Product Review (July 2002) - Sony DVP-NS900V
Progressive Scan DVD and Multi-channel SACD Player

 

Today's SACD format has been widely accepted by the audiophile community for its superb sonic qualities. Sony's DVP-S9000ES broke new ground by providing excellent video quality along with impressive SACD audio and was the first video product to carry the ES name. While the DVP-S9000ES player served us well over the years its great performance, it lacked the ability to playback the newer multi-channel SACD releases. Since then, Sony has introduced the DVP-NS900V that fills the gap by providing much of the same video performance and adjustments of the DVP-S9000ES with full multi-channel SACD playback capabilities. Although this new machine does not sport the ES badge, the sonic quality of the DVP-NS900V is excellent, with video performance very similar to that of the DVP-S9000ES.

Build Quality
The construction of the DVP-NS900V is well above average and only found on the best Sony DVD players. The all black aluminum faced unit lacks the cheap look found on the majority of today's DVD players. The front panel has tactile buttons with a refreshingly solid feel. There's also a jog wheel for both forward and reverse control of audio and video. The center of the ring has a 4-way menu control for on-screen navigation. The Video Off button turns off all the video circuitry to lower the noise floor when listening to high resolution audio. The FL Off button turns off the display, which sits right in the upper center of the unit just above the disc tray.

The rear panel of the DVP-NS900V has two sets of two-channel outputs and a set of 5.1 outputs for the decoded SACD, DTS or Dolby Digital data. Both optical (toslink) and coaxial digital outputs are provided. The component video output format is configurable (interlaced, progressive, or selectable) with the 3-position switch on the rear of the unit. A pair of composite and s-video outputs are provided. Keeping up with the majority of Sony A/V products, an S-Link jack is also included. The power cord is not detachable on this unit.

The slim remote is well designed with a quick access toggle switch right below the backlit text display. Using this switch, the user can quickly change the Subtitle and Angle settings as well as control the Block Noise Reduction (BNR), Time/Text, A-B Looping, Repeat Play and other modes. The same jog wheel and menu selection features found on the front panel of the unit are also included on the remote. The three most commonly used buttons (Play, Pause and Stop) glow in the dark for easy access while watching movies in the dark. The bottom part of the remote slides down to reveal a complete set of television controls for Sony televisions. The ergonomics of the remote were impressive and well thought out.

Performance
Sony's video performance has been consistently good on almost all of their DVD players we have looked at. In particular, the downconversion processing for those with 4:3 displays that lack a squeeze mode can count on Sony's high quality video processing. We've seen plenty of other manufacturers introduce interesting problems during the downconversion process. Video resolution was impressively sharp with accurate colors and balanced hues. We ran through the introduction scene of Star Trek Insurrection, which challenges even the best video processors. The de-interlacing used in the DVP-NS900V works well even though it's not part of the Faroudja or Silicon Image family of chips. Video noise was very low and revealed excellent picture quality even during dark scenes.

Full 3:2 reverse telecine is performed by the DVP-NS900V with the final processed video running through an Analog Devices ADV7196 DAC. This DAC features full 12-bit video converted at 54MHz. The interlaced video goes through an Analog Devices ADV7190 video encoder, which uses six 10-bit video DACs for the composite, s-video and interlaced component outputs. The DVP-NS900V has built-in Dolby Digital and DTS decoders. Since Dolby Labs requires bass management and time delay settings for all 5.1 decoders, the user has full control of speaker size (small or large) and time delays. The multi-channel SACD decoder (CXD2752R) is responsible for the 5.1 SACD processing. Performance was exceptionally good in all categories making this DVD/SACD player a winner.

Consumers have many choices when looking for a new DVD player. What sets players apart from one another is the build quality, features and performance differences. The Sony DVP-NS900V is built very well and offers both multi-channel SACD as well as built-in Dolby Digital and DTS decoders. The audio and video performance of this player is exceptional and worked flawlessly with all the media we used with it. The overall performance of this unit along with the recent price decrease makes it highly attractive.
- Kevin Nakano


Review System

Display - Pioneer Elite PRO-610HD 58-inch HD-Ready TV (ISF calibrated)
Scaler: Focus Enhancements CenterStage2
Preamplifier/Processor: Parasound AVC-2500U THX-Ultra DTS/DD Preamp/Processor
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
Bass Management - Miller & Kreisel BMC Mini 5.1 Bass Management Controller
Front Speakers - Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers - Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround Speakers
Subwoofer - Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
Room Treatments - Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box - RCA DTC100 HDTV/DSS Satellite Receiver
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables
Power Conditioning: Panamax MAX® 5500 ACRegenerator
Video Generator - Sencore VP300 SDTV/HDTV Video Pattern Generator
Video Signal Analyzer - Sencore VSA794 NTSC Video Signal Analyzer
Color Analyzer - Sencore CP288 ISF Certified Color Analyzer


Review at a glance
Sony DVP-NS900V
Progressive Scan DVD and Multi-Channel SACD Player

Audio

  • Multi-channel SACD capability
  • Dolby Digital and DTS decoders
  • CD-R/RW compatible
  • Six channel analog outputs

    Video

  • Full Reverse 3-2 conversion for film based content
  • 12 Bit, 54Mhz DAC for 480P
  • Component Video Output
  • (2) S-Video Output
  • (2) Composite Video Output
  • Coaxial Digital Output
  • Optical Digital Output

    Company Information
    Sony Corporation
    One Sony Drive
    Park Ridge, NJ 07656

    Source: Manufacture loan
    MSRP: $800

    Size: 13-1/2" x 17" x 4-7/16" (LxWxH)
    Weight: 11 pounds, 10 ounces
    Warranty: 1 year parts and labor

    URL: www.sony.com

  • Any comments or questions regarding the LAAF Web Site should be forwarded to laaudiofile@socal.rr.com

    Copyright © 1985-2002 L.A. Audio File.