Pioneer DV414 -

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  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: Other
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Hardware Reviews

Pioneer DV414

    April 04, 2002

Pioneer DV414
© Other

What They Say

The Review!

Panasonic DVDA110
Pioneer DV414
Sony DVP-5300

The purpose of this review is to compare and contrast three of the major introductory models that are readily available on the market at the current time. The criterion for selection included:

1. Readily available in any area I have searched
2. Could play VCD
3. Could be had for under $400
4. Didn't have an RCA sticker on it. I did check out their low-end player and it would have come dead last anyway in most categories. Their DIVX player is even worse.

Test Equipment and Software

Proscan PS27400 27 inch TV

Ghost in the Shell
George of the Jungle
Godzilla vs. Mothra

Police Story

Three various makes and titles


All units had at least one S output and a pair of RCA audio and video outputs. The Panasonic and Sony had two pairs of each and the Sony also included an AC-3 optical and coax output. The Pioneer sadly only had one pair of S and RCA outputs. This sadly seems to be a Pioneer tradition with their lower level products. It did include component video outputs though. Advantage: Sony and Panasonic

For those who have already or are planning to jump on the DTS bandwagon, the Pioneer and the Panasonic are DTS ready. The Sony was not. It has been heard that the player that will replace the S300 will have DTS though. Advantage: Pioneer and Panasonic

Both the Sony and the Panasonic have a headphone jack with a volume control. The Pioneer does not. Advantage: Sony and Panasonic

All three models shined with any and all discs put in them. Pictures were good, no "artifacts" that I could see and the sound was fine. This is not a problem area. Tie

Yes, I know that VCD looks like garbage compared to DVD but there are an obscene amount of titles in the format and VCD is cheap. The picture quality is somewhere between a good SP VHS tape and one of those commercial EP tapes. The best players were the ones that could handle the MPEG "artifacts" without losing picture detail. The Pioneer was the clear winner here. The Sony came in second but the Panasonic was just not in the same league. Advantage: Pioneer

Well all the tales you have heard are true. The Panasonic will not play RCD discs. Not good if you have any of these audio discs in your collection. The Sony and Pioneer played them without a hitch. Advantage: Pioneer and Sony

All these players possess a locked in region code. The player that the Pioneer 414 replaced, the 505, was noted for have a region code that could be changed by using the remote in a particular fashion. Not so with the 414. Pioneer must have gotten wind of this and redesigned it so that this cannot take place. Trust me, I tried. The word on the street is that the Sony and Panasonic machines are a nightmare to mod while the Pioneer units are rather easy. I see lots of them for some strange reason… Advantage: Pioneer

After messing with all these machines I came to some solid conclusions. Each player is a good performer in one area or another and your choice will depend on what is important to you. All worked fine with regular DVD and audio CD.

Panasonic A110
If all you plan to do are play DVD and CD you are fine. If you have RCD or want a passable picture with VCD, look at the other players.

Sony DVP-S300
A good solid machine that will do what you want with anything you want to put in it. No DTS, but that may not be important to you.

Pioneer DV414
Easy to mod, plays what you feed it and has the best VCD picture. The only drawback is the lack of extra outputs.

Todd Dissinger


Review Equipment


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