Atypical Q: Want Advice on Non-Prog DVD w/grt Vid

I have a slightly different situation than most other threads I've seen. I don't need a progressive scan DVD because my 50" Hitachi Ultravision rear projection is about 6 years old and only has s-video inputs. Even tho it says that it can display 1000 lines of horizontal res, my understanding is that I'm stuck with interlaced due to the s-vid only inputs. With the Hitachi going strong, I won't trade it in for a few more years. W/several formats floating around out there and prices coming down all the time, I don't see the value in paying the big bucks for a high end progressive DVD at the moment if I can only use interlaced outputs anyway.

I'm thinking that I need a player with great interlaced video quality. My HT audio will be sent to my Theta Casanova HT processor so I'm only interested in the transport abilities of the player from an audio standpoint. Here's my HT setup: Theta Casanova and B&K 7250 5 channel amp. I have Revel Ultima Studios in front, Ultima Voice center channel, and Ultima Embrace surrounds. --I have to say that the Studios sound so sweet with SF Power 3's and the SF Line 3 in 2 channel. :)

With all the focus and advice on progressive players out there, I'm having a hard time figuring out what non-prog DVD player to get. Any suggestions on a good player to fit the bill for me? Thanks much for your insight.
I have a Sony 9000ES. It is progressive but has an option for interlaced output (by a switch on the rear panel). Nice feature--particularly if upgrade your TV in the future and decide you do want progressive. This was also important to me, because I'm using a Faroudja DVP2200, which only accepts interlaced video (except the bipass). The image quality is excellent on the sony--best I've used thus far.

Not to worry. I am also using an "interlaced" display, and since I bought mine over a year-and-a-half ago, I don't think I am going to upgrade my set anytime soon either (although, I am looking at a RP HDTV right now...... and then if I end up getting one, then that set is going to go in my living room...... my current 27-inch interlaced set is in my bedroom, which is where my home theater is). But still, there are some high quality DVD Players that are still available out there, even though, they may be found on the used market right now. The "high-end non-progressive" players that might be of interest to you may include models such as the Pioneer Elite DV-09, the Sony DVP-S7000, and the later version of that model, the Sony DVP-S7700. And while those may be available anywhere from the mid $300's to about the low $800's (depending on which model you choose), I still think that it is worth looking at a progressive scan model anyway, even if you don't intend to use the progressive scan capability of that player right now. But it would be good to have just in case, in any event, that you may end up upgrading to a HDTV sometime in the next few years. If you do that, you're going to come out WAY ahead of the game that way. Because when you finally get your HDTV, you'll already have a player that can take advantage of the high definition technology and picture quality that your new HDTV will offer at that time. All you have to do is either change connections, or hit a switch, and you are there. I personally have a Pioneer Elite DV-37. And my DV-37 is a progressive scan player. But during the first seven months of ownership, it was used with my interlaced Panasonic 27-inch television (first with the S-Video connection from the output of the Pioneer Elite DV-37 to the input of the Panasonic CT-27SF37, then later on, with the component video connection from again, the outputs of the Pioneer Elite DV-37 to the component video inputs of the Pansonic telly (with improved picture quality mind you)). That was because in addition to the connections that I have previously explained to you, the Pioneer Elite DV-37 also has an "interlaced/auto/progressive" switch on its rear panel, and all I had to do is make the connection(s) previously explained, and move the switch to the "interlaced" position, and I was all and done with. I suspect that my Pioneer Elite DV-37 will look even better when it displays a progressive signal, but since I don't have a HDTV to take advantage of that capability right now, I will never find out how good a picture the DV-37 will display until I get such a display. But I do know that using the component video connections with the interlaced setting on the player (with both the player and the TV throughly calibrated after setup), my Panasonic has displayed an excellent picture. The picture quality on my TV has never looked better. I know my newly acquired Toshiba SD-2700 pales by comparison. That alone is saying a whole lot.

But now, if you want to take a look at all three of the players that I just listed, then that's fine and dandy and all. But I think that you should still look at a progressive scan player right now anyway. If for nothing else, it will make upgrading a hell of lot easier later on down the road. And besides, progressive scan players are affordable enough right now, that it would be pointless not to be without one. And just like I said, they can be used with interlaced displays. All you have to do is reset the switch on the back of the player.

