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Pioneer DV-490V-S DVD Player with HDMI Output and 720p/1080i Upscaling

DVD and HDMI for $99

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Pioneer DV-490V-S DVD Player - Front View

Pioneer DV-490V-S DVD Player - Front View

Photo (c) 2006 Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com, Inc.
The Pioneer DV-490V-S is a great basic DVD player, offering not only CD and DVD playback, but, with its HDMI output, you can take advantage of the increased capabilities of an HDTV. In addition, other useful features, such as its JPEG/MP3 Slideshow function, as well as Divx file playback, make the DV-490V-S a great deal for $99. For additional details, read more below.

Product Overview

1. The DV-490V-S has a space-saving design. It is only 1-15/16th inches high and 8-7/16th inches deep.

2. The DV-490V-S plays DVD/DVD-R/DVD-RW (Video Format)/DVD+RW, CD/CD-R/RW, SVCD/VCD, JPEG/WMA/MP3, MPEG-4, and DivX.

3. Also offerred is Simultaneous JPEG/MP3 Playback Slideshow function.

4. The DV-490V-S has Progressive Scan w/2:3 pulldown and 12-bit/108MHz video D/A converter.

5. Video outputs include: HDMI, Component Video, Composite Video, and S-Video.

6. Video adjustments include: Brightness, Contrast, Gamma, Hue, and Chroma Level. There are also Color Saturation settings for the HDMI output.

7. Also featured is a Digital Coaxial Audio output with DTS/Dolby Digital pass through, as well as standard analog stereo outputs.

8. On-board Virtual Surround Processing for those that do not have a home theater system.

9. Infrared Wireless Remote Control is included.

10 An Easy-to-Read User Manual is provided.

Overview of the HDMI Output

HDMI stands for High Definition Multi-media Interface. To transfer the digital video signal from a standard DVD player to a TV, the DVD player must convert the signal from digital to analog, this results in some information loss. Get a closer look at an HDMI connector.

Pioneer DV-490V-S DVD Player - Remote Control

Pioneer DV-490V-S DVD Player - Remote Control

Photo (c) 2006 Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com, Inc.
However, the DV-490V-S has the ability, with its HDMI output, to transfer the DVD's digital video signal directly, without conversion to analog. This results in a pure transfer of all of video information from the DVD to an HDMI or DVI-HDCP (via a connection adapter) equipped TV. In addition, HDMI can transfer both video and audio signals.

Overview of Video Upscaling

You can enable the DV-490V-S to either feed the digital video signal as either 720p or 1080i (in addition to 480p) to your television. 720p and 1080i are the two main standards for HDTV display resolution.

720p is essentially 1,280 pixels displayed across the screen horizontally and 720 pixels down the screen vertically. This arrangement yields 720 horizontal lines on the screen, which are, in turn, displayed progressively, or each line displayed following another.

1080i represents 1,920 pixels displayed across a screen horizontally and 1,080 pixels down a screen vertically. This arrangement yields 1,080 horizontal lines, which are, in turn, displayed alternately. In other words, all the odd lines are displayed, followed by all the even lines.

The Practical Side Of Video Upscaling

The capability of the DV-490V-S to output a video signal in 720p or 1080i format allows its video output to more closely match the capabilities of today's HDTVs. Although this is not the same as watching your DVDs in true-high definition, as current DVDs are not recorded in high definition, you will experience increased detail and color you didn't think was possible from a DVD player; unless you purchase a HD-DVD or Blu-ray Player and view HD-DVD or Blu-ray Discs. Although the DV-490V-S is not a true high-definition DVD player, it is considered HD-Compatible.

The upscaling function works best on fixed pixel displays, such as LCD or Plasma sets, the upscaling may result in harsh images on standard CRT and Projection sets. In addition, if your television has a native display resolution other than 720p or 1080i, the TV's video processor will rescale the incoming signal to its own specification, which can also yield different results on the final, displayed television image.

Testing Set-Up - Hardware

Additional components used in the review of the DV-490V-S DVD player included a Yamaha HTR-5490 6.1 Channel AV receiver, Outlaw Audio Model 950 Preamp/Surround Processor paired with a Butler Audio 5150 5-channel power amplifier.

Pioneer DV-490V-S DVD Player - Rear Panel

Pioneer DV-490V-S DVD Player - Rear Panel

Photo (c) 2006 Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com, Inc.
Video displays used included: A Syntax LT-32HV 32-inch LCD TV, Samsung LN-R238W 23-inch LCD TV and an Optoma H56 Video Projector using both S-video and Component-to-DVI connection conversion.

Both comparison LCD TVs are HD-compatible with native 720p capability. The Samsung has an HDMI input; the Syntax has a DVI-HDCP input. The Syntax was connected with the DV-490V-S via an HDMI-to-DVI Connection adapter. Both units have progressive scan HD-Component inputs. The Optoma H56 projector has a native resolution of 1024x768.

A variety of loudspeakers, including Klipsch B-3s, Klipsch C-3, Optimus LX-5IIs, a Yamaha YST-SW205 Powered Subwoofer, and additional speakers, in both matched and mismatched setups were used.

Comparison DVD players (with 720p/1080i upscaling capability) included , Samsung DVD-HD931 (DVI-HDCP output) and NeuNeo HVD-2085 (HD-component and HDMI output), as well as a Toshiba HD-XA1 HD-DVD player using standard DVDs in 720p and 1080i upscaling modes.

DVD-Rs/DVD+RWs used were made on the following DVD recorders: Sony RDR-HX900, Philips DVDR985, and a Presidian PDR-3222.

All connections between components were made with Accell, Cobalt, and AR Interconnect cables.

Proceed to Page 2 - Evaluation and Final Take

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