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Pioneer DV 626

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      17.04.2008 21:45
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      Great machine.

      I have owned this DVD player for several years, I didnt buy it new but got it second hand via ebay. It is a hifi connoisseurs DVD player, state of the art, and plays DVD video, video cd and normal cd's. Lets just go through a brief description of the 4 types of digital formats available when this machine was created, Dolby digital, DTS, MPEG and linear PCM. This machine has an inbuilt decoder to stream the info contained on the discs to the AV (audio visual) components you are using. Using this machine allows you to enjoy cinematic surround sound from Dolby Digital and DTS audio soundtracks without having to have additional decoding equipment. I have mine attached to a Technics SA-GX370 audio visual control stereo receiver. Through this i can then amplify the signal to my 5 surround sound speakers Thus giving a true home cinema experience. A sub woofer can also be included to as the DVD output features a 6 channel discrete audio output via the internal Dolby Digital and DTS decoder. The output to your visual output i.e. your television from the DVD player is via 2 composite, 2 s-video jacks and an AV connector terminal. RGB signal output is also possible from this same terminal. The DVD player also has a digital noise reduction system which improves the quality of the video by enhancing it and removing any digital noise. This is pre programmed but manual adjustments ca be made too. When you first get the product out of the box you will find the machine itself, an audio cord, a video cord, a power cord (UK and european), a remote control with batteries and the operating manual. The machine is easy to set up following the instructions, once the machine is wired up to both the mains and the tv and stereo, its almost ready to. My tv automatically recognised the DVD when i turned the tv onto the AV channel so it was plug and play. The wiring diagrams in the manual show you everything from just attaching it directly to a tv and also how to connect it up into a home theatre set up.Behind my stereo system is just a spagetti of wiring due to so many connectors from tv, dvd, vcr, hifi etc. Once its all set up you are ready to play with it. The menus are all used via an onscreen menu and can be as complicated or as simple as you like, again all well explained in the manual. I must admit this DVD player is best suited to those who love gadgets as the english part of the manual amounts to 67 pages and the majority of them relate to the onscreen menus. It can be made as complex or simple as you like and im still finding features on it that i didnt know even existed. The machine is black as was popular when this was made roughly around the late 1990's. The display screen is very clear and the lcd has blue figures, the brightness can be varied or the display can be turned off. It is multi region but only if you know the unlocking technique, i was lucky in the fact that the previous owner provided instructions for me on the unlocking procedure, useful if you want to watch DVD's that arent region 2. I thoroughly recommend this machine but dont think it is any longer available to buy new so shop around on the auction sites for the best deals. The picture and sound quality are amazing and if you are watching a DVD of a live music concert it is like being there yourself.

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        25.08.2002 06:59

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        This is a very well made product by Pioneer. It certainly is a good match for the competition. - Advantages: Good Quality, Playback of CD-R, Surround Sound options - Disadvantages: No MP3 or DVD-A playback

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        10.09.2001 04:43
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        The Pioneer DV-626D is a great DVD player – and it should be in the top 5 list at the top of the page. Unfortunately, it isn’t but that doesn’t stop it from being an excellent piece of hardware. I don’t personally own this player, but I have a friend who does and I’ve seen enough of it to be impressed. I own a Toshiba 2109B and can easily make comparisons between the two. Picture: -------- The picture quality is outstanding – this machine really does show how good DVD really is. I’ve seen pretty much everything on the 626 – from Toy Story to The Matrix to LA Confidential. Very sharp, very clear, very nice – about equal to the 2109. At the price you’ll be paying, this is nothing short of what you’d expect. Sound: ------ The sound is the best part of the 626 in my opinion. This player features a built in surround sound decoder – but not just a Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder, but a DTS decoder as well, excellent! All you need is a 6 channel amp with a decent set of speakers and you’re in audio heaven. It really is breathless – The Matrix’s lobby scene made my jaw drop, and I’m used to the crystal clear sound from the 2109. Looks/Build: ------------ The 626 is black with plenty of buttons and plastic. This may make it sound tacky but it actually looks quite nice. It is quite chunky looking compared to other players but this just reinforces the belief that this is a top quality player. There are quite a few buttons on the front – handy if you lose your remote but I’d stick to using the remote. The display on the front is not distracting and easy to read. Remote: ------- The one area that I hate about the 626 is the remote. Maybe I’m just used to the 2109 remote but the Pioneer remote seems to have buttons that are too small. Still, the important buttons (Enter, Play, Directio nal buttons etc) seem to be well placed. It could have been a lot worse. Outputs: -------- The 626 has a quite nice set of outputs around the back – loads more than the 2109. It features two SCART sockets, two S-Video outputs, two Composite video outputs, one optical and one coaxial digital output, two sets of analogue audio outputs and one set of 5.1 outputs. A pretty healthy collection I’m sure you’ll agree. Misc: ----- The 626 also has the ability to read DVDs, CDs, VCDs as well as CD-Rs and CD-RWs. It does not however, read mp3s on CD-Rs – a bit of a shame really. You also can’t “hack” the player to make it multi-regional; you’ll need to get it chipped with an interior or exterior chip. Somewhere like Techtronics will do a good job. Shop around for a decent price also. Overall: -------- What can I say, except this is a very, very good player. Most people think it is an alternative to the Sony 535 but I think it belongs with the Sony 725. Excellent picture and sound quality with a built-in DD5.1/DTS decoder. If you have the money, then this player comes highly recommended.

