Absolute Best DVD Player?

What is the best DVD player (Up to $4000 retail) for best sound, video, and build quality? Thank you. Rick
Panasonic DVD H1000..excellent sound, Progressive scan output that is better on my Toshiba HDTV than the 9200 Toshiba unit. Built like a tank (30+ pounds). All reviews say it is great and I would have to agree with them. I am anxioulsy awaiting mine. Only thing I wish it supported is DVD Audio (website specs are kind of murky on this..says it supports 96Khz output but stops short of saying it is DVD Audio capable.) Oh well, by the time they figure out the format wars it will be five years from now and they will only have out 3 titles I would like to own in the format anyway. My 3 cents but do a search in an engine and you will see only glowing reviews. Read a few places it was the HOLY Grail of DVD players. I believe it will exceed all your requirements.
Sony has just released their latest flagship DVD player, the 9000ES. It retails for $1,500. It is supposed to have progressive outputs and be able to play SACD's. I've yet to audition one myself, but I've been pleased with other Sony ES components. Certainly one to look at. Good luck.
Sony 9000ES sounds great, but for the $$ try Pioneer's Elite new 37 model. progressive etc. etc. Plays just as good, but your not paying for Sony proprietary software.
Rick5189 -- What is the "BEST" DVD Player on the planet. There could be an argument as there are currently three high-end DVD Players that are worthy of elite status right now. As "Cjattieasy" has said, there is the Panasonic DVD H1000. But also, there is a Toshiba model that is retailing for almost $2,000.00, and there is the Sony DVP-S9000ES, and that player retails for $1,500.00. That VERY player also plays SACDs. That's something you could look at if you should decide if SACD is in your future. And lastly, Pioneer has a new "high-end" player coming out soon. And this is going to be a Pioneer Elite Player too, I believe. This is going to be dubbed the DV-38 (or the DV-39). This player is going to also have "progressive scan" capability (just like the other three). But unlike Sony's DVP-S9000ES, the new Pioneer Elite DV-38 (or is it the DV-39 again) will not have SACD playback capability, but it will have their patented "urushi" finish and the rosewood side panels (just like the existing DV-09). That player will retail for $1,800.00 (I am told). If you want that capability as well in a Pioneer Elite Player, then you have to invest about $5,000.00 and get their "ULTRA" high-end player (whose model number escapes me right now). But now, if you are willing to forgo some refinements or capabilities (not sure of what they are yet) for the sake of saving money, then there is the Pioneer Elite DV-37. It has most of the capabilities of the higher priced Pioneer Elite DV-38 (or DV-39) and it has "progressive scan" capability as well (if you should need this capability down the road, then you're already in the door), and it retails for just $1,000.00 (though someone on this site tells me you can get it for less than that...... that I still have to see to believe it..... but if you can, it deserves a serious look...... I am adding the DV-37 to my shortlist right along with a Pioneer Elite DV-09 and a Sony DVP-S7700, which I expect to get WAY below retail since dealers will be closing these players out so that they can carry the new models that are coming out). Is that five players I just named. I did say I was naming just three, didn't I ????
What's the word on the Faroudja DV1000 DVD-CD reference player thanks N.F.
Yo Slngmstr;Faroudja player is/was their entry/to soon. no dts /no component.It is based on Toshiba,1st gen.player,and can't be upgraded,I think it had a 5 grand price tag.Next thing AA is giving them away---Well you know;sort of.I'm sure there were many upset original purchasers;but hey they've had 2 years to get over it.
One more thing: "best" and under 4 grand,?? Anybody got anything to say about the over 4 grand players?---Love to dream.Ayre etc.
California Audio Labs 2500 is probabely the best player made. It is 2500.00 and build completely in California. Most dvd players use a Pioneer or Panasonic platform to start off. This player exceeds what is capable based upon those platforms. Check out Widescreen Review. It is part of an American designs system that is setting new performance standards for hometheater.
I picked up the Farouja for a steal. At the time I owned 1 $1000.00 Sony. The picture quality is slightly better. Especially the blues and greens but nothing significant. Where this player really excelled was the sound quality. It is unbeleivable. I think the sound was designed by EAD. I even used it as a tempoary cd transport and it really shinned. It is extremely dissapointing that it isnt DTS but the sound quality is so good I would be suprised if another player in DTS would sound as good as this one in Dolby Digital.
I have just installed a new Arcam DV-88. It has been rated by Britt 'Home Theater' as the best they have tested. It really is good! It is also great as a CD player too.
Wlaser, I'd like to know more about the Arcam. i thought it wasn't out yet. Where did you purchase, any links, how much if you don't mind my asking. Thanks, have a joyous Christmas.
I purchased from a dealer in Florida. Go to the Arcam web site(listed on this site). They have a list of dealers and a copy of the review.
I currently own a Pioneer DVD player DV-37 although it does not have the best picture, nor sound I don't feel disappointed I got it. The main reason, while helping my sis shop for a multi region player, I discovered that multi region players by Sony (DVP-S7700 ), Panasonic, Toshiba, and CAL would not play RCE disks such as "The Patriot". What use will you have for your expensive DVD player if you would not be able to play the new RCE discs. The high end audio dealer in Manila even discontinued carrying Sony, CAL, Toshiba, and Panasonic for fears of complaints from their valued clients so they simply carry Pioneer, although the quality is not the best. One time or another you would be tempted to purchase DVDs abroad and be disappointed if you wont be able to play it.
Geevee, why put up with a player that does not offer the best picture and sound just so you can save a couple of bucks importing a copy of a movie from some far off location? When you are shelling out this kind of money on a DVD player(1-1500) whats an extra couple of bucks for the movie going to hurt? But hey, if thats what you want then more power to you.
According to these experts it's the Camelot Round Table, by a long shot. http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_7_4/dvd-benchmark-progressive-shootout-12-2000. html http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_7_4/dvd-benchmark-part-5-progressive-10-2000.html
Treed is correct. Like he said: Read this. http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_7_4/dvd-benchmark-progressive-shootout

