Toshiba SD-3900 vs. SD-3950 DVD player - what are the differences?

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Jeff, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    I looked up the 3900 and 3950 DVD players at Toshiba's web site using
    the 2 links below:

    http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/dvd/product.asp?model=SD-3900
    http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/dvd/product.asp?model=SD-3950

    I tried to compare every line under "Detailed Specifications" for
    differences. Even though several things are worded differently (i.e.
    Dialog Enhancer vs. Dialog Expander), the only real difference I can
    spot is the 3900 has both coaxial and optical while the 3950 only has
    coaxial out. The MSRP is $20 higher on the 3900 than the 3950.

    If anyone is familiar with these 2 models, could you please tell me if
    there are any other differences? (Including overall reliability, the
    ability to play additional DVD recordable formats (only minus is
    listed), or playback tolerance for scratched up rental DVDs?)

    The reason I ask is Target has the SD-3900 for $79.99, while Best Buy
    has the SD-3950 for $69.99. I'm trying to decide which to buy...
    unless I missed some other feature difference, I don't think an
    optical out is worth $10 more. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Jeff, Jan 19, 2004
    #1
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  2. Jeff

    Scot Gardner Guest

    "Jeff" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    I looked up the 3900 and 3950 DVD players at Toshiba's web site using
    the 2 links below:

    http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/dvd/product.asp?model=SD-3900
    http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/dvd/product.asp?model=SD-3950

    <<I tried to compare every line under "Detailed Specifications" for
    differences. Even though several things are worded differently (i.e.
    Dialog Enhancer vs. Dialog Expander), the only real difference I can
    spot is the 3900 has both coaxial and optical while the 3950 only has
    coaxial out. The MSRP is $20 higher on the 3900 than the 3950.>>


    It does appear that the only difference is that the 3900 has both
    coaxial and optical while the 3950 only has coaxial out. However, that
    alone can't account for the $20 price difference.

    This type of shotgun formula for player comparison is the worst. The
    best comparison charts are just that -- charts. There is a list of
    features on the left and the players can be compared in columns with
    YES,
    NO, The Specification or N/A appearing next to the player being
    considered.

    Anyway, neither of these Toshiba units appears to be very good. The 3900
    is the older of the two units and one reviewer said:

    Versatile, but music lovers should stay away
    By: kyuushu June 21st, 2003

    Pros: Reads a lot of media formats: DVD,DVD-R,DVD+R,DVD-RW,CD-R,
    CD-RW,VCD,SVCD,XVCD, MP3, WMA, JPEG stills
    Cons: Does not play enhanced music CDs (which are becoming more popular
    now), flimsy build quality

    Bottom Line: This is a great DVD-player, but if you want to play music
    CDs, look elsewhere. Otherwise, this is a great player for people with
    movies on multiple media formats. (The review then goes on for several
    paragraphs.)

    http://hardwarecentral.dealtime.com/xPR-Toshiba_SD_3900~RD-103767510660


    The 3950 got a bad review:

    Great machine if it would only play.
    Pros: Lots of features for the money.
    Cons: Glitch in the machine hinders usability.

    Full Review: We bought this DVD player based on its very good set of
    features for the relatively low price. Unfortunately, although it
    worked out of the box initially, within a couple of days it was
    frequently locking up. It wouldn't play, the disc tray wouldn't open, it
    would just freeze after turning it on and loading a DVD. Toshiba said it
    needed to be unplugged for five minutes, and then it would reset itself
    and would work. This proved to be true. However, it is quite annoying.
    Perhaps not every machine does this, but enough do that Toshiba knew of
    the problem. Save your packaging so you can return it if you have that
    problem (I wish we had). If your machine doesn't have that problem, then
    as the first review indicates there's a lot of machine here for the
    money.

    http://hardwarecentral.dealtime.com/xPR-Toshiba_SD3950~RD-125882633860

    Read all of the reviews here:

    http://hardwarecentral.dealtime.com/xPR-Toshiba_SD3950

    http://hardwarecentral.dealtime.com/xPO-Toshiba_SD_3900
    Scot Gardner, Jan 19, 2004
    #2
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  3. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    Scot, thanks for the links to Hardware Central. That site never showed
    up in my web searches for some reason. Those are the first helpful
    reviews I've read, and it's good to be aware some units are defective
    with lock-up problems. Overall it does not sound like the units are
    that bad, except for playing enhanced music CDs.

    Hardware Central lists the 3950 as having coaxial and optical out even
    though Toshiba's page does not. Given the 3950 is newer and cheaper,
    it seems like the 3950 would be the better choice of the two unless an
    $80 Panasonic S35 shows up somewhere. Panasonic replaced it with the
    S25 which has no S-video output which guarantees I will never buy it.

    On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 19:39:25 -0800, "Scot Gardner"
    <> wrote:
    >"Jeff" <> wrote in message
    >I looked up the 3900 and 3950 DVD players at Toshiba's web site using
    >the 2 links below:
    >
    >http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/dvd/product.asp?model=SD-3900
    >http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/dvd/product.asp?model=SD-3950


    <snip>

    >Read all of the reviews here:
    >
    >http://hardwarecentral.dealtime.com/xPR-Toshiba_SD3950
    >
    >http://hardwarecentral.dealtime.com/xPO-Toshiba_SD_3900
    Jeff, Jan 19, 2004
    #3
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