|Kenwood Sovereign DV-5700 DVD-A/V Player|
|Home Theater Audio Sources DVD-Audio/SACD Players|
|Written by Bryan Southard|
|Saturday, 01 December 2001|
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Since its spectacular debut in the mid-1990’s, the price of DVD players have steadily dropped while the quality and features that these players provide have continued to amaze even jaded AV enthusiast. With home theater sales booming like never before as movie-lovers discover the joy of bringing the theatrical experience into the comfort of their home, manufacturers are offering more and more high quality options for the most discerning consumers. The Kenwood DV-5700 is a perfect example being a five-disc DVD-Video/Audio player that comes with key features including 5.1 analog audio outputs for playing discs encoded with the exceptional DVD-Audio format and a progressive scan output for sets that can accept this superior video source. The DV-5700 comes in black and measures 17-5/16 inches wide, five inches tall, and 16-1/8 inches deep, with a retail price of $1,500.
To start, DVD Audio is a high-resolution multi-channel capable audio format currently entangled in a format war with the Sony backed SACD for the next music playback standard. Sources amongst the industry may differ in their opinion as to which format will prevail, yet my opinion remains steady that DVD-Audio will become the next dominant format simply based on my listeing test of both formats and more importantly the commercial success of DVD-Video, a big wave of consummer loyalty which DVD-Audio can ride on in the next five or more years.
Additionally we find ourselves at the fringes of one of the greatest video advancements in three decades with the introduction of High-Definition television. This technology offers much greater resolution than has ever been seen before. Just a year ago, video sets that could accept this new format were expensive and seemed unnecessary with very little programming available. Today, HD compatible sets are cheaper than ever and with many new prime time HD broadcast’s, are finding their way into a good percentage of our homes. These new HD compatible sets not only accept the new high-resolution bandwidth, but can also accept a progressive signal at double the frequency of yesterday’s televisions, a technology commonly called "line doubling." In years past, line doublers were limited to mega-dollar systems with front projection and commanded a huge price. Today very good progressive video technology is found in DVD players like the Kenwood DV-5700 that provide a picture better than could have been imagined years ago.
Features and Technology
One of the most alluring features of this player is its progressive scan video output. For years there have been players available with this capability yet only recently have they incorporated top-notch licensed technology.
CRT’s including both direct view and rear projection, are capable of presenting 480 visible scanned lines. In recent years both front and rear projection video have become very popular, increasing the video size envelope to 100 inches and beyond. When accepting the standard interlaced signal, there is a visible space between the horizontal scan lines making the picture look choppy and lack smoothness. This condition is worsened by the near-screen viewing positions that many of us are forced to live with. In addition to the presence of black spaces between the horizontal scan lines, diagonal lines have by default become stair-stepped and jagged.
CRT projectors and TVs had long been limited to an interlaced signal with a scan rate of 15.734 kHz, which represents the number of scan lines reproduced per second, or in this case 15,734 lines per second. Today’s newer video appliances such as front video projectors, rear projected HDTV compatible sets, and plasma screens are capable of excepting much greater scan rates and can accept the progressive signal minimum of twice the standard 15.734 kHz rate, or 31.5 kHz signals. With an interlaced 15.734 kHz signal, there are 240 active lines per pass taking two passes to regenerate 480 lines of information. What a progressive doubler does is double the frequency to 31.5 kHz and convert the signal from interlaced to a progressive computer signal thus scanning 480 lines per pass. What this does when implemented correctly is make for much smoother images, removing much of the stair-stepping of diagonal lines, thus making video look considerably more like film.
|The DV-5700 uses technology licensed from Faroudja, today’s leader in video processing technology, and incorporates Faroudja’s Progressive Scan Deinterlacer with DCDi™. This technology applies motion adaptive deinterlacing that prevents the introduction of motion artifacts and jagged edges from video signals that originate from video cameras.
Other DV-5700 features include the ability to play discs encoded with MP3 in either 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, or 48 kHz sampling rates as well as standard CD's, VCD's (Video CD), CDR, CDRW's and DVD Mpeg discs. The DV-5700 can also decode Dolby Digital DTS encoded software; one of today’s more exciting formats. With 24-bit, 96 kHz and 192 kHz Digital to Analog conversion, this player is capable of decoding today’s high-resolution DVD-Audio recordings. Basically, this DVD player can do it all with danm near every option one can think of all packed in one unit.
For connections the DV-5700 provides digital outputs in both coax and optical, and video outputs in S-Video, Component Video, and Composite Video. It also provides 6-channels of analog output for use with multi-channel DVD-Audio encoded discs. You must have a compatible receiver or SSP to take advantage of this capability.