I have had experience with both Sony and Toshiba product lines, and both have some excellent offerings in this price range. Infact, you can spend less that $400 today and get a damn good DVD player. Use C-NET's shopping service (www.cnet.com) as a tool to screen for Sony and Toshiba DVD players within your budget, and go from there. One feature that the newer Toshiba models have is a zoom system that allows you to move "zoom in" on widescreen movies, making them closer to the 4:3 ratio. Nifty.
If you are looking at used components, you might want to consider the Pioneer DV-09. I just bougth one on audiogon for $900. My research suggested this was the best player at the pricepoint (better than the Sony 7700). Good luck.
I recently purchased a Sony 7700 and am quite happy with it. You can buy them on Ebay for $600 brand new. The pioneer is reputed to be a better player, but I couldn't find one at the time for less than $1200 and that was used. Ask other Audiogon members if they can help connect you to a source for Pioneer equipment, if you want the dv-09. Keep in mind that Sony is replacing the 7700 with a SACD capable unit for similar pricing to the Pioneer (but honestly that doesn't fit under your $1000 limit and I have not demo'd the unit personally). Happy Hunting.
I have owned the following top of the line DVD players: Panasonic, Yamaha, Denon, Sony DVP-7700, Pioneer DV-05, and currently own the Pioneer DV-37. Unquestionably, the Pioneer has the best picture, and the best audio. The Sony was a close runner-up to the Pioneer DV-05. The DV-37 costs around $700, and is definetely top dog (even when compared to the DV-09). Not only is the video better, the audio is a big surprise, it holds its own against many of the mid priced high end CD players I have heard. If you wait for the Sony ES-9000 you can have SACD, with what will certainly be an excellent DVD player for $1500, but for some reason Pioneer seems to edge out the competition in every comment or review I have seen. Don't worry about it, get the Pioneer DV-37it is superb. Check out the review by Lawrence Ullman at e-town.com.
Try the Onkyo 525 (or is it 535)? Costs less than $500, but solid build (aluminum faceplate), great picture quality and features, and Burr-Brown D/A to boot. Otherwise, go for the Pioneer Elite DV-05 or 09.
Without progressive scan needs and a limited price range, try to find a Sony DVD SP 300. It is an extraordinary machine at a very ordinary price. Out of production for nearly 2 years, it is a dual laser machine which plays DVDs, CDs, and CDRs. I own two and until these break, each will remain in my various systems. I have three DVD players and I am not kidding when I say they cannot be beat for the money. I search the web looking for these machines for friends. Easily comparable to the Sony 7000 and a lot less money. Mine are not for sale. Best of luck.
Have Pioneer Elite -05. Can get around 500 w/luck. Sony 7700 would be second choice. Have a sony 3300 (?) too. Fine player. Me, I would think about future and look at progressive scans if you don't mind going closer to $1000.
I just bought a used s7700 for $425. You can internet order them new for $575. It find its movie performance to be quite excellent. It's sound is pretty good for movies, ban d 'just ok' for cd playback. The denon 5000 I had before had better sound. I chose it for it's build quality and the fact that it works well with my sony tv and DBS. S-Link and sony's univeral remote make a nice system. I'm happy with it.
What I would do if I am looking for a DVD Player in the $500.00 to $1,000.00 price range is just like someone else has said (I believe it was "Sdcampbell") is look at such websites such as "Audiogon", "C-Net", "Yahoo" and "E-Bay". Also, look at other sites such as "Audio Review" and "Audio Shopper". You may find some bargains on any of those sites. Like I said before, that's the route that I am also going to take. I bought my VCR (a high-end Sony..... an SLV-R5UC) off of the internet and I don't have any regrets either. That is also going to be one of the routes that I am going to take when it is time to buy my DVD Player. The first one route I am going to take is to see whether I can land me either a Pioneer Elite DV-09 or a Sony DVP-S7700 from my local "high-end" Audio/Video dealer first at a close out (being that Sony has already came out with the DVP-S9000ES and expect Pioneer to follow suit soon with their "Progressive Scan" Player (if they haven't done so already))(but I don't know whether or not the new Pioneer will have SACD Capability or not..... I know that the new Sony does) price. If by any chance that I cannot do that (that is get a "high-end" DVD Player at a reasonable price at my dealer), then I will venture to the internet and get my player that way. I know that either my Pioneer Elite DV-09 or Sony DVP-S7700 is waiting for me out there somewhere in cyberspace. And just for the record, my TV (a Panasonic CT-27SF37) does not have "progressive scan" capability either.
