Sony DVP-NS425P vs. Panasonic S35S DVD player - which should I choose?

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Aaron, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Aaron

    Aaron Guest

    I have some credit at Target where they have the Sony DVP-NS425P for
    $99.99 and the Panasonic S35S for $79.99. I looked at both
    manufacturer's sites for info to try to compare these 2 DVD players,
    and I wasn't able to come away with any clear idea why the Sony was
    worth $20 more. Maybe I missed something?

    I have a Panasonic DVD carousel player from the same year as the S35S,
    so I expect its picture quality and behavior is the same except it
    adds JPG viewing as does the Sony.

    Could anyone help me decide which of these 2 players I should choose?
    I'm leaning toward the cheaper Panasonic unless someone can tell me
    why the Sony is better. Thanks.
    Aaron, Jan 4, 2004
    #1
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  2. Aaron

    JMH Guest

    Sony's name costs more money. The players are probably the same.



    "Aaron" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I have some credit at Target where they have the Sony DVP-NS425P for
    > $99.99 and the Panasonic S35S for $79.99. I looked at both
    > manufacturer's sites for info to try to compare these 2 DVD players,
    > and I wasn't able to come away with any clear idea why the Sony was
    > worth $20 more. Maybe I missed something?
    >
    > I have a Panasonic DVD carousel player from the same year as the S35S,
    > so I expect its picture quality and behavior is the same except it
    > adds JPG viewing as does the Sony.
    >
    > Could anyone help me decide which of these 2 players I should choose?
    > I'm leaning toward the cheaper Panasonic unless someone can tell me
    > why the Sony is better. Thanks.
    JMH, Jan 4, 2004
    #2
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  3. Aaron

    Pug Fugley Guest

    The Panasonic will give you better picture quality and more
    reliablilty...plus better ff/rev controls.



    "Aaron" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I have some credit at Target where they have the Sony DVP-NS425P for
    > $99.99 and the Panasonic S35S for $79.99. I looked at both
    > manufacturer's sites for info to try to compare these 2 DVD players,
    > and I wasn't able to come away with any clear idea why the Sony was
    > worth $20 more. Maybe I missed something?
    >
    > I have a Panasonic DVD carousel player from the same year as the S35S,
    > so I expect its picture quality and behavior is the same except it
    > adds JPG viewing as does the Sony.
    >
    > Could anyone help me decide which of these 2 players I should choose?
    > I'm leaning toward the cheaper Panasonic unless someone can tell me
    > why the Sony is better. Thanks.
    Pug Fugley, Jan 4, 2004
    #3
  4. Aaron

    Scot Gardner Guest

    "Aaron" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I have some credit at Target where they have the Sony DVP-NS425P for
    > $99.99 and the Panasonic S35S for $79.99. I looked at both
    > manufacturer's sites for info to try to compare these 2 DVD players,
    > and I wasn't able to come away with any clear idea why the Sony was
    > worth $20 more. Maybe I missed something?
    >
    > I have a Panasonic DVD carousel player from the same year as the S35S,
    > so I expect its picture quality and behavior is the same except it
    > adds JPG viewing as does the Sony.
    >
    > Could anyone help me decide which of these 2 players I should choose?
    > I'm leaning toward the cheaper Panasonic unless someone can tell me
    > why the Sony is better. Thanks.


    I can't discount the Sony brand name because I have had excellent
    service from a Sony 550 (2581 DVD hours) and a Sony 360 (3219 DVD
    hours). HOWEVER, I recently purchased a Panasonic S55S and I couldn't be
    happier with it.

    DVD players are not all the same. Furthermore, a player's
    ability to play a flawed disk, and hide all the errors, is not
    necessarily dependent upon its price.

    I personally discovered this fact when a badly damaged Netflix DVD
    refused to play, in a couple of places, on both of my Sony players. Up
    to this point, my two Sony players (550 and 360) had never given me any
    reason to complain. It is not clear to me just how this disk sustained
    its damage. The playback problems started to occur in chapter 15, where
    massive pixelation and digital blocking would occur. Then, both players
    would lock up for about 10 seconds and either jump back a chapter or
    jump forward a chapter. An entire 6 minute section of the first layer of
    the disk was unplayable. After this section, the disk played normally
    for another 2 minutes, successfully navigated the layer change, but 2
    minutes later, the player encountered the same damaged section of the
    disk and the playback problems occurred again for approximately 6
    minutes of the second layer.