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          08.06.2001 02:44
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          Pioneer is well respected manufacturer for top quality home cinema products, and it ranks amongst the top few manufacturers of DVD players, up there with Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic. Pioneer is well known for impeccable build quality and excellent performance and the DV-626D is a brilliant example of just what Pioneer can do. After searching though review magazines and browsing the internet, I decided the pioneer was the one to go for. Main features include onboard Dolby Digital and DTS decoders, duel laser pickup, Pal/NTSC output, Digital noise reduction, conditional memory, Virtual Dolby Surround... I know what you're probably thinking... WHAT??? So I'll go through them as best as I can to make things a little clearer. One of the main features of DVD is its ability to hold surround sound soundtracks. This means that with the right set up you can have sound coming from all around you, just like in a cinema. To do this you need a DECODER, to turn the data on the disc into audio and an amplifier, to give the sound volume. You can buy Dolby Digital decoders/amps for £300 and much more, but if you have an old Dolby Pro logic box (the kind that decode TV surround sound) you can use the decoders built into the Pioneer 626 and so you needn't upgrade. The amplifier does have to have 5.1 channel inputs though. Although DVD purists may cringe at the idea of using built in decoders, to most peoples ears, they sound great and the Pioneer's are superb. In fact, the pioneer impresses all round as far as sound is concerned as it reproduces not only film soundtracks, but also music cds with amazing finess. In fact it could easily match the sound on a £200 + cd player. If you record your own cds, you would be interested to know that the pioneer has dual laser pickup. This means it can read recorded CDRs and CDRWs - very useful. This means it can also read Video cds on CDR as well as pre-recorded ones. In order to make this player multiregion, it needs to be chipped (you can either buy it pre-chipped or pay for an upgrade). This means unlike some players, you cant just type in a code. If it is chipped and you play Region 1 discs from america, the player can usefully output in either PAL or NTSC. This means that if your TV doen't support NTSC, the player will convert it to PAL for you. Digital Noise Reduction, automatically reduces any digital noise on found on the dvd - (pretty obvious). This isn't that important in my opinion as DVDs have such low noise levels anyway. Conditional memory and Last disc resume, keep the settings and remembers the place you were when you pressed stop respectively. Although I don?t mess around with the settings much, I do find the resume function useful as it saves finding the chapter and stuff which can be ennoying. Virtual Dolby is more of a gimmick than a useful function of the player. Like many players, this tries to recreate surround sound from just two speakers - clever... not realy, like every player, it fails. In reality it just adds an echo delay which I think muffles the sound abit, but then again, the feature does no harm being there. The picture performance is great, sharp, vibrant images are produced. But make sure you set up the video tweaks first, otherwise it can all go rather pear-shaped! According to Home cinema choice (who know these things) the best settings are probably.. Sharpness ? 50% Detail ? 10% Gamma ? 50% Chroma Delay ? Minimum Don?t ask me what all these things mean, but fiddle away to your hearts delight. The Pioneer is easy to use from the word go, easily understandable menus guide you through the set-up process. Even installing the system is easy thanks to the understandable instruction manual. Once your set up, insert a dvd and you?re ready to go and if at any time you want to change anything, press the menu button and a useful s ceen comes up with tabs for audio, video, general? The 626 has optical and Coaxial digital output, this means it can be connected to any digital decoder or minidisc recorder. If you wish to do the later you can set up the output to be PCM, and it will automatically downmix movie music to 48khz if you want it to. This is not usually of any use though as the player prohibits recording of copyrighted discs. Analogue only then. The player also has 96khz decoding which makes cds sound even better if you have an amp that supports it. Look round the back of the player, and you?ll find outputs galore - 5.1 output, 2 sets of stereo outputs, 2 s-video sockets, 2 composite video outputs, optical and coaxial audio and a scart for RGB, composite and stereo audio. There?s no component video or 2nd scart if that?s important for you. All connections are gold plated for ultimate quality in sound and picture. Also the fascia of the player is of top quality, the buttons feel sturdy and the finish is stylish. This makes a philips or imported player feel like it came out of a cracker in my opinion. You can also turn off the display of the player and select which speakers you have connected for ultimate flexibility. So, in summary, the Pioneer DV-626D rocks big time. Amazing visuals, stunning audio in CD and DVD replay and loads of useful features. It makes a £700 DVD player a little uneasy and retails at around £400 ? a bargain! There are a few improvements which could be made however... The remote is abit fidly and has over 50 buttons so it's impossible to find the correct button in the dark without ruining the athmosphere of the film. The player's predecessor the DV-636D apparently features an improved remote, but basically they have just moved some of the buttons around and made the cursor round shaped. Its no worse than many others. Also when using the decoder, you cant adjust the levels for each spea ker. If your amp can do this then there's no problem, but otherwise, it might be a touch ennoying. Also there is no scart loopthrough (for if you dont have enough scart sockets in your TV) and no component video out if thats important for you. There is a scart loopthrough in the 636. These are only minor points and do not change the fact that this is one great player.

