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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 4/20/98

Pioneer DV-09 DVD Player

review by Digital Man, special to The Digital Bits

Pioneer had one the first players out, the DV-500. It was loaded with problems, including a faulty, nine bit DAC. The performance and quality was light years behind everyone else's players. All of this came as a surprise to the videophile community, who for years had come to recognize Pioneer as the leader in optical disc technology. Finally, two years later, the second coming is here: Pioneer's DV-09 - the new digital Messiah.

This player has everything a videophile and audiophile wants. Let's start with the video. The new DAC is highly improved. The ten-bit video is seamless, with no reportable glitches other than the all-too-famous "Devil's Advocate" glitch. Fast menu speed and selectablity in pause modes (between frame and field) make playback fast and furious.

The Elite DVD-only unit is loaded with video outputs: composite, s-video, and component - it has everything except progressive scan. However, most videophiles will choose to run an external line or active doubler instead of purchasing a TV with a line doubler built in, anyway. The heavy copper chassis allows for static-free playback.

On the audio side, the player has coaxial and optical digital outputs. There are two sets of analog outputs, for those who want to take advantage of the player's 96khz, 24 bit audio DAC. The player outputs Dolby Digital, as well as the new DTS bitstream. The new DAC allows for two channel PCM high definition audio through the analog outputs.

The best features on this player are the on-screen features. Various preset video adjustments are built in for viewing of sports or art programming. The video menu allows for complete adjustment of the Y/C timing to black level adjustments, as well as digital noise reduction on just about everything. You can choose four settings for the front display, as well as prioritizing your language and subtitle choices. The unit features an optional multicolored Pioneer screen saver.

The remote is the same as all Elite LD remotes we are used to. It comes with the famous jog shuttle, and has the DVD menu arrows as enhancements.

The sides are glossy wood, as the CLD 99 and VSX 09TX Elite pieces have. The unit weighs an impressive forty pounds and features a double air-locked tray for dust-free playback. They even threw in a Sony-esque front panel which lowers down to reveal the tray.

For those who want to spend a hefty $2,000 on a DVD player, this is the one to get. It sets the new reference, and has the look to match. It bears the THX logo on the front, and wears it deservingly.

Digital Man

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