Customer Reviews: Panasonic DVD-RP56 Progressive-Scan DVD Player
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on August 6, 2001
I upgraded from the previous 310 model Panasonic DVD player and am absolutely amazed by the performance of this little machine. While the actual box is a bit smaller and lighter than the previous Panasonic I owned, the machine itself is much better. The progressive-scan output on component video is truly the best I've ever seen. I am currently using it on the new 34" Sony wide-screen HDTV and I can't imagine a better picture. The colors are clear and crisp, the optical sound output is bright and lively. The menus are clear and attractive and seem to be programmed better for 16:9 tvs. The previous model had some distortion in the menus because it did not seem to output them in amamorphic wide-screen. While I'm not sure if the menus on the new model are anamorphic, they certainly look much better on a wide-screen tv.
The manual warns that there may be compatibility issues with progressive-scan output, but even on my non-Panasonic TV, I did not have to do the adjusting solution. It worked like a charm from the very first try. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon blew my socks off!
While the previous version did not have too much trouble with layer changes, it still had trouble with a few disks. This new model, on the other hand, handles the most problematic disks I had with great success. Fear and Loathing in Las Vagas, for example, used to pause almost 3 seconds (and sometimes froze). Now it switched layers with lightning speed.
Another great feature is the MP3 playback capability. With this feature, I can play mp3 disks which can hold around 600+ minutes of cd-quality music. Very useful for parties or entertaining, where I can stick in a CDR of my own make and not worry about changing the cds during the evening.
My only complaint, and it is a very small one, is that the remote is not as nice as the previous models. All the buttons are visible from the get-go, whereas the previous model's had a nice little flap that covered the lesser used buttons. Also, the buttons must be pressed a bit harder than the previous model's. Nevertheless, this is a very small complaint considering the great performance of the component.
All in all, for the money, this is a fantastic progressive-scan dvd. Given how expensive similar models were a year ago, it is clear that this technology is evolving to a cheaper production method with great success.
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on August 13, 2001
I have tried at least 5 DVD players from Sony, Philips, APEX, and others, before finally settling on this great DVD player. It is simply the best. I am using this with a 61" HD Sony TV.
The panasonic DVDs in General have proved to provide the best picture and sound quality. But this model, with progressive scan, takes the picture to a far better dimension. The picture is truly unbelievable. the best you can find out there.
The mp3 playback is also excellent. it hasnt failed me on a single file yet. Even files i failed to run on systems like the APEX DVD player, and even some speciality mp3 players.
If you are out shopping for a DVD player, you wont find anything better than this one
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on November 6, 2001
I did *alot* .. no I did *TONS* of research on a DVD player for my 1998 Sony KV-32S40 32", trinitron television. It's a fantastic TV and I needed a fantastic DVD player to match it. After perusing the internet for about a month I came to the following conclusion as the most important feature:
What is Video RAM DAC? A standard (interlaced is the technical term) DVD player has a Video RAM DAC of 27 MHz/10-bit. 27MHz is 2x oversampling for interlaced video and no oversampling for progressive. By going to 54 MHz, you now have 2x oversampling for progressive. (4x for interlaced). The difference is somewhat minimal in video quality but for (dollar amount) (...) you get the *best* DVD video quality for an interlaced player and a great start when you uprade to HDTV with the progressive side of the player.
You can't go wrong!
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on February 25, 2002
With the Farouja decoder chip, the RP56 displays the best picture in this price category. It's just smooth and film-like, however the remote buttons are not lighted, small, and mushy so a stiff push is needed. Ergonomics is Panasonic's downfall - the eject button is just above the play button and all are small. You cannot change between progressive and interlace modes from the remote - need to hit button on the player.
If your 16x9 HDTV locks in FULL mode with a progressive output, the RP56 cannot zoom or change aspect ratios and a 4x3 or non-anamorphic (not enhanced for 16x9) picture will look squashed. You turn progressive output off to view it properly but you lose the progressive quality.
The useless jog dial is only on the player - FF and review require several button pushes. Also my 4 year old Sony S3000 would pick up playing from the same spot if you hit STOP. With this unit, you hit a button on the remote and then you need to power it off. When you turn on later, it will resume.
Picture is gourgeous, price is right, design of the remote is absolutely terrible. I tested some MP3s and they play really well. Despite my complaints, I've kept mine. It has not skipped or missed a beat with everything thrown at it.
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on May 21, 2002
On the plus side, the next-lowest price player that will give you progressive scan video decoding this good costs twice as much as this one.
On the negative side, this is one cheaply built player - don't expect it to last long. There's a reason why Panasonic only has a 90 day labor warranty - they don't expect it to last much longer than that. A scan through the reviews will reveal that dead players is a common customer experience. My experience was much the same - purchased in October, dead in May.
So, should you get this player? You should, if you want really good progressive scan video and if you are OK with a player that you expect to replace in six to twelve months. By then, better players may be available, and the money you spend now may prove to be a long-term bargain - you get great video right away, and when your player dies, you can look for a better (and better-made) one, which may well be available then even if it isn't now.
As for me, I'm buying a second one. The cheapest player I've been able to find that I'm sure does a substantially better job costs about fifteen times as much (the Camelot Round Table), and for that, I can buy and throw away a lot of RP-56's.
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on November 16, 2001
It is amazing how so cheap a player is able to give so stunning picture. But we know the little secret. The Sage-Faroudjia deinterlacing chip is inside, giving you state-of-the-art progressive scan technology at an affordable price. (...)
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on February 14, 2002
I bought this player from Circuit City for $229 and I really liked the picture in progressive scan mode. Later I found out that this player has Faroudja FLI2200 de-interlacing chip that is well-known for its quality. The picture is flicker-free and crystal clear. And overall RP-56 doesn't have any known problems.
Philips Q50 has the same chip and the picture is probably even better but its price is twice as high. And according to many reports from the users it has some occasional problems like freezing once or twice per movie for a second or so. Check for mor information on Q50.
I would give RP-56 5 stars if it would be able to play DVD from other regions. Philips and some other players can be made accepting DVD from other regions while Panasonic can't. So, if you don't need this capability and would like to get a progressive scan DVD player, I would recommend getting RP-56.
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on October 24, 2001
I'm no techie. All I want from a DVD player is a steady picture and a nice stereo sound. This does the job. It has only two shortcomings of which I'm aware: There's no volume control; my TV remote does fine; and machine displays disc time remaining only on VCDs and CDs, not DVDs. This is somewhat annoying, and had I known it I might have opted for another player. Otherwise, I'm pleased.
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on May 8, 2002
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on March 10, 2002
This lovely piece of production equipment is a valued part of my entire NLE system. It works wonderfully and I have had problem zero with the unit. It plays all of my CD's very well including the VCD's that I create from my Mac! Great product - I highly recommend the extra dime to spend for this product... Great day, Steven Fiorenza, Pres Stefio Video & Audio Productions.
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