    It looks like the disk was dropped face down on concrete where somebody
    stepped on it. But the pits are arranged in a concentric and orderly
    circular fashion. It's almost as though someone's laser playback
    assembly created the pits, around the outer third of the play surface,
    as the disk was spinning in the player.

    My first inclination was to send the disk back to Netflix and request a
    replacement, since I had not been able to watch all of the movie. But on
    the way to the post office, I had second thoughts about this, drove over
    to Circuit City, opened the defective disk return envelope and took the
    disk into the store. I wanted to see if there were any players that
    could play this disk.

    Most stores don't have their demo DVD players hooked up to monitors
    anymore, so getting a demonstration is not always easy. But circuit City
    had a $99 Panasonic DVD-S35S hooked up to a demo TV, so I tried the disk
    in that player. (This also seemed like a good potential-purchase choice,
    because Panasonic players are reputed to be free of any chroma bugs.) I
    directly accessed chapter 15 and waited for the player to begin having
    fits as it encountered the damaged section, but it played right through
    as though the damage didn't exist. There were a couple of very minor
    occurrences of digital blocking, where two or three small, colored
    squares popped up in single frames, but there was no interruption of the
    sound. But, at this point, I was really interested in getting the
    Panasonic DVD-S55S, but Circuit City didn't have the player.

    I then called Magnolia Audio-Video (owned by Best Buy) and they had one,
    new-in-box Panasonic DVD-S55S in stock. This store was only two blocks
    from Circuit City, so I was there in 10 minutes. Sure enough, the
    Panasonic DVD-S55S breezed through the damaged disk just as well as the
    DVD-S25 had done before it.

    Magnolia also had a close-out price on the Sony DVP-NC755 (which has
    SACD capability) so I played the defective disk in the floor model. The
    playback of this $300 list price player was even worse than my Sony
    players at home. The digital blocking began earlier, in chapter 12,
    instead of chapter 13. The player locked up for over 10 seconds and I
    didn't wait to see if it would finally start playing again.

    Besides exceptional error correction, another thing that Panasonic DVD
    players have is more fast-forward and slow-motion speeds than any other
    players that I have seen. Most players have 2 or 3 fast forward speeds
    and slow motion speeds, but Panasonic has 5. As far as I can tell, the
    fast forward speeds are 3x-6x-12x-50x-200x. (Panasonic's 200x fast
    forward has to be the fastest available on any player.) I can't tell the
    5 slow motion speeds exactly, but they appear to start at 2fps and go up
    to 12fps.

    Incidentally, both the Sony DVP-NC755 and the Sony DVP-NS425P, that you
    are considering, boast that they have "Precision Drive 2 System:
    Providing an improved mechanism for reading DVD discs that are in less
    than perfect condition, Precision Drive 2 improves over last years
    Precision Drive to further eliminate errors in playback due to
    imperfect, scratched or warped DVD discs." Whatever. The DVP-NC755
    couldn't play the damaged Netflix disk and I suspect that the DVP-NS425P
    won't be able to play it either.

    So, I bought the Panasonic DVD-S55S and have been very happy with it.

    http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INT...SKU=DVPNS425P&CategoryName=hav_DVD_DVDPlayers
    Scot Gardner, Jan 4, 2004
    #4
  5. >The Panasonic will give you better picture quality and more
    >reliablilty...plus better ff/rev controls.


    And your experience stems from what models from both brands of DVD players? -
    Reinhart
    LASERandDVDfan, Jan 5, 2004
    #5
  6. >I have some credit at Target where they have the Sony DVP-NS425P for
    >$99.99 and the Panasonic S35S for $79.99.


    >I wasn't able to come away with any clear idea why the Sony was
    >worth $20 more. Maybe I missed something?


    Sony products are typically more expensive. Sometimes, it's definitely worth
    it, such as their Trinitron and Grand Vega displays. Sometimes, it's not, like
    their lower end audio receivers.

    Both DVD players are very good choices and you really can't go wrong with
    either, but I would recommend the Panasonic because of its lower price. You'll
    save some money and still come out on top with an excellent quality DVD player.
    - Reinhart
    LASERandDVDfan, Jan 5, 2004
    #6
  7. Aaron

    Aaron Guest

    Thanks, Scot and everyone else who answered, for helping me make my
    decision. It seems there is no reason to pay extra for the Sony which
    appears to be about the same in features and which seems to be a bit
    less tolerant on defective DVDs according to Scot's experience.

    By the way, Scot, how much was the Panasonic S55S at Circuit City (out
    of curiosity)? I just browsed through their players listed online and
    couldn't find the S55S, but I expect it's more than the S25S which is
    also $79.99. The only feature difference I could ever figure out
    between the S25S and S35S is the type of DD5.1 audio out.