While I may not exactly advise you to get a Pioneer Elite DV-37 (though it may not be a bad idea), unless of course you want to, there are other players that are available, that are just as good in picture quality as the Pioneer Elite DV-37, but are more affordable, and can be used with interlaced displays as well. And those players are:

(01). Toshiba SD-3750 ($200.00).
(02). Toshiba SD-4700 ($250.00).
(03). Toshiba SD-5700 ($350.00).
(04). Panasonic RP-56 ($220.00).
(05). Philips Q50 ($500.00)*.

* means that I understand that this is a hot player right now. It has a Faroudja digital signal processor (which results in its razor sharp picture. I saw one at Circuit City two weekends ago) and audiophile grade "op amps", and I suspect, a decent transport (but no display on the front panel..... which is fine and dandy..... both my Pioneer Elite DV-37 and Toshiba SD-2700 have front panel displays, and in both cases, I switch them off when I am watching movies....... I think front panel displays are nothing but a distraction anyway...... so with the Philips not having one altogether, the less circuitry to f**k with the picture and the sound, the better. That would be one less thing to turn off when I am watching movies)). You may be urged to check out this player as well.

Let us know what you decide on later on.

Happy Holidays to you.

Thanks to both of you for the advice. Charles, in answer to your sugggestion to consider getting a progressive player now, here's what I'm thinking... I'm not opposed to getting a progressive player at all. It's just that I won't be using the progressive capabilities on this player for at least a few year. Thus, all of the press and discussion about which player has the better progressivee capabilities to me is irrelevant except for future use considerations down the road. Hence my focus on capabilities for interlaced and not needing to pay extra dough for the latest progressive features. But, if there's a great progressive player out there (with great interlaced video) and it's price is not out of the ball park compared to great non-progressive players, then I would certainly consider it. As for buying prrogressive now in case I upgrade my TV in the future, my thinking is that in several years the payers will be much more advanced and cheaper than they are now so it's not a major concern. Also, I see no sense in spending extra dough now to get DVD-A or SACD capability in my DVD player when it's unclear where those formats are going--I also have no interest in listening to my music CD's in multi channel. I have a killer Sonic Frontiers Power 3/Line 3 & Revel 2 channel system and that's the way it's going to stay for music.

In a nutshell, my dilemma I just get a $300 DVD player to tide me over for now (relative performance of the progressive capabilities unimportant to me but ok if they're there; audio going straight to my Theta Casanova proc)? If so, which one? Do the new $300 progressive machines have equal or better interlaced video quality compared to the used former greats in the $300 to $800 price range?

My other choice is to go out and spend $1,000 to $2,000 on a high end player. My fear in doing the latter is that I won't get any benefit for that extra money spent given my set up.
Jagz- you may want to consider the CAL CL20 which has great video and audio and S video & composite video out only, or also a Pioneer Elite DV05 which has no progressive scan but has component video out, as well as S and composite. The CAL will not be cheap but would be better on the audio end (altho the Pioneer is not too shabby); the DV05 should be $3-400. The value of the DV05 is that you could add an external doubler, if any will accept component in and output to S-video.
My understanding is that the Panny RP56&91 are GREAT PS but not very good interlaced. The Pioneer DV05/09 and Sony 7000/7700 used are good ideas. I saw a good article somewhere about PS and interlaced output of various players ... I'll see if I can find it again.

Check out "Secrets progressive shootout" at While I realize you are not interested in a progressive player, in their reviews of these players they rate the interlaced output. Some people use the interlaced output to feed to a scaler. For this application they need the best possible interlaced output available. If I remember correctly, they ranked the Sony ES9000 interlaced output as one of the best current players.

All of that being said, my opinion is that I don't think it will matter to you on your 6 year old 50" Hitachi. I would get a throw-away player($200 - $250) now, which will still look better than laser, and opt for higher scale player when you upgrade your display. You can then move the cheap dvd to the bedroom or den.

Good luck,

Mike P.