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Pioneer DV-LX50 Dvd Player, size: 8.2 MB
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ON TEST / DVD PLAYER
Verdict Approx price 400
Sublime upscaling and hi-def audio from a DVD legend
BExceptional picture; sound and build quality; features; ease of use ENo USB port; HD deck can be bought for less
THE RAPIDLY FALLING prices of high-denition disc players mean that high-end DVD decks have to work a little bit harder to capture the consumers imagination. With 400 to spend, few will be able to resist the lure of true 1080p pictures, no matter how good the latest DVD players are. But with HD DVD bowing out and Blu-ray continually evolving, many are resisting buying until the market settles down and in the meantime are looking for the very best DVD playback. Enter the Pioneer DV-LX50. This is Pioneers latest high-end DVD spinner, which typically comes equipped with everything bar the kitchen sink. And as per its predecessors, the build quality is immaculate, constructed in a sturdy double-layered chassis that allows the disc mechanism and optical pick up to operate with maximum stability. It is also beautifully styled in glossy, piano black.
Pioneer was the rst company to launch a DVD player that could play DVD-Audio and SACD and were glad to see them sticking with the idea today. The unit also boasts compatibility with a wide range of compressed media les, with a list that includes the usual suspects (DiVX, MP3, WMA, JPEG) plus a couple of more non-standard formats, WMV and non-copy protected MPEG4 AAC les. The player will also display hi/// res JPEGs without dropping them down to DVD resolution. The player upscales DVDs to 1080p, 1080i or 720p depending on the resolution requirements of your display. Upscaled pictures are supplied by the HDMI output on the rear, which also supports CEC technology so that you can control this deck with the remote of an HDMI-equipped TV. Its joined by component, S-video and composite outputs plus an RGB-capable Scart. For audio playback, theres a set of 5.1-channel analogue outputs that feed decoded Dolby Digital/
/ Denon DVD-2930
A well specied DVD deck with amazing picture quality supplied by the REON VX chip. Reviewed: Issue 320
DTS soundtracks or DVD-A/SACD material to the corresponding inputs on your receiver. Completing the audio array are optical and electrical digital outputs plus a pair of analogue phonos for stereo purists, who will welcome the Pure Audio mode that shuts off the video circuitry to reduce interference. As the deck is aimed at serious videophiles, there are plenty of picture tweaks, grouped under the Video Adjust menu. You can adjust sharpness, brightness, contrast,
Its 1080p upscaling drags the picture as close to HD as is technologically possible///
gamma, hue, chroma level and block noise reduction. Sonic pedants can also ne tune the audio performance using the bass management functions. Our only complaint concerning features is the absence of a USB port for plugging in ash memory drives, which means you can only play compressed media les from discs. But in every other way this is
/ Marantz DV7001
Excels in every department and has reference standard picture and sound. Reviewed: Issue 322
034 / What Video & Hi-Def TV / Issue 332
Have your own say on the DV-LX50 Log on to www.techradar.com/24820
/ 720p, 1080i, 1080p upscaling / Plays DVD-Audio & SACD / MP3, WMA, and, DiVX playback / HDMI CEC technology / PureCinema progressive scan
/ Time in Lab: 2 weeks / Serial No: 1017842 430mm
one of the most talented DVD decks weve ever encountered.
Ease of use
DVD decks still have the edge over their slow-loading HD counterparts, a point emphatically proved by the DV-LX50. Pioneers trusty Home Menu interface is once again at the hub of this decks operating system and its wonderfully easy to use and is responsive to remote commands, enabling you to set up the player with no hassle. Even the more complex setup tweaks, such as the video or bass management adjustments, are presented with simplicity in mind. The remote is also well designed, with thoughtful arrangement of frequently used keys and clear labelling.
objects, making them seem almost three dimensional. And strongly saturated colours greatly enhance the movies gorgeous scenery.
The DV-LX50 shatters the notion that DVD players cant deliver stereo sound quality as well as a dedicated CD player, with smooth and sprightly playback of songs across a variety of genres. But with hi-res discs, like the SACD version of Marvin Gayes Lets Get It On, the quality goes through the roof, with Marvins perfectly reproduced voice sending shivers down the spine. Movie playback is also thrilling and completes the players solid sonic performance, whether you opt for its built-in decoders or pipe the digital bitstream to your receiver.