Thanks for that link. I attempted to print out this report, but it would have resulted in using a lot of paper with my printer, so instead, I have downloaded the file to a floppy disc on my "A:" drive. I will uploaded from there and read it later on. However, I am going to print out the actual reports of the Pioneer Elite DV-09 and the Pioneer DV-37 since those are the players I am primarily interested in. Again, thanks again for that link.

My pleasure Charles. My Pioneer DV-37 is sweet, if not the absolute best on the planet, (killer cd playback) ,w/progressive scan. Should outgun the DV-09.
NoMoney, GeeVee, I think we should clarify something. The Pioneer DV-37 is arguably in the top 2 or 3 when
it comes to video quality. It outperforms the "legendary" DV-09, and it takes a high definition projector to possibly see any difference between the DV-37 and the Sony 9000ES, and even then the difference is minimal. Some people prefer the color accuracy of the Pioneer when compared to Sony. So, the Pioneer DV-37 can be considered "top rated" and certainly far from second rate. That this is available at $500 less than the Sony is important, and the CD playback is a knockout that can compete with any new, under $1500 CD player I have heard.
O.K. the video may be around the same quality. I haven't compared the c.d. playback between the two, but I don't see a bunch of folks raving about the cd playback of the dv-37 all the time. But lets assume the cd playback is the same, you get the SACD for the other 500 bucks.
No one here is mentioning the modifified players from Dan Wright or Stan Warren, why? I was under the impression that they were great.
NoMoney, you make a good point as usual, I have considered switching to the 9000ES myself for the SACD playback, but was simply pointing out that the $500 difference can be an important factor to many people. As far as the CD playback is concerned, I have had more than my share of Sony CD players over the years and can say with some authority that I am very familiar with their sound. My Sony DVP-7700 was a good machine, but it was no contest against the DV-37 in cd audio quality as well as video quality. Also raves can be deceiving, I remember the raves that the Panasonic A310 got for its audio quality... I have owned two of them, and while I can say it was a smooth and decent CD player, it was far from what I consider great,
(very dull & boring). I trust only a few reviewers and the recomendations of a few of the proven regulars here including NoMoney and Treed. Thanks for your continued contributions here.
I have to agree with you Bmpync, $500.00 is more than just chump change. It really depends on where your next purchase is heading, or what your last one was. It wouldn't make a lot of sense to dump the player you just got so you can loose money there and go spend even more on another player just to hear SACD. Don't get me wrong, it is a great format but not a lot of software yet. If you where all ready in the market for a cd player or dvd player then it is worth a listen. The Sony 7700 (cd playback) was not in the same ball park at all when compared to the Cal. Audio but the 9000es could hang with it. I feel o.k. saying it would compare with 1 to 1.5k cd players but am not so sure about some of the comparisons with Levinson and such. Thanks for the compliment, your posts and replies allways are considerate and helpfull.
Hey no_money, which CAL did you compare the 9000es to?
Camelot Round Table Features:

Video Stage
¨ Composite, S-Video, Component interlaced video outputs
¨ S-Video output driven by Excalibur Powered S-Video technology for pristine clarity
over cable runs up to 150 feet

¨ Physically separate video daughter board
¨ Progressive Scan Output with 720x480 resolution, featuring PureProgressive™ Digital
Video Technology by DVDO

¨ Progressive Scan outputs available via RGB, VGA or Component Y-Pr-Pb) interfaces

