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Initial Impressions | RP91 vs Skyworth (mini-shootout)
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Skyworth reading | "Fixes"
With the dvd power plug conversion done, I connected the coaxial audio out to the
receiver and the progressive component outs and the svideo out to my TW65x81.
I turned on the skyworth and tuned the TV to my DVD TV setting (HD2). Audio is fine but
no video. Hmmmm...... I then remembered that initial setup is done in the interlaced
mode. So I switched to Video 1 where svideo feeds the TV. There's the image. I then cycled
through the menu setting the interlaced out to CVBS. YUV sets the interlaced image to B/W.
On the last page (page 3) of the menu, is the selection for Progressive Output. I
selected YprPb for the component out. The other progressive out option is via the VGA out
For the VGA out, one would have to choose RGB in the Progressive Output selection
option. For those who'd want to use the VGA out to feed their component input only sets, a
transcoder would help accomplish this. Why do this? To eliminate the possibility of Y/C
After setting the Progressive Out on page 3 of the menu, the image on HD2 came right
Okay, now on with what I bought this for, playing DVDs. I loaded Matrix, Fifth Element,
Titan AE, Gladiator, MI2, Stargate, and a few others. No problems whatsover.
It Works as Advertised
Deinterlacer Performance - Awesome! I didn't see
any combing at all. Images are solid.
RGB Y/C Delay - Error is minimal via an Audio Authority
- Blue = 0
- Red = -.07
- Green = 0
Chroma bug - I didn't see any.
DVD Audio - Audio was very good in both DD and DTS. No
skipping or any hiccups.
CD Audio - I popped in a few CDs and they all worked just
fine. I haven't tried the Karaoke features yet. I need to get some
Now for some Negatives...
Component Y/C Delay - Error is very noticeable especially
when I was watching Cast Away.
- Blue = 0
- Red = -.22
- Green = -.15
Numbers for component y/c delay will vary with each home theater setup since each will
be unique, e.g., lengths of cable runs, devices the signals traverse from the player to
the tv. I will try various length cables to help reduce the error.
Scaling - It lacks the auto-scale between 4:3, letterbox, and
anamorphic movies like that in the Panasonic RP91. Although I can set my set to TW2, which
zooms in on non-anamorphic letterboxed movies, it softens the image a bit and gaps between
scan lines become more visible.
Build Quality - For under $300, I guess you can't expect it
to rival that of the more expensive ones. Aesthetically, the design isn't bad. It has all
the necessary controls and lots of them actually on the front panel. How the pieces are
put together, however, makes it feel like it is a prototype unit. With the top cover
removed, the front panel is a bit loose. Even the screws are puny and don't fit very well.
But for the abuse it took from the shipment, it's surprisingly durable.
The remote works but the buttons have a very rubbery/mushy feel to it. A good
universal remote should "fix" that.
Front panel LEDs - The blue lights are very distracting. Even
if you cover them, the lights bleed through the buttons on the front panel. Unplugging the
connectors to the lights is an easy fix for this. Pictures of where to unplug them
are in pictures section.
Color - Finally, the brushed aluminum finish is nice but not
on a player that is supposed to disappear in the darkness of a home theater. It would be
nice to have it in black.
From my preliminary use, it appears to be a very good progressive player that could
give the name brand players a run for their money. The skyworth's biggest asset of course
is its use of the Faroudja based deinterlacer which really helps eliminate those annoying
jaggies. It is multiregion, macrovision-free, plays PAL or NTSC discs, and plays just
about anything and everything you can throw at it without any hiccups.
If you are in the market for a progressive player, please check out the review of this
player along with other contenders in the August 2001 hometheaterhifi.com Progressive