    It's a moot point what Circuit City has anyway because Target doesn't
    pricematch and my credit is with Target, so I have to take what they
    have (i.e. the older S35S model... assuming they get any more in stock
    after being laid desolate during Christmas).

    On Sun, 4 Jan 2004 14:43:49 -0800, "Scot Gardner" <>
    wrote:
    <snip>
    >Incidentally, both the Sony DVP-NC755 and the Sony DVP-NS425P, that you
    >are considering, boast that they have "Precision Drive 2 System:
    >Providing an improved mechanism for reading DVD discs that are in less
    >than perfect condition, Precision Drive 2 improves over last years
    >Precision Drive to further eliminate errors in playback due to
    >imperfect, scratched or warped DVD discs." Whatever. The DVP-NC755
    >couldn't play the damaged Netflix disk and I suspect that the DVP-NS425P
    >won't be able to play it either.
    >
    >So, I bought the Panasonic DVD-S55S and have been very happy with it.
    >
    >http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INT...SKU=DVPNS425P&CategoryName=hav_DVD_DVDPlayers
    Aaron, Jan 5, 2004
    #7
  8. Aaron

    Scot Gardner Guest

    "Aaron" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    <<Thanks, Scot and everyone else who answered, for helping me make my
    decision. It seems there is no reason to pay extra for the Sony which
    appears to be about the same in features and which seems to be a bit
    less tolerant on defective DVDs according to Scot's experience.>>

    My Panasonic S55S recently produced a very small pixelation problem (2-3
    frames) on a rental disk. This problem did not occur on either of my
    Sonys.

    <<By the way, Scot, how much was the Panasonic S55S at Circuit City (out
    of curiosity)? I just browsed through their players listed online and
    couldn't find the S55S, but I expect it's more than the S25S which is
    also $79.99. The only feature difference I could ever figure out between
    the S25S and S35S is the type of DD5.1 audio out.>>

    Circuit City does not carry the S55S. They had the S25S for $79 and the
    S35S for $99. I bought the S55S at Magnolia Audio Video for the full
    retail price of $129, just before Christmas. Everybody else was sold out
    on this model.

    The best price that I have found on the S55S is $109.88 from J&R
    Computer World. Of course, they are now sold out too. I have ordered
    from J&R before and had no problems.

    http://www.jandr.com/JRProductPage.process?RestartFlow=t&Section_Id=1&Product_Id=3690119

    The S25S is a VERY basic unit with no S-video output, no picture
    controls (Brightness, Color, Contrast, Gamma Correction, Sharpness), no
    DVD-RAM compatibility and no Playlist Playback. You might want to pay
    the extra $20 and get the S35S. Unfortunately, you just missed the $20
    rebate on the S35S:

    "Receive a $20 rebate by mail with the purchase of a Panasonic DVD-S35S,
    DVD-S35K, DVD-S35UPS or DVD-S31S DVD Player."

    "Offer valid for purchases made between November 1, 2003 and January 3,
    2004."

    You can keep checking the Panasonic site for future rebates.

    http://www.panasonic.com/consumer_electronics/dvd_players/promo_20rebate.asp

    The main differences between the S35S and the S55S is that the S55S has
    onboard Dolby 5.1 and DTS decoding and DVD Audio capability. The S55S
    also has an array of picture controls not on the S35S:

    Depth Enhancer, 3D_Noise Reduction, Block NR and MPEG Digital Noise
    Reduction (Mosquito/Block/3D).

    You can go here and compare all Panasonic DVD players:

    http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webap...toreId=11251&catalogId=11005&catGroupId=11059

    <<It's a moot point what Circuit City has anyway because Target doesn't
    pricematch and my credit is with Target, so I have to take what they
    have (i.e. the older S35S model... assuming they get any more in stock
    after being laid desolate during Christmas).>>
    Scot Gardner, Jan 5, 2004
    #8
  9. Aaron

    Paul C. Guest

    (Aaron) wrote in
    news::

    > Thanks, Scot and everyone else who answered, for helping me make

    my
    > decision. It seems there is no reason to pay extra for the Sony

    which
    > appears to be about the same in features and which seems to be a

    bit
    > less tolerant on defective DVDs according to Scot's experience.


