I have the DVP-NS999ES and the multichannel playback of even redbook CD's is great. Since you have no interest in multichannel and the build quality of the 9000es is probably better (the 999 weighs only 14 lbs) I would go with the 9000. If buying used without a warranty;that seems to be the perfect situation to have some modifications done on the 9000 to make it sound/look even better.
I really want the comments to focus on video playback (not sure what you mean by multichannel playback on redbook). Also does anyone have experience with the Pioneer Elite players (45A and 47Ai as alternatives to the 9000ES and NS999ES respectively).
I just bought the Sony 9000 and tried out the Pioneer 47 (not ai) and I much preferred the Sony sound (even though the Pioneer was pleasent - just not nearly as detailed, dynamic or holographic) and the Pioneer clearly had a better picture on my HDTV thru the S video (less artifacts - really a nice picture).
Philojet- You said you preferred the Sony sound but the Pioneer had the better picture, yet you purchased the Sony. Don't you think that the component video would be preferable to the S-video connection? Also while I appreciate your opinion on sound quality, for DVD-V playback (DD, DTS tracks) I would think that most of us would use outboard processors, in which case it is difficult to render an opinion on sound quality referencing movie playback.
Can't give you a comparison, but I own the 9000ES, and I can tell you that, on the new "Attack of the Clones" DVD, the progressive scan picture on my 51" Sony digital widescreen set looked better than I recall the 35mm film looking in the theater . . . .
Images displayed on HDTV compatible widescreen sets (from DVD players ouputting 480p) are better than any film experience. That does not speak to the video quality of your 9000ES (as compared to other players with the ES designation or Pioneer Elite) however.
the 9000ES has component outs. Attack of the clones is probably one of the better transfers lately, since it was originally recorded on digital videotape, not film. I think overall it looks slightly soft and a bit too "fake". If you think 480p is better than film, then you haven't seen good film. (e.g. Quality 35mm or better yet, 70mm projection). As to 999 vs. 9000 - I think 999 is probably better on video, but 9000 has better build quality and probably better sound. For best of both worlds, get 999 for video and SACD XA777ES for audio.
I own the Pioneer 47ai primarily for its video performance and its ability to play both sacd and dvd-a. I was unable to compare it with other players but am happy with its audio and video capabilities. I've read that the Sony has better audio qualities but for me the 47ai was a safe bet. I think on paper the 999 is supposed to have greater video capabilities(14/108) than the 47ai(12/108). If you don't care for dvd-a, I would imagine the Sony's are a good choice.
the S video is good enough for me and the Pioneer had less artifacts - in the brief time I had it, a really smooth picture. My friend who sells this stuff (and I think has both feet on the ground and solid advice) thinks the Pioneer has a better picture than the Sony, that the Sony 9000 has older technology.
BTW I did not realize you were not asking about the sound and I really do not especially care for digital sound so I do not throw a lot of money at it, someday I will and for now this is OK, the Pioneer was a little too smooth, their trademark sound from my little exposure to their products.
Please note that I did not say that "480p looks better than film" . . . I said that "Attack of the Clones" looked better to me on DVD than it did in the theater -- not at all the same thing. I DO know what good film looks like -- "Attack of the Clones" wasn't it, theatrically, which is why the DVD looks better.
Could it have been the theater I saw it in? Sure, it could have -- it was one of the myriad nameless Carmike cinemas dotting the landscape outside DC. But that's where I saw it, and my 9000ES/KP51HW40 combo looked better, which is what I was saying to begin with. Check out the latest issues of SGTHT to hear some reviewers who ALSO felt that some recent movies looked better on DVD than in the theater . . . .
I just bought the 47ai. It does have a killer picture. I don't do dvd-a or sacd and maybe never will. I do have a great projector. The large size of the screen stresses the video quality. I actually bought this because of the 2 year warranty.
ah, ok - my misintepretation. I have heard similar things - that basically if you don't see Attack of the Clones in a digital (projection) theater, then it's going to be ho-hum as far as picture goes. Seems like that is the case. Too bad... :< I wish Lucas would just shoot with film, I like the look of it better anyway. And he should get his shit together and release the first 3 episodes (star wars, Empire, Jedi) on DVD sometime this decade...
Actually, I even heard from some people that the digital projection wasn't that hot either, because some of the new digital cinemas weren't set up as well as they should be.
As for the original trilogy . . . . amen to that! I keep my LD player around pretty much exclusively for the purpose of watching the first trilogy. I even looked into some of the Asian import DVDs, but they're just rips from the laserdiscs. The only positive things about holding off on the release is that we're all spared from buying nine different editions as they do a basic release, then a special edition release, then a Collector's Edition release, then . . . . ;-0)
I like the look of film better, too, but for SW-type films I think digital is the way to go -- the computer effects look better in digital. The only problem is that sometimes they look TOO good and are distinctly identifiable as CG compared to the other elements in the shot. Sigh . . . guess we can't have everything yet. ;-0)
Just get a Panasonic RP 82 if video is all you after. Its only US$229
I own a DVP S9000ES and I have liked it a lot. I am in the same boat, muti-channel audio (from an SACD stand point) is not of any interest to me. I use a SCD 777ES for SACD playback. The S9000ES is a superior player from a construction perspective. I am very impressed with the video especially when paired with an Sony XBR TV. But I should say that off the box chroma adjustments was not quite pleasing. I would recomend a setup DVD (like the AVIA DVD that comes with the player) to adjust to your room's ambient light levels. I felt that the NS999ES was not exceptionally better for video.
One word of caution both S9000ES and NS999ES have the infamous chroma bug that is document in detail everywhere in the web. Not trying to discourage the purchase of these players (they both are very good)
I currently own the 9000ES and think the quality is good enough to hold me over until I get a DVI player. Just to keep in mind, if you own a display with DVI input, the $200 Bravo DVI player will outperform ANY component out DVD player for picture quality, giving quality of output similar to a well setup HTPC.
There will be better models than the Bravo to come, but check out AVS where people with $15K projectors are using them instead of the HTPC's and raving about them.
If your display doesn't have DVI, then the players will only have average quality.