Audio Stage
¨ Full 24-bit/96 kHz compatibility
¨ Burr Brown PCM 1732 24-bit DAC/HDCD® Digital Filter
¨ Automatic upsampling of normal 16-bit/44 kHz CDs to 24-bit/96 kHz quality
¨ Discrete I/V Converter and post filter/buffer stage
¨ Seven independent analog section local power supply stages
¨ Massive, low-stray field power supply
¨ Fourteen total separate power supplies
¨ Independent power supply windings for display/user interface, transport mechanism,
video signal processing, and audio processing stages

¨ Ultra low jitter Coaxial and I2S digital outputs
This thread was about the absolut best DVD player. I now own both the Round Table and the Sony S9000ES. CD playback on the Round Table is incredible, automatic upsampling of normal 16-bit/44 kHz CDs to 24-bit/96 kHz quality precludes the need for a seperate upsampler such as the Perpetual Tech P1-A (appx. $900, which I also use on my Denon DCM-5000). I have not even hooked up the video portion of the S9000ES, I use it only for the SACD option.
The Round Table is unsurpassed in video performance, the picture is absolutely stunning and CD playback is as good as anything I have ever heard on regular CD's, up to the $8000 price point. Yes the software is limited for SACD, but I find myself buying types of music that I wouldn't normally listen to just because the SACD sound is so unbelieveable.
Both of these players have their strong suits and I found it impossible to choose between the two. That's why I bought both.
Hi Talmage3, it was a IkonMkII. It was a close call between the two but the Sony seemed to be a little smoother with better mids, while the Cal had a little more bottom end to it.
Treed, I would be curious to know what you think of the Camelot's picture when compared to the 9000ES. I know that the Sony can't handle difficult discs as well, but I wonder how it differs with a good quality anamorhic DVD?
Must be gettin tird, one to many typos tday.
As I said, I haven't even hooked up the Sony. It has been my experience that the differences between all of the top-of-the-line DVD players ( Toshiba,Pioneer,Sony,Etc.), when playing a high quality DVD are slight at best. There will be some slight differences in sharpnees and color, but the differences will be small. The big differences show up when you are playing a difficult transfer or an older film. That's when you can really tell the difference. Of course, the better your display, the bigger the difference.
So many people are happy with the video performance of the Sony, that I feel certain that 90 percent of the time it would be hard to tell the difference between the Sony and the Round Table. It's that other 10 percent that I bought the Round Table for. Even the most critical viewer could not knock the Round Table for anything! It's hard to find anything in audio or video that you can say that about. If it played SACD's the Sony would be listed on AudiogoN.
Ayre DVD-1. Awesome unit but potentially (actually definitely but in glorious fashion) breaks the budget depending on installed options. Rick you're question is a tricky one. From what I've seen it is a matter of trade offs. For really good sound the Cal Audio units are fantastic, but in terms of DVD they are behind many of the competitors in terms of latest generation enhancements. Same holds true for the Opposite. The really good DVD players like the Sony run cirles around the Cal in terms of video but can't and will never touch the Cal in terms of sound quality. Just two different beasts. You will have to decide based on the rest of your system. Do you have a high end 2 channel set-up? If yes, you might consider the Cal 2500. If you are really in the home theater camp and want to get the most out of a HDTV, then go with the Sony or Pioneer DV-05. All three reommendations will come in way under your budget. If you really want to spend some bucks and own the best check out the Ayre. My real suggestion is to wait a little longer. In the next 2 years (if you can hold out with your VCR that long) there will be a whole new generation of players that include DVD-A, SACD, etc and the format war may be little clearer.
Nordostman, the Ayre fully loaded is almost $12000, three times Rick's guigeline. You are right about the CAL units running circles around Sony in regular CD playback, ( I use the Cal CL2500-SSP), But the CAL units DO NOT beat the Camelot Round Table in regular CD sound, and the Round Table can be purchased brand new for $3500. The Round Table also uses the Dragon 5.1 jitter reduction technology for all audio playback, including all 5.1 surround modes!
When you take into consideration all of Rick guidelines, up to $4000, best sound, best video, best build quality, no other DVD player on the market compares! It's a shame so few people know about this player, obviously Camelot Technology could use some serious help with marketing. I found another review for the Round Table that goes into more detail about the audio side of this player. http://www.audiorevolution.com/equip/camelotroundtable/index.html
I am not a dealer, just a very satisfied customer trying to share an incredible find.
Wait for a couple of months for Pioneer Elites DVS10A to come to this country. It's available in Japan and getting rave reviews. I'ts the progressive version of the DV-09. You won't be dissapointed, or wait for the MSB progressive upgrade for the DV-09 oif ou already own it!

They are the best buy you'll get for sound and picture guality! I'd recomend them over the Proceed PMDT!