    Not sure about that model of Sony but several Sony models have been
    noted at being better at anamorphic downconversion than other
    players.(found this while looking at reviews on Cnet.com) I believe
    this only matters when you're not using a HDTV setup. In that case
    it could be a benefit to some users.
    Paul C., Jan 5, 2004
    #9
  10. Aaron

    Aaron Guest

    I wish I had known about that $20 rebate which just ended. Of course
    it was Target's fault I didn't get it last week because they were "out
    of stock" (the mantra of most stores right after Christmas because
    they never think ahead to buy enough inventory). They might have
    gotten some in over the weekend, but since I didn't know about the
    rebate (and it was not listed) I didn't bother to check. The price
    Target had listed was $79.99 without any mention of the rebate. If I
    go in there and now see the S35S for $99.99, I will be quite mad at
    Target. I asked if I needed a raincheck, and I was told "no, that's
    the regular price now". I've found it quite amazing how people who
    work at stores that sell these products know so little about them. I
    had asked both a Best Buy and Target electronics employee the
    difference between the S35S and S25S and neither could tell me.

    Target's web page still has the S35S listed for $79.99 without mention
    of the rebate:
    http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/ref=br_1_10/601-2835235-4688128?asin=B00008IP5G

    $79.99 will still be a good price, but $59.99 would've been better!

    I appreciate all that good information, Scot.

    On Mon, 5 Jan 2004 09:19:47 -0800, "Scot Gardner" <>
    wrote:
    <snip>
    Aaron, Jan 6, 2004
    #10
  11. Aaron

    Scot Gardner Guest

    "Aaron" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > The price Target had listed was $79.99 without any mention of the
    > rebate. If I go in there and now see the S35S for $99.99, I will be
    > quitemad at Target. I asked if I needed a raincheck, and I was told
    > "no, that's the regular price now". I've found it quite amazing how
    > people who work at stores that sell these products know so little
    > about them. I had asked both a Best Buy and Target electronics
    > employee the difference between the S35S and S25S and neither
    > could tell me.
    >
    > Target's web page still has the S35S listed for $79.99 without mention
    > of the rebate:
    >

    http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/ref=br_1_10/601-2835235-4688128?asin=B00008IP5G


    I think that there is some mistake with the price. My guess is that if
    you actually rang up the S35S at Target, before the rebate expired,
    you would be charged $99.99 and then a rebate reciept would print
    out. It just doesn't make sense to have the S35S selling for the same
    price as the S25S.

    From the Target website:

    "Product Description
    This Panasonic Ultra-Slim Progressive Scan DVD Player offers a sleek
    design that is slimmer than its predecessors but is not slight on great
    performance. The deck features a progressive-scan video processor for a
    seamless, flicker-free picture on high-definition and HD-ready
    televisions. Other features: plays DVD-Video, DVD-R, DVD-RAM, DVD-R,
    CD-R, CD-RW, JPEG, and MP3/WMA CDs; cinema mode diminishes glare and
    improves visibility in dark scenes; depth enhancer reduces image
    background noise; bass plus enhances bass when connected with an
    optional subwoofer; dialogue enhancer boosts center-channel volume
    during Dolby Digital 5.1-channel presentations; dialogue enhancer;
    optical digital output for DTS and Dolby Digital surround sound; sleep
    timer; quick guide setup; progressive video out (Y, PB, PR); component
    video out (Y, PB, PR): switchable (480P/480I); S-video out; video out; 2
    channel audio out; optical digital audio out; and headphone jack."

    If this Target product description is any indication, they might have
    some other problems:

    depth enhancer (S55S only)

    bass plus (I have no idea what this is, although the higher priced
    S55S does have a sub woofer output)

    headphone jack (There is no headphone jack -- see below)

    From the PDF version of the Panasonic S35S owner manual:

    "Enjoy a surround-like effect when using 2 front speakers (SP) or
    headphones (HP) (connect the unit to equipment that has a headphone
    jack). The effect broadens when playing discs with surround effects and
    sound seems to come from speakers either side of you."
    Scot Gardner, Jan 6, 2004
    #11
  12. Aaron

    Justin Guest

    "Aaron" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > The price Target had listed was $79.99 without any mention of the
    > rebate. If I go in there and now see the S35S for $99.99, I will be
    > quitemad at Target. I asked if I needed a raincheck, and I was told
    > "no, that's the regular price now". I've found it quite amazing how
    > people who work at stores that sell these products know so little
    > about them. I had asked both a Best Buy and Target electronics
    > employee the difference between the S35S and S25S and neither
    > could tell me.
    >


    Yeah.... And how many people working at minimum wage or barely more than that
    under usually pretty awful working conditions do you think can care
    about every product the store sells?
    Justin, Jan 6, 2004
    #12
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