Pioneer DVL-919E Laserdisc and DVD Player Reviewed

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Pioneer_DVL-919E_DVD_LD_Player.gifFor once, I've decided NOT to berate a company for upgrading a product so quickly. Why? Because only last week, I bought a computer game for my son and yesterday it was reduced from £34.99 to £24.99; the colour printer I purchased in February was replaced in April with a cheaper model with a higher speed rate; cars are replaced every 12 months, and you don't get a refund or re-fit if you own last year's model. So I refuse to fret because Pioneer updated a DVD/LD combi-player which I reviewed last August.

This review is a one-pager because it's part of our new method of dealing with upgraded products which don't involve complete re-designs. And the DVL-919E combi-player qualifies because it because it is essentially a DVL-909 with newer DACs and detail changes.

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My primary reason for loving the '909 is a need to access both DVDs laser-discs. Having both in one player (CD compatibility is a given) makes my life that much simpler, saves space and saves sockets. Despite exhortations that I would buy the '909, events overtook me and I grew utterly rabid in my hatred of regional coding, going so far as to propose European boycotting of coding. So, instead of buying the Region Two '909, I bought a Region One Pioneer DVD-414. But I've just learned of a cache of PAL laser discs for a tenner apiece and my LD player is NTSC-only. Plus, in my new role as resident film buff, I can no longer avoid Region Two if I'm to review A/V systems for this magazine.

So maybe the DVL-919E is the way to go?

Its solid aluminium fascia is finished in the same Marantz-y gold colour, the comprehensive remote is the same, and - most importantly - the price stays at £899.99. Standard again are both-sides-play for laser disc, twin pick-up design individually dedicated for DVD and CD/LD (which, if you remember, is why Pioneer's combi-player doesn't compromise on CD playback), 10 bit video DAC, 96Khz-48Khz down-converter providing PCM digital output from 96kHz music DVDs, independent CD/LD loading trays and fluorescent display dimmer and on/off.

Like the '909, the '919 will never face an A/V receiver or processor it can't access. The back contains two SCART connectors, one S-video output, one component video output (phono socket), the necessary AC-3 RF output for laser discs, a coaxial digital output each for PCM and AC3/MPEG/DTS/PCM, an optical digital output for AC3/MPEG/DTS/PCM and a pair L/R Analogue audio outputs. The Pioneer also features a socket to provide system remote operation in an all-Pioneer set-up.

Read more about the DVL-919E's performance on Page 2.

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