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Audiophile Audition


Panasonic DVD-H1000
Progressive Scan
DVD Player

Panasonic DVD-H1000

* 24-bit/96kHz PCM-1704 Burr Brown Audio DACs
* 10-bit 4:4:4 Video Processing
* 480I and 480P Component Video Outputs
* Dolby Digital and Digital Theater Systems (DTS) digital output

Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company
Division of Matsushita Electric Corporation
One Panasonic Way
Secaucus, New Jersey

Source: Manufacture loan 
Serial Number: L9DC00025
MSRP: $2999.95
Size: 15-1/2" L x 17" W x 4-1/2" H
Weight: 37 pounds
Warranty: 1 year

DVD players seem to change faster than the seasons these days. First, component video was the feature to have and now it's progressive scan video. Panasonic Enclosurehas delivered again with their latest DVD-H1000. This is by no means any typical DVD player. While most new DVD players can be held with one hand, the DVD-H1000 almost caused me to pull my back out while trying to take it out of the box. The construction was well beyond anything I have seen in the past. It made my old reference Sony DVP-S7000 seem cheap. Not only was the chassis solid with a 1/4 inch front panel, the internal housing for the various circuit boards was made from diecast aluminum. I wish everything in my system was made this well. Thumbs up on the build quality of this unit.

The video performance of the DVD-H1000 was truly amazing. The progressive video was definitely better than the interlaced version running through the highly regarded Pioneer HD-Ready PRO-610HD built-in line doubler. Even comparing it to the Silicon Image iScan Plus V2 proved that processing the video before hitting the analog domain is the best way to minimize errors and noise. Image detail that I had never seen before left me amazed. Colors were accurate and noise was very low. DVD never looked so good on the PRO-610HD display.

Much of the performance is due in part to the way Panasonic has chosen to process the video. Data is upconverted from 8-bits to 10-bits and the color components are upsampled to the same rate as the Y component (13.5MHz). Processing everything in the digital domain results in less noise and a key reason why the video looks so good. In addition, while most players require the user to select the type of video output (s-video or component), the DVD-H1000 can simultaneously deliver video from all of its video outputs. Both 480I and 480P component connectors are provided on the back of this DVD player. This is a great feature for A/B comparisons between the two video outputs. I was able to compare the DVD-H1000 progressive outputs with both the DVDO iScan V2 as well as the built-in line doubler in the PRO-610HD. Clearly the progressive outputs outperformed the external line doublers.

The audio performance of the DVD-H1000 was equally outstanding. Using some of my favorite Chesky Records DVDs recorded in 24-bit/96KHz, revealed incredible detail. Livingston Taylor's "Isn't She Lovely" was one of my favorites on this unit. Panasonic decided to use the best Burr Brown 24 bit/96KHz audio DACs, the PCM-1704s. Unlike the cheaper 24 bit/96KHz Delta Sigma type DACs found in most DVD players, these multi-bit Burr Brown PCM1704 DACs have an impressive signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 120 dB. Not many DVD players have the budget to use such impressive parts.

The DVD-H1000 remote is fairly easy to use. However, I found the thumb control a bit awkward to navigate with at Remote Controltimes. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like more manufacturers are using this type of layout. The rest of the remote was well laid out, making it intuitive and easy to operate.

The DVD-H1000 had no problem passing the Dolby Digital or DTS bitstream to the Yamaha DSP-A1 via the digital output. More recent DVDs such as American Beauty, Gladiator, Terminator 2, and U-571 offer both 5.1 Dolby Digital as well as 5.1 DTS(ES), giving the consumer more choice and flexibility.

Panasonic has produced a truly reference DVD player with incredible video and audio performance. The progressive video was the best I have seen from any DVD player. The audio section uses some of the best DACs available in the industry which attributes to its great sound. If you really want the best DVD player, you will have a tough time finding something better than the DVD-H1000.

- Kevin Nakano

Review System:
Pioneer Elite - PRO-610HD HDTV
Silicon Image - iScan V2 Pure Progressive Line Doubler
Yamaha - DSP-A1 Processor/Amplifier
Adcom - GFA-5800
Adcom - GFA-555II
Spica - TC-50s
NHT - 1259 Subs

Reprinted with permission from the L.A. AUDIO FILE
Copyright l985-2001 L. A. Audio File
Comments should be forwarded to laaudiofile@aol.com



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