types except high-density discs (HD DVD and Blu-ray). High quality video processor, 12bit / 218MHz DAC and upscaling up to 1080p ensure excellent image quality. Burr Brown’s audiophile audio DACs and support for DVD-Audio and SACD formats allow you to enjoy high quality sound.

In addition, the Pioneer DV-LX50 features an extremely convenient remote control and a well-implemented on-screen menu. Today, it is one of the most advanced and modern DVD players not only in the Pioneer line, but also among the devices of other manufacturers. And, what is especially pleasant, it has retained all the advantages of classic models, such as the legendary Pioneer DV-989AVi.

The Pioneer DV LX50 has plenty of connectors for both analog and digital.

And the last DVD player on our list that can claim to be the first and best is the NAD T585 universal player. Like Cambridge Audio, NAD has long been a brand that is well known to both audio enthusiasts and high-quality video enthusiasts. According to its characteristics, the NAD T585 is not inferior to other competitors.

It has a 12bit / 216 MHz video DAC, is perfectly prepared for high-quality audio playback and is no less omnivorous than other devices in its class..

Among the high-definition audio formats, along with DVD-Audio and SACD, there is also the older HDCD. The design of NAD equipment is absolutely unique and is an invariable component of the corporate identity. And the second constant component can be called the proprietary NAD sound, familiar to many audiophiles and music lovers. Perhaps, it is precisely the capabilities of the audio path that begin to come to the fore when it comes to high-end DVD players.

While a high-quality picture is quite possible to achieve from inexpensive models. So, when choosing a high-end DVD player, in fact, we also choose a CD-DA / DVD-A / SACD player. And this is already a topic for a separate conversation, separate from the issues of video playback..

The solid modesty of expensive technology is the NAD T585.

This is how, in our opinion, video signal sources of today look like. All of these models are outstanding in their class, but undoubtedly there are many more than nine worthy players. In this review, we tried to tell you about the brightest and most interesting models.

Well, the final decision on whether or not to buy this or that device, as always, we recommend to take only after a detailed study of the market, gaining personal experience of communicating with the device or consulting a specialist.

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