Price Paid: $129.99
Purchase at: Future Shop
- Improved readability of DVR-R/RW & +R/RW discs.
- Layer change is almost instantaneous.
- No chroma upsampling error in interlaced mode.
- Precision Drive 3 is excellent at reading troublesome discs.
- Separate black level settings for component and S-Video/composite connections.
- Resume feature remembers last 6 DVDs
- Reads .jpg CDs
- Fairly average deinterlacer; doesn’t work well with poorly encoded material.
- No optical digital output.
- Takes longer to load a disc than last year’s model (NS-325).
- Chroma upsampling error exists in progressive mode, but is hidden by a filter.
- Interlaced / Progressive switch is only on the back of the unit.
I’m writing this to partially serve as a comparitive review with last year’s entry-level model (the NS-325 interlaced-only player). Other than the obvious progressive addition, the NS575P also improves on many other features that existed on the NS-325:
- DVD+/- R/RW readability: The NS-325 could read these discs fine, but it was sometimes finicky with material made the hard way by TMPGEnc. Sometimes it would freeze right after a layer pause that was removed, or it wouldn’t play the DVD’s audio. (My Playstation 2 would read these discs without any problems). The NS575P reads these discs without a hitch.
- Layer Change: This has been vastly improved… the NS-325 took about 0.75 seconds whereas the NS575P takes only about 0.1 to 0.2 seconds. (It is NOT a seamless change as hometheaterhifi.com claims).
- Precision Drive 3: Sony explains it like this:
“Past generations of Precision Drive were only able to compensate for warped discs by moving the entire optical block, which took more time and limited the amount of correction possible. Sony’s new Precision Drive™ 3 System simplifies the process by moving the lens -instead of the entire optical block- for faster and more accurate error correction.”
I haven’t really been able to confirm whatever improvement this provides over PD2, but it at least reads the troublesome discs that my Playstation couldn’t read but my NS-325 could read. Not many other brands of DVD players have a feature like this…!
- .JPG Files: This is a first for Sony (it’s about time).
- Separate black level settings for component and S-Video/composite connections: This is a great feature as component and standard connections usually have completely different attributes and require different black level settings.
As for the progressive scan quality, you can read a very detailed review by clicking on the link in this review. Personally, I wasn’t impressed with the deinterlacing quality, particularly with DVDs that have irregular 3/2 cadence. I put it through a torture test using Transformers DVDs, which are one of the best (or should I say worst) examples of poorly telecined material. I observed huge color lagging in the red channel when the camera panned in certain shots. It looked much worse than the chroma upsampling error. Interestingly enough, the same artifacts were happening on the interlaced NS-325 (which is why I’m looking to replace it). However, the NS-575 in interlaced mode (as well as my Playstation and pretty much any other interlaced player under the sun) does not produce this artifact.
This can be a great player if you just use it in interlaced mode and let your TV do the work. I currently do this with my Sony 43HT20, which has a superior deinterlacer compared to the NS-575. If you’re looking for a player that can supercede your TV’s deinterlacer, I would suggest the Zenith DVB-318 (LG DV7832NXC for Canadians) or any other DVD player that has a Faroudja chip (eg. Denon).