01-17-2005, 02:32 PM
mitch mitch is offline
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Hello again. I noticed your recommendation against Panasonic recorders
on the "Sales and deals of the week" page. Do you have a recommendation
regarding Panasonic players? The reason I ask is I am looking to buy a
standard DVD player (primarily for testing burned DVDs and to use with
an older conventional TV) and recent Consumer Reports tests for DVD
players give high marks to a couple of Panasonic units. I am looking to
buy a lower to midrange model (not looking for any HD features) and
would like to get as many "standard" features for the money as possible
(I am on a budget). The Panasonics referenced in the Consumer Reports
tests appear to provide the most features, supported DVD formats, etc.
for the money. (I believe I will also need an RF modulator as my older
TV only has an RF input.)

I have seen some reviews by individual purchasers of Panasonic players
who apparently have had bad experiences with their units related to
inferior drive motors (which would indicate poor reliability), and upon
these failures their units display an "H07" error code (reviews easily
found via Google searches). Apparently once a unit displays this code,
the motor is burned out and the best you can do is just toss it. Have
you heard anything about this abnormally high rate of drive motor
failures on Panasonics or can you comment on this issue? Also, what
would be your recommendations regarding player providers in general (who
is better/best and who to stay away from)?

Thank you very much for your help!


On a side note, I recently came across
http://www.disctronics.co.uk/downloads/downloads_dvd.htm which appears
to be an excellent list of documents regarding video/DVD/disk
technology. Apparently the author has a PhD and works for the UK based
disk reproduction company that hosts this site. I found the "DVD-Video
Format & Features" document especially helpful as it cleared some
things up for me and has assisted in my video "training". This
theoretical background and your guides seem to be a great combination!
Another good document from Pioneer regarding DVD-R media
formats is
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/Pi...s/DVDR_whitepa per.pdf.
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01-17-2005, 09:15 PM
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Thanks for those links. I'll definitely give them a look sometime in the near future.

As far as players, Panasonic is still weak. Pioneer is not very good either as a player.

I am SUPER-HAPPY with my Toshiba, and I've rarely met somebody that was disappointed in the unit. I have it for playing R1 NTSC DVDs, and it is a performer. I've had this one here for almost 4 years now, a real workhorse, plays all recordable discs just fine. It has a couple of small audio and video filters that engage on playback too, so I'm really fond of those, as a restoration fan.

JVC is another REALLY good player.

Philips players gets high marks these days.

If you're looking for a "play anything" player, for PAL, MPEG-ISO, etc ... non-standard things, then drop a quick $40 on a Cyberhome player. Just be warned these give out in time, motors die, so I have them ONLY as a SECONDARY player in a system, for those odd discs people gets from time to time, like PAL. A certain new Philips one can play many things too.

NOT fond of Sony, not fond of Apex.

To be quite honest, one of the most versatile DVD players I've ever owned is my LiteOn 5001 DVD recorder that is about $150 these days. In 2001, that's the same price my Toshiba was. When my Cyberhome died (I broke it, actually, hit the tray too hard, burned out motor), I started to use the LiteOn more and more. It is the single most perfect PAL DVD player I have ever seen to date. It will play "stubborn" discs quite well too, thanks to the LiteON 411s DVD writer inside the unit (a great DVD burner).


A lot of the "what's a good player" depends on what you plan to watch? Can you give me an idea of what kind of discs you intend to watch? The format, etc.

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01-18-2005, 05:49 AM
mitch mitch is offline
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My first priority is to convert and play some 8mm home movies to DVD
(ref. my previous posts in the "ATI Card vs. Recorder, Etc. (newbie)"
topic of the "Capturing (Other)" forum). Due to prior time constraints,
I am only now getting back to this project. I now have a PC system that
should definitely do the job. DVDs will probably end up in DVD-R format
as this appears to be the most "universal" format for DVD players.
Other formats (for the player) would be nice for experimenting though.
Since I have the LG GSA-4082B Super-Multi drive (burner), I should be
able to burn in various formats. I am not planning to watch a lot of
PAL-SECAM based or non-region 1 movies, so I don't see that I would need
a player that would support these features. My wife wants to do some
work with cameras and slide shows, so I will need JPEG image file playback.

Consumer Reports indicates that all players they have tested provide
excellent video playback quality, it's primarily the feature set and
ease of use that should determine the choice. CR's "quick picks" for
single disk players include Panasonic DVD-S47, Panasonic DVD-S27, and
Toshiba SD-3960. The Panasonics play basically all CD and DVD formats
incl. even DVD-RW VR mode and DVD-RAM (I assume CR actually tests all
stated formats supported) and are easy to use. The Toshiba supports
"most" CD and DVD formats and is not quite as easy to use (actual
feature lineups and recommendations are included on CR's web site for
subscribers, of which I am). What kind of scares me about the
Panasonics though is the reported "H07" motor failures, maybe not
necessarily for these models but for a number of prior models; I assume
these probably also have similar motors. I don't want to buy a "good"
player based on features and then have it go out in just a few months.
The Toshiba is fairly cheap, about $70.

I hope this provides a bit more information on what I am planning to use
the player for. Thanks again for your help!
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01-20-2005, 03:18 AM
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The Philips DVP642 is a player many people like these days. However, it is mainly because it plays nearly anything.

I still say go for the Toshiba. I'd be surprised if you didn't like it. Most Toshiba owners love their machines, myself included... no complaints whatsoever. And this player has lasted me several years now. You mentioned the Toshiba has "lesser" features according to CR. What features does it claim are missing that you may want?

People flock to Panasonic DVD players and recorders for no real reason. The equipment is just simply not very good. Consumer Reports also flocks to Panasonic equipment for no real reason, so it's objectivity is in serious question. At one point in time, in years past, it did the same with Sony products, giving high ratings to mediocre products. For them to recommend a machine that is known to be susceptible to motor burn-out is ridiculous.

JVC is another line-up of players that is just really, really good.

Pioneer is usually a good player, but not really cooperative with homemade discs. It's very picky about things, and it probably should not be.

Samsung has also made some decent recorders in years past, but not sure where that stands right now.

Beyond these main brands, you're largely left with various cheap models. Many of which work great, but longevity is not all that great, nor is cooperation with homemade DVD media (usually cheapo's do great at CD and other oddball stuff, foreign discs, etc).

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03-18-2005, 06:05 AM
strangepork strangepork is offline
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Even though this response is totally late. I agree that the Phillips DVP642 is a great all around player.

Pal to NTSC, Divx, all region and plays everything ive put in it. I bought 3 of these players and everyone of my buddies have purchased one. for the price its really good. I have had 3 occasions where certain files didnt play, but later i found out that it was the way the file was encoded. I dont use it much for Divx, but the all region and pal conversion is what makes this baby worth it. - strangepork
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03-18-2005, 07:05 AM
mitch mitch is offline
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Hi strangepork,

Thanks for your input. This is actually the player I went with. Many
reviews I read on various sites stated that it will play nearly
anything, and as a video newbie I thought it would be good to get a
player that would be somewhat "forgiving". Thus far I have played some
"test" ATI captures with -RWs authored with TDA (Tsunami) and it seems to
do fine. At about $70 from Wal-Mart, I figured I couldn't go wrong. If
it will hold up, then I will believe I made a good purchase.

- mitch
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