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            02.05.2001 21:59

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            I have had this product for a year and can not fault the product in any way. The picture quality is true and uninterupted, the remote control is a wonder to use and is of good quality - particularly compared to some of the Sony DVD remotes I have seen and used. The sound output is nothing less than excellent the surround sound capabilities are as good as being in a cinema itself. I have a multi-region version and have been abel to play films from all aorund the world wihtout a problem and all at the same fantastic quality. Menu operation is ALWAYS fast as is scene jumping.

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            08.03.2001 06:12
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            I purchased the Pioneer 626 a few months ago and I have been very pleased. Before purchasing I read some reviews on other sites and compared it between other models of similar price and the Pioneer seemed to come out tops. First of all the picture quality of the Pioneer is superb. Clean, crisp and colourful, it's very impressive. Now the 626 comes with a variety of sound settings for users with standard TV speakers ranging up to pro-Logic and full 5.1 set-ups. The sound is excellent and the inbuilt decoders are comparable in quality to many medium range Dolby Digital decoders, with good levels of bass and treble. The only negative thing I would say about the built in decoders is the lack of an option to alter individual speaker settings, other than that the sound quality is once again superb. The Pioneer machine is laden with features and is basic enough for beginners but complex enough to keep more advanced users happy. I have had no problems with any disks I have thrown at it, it has played everything first time. The only negative point I would make is the layer change can be quite noticeable on some occasions, perhaps taking in excess of 1 second. However this is a small price to pay and quick in comparison to some other machines I have seen in action. I would have no hesitation in recommending this machine t anyone who wants a quality player without spending a fortune. Buy with confidence!

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            06.11.2000 16:01
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            Pioneer's DV-626D is a very nice machine. For about $390 you get DVD player with built-in both Dolby® Digital 5.1 and DTS decoders, which allows you to use 6 analog connections on the back of the player to extract excellent 3D dynamic sound. The player has excellent picture quality; the image is very crisp, super sharp and has very natural colors. In fact, the sharpness is even a little bit too excessive. The player has a digital noise-reduction (DNR) circuitry that increases the picture quality even more. The audio reproduction from both DVD and CD discs is excellent, which means that the Pioneer’s digital-to-analog converter (DAC) in this player is very good. However, if you have a high-end receiver with a better DAC you can use the unit’s digital out (it has both coaxial and optical out) to connect to it. The DV-626D has a large array of gold-plated audio and video jacks on the rear panel. There are five video outputs: two composite, two S-video, and a component-video out. There are also two pairs of RCA stereo output jacks and two digital output jacks: coaxial and optical. There are also 6 RCA jacks that facilitate the 5.1 output when using the built-in Dolby® Digital or DTS. And if you don’t have a 5.1-channel audio system, there is a "TruSurround" circuit, which simulates surround sound by using only a pair of speakers. The only missing out is a headphone jack. I don’t know how often you expect to use your headphones, but I do it not more often than once a month. Also you can use the headphone jack of the connected audio system for this purpose. Additionally, there is a manual switch on the back to switch between S-video and component out. But it is unlikely that you will switch between these two types of output often (if at all). The remote is very nice; it has jog/shuttle control that looks nice and allows you to scan at 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, scan 1, scan 2 a nd scan 3 speeds (scan1-scan3 speeds are each faster than the previous one). The remote has a backlight and also allows you to control the dimming of the unit’s front panel display or even turning it off completely. The remote also allows you to control all audio and video parameters. You can even adjust the subwoofer, center channel level and surround speaker levels. It also allows you to control special effects and has advanced programming options. The button on the left side of the remote illuminates the most frequently used buttons. The player plays CD-R discs, which not all DVD players do. It uses the Pioneer’s Twin Laser Pickup, using one laser for DVD and another one for CD and CD-R discs. Overall, the player is nice, with excellent picture and sound, good remote, built-in DD and DTS decoding, CD-R playback and massive array of outs. For all these features, the price is about right.