Playback Test Reading Rating Video jitter: 5.0ns Audio jitter: 873.5ps S/n ratio: 71.5dB Chroma am: -74.1dB Chroma pm: -72.7dB Chroma -64.6dB Crosstalk: Frequency response at 5.8MHz S-video: -1.05dB Composite: -0.88dB Component: -0.4dB
Power consumption: Standby: 1W Idling: 11W Playing: 12W Lab notes: Other than a poor result for audio jitter, this is all good to excellent data, with frequency response and signalto-noise results suggesting a detailed picture with strong colour delity
HDMI/DVI output: Yes/No Prog scan output: Yes DVD-A/SACD: Yes/Yes Multiregion from box?: No Dimensions: 420(w) x 102(h) x 314(d)mm Weight: 5.3kg / Other Features: Video upscaling to 720p, 1080i, 1080p; Dolby Digital & DTS 5.1 decoders and bitstream output; HDMI CEC; 192kHz/24-bit audio DAC; 108MHz/12-bit video DAC (CVBS), 216MHz/12-bit video DAC (component); Dynamic Range Control; Virtual Surround; Bass Management; Delay Adjustment; Dialogue enhancement; Video Adjust; double-layered chassis; zoom and slow motion modes / Disc Playback: DVD, DVD-Audio, DVD-R/ -RW/+R/+RW/+R (DL)-R (DL), SACD/CD/-R/-RW, SVCD, VCD, DiVX, WMV, MP3, WMA, MPEG4 AAC, JPEG (hi-res) / Sockets: Outputs: HDMI; component video; RGB Scart; S-video; composite video; optical and electrical digital audio; 5.1-channel analogue; stereo audio; control port / Contact: www.pioneer.co.uk
With The Return of the King in the disc tray were pleased to report that the LX50 effortlessly lives up to our high expectations. The decks rened video processing conjures up the kind of luxurious pictures that characterise high calibre decks like this, and while these clearly arent hi-def images, its 1080p upscaling drags the picture as close to HD as is technologically possible. For instance, the crystal clear reproduction makes Smagols transformation into Gollum in The Return of the King look more graphic than ever, while the frequent CG shots of castles and creatures are rendered with admirable clarity. The deck also delivers deep blacks and also has the skill to pick out shadow detail within dark
Judging the DV-LX50s value is a tricky one. On one hand, we feel uneasy awarding ve stars to a DVD player that costs more than most Blu-ray or HD DVD players. But on the other, when compared to other high end DVD decks on the market, its great value for money, pairing high quality AV performance with a comprehensive feature list. This rosta combines with a performance thats similar to the lauded Denon DVD-2930, but at a lower price. And although it cant deliver proper high-denition pictures, youll be hard pressed to nd an HD deck that can play as many media formats as the DV-LX50. In short, this is a great choice for those that arent ready to give up on standard-denition DVD just yet Z
You can go hi-def for less, but with comprehensive features and sublime performance, Pioneers player is an unequivocal triumph
Issue 332 / What Video & Hi-Def TV / 035
Pioneer DV-LX50 DVD Player $899
lack, as they say, is the new silver. Have you noticed how home theatre and hi-fi gear has changed colour lately? It has seemingly regressed in time back to a simpler age where you could have stereo gear in any colour, as long as it was black. Well blacks back for Pioneers home theatre range, and after a diet of silver over the last few years its kind of good to have it back in the HT rack. Its been a couple of years since Pioneers silver DV-989AVI flagship DVD player burst onto the scene, and this stellar performer remains the reference DVD spinner at Tone HQ for now. But all good things come to an end sooner or later, and the latest in Pioneers Dr Who-like DVD player metamorphosis is the rather gorgeous-looking DV-LX50, clad in delicious piano black and festooned with tasty blue lights. But with the rise of Blu-ray, why would you purchase a high-end DVD player? One answer is the radically reduced investment required to own this supermodel ($899, compared with $1995 for the DV989). Another reason is the myriad formats the DV-LX50 can handle. In addition to DVD-A, SACD and MP3, itll handle all types of DivX, WMA, WMV and JPEG pictures (in high resolution), the sort of extended functionality that was missing in action from the DV-989AVI. Handily for those bright enough to own a Mac, itll also replay MP4 AAC files, but it wont play the copy-protected ones downloaded from the iTunes store music ripped at home will be fine though (nothing commercial, just your mates with a guitar of course). The DV-LX50 will also upscale its output to the full 1080p standard, as opposed to the 1080i of the earlier model. Alas, changed from the 989 is the remote control. It has now lost its backlighting so youll either have to memorise the button layout or use a small flashlight (as I do). Failing that, a trip to the light switch is recommended in case you push the wrong button. Thats very nit-picky though, for the battleshipbuilt DV-LX50 really represents stunning value for money. But why not disregard a DVD player altogether and purchase a Blu-ray or HD-DVD player instead? DVD as a format definitely isnt on its last legs, as a trip to
TONE march 2008
any video library will reveal. The new hi-res formats are hard to find either at your local Blockbuster or retail outlet, and by far the vast majority of movies are pressed as DVDs. Combine that with the battle of the hi-res formats and there certainly is room for a player of this calibre. Luckily, this particular one performs as well as it looks. Plugging the DV-LX50 into my HT system with images projected via the InFocus IN82 produced very good standard definition image quality. Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith burst onto the screen in almost high definition. Great black levels and detail were combined with excellent, judder-free movement of the spaceships in the opening scene. Pity it didnt improve the hackneyed dialogue. A change of discs saw Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire on the big screen, and once again picture quality was of a very high order indeed the upscaling DV-LX50 produced an image of genuine quality. Impressed? Hell yes, Pioneer has produced a better DV989AVI at less than half the price. Whats not to like about that? n GARY PEARCE
COMPATIBLE FORMATS: DVD-A, DVD, DVD-R, SACD, SVCD, VCD, CD, CD-R, CDRW, MP3, WMA, ivX, WMV D Connections: V ideo: HDMI (x1), component, S-Video (x2), composite video (x2), D1/ D2 video Audio: stereo and multichannel analogue outputs D igital: coaxial (x1), optical (x1) olby Digital and DTS D Decoders 16MHz/12-bit Video D/A 2 converter 92kHz/24-bit audio D/A 1 converters (6 channels) 080p upscaling 1 DIMENSIONS: 420 x 102 x 314mm (W/H/D) Weight: 5.3 Kg
B uilt like a tank L ooks like a supermodel G oes like a Ferrari
Dont ask for a silver one
Verdict Dramatically reducing the price yet raising the performance bar has made the Pioneer DV-LX50 outstanding value for money
Aesthetics Performance Features Functionality Price Value Overall
95% 96% 90% 95% 96%
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