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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
April 04, 2002
What They SayThe Review!
David Geeves (Australia)
Having never written a hardware review, mine is going to be from a consumer's point of view and not from someone who claims to know anything about hi-fi equipment, signal to noise ratios, things like that. It's just the review of someone who's impressed with this player and the why.
Wednesday 21st, 1998 will be go down in history as the day that I received my shiny new Pioneer DVL-909 combined DVD and LD player. Now that I've promptly forgotten the date I received it, let's have a closer look.
One thing that immediately sets it apart in my living room is the fact that it's not black like everything else. It's a subdued gold in color and looks pretty impressive - the one on Pioneer's US website is black. ^_^
I actually had time to read the instructions after unpacking it and felt it was pretty detailed. So far I've gone through it looking for certain things after trying to work out why something wasn't displaying properly, or why an icon of a video camera was displaying constantly on one of my discs (that took me a while to figure out!).
Plugging it in was pretty straight forward, everything's clearly labeled. There are two sets of audio out, two video out, 2 x SVHS out.. then you get into the PCM audio outputs, etc. Check out the Pioneer website for details:
The first thing I did after plugging it in, was to check out a few settings via the menu control before putting in The Fifth Element and pressing play.
Immediately we discovered that I'd set it up as if I had a widescreen display. A quick fix and I pressed play again and sat back to enjoy a fabulous movie that's so clear I'll never be able to watch it on video.
Quality was outstanding though I think you'd be hard pressed to say that DVD is better than LD. In the specifications, DVD has a higher resolution. On a TV I can't tell. Maybe with this HDTV thing that they're trying to push onto us, you might be able to tell the difference then.
I had shopped around for about a month or more for players and settled on the Pioneer.
So why did I choose this particular player?
I was in the market for a combined LD/DVD player to take up less shelf space and also because I wanted SVHS outputs for an LD player. My Sony player was sadly lacking in SVHS outputs.
The player is an NTSC and PAL player and this particular model has been modified to be region selectable (yet it still gets the 12 months warranty). There are quite a few region zero players out there, but after some 'talk' that companies were going to make discs that wouldn't play on region zero discs, I decided it may be wiser to play it safe and purchase a player that lets me select what region I want to be in.
A useful feature for the anime fan is the 'condition' button on the remote - it might have been better labeled as a 'memory' button. If you have an aversion to dubbed anime, you can select Japanese language and English subtitles, press 'condition' and the next time you put in the disc it'll play in Japanese with subtitles. Otherwise it will default to English language and no subtitles. The player will remember up to 30 discs - any more than that and it 'forgets' them in the way they were entered.
This player retails from anywhere between $1,900 to $2,100 in most cases. They'll not always be region free, so make sure you ask about that before laying out your money. The PAL market is unlikely to have (m)any anime DVDs for quite some time.
If you just want a DVD player, Pioneer have their DV-505 retailing for about A$1,000. Not as many outputs as the DVL-909 but all the important ones are there. SVHS, 2x analog audio out, composite video, AC3 coaxial and optical out (don't ask me what they mean. I wouldn't have a clue).
Of course, if you've a spare A$3,200 or so, you might want to look at Pioneer's DV-09 DVD player with THX certification, gold plated outputs (I'm not lying here!).