DVD Player Evolution

I'm now on my third DVD-A/SACD player, and the following observations might interest people. (Panasonic DVD-30 (no SACD), Pioneer DV-45A, Denon 2900).

1. Each new generation of player gets bigger and uglier! The Panasonic was about two inches high, with a beautiful silver front face. The controls were tiny, almost flush, pushbuttons. The Denon stands more than five inches tall, and is several inches deeper so that I had to move the whole stack of equipment forward so as to make room for connections on the back panel. It's controls are comparatively big and clunky, which may facilitate use by people who are not familiar with them and need to read the labels. The Pioneer DV 45A falls in between on both counts. I notice that the higher price Pioneer DV-47A is taller. Do they determine price by how tall the item stands?

2. Both the Panasonic and the Pioneer gave me very satisfactory service. Audio quality was significantly improved relative to the pretty-good Rotel CD player that was replaced. I believe that much of the improvement was the result of the new media (DVD-SACD), and the use, in all the players, of improved new design 24-bit D/A made necessary by DVD-A.

The Panasonic was replaced only because I wanted SACD capability. The Pioneer was replaced only because I was curious to find out if the various theoretical improvements (particularly with regard to SACD) translate into real-world audio quality, and I had a few extra bucks burning a hole in my pocket. (The jury is still out).

3. Although I have moved on from the Pioneer DV45A, I still highly recommend it as a way to explore the potential of DVD-A and SACD without breaking the bank. After a good deal more listening I may conclude that the Denon audio quality is better, (I lean that way but am not sure). I can say that there is no dramatic improvement evident at this time. (350 watt Adcom amp driving three MG1.6 speakers, with Dynaudio Gemini boxes in the rear).
Hi Eldartford

I have an sacd and Dvd-audio player so I am interested in picture quality of the Panasonic Dvd-30.

Does this player have progressive scan output? if so, did you try it? My reason for asking is that I have just orderd an Infocus X1 projector for DVD movies, my Dvd player does not have progressive output. I see the Panasonics players often at low prices and was thinking this may be a bang for buck choice with this budget projector.

I would only output degital 5.1 signal to my Sunfire theatergrand for movies and would not use for music at all.

Sogood51...Yes, the Panasonic has progressive scan. I never used it for any serious high quality video application, so I can't comment on that. I have seen others comment that Panasonic stuff if pretty good. They have two similar models DV-30 and DV-50. One plays DVD-A and the other only does DVD-V. If V is your application, that version is a few bucks cheaper. They are both really slim good-looking pieces of gear.
OK...the SACD playback is better. At more than double the price, it ought to be.

The improvement is most evident in one disc, "The Sound of Glory" (Telarc SACD60579) which is the Morman Tabernacle Choir. (I have suggested this disc as a good workout for your subwoofer). Besides the huge organ that is excercising your subwoofer, the choir has 400 or so voices. I formerly thought that the slightly "muddy" sound was simply the result of the size of the choir, but the Denon player seems to clean things up significantly. With other discs, improvement is not so obvious.