|NAD T 571 DVD/CD/MP3 Changer|
|Home Theater Audio Sources CD Players|
|Written by Tim Hart|
|Wednesday, 01 May 2002|
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I had to run the component video out of the T 571 into a Silicon Image iScan Pro to my Sony VPH 1252 seven-inch CRT projector, as the older Sony was not equipped with a progressive scan input card. You can’t run a progressive signal to the iScan pro, as it converts a component video input to a progressive or line-doubled output. Progressive into a progressive converter does not quadruple the amount of lines you get. Just for grins, I tried doing this. The results aren’t even worth going into. I use an 84-inch 4:3 diagonal screen approximately nine feet away from my viewing position.
Using "Toy Story II" (Disney) for color saturation and definition, the T 571 immediately impressed me with the purity of colors and the contrast and definition between lighter and darker hues in the opening scene, when Buzz Lightyear zooms out of space to land on an alien planet. The robots that surround him when he lands have a pebbled texture that was much more detailed than they appeared on my reference Toshiba DS-9100. I would go so far as to say that the T 571 had nearly the same impact as getting contact lenses to correct my vision. In darker scenes where Buzz drops through to the underground lair of the dreaded Zurg, I didn’t notice any smearing or jagged-edged artifacts from light to dark transitions that sometimes make themselves present under these conditions. Additionally, the picture exhibited very good black levels.
For intense dark and light scenarios I turned to the Rouge City scene in "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence" (DreamWorks). The neon and bright lights in this scene are a retinal assault on the senses. At times, the T 571 had trouble defining some of the contrast information, leaving the color a bit washed out, but I have yet to see a DVD player in this price range do a better job than the T 571. The jacket on the streetwise character Gigolo Joe (played by Jude Law) has a metallic quality to it, capturing the play of lights in Rouge City on the surface of the material. With the Toshiba SD-9100, the reflections looked like moving blobs of color, but with the T 571, the reflections were much more realistic, as I could see what was in the images.
For texture rendition, I loaded "Shrek" (DreamWorks). Shrek’s eyebrows and the donkey’s fur took on new life when experienced through the T 571. Colors were vivid and gave greater clarity to the scenes themselves.
To see how well the NAD player could handle variety of tasks, I loaded the T 571 with several DVDs. First I started watching one film, then changed to a different disc, to see how the T 571 handled this aspect of movie watching. From the time I hit disc change on the menu, it took an average of 15 seconds to proceed to the next movie.
That is good performance. I don’t see multi-movie watching at one setting being a feature that a lot of people would take advantage of, but if you’re given the ability to do this, perhaps it will become a desirable option.
The T 571 did a nice job with the tasks of pausing, freeze-framing, or providing slow motion viewing, never flickering or jumping, and the scene information stayed cohesive throughout all of the view manipulation.
Besides the plastic on plastic sound of the disc tray, the only other complaint I have with the T 571 is the remote. There is no provision for lighting the keys. This is something the industry has clearly failed to recognize. For me, it required the use of a flashlight or turning up the lights to see the functions I needed to control the T 571. With a projection system, there is nothing that kills the movie-watching vibe more than turning on a light to control the video play of your system. Although the remote is logically laid out, the buttons are small and too numerous to feel like you could find the right one in the dark.
Given the flexibility and performance that the T 571 affords, it seems that NAD has found a balance between performance, cost and convenience. Although not cheap at $799.00, you really get you money’s worth with the T 571. For playing DVDs, CDs, or a mix of the two, as well as CD-R and CD-RW and MP3 encoded discs, you’ll find that NAD hasn’t left anything to chance. Sonically, the T 571’s performance is very good, both in stereo and multi-channel music, on both HDCD and DTS-encoded material. The video section is excellent, especially the progressive scan video output, which would have cost several thousand dollars for a player with this feature a few years ago. This is a must-use feature to get the fullest benefit the T 571 has to offer. If you have a newer TV or projection system that will accept a progressive scan signal, you’ll be amazed by the picture quality the NAD T 571 provides. I’m not sure how useful the carousel feature is for DVD movie watching, but cueing up five CDs' worth of music for a party is a sweet option. So, if you are using a high-resolution TV and you don’t have a progressive source, do yourself a favor and audition the T 571. You may end up putting your old DVD non-progressive player on eBay and finding a way to own this NAD product.