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              25.07.2000 02:10
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              This DVD has a very cool(the gold one) look but of course what we want is a high performance DVD player and this DVD player from Pioneer didn't disappoint me. It comes with a built-in Dolby Digital Decoder and 5.1 Channel Analogue Audio Outpost. This model also features a newly developed Digital Video Noise ReductionIC that specifically separates disturbing noise from video signals. This gives users pleasing voice free clear pictures. Also available is its Virtual Dolby Digital feature for direct hookup with the TV set or conventional stereo system that has only two audio channels while simulating realistic 3D Dolby Digital, only with a set of two front speakers

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              18.07.2000 00:13
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              This is a higly recommended player with an excellent feature set and given its quality the price isn't bad either. I bought this to replace my Samsung 807 when it proved to have problems with a number of discs. I'd already amassed a large number of DVDs so though it was worth investing in a decent player. All the reviews I read for this unit were positive so it seemed the ideal choice. So far I've not been disappointed. The picture quality is superb and I just wish I had a better TV to make the most of it. Sound matches picture and again I wish I had a Dolby Digital setup to get the best from the unit. The machine provides all the standard DVD functionality, with a few extras thanks to its in built Dolby Digital decoder. There's plenty of options to play with and you can spend a lot of time optimising the picture and sound settings. I've been using the 626 for about 6 months now and the only complaint I have is that for some discs the layer change is noticeable. That aside this is probably the best machine at the price point on the market.

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              06.07.2000 21:32
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              I purchased the 626 about a month ago based upon very positive reviews in a couple of trusted independent mags, and I can't say I've been disappointed. As with most DVD's the picture quality surpasses that of video by lightyears, and the sound quality is truly, truly impressive. I've got mine hooked up to a 28" Sony TV (not widescreen unfortunately), with sounds via a NAD 314 out of Wharfdale Modus 3's, interconnects for audio are Cambridge Audio Pacifics and the visuals are provided through a Vivanco Scart on the RGB channel. Crank up the volume, dim the lights, and sit back for what's (almost) a cinematic experience. Although DVD will improve your viewing by merely hooking it up to your tv (picture sharpens along with sound), I can't stress highly enough the benefits of hooking it up to at least your hi-fi, if not a home cinema system, and as with all electricals, use good quality interconnects and wiring (it really does make a difference). OK, back to the 626. Picture quality is stunning, with great colour balance and depth, coupled with an amazing sharpness. Sound on the 626 is absolutely outstanding. Soundtracks get great seperation and awesome clarity, and here's the best bit - it's really strong as a CD player too. OK, it's not going to replace my Arcam, but if your not a hifi freak it's probably going to improve the quality of your musical delivery too. The Pioneer has a satisfying heft to it, and appears to have really good build quality. It has a dampened 'air locked' carriage tray, which softens the gentle whirring associated with CD/DVD players. There's also a useful blue light under the tray for changing discs when the lights are down for cinema style viewing. The display is a little cluttered, and there are perhaps too many buttons on the facia, but you certainly can't fault the 626 for being ill equipped. Sounds wise the 626 is c ompatible with DTS, and all current Dolby delivery channels, so if you've got a Home Cinema amp you're laughing all the way to the ear doctor. It's even got dual outputs so you can run it to speakers in a different room, or even to a second amp. The remote is a little over laden with buttons, and for those with big fingers it might prove a little irritating as you hit rewind instead of play, but it's totally necessary to have the high number of keys, as a host of the players functions are operated soley from the remote and not from the facia (make sure you don't lose that remote). I've paid the extra money for a player that's multi-region (well worth while for those new releases), and you can activate regional selection by simbly going into the set-up sub menus. All in all a product I can't recommend highly enough. Now all I've got to do is buy a bigger house to fit the widescreen TV and 7 speaker cinema surround sound system to do it justice.

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