An addend--If by any chance that I don't end up landing either a Pioneer Elite DV-09 or a Sony DVP-S7700 either from my local "high-end" dealer (and they carry both of these players) or I cannot find either one for what I think is a reasonable price (I expect to pay at least $600.00 for a brand new one (again, of either player) and no more than $950.00. In fact, $950.00 is as high as I am willing to go (for the right player)), then I will go on the internet and see if I can get me a used one for a great price (only this time, I will pay a minimum of $450.00 and a maximum of $700.00). Now, if that step does not pan out and fails to land me the player I really want, only then I will look very closely and very hard to the Pioneer (Elite??) DV-37. If the Pioneer (Elite??) DV-37 has a superior picture to either the Pioneer Elite DV-09 or the Sony DVP-S7700 and a superior sound to match, then even though I may have to give up something in terms of build quality and parts quality, but I won't at all be disappointed. Otherwise, it is a Pioneer Elite DV-09 or a Sony DVP-S7700 that I really want. Not only will either of these players will allow me to get the most that I can get out of my TV (a 27-Inch Panasonic CT-27SF37) in terms of picture quality, but they would also extract the maximum sound quality available from the audio portion of my home theater (a Yamaha DSP-A780 Dolby Pro-Logic Integrated Amplifier and the associated Speaker System (and I putting my sights (and ears!!!) on either an Atlantic Technology T-70 or System 170, a Boston Acoustics System 9000, or a Paradigm Cinema Speaker System (all with subwoofers)). But also, one of the main reasons I want a Pioneer Elite DV-09 or a Sony DVP-S7700 so bad is because of the quality of parts and the build quality of both of these players (both of which I think is excellent to begin with).
Chasskelljr, The build quality of the DV-37 is fine, with excellent design features, (separation of power, audio, video sections). Its performance equals, or betters the DV-09, and if you ever need progressive scan in the future, your already set. Believe me the DV-37 has a superior picture to the Sony DVP-7700, and way better sound. I had them both on the same TV, and the Pioneer has more of a three dimensional look, richer colors, sharper picture. You can find the DV-7 around $700 easily. Good luck.
Bmpnyc--Thanks for the tip..... Your point is well taken.... I'll add the Pioneer Elite DV-37 to my shortlist. But one other question remains. I thought that the Pioneer Elite DV-37 retails for about $1,000.00. And I see you managed to land yours for $700.00. Where can you buy a Pioneer Elite DV-37 for that price?? That sounds like an awfully great price. --Charles--
I usually get a discount for many reasons, one being a 25 year friendship with an audio salesman but, if you call Uncles Stereo at (212) 721-7500 I an fairly certain they will ship it to you for around $750 or less. Let me know how it goes.
Bmpnyc -- Well, on my day off from work today, I left the house to go shopping for a while. And while I was on my excursion, I did go to ONE of the "high-end" dealers that are in my area today. When I got there, I talked to an audio salesman (one of whom I have establised a working relationship because he's so knowledgeable about the products his store carries and whose opinion I value highly) about the upcoming crop of the new DVD Players that are either out already or are coming out in the next month or two. And believe it or not (well, that's a poor choice of words........ I guess I mean "to affirm" what you were also telling me), he already has the new Pioneer Elite DV-37 in his store (set up in a home theater and playing away). We talked about THIS very player today (after telling him about this website) and we made back-and-forth comparisons between it and the Sony DVP-S9000ES, and he believes that the preliminaries are that the Sony DVP-9000ES isn't that much better than the DVP-S7700 (and the Pioneer Elite DV-37 is a LOT BETTER than the Sony DVP-S7700 according to him..... better transport, better DACs, better build quality and better picture and sound), so that means that it could be possible that Pioneer Elite DV-37 could also beat the hell out of the Sony DVP-S9000ES (being that the Pioneer offers FAR BETTER performance and at a lower price. But he will be getting a Sony DVP-S9000ES in his store in a couple of weeks and he and his staff is going to evaluate it to confirm their findings, but in the meanwhile, making a strong case for the Pioneer Elite DV-37. And also, you were also right about the price too. I believe I'll be getting my DVD Player from him too. He'll let me have the DV-37 for $700.00 (about $200.00 less than the Sony DVP-S7700, $800.00 less than the DVP-S9000ES and $1,100.00 and $1,500.00 less than the upcoming Pioneer Elite DV-38 and DV-09 respectively). So, you were right about the price after all. Thanks for the tip. The Pioneer Elite DV-37 has now been elevated to the top of my shortlist. --Charles--
Will the Dv37 play cd-r's?
Chaskelljr, I am really interested in your friends evaluation of the DVP-9000ES and a comparison to the DV-37. Please let me know how that plays out. The Sony has 12 bit technology, instead of 10 bit, I wonder if that will be a factor? Tracer, I just tried a cd-rom and it didn't work...oh well, guess i'll have to stick with my G4 for CD-rom's.
Go to ecoustics.com at the following address: http://www.ecoustics.com/Home/Home_Video/DVD/DVD_Reviews/ . It offers numerous 'in depth' reviews on a variety of different players. The reviews from 'Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity' contain scientific measurements of both the video and audio performance DVD players. They recently reviewed the Pioneer Elite DV-09 & DV-05 and they did not like them. They actually preferred the Sony DVP-S7000 over the Pioneer players (even over the Sony DVP-S7700 which replaced the DVP-S7000). Happy hunting.
bmc310, Any review giving a preference to the Sony DVP-7000 cannot be taken seriously. Every review ever printed states otherwise. I have owned all of these machines, and guarantee that if you were given a chance to compare all of the DVD players mentioned here, and given a choice to keep only one, that it would not be the Sony DVP-7000 you would take home.
I'm a little late posting to this thread, but I have just purchased a Pioneer DV-37 for $650 new ($1000 MSRP). It's a lot of DVD player for the money -- great build quality, many excellent features, etc. Pioneer is about to introduce a new DVD player at the Las Vegas CES in January -- the DV-38A -- but it will have a MSRP of $1800.