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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
Toshiba 5109 Progressive Scan
April 04, 2002
Toshiba 5109 Progressive Scan
What They SayThe Review!
Toshiba SD5109 DVD Player
By Julian Tacher
Well, after 2 years with my Pioneer 606D I felt it was time to upgrade. Main reason was I went ahead and got a really big TV (50 inch Toshiba TN50X81) that supports HD signals even if it's 4:3. Since I don't feel the need for a dedicated widescreen yet I thought this was a good compromise since I play a lot of videogames that don't look that well on 16:9 screens (but that's just me).
So anyway, the other day I say 800.com had a 10% discount on DVD players, and I had a 30 dollar coupon from a previous purchase, AND they had (still as the time of this writing) an extra 20% off if you signed up for MS passport services. It's free so why not? So after all was said and done I paid 389 with free shipping. Not half bad I must say. Especially since I paid 430 for my Pioneer when it first came out. Now after some history, here's what I think of this sucker.
Progressive scan outputs. Need I say more? 480P outputs look absolutely AWESOME on this TV. Just had to recalibrate the screen for this player but it's just so hard to put into words. Jaggies in a lot of films? gone. Video noise? gone. Anamorphic widescreen DVD's look so incredibly detailed I really am happy to decide to go for the progressive scan player. Another nice plus is the dual DVD trays. So when you want to do that Toy Story/Toy Story 2 double feature you wont even have to stand up to swap movies :). Very nice. Another thing it includes is HDCD decoding, so if you have some disks encoded in this most likey abandoned format (what with DVD audio and all) they really do sound quite superior to regular CDs. Last thing I want to mention is the fact that you can actually access the menu and control of the DVD player from the front panel. lose the remote and it's not that terribly bad as it might be with some others out there (including my old pioneer).
First off, no CD-R playback AT ALL. If you need this, you'll have to spring an extra 200 for the newer SD6200. Personally this doesn't matter much to me, but it is kind of lame on a higher end player, even if it is a year old. Second bad thing to me is the fact that you've only got 1 of each output. OK for most setups, but once again, I was sending S-VHS to my bedroom while outputting to my capture card on the PC at the same time. no more of that (fortunately I put the Pioneer in my bedroom :) Lastly of the bad that I can see is that it IS a older player that is going cheap now since it is being phased out. but I still believe that for 200 less than the new model it's definitely a winner if you hunt around.
The fact that I now am going through almost my entire DVD collection again just to seem them in all their glory (guys, watch Gladiator on a setup like this and you'll never feel the same). Also poorly encoded DVD's will REALLY show how poorly they where made since you'll see every single pixel noise and edge shimmer and other nastiness that may show up. Finally, the remote. it's small and simple. That's good. The bad is that it's missing tons of features on it, PLUS the fact that for some ungodly reason my Sony AV2100 universal remote and control the player, as well as for some reason not learning the commands. Very odd.
So all in all, I feel if you can find this player for something like what I paid, go for it unless you NEED CD-R playback. Since I have a separate 200 disk Sony changer for audio that doesn't mind CD-R's this is no longer a concern for myself. and the output on a progressive capable screen is just impossible to describe. I hooked up both interlaced and progressive then switched the TV back and forth and the improvement in color rendition and detail is superb.
Toshiba TN50X81 TV
Toshiba SD5109 DVD player
Sony STR-DB930 Receiver
Wharfedale Modus 8 speakers (4 of them)
Wharfedale Modus music Center channel
JVC THX Subwoofer (2 of them)