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Discussion Starter #1
This was orignally posted at AVS so I'll just spread the word here. Faroudja is back and MPEG 4 support in too! =)
 

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I've been reading the posts too, and I agree, it sounds like good news. I hope we're able to see the real thing 'one of these days'. Cheers!!
 

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it is probably likely that we'll see a 5 disc version of this player next model year. Their 5 disc player seems to have a lot of the features of the top of the line player. So it shouldn't be too difficult to add those features to a changer style player.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I decided to ask Panasonic Cananada and here is the response.

Please be advised that model DVD-S97 is
scheduled
for release in mid-November and mslp has not yet been finalized.
 

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This model upconverts to 1080i over HDMI only. Wouldnt the LG7832 be a better choice since it has the option (depending on build date) of upconverting via both component and DVI?
 

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JohnnyG said:
Oh how I wish they'd make a 5-disc version!
John: Do you play CD's on a 5 disc DVD player?
A friend who services electronics told me I would be better off to
get a 5 disc CD player for music and a single disc player for DVD so that
the laser would not be worn out by playing a lot of CD's.
 

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Yup, I would primarily use a DVD changer for music CDs. I do agree that a seperate CD changer is the way to go, but they're getting hard to find! Especially at anything I'd consider a reasonable price. H/K's CD changer, for example, is more expensive than most DVD changers at $450.
 

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panasonic.ca has the S97 on their site with an MSRP of $499.

Any one seen one at any of the stores in their neck of the woods yet? This looks to be a pretty impressive player and I'm really looking forward to giving one a spin.
 

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I guess that price will drop considering a lot of people already have upsampling DVD players at less that half that price.
 

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I've never seen any Panasonic gear sell for the MSRP listed at panasonic.ca.

Mind you, I only have their SC-HT400 system, and an RV32 DVD player. I bought both for less than the MSRP of the SC-HT400.
 

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but do you know what's inside them
Sort of. I read what people are saying over at AVS et al. Genesis is not the only game in town when it comes to deinterlacers/scalers. Others perform well. Momitsu and LG come to mind. Also the US MSRP is $300. A far cry from $500 Canadian. Not sure why.

Also, I saw no mention of MPEG4 on the Panny site. Is that an undocumented feature?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
The pricing maybe hard to drop for this one. I already have my unit from US and saved $30 (bascially 10%).

In terms of price, it's not going to drop that easily. A few things with pricing.

Faroudja FLI2310 - The chip alone is worth about 1/2 price of the unit.
The upconversion
The scaling features of the RP91 + more. (such as 4:3 shrink/zoom and 16:9, pillarboxing, however RP91 has a MSRP of $699.95 US)
Panasonic high-end MPEG decoder
etc...

Comparing this unit to the Denon DVD-3910 which also uses FLI-2310, the Pansonic would win, because not in price but it has more features.

Also since you get the RP91 features alone, that's an instant price deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
myself said:
but do you know what's inside them
Yes there are other manus in town like Silicon.

MPEG4 is supported if you read the S97 manual since it was brought up in the AVS forum.

Also if you read Paul's start post of the S97 when he compares some units, S97 appears to be the winner.
 

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I have tried no less than 4 upsampling players now.

Here is my ranking:

1. panny s97: Great tweakability, great performance. Some macroblocking, perhaps a *tiny bit* more than the 7832. Nice GUI.
2. lg 7832...green artifacts in dark scenes killed it for me...other wise just as good as the s97. Panny wins for tweakability and build. On the + side, LG upsamples via component. Like the s97, upsampling gives clear improvements on fixed pixel displays. White crush via DVI...but can get a firmware fix.
3. Samsung 841: pq not on par with s97 or 7832.
4. toshiba 5970: pq not on par with s97 or 7832. Terrible macroblocking (much more objectionable than the others IMO).

Thats about it. Its worth noting that the panny is more expensive (~$150-200 CAD more) than the others. But the PQ, functionality, and build make up the difference. In bright scenes the 7832 and the s97 have identical (excellent) output (as far as I can tell in my non-technical 'eyeball' tests). Dark scenes are no contest: the s97 wins. My 7832 suffered from strange green artifacts (in dark shadows only) and residual faint ghosts left behind when white objects dissapear in front of a dark background.

The sammy and the toshiba were both noticably inferior to the s97 (and the lg). To make things even better, the panny has adjustable colour output, arbitrary zoom control, and on the fly upsampling.

Bottom line: if you want the best upsampler with HDMI/DVI...and if a little bit of macroblocking doesn't bother you (all of the competition listed here does it as much or more anyway)....then look no farther than the s97.

Testing notes:

1. When using a 'reference' quality DVD (like 'Shrek', etc), there is really very little to choose between these players. I would say that the output is not significantly better upsampled than on plain old 480p $120 players. Fine details still come through a little better, but just a little.

2. On lower quality DVDs (like 'Nemo', etc) the differences in player quality will become quite clear. Of course, no player will get rid of the haloes around the fish in some scenes in nemo, since these artifacts seem to come directly from the source encoding process. But I have noticed that the upsampling lg7832 and s97 do a good job of smoothing out some of the jaggies at higher resolution than they could at 480p. HQ material have fewer such artifacts, and level the playing field significantly. (At least, thats what appears to be going on in my testing).

Why all DVD producers don't do as good a job as dreamcast has done producing Shrek is a puzzle to me. Could it really cost that much more?
 

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green artifacts in dark scenes
What is it with that, anyway?! I see it far too often. On some TVs it might be the grey scale, but certainly not on my own set. I can't believe more people don't mention this.
 

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For those not aware the list prices at Futureshop.ca and 2001 Audio Video is $399. Someone on AVS has reported getting an additional 10% off at 2001AV.
 
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