A product that launched in the second half of 2003
, the Pioneer
DV-563A is a fantastic piece of A/V
equipment for the home entertainment enthusiast.
At first glance
, this player does not look particularly state of the art
. It is a single disc DVD player, which may not appeal to some; it has both component video
outputs; it has progressive scan
, as well as optical
and digital audio
outputs -- but none of these are anything new on DVD players anymore, and standard on so many... why, then, would one choose this player?
Simply put, the DVD-563A is the first "dual-standard
" product aimed at the consumer-level
pocketbook, in terms of next-generation music technology. As you may or may not know, there are two new competing audio standards
making their way to the marketplace. The first was SACD
, or "Super Audio CD
", which is backed primarily by Sony
. The DVD Audio
specification, albeit perhaps ambiguously named, came out later, backed by Panasonic
Now, as it currently stands, it is true that, for the most part, people still listen to their music the "old-fashioned
way" (if you consider CDs or MP3
s old-fashioned!), neither specification has been particularly embraced by the industry or marketplace. However, the various advantages both offer (Dolby Surround Sound
, longer albums, and, for the music industries, varying degrees of copy-protection
) are nonetheless very compelling.
However, in a situation that smacks of the old "VHS
" battle for market share, neither of these supposed "standards" has yet grabbed even a plurality
of the market
To further cloud the situation, both of these standards have been somewhat troublesome in the world of home audio. SACD
s will not play on standard CD players unless they are hybrid
discs, and even then, the listener will only get the standard stereo
mix. Similarly, DVD-A
play on most of today's standard DVD players... but again, unless the listener's device supports DVD-A itself, the surround sound effects of the recording cannot be realised.
And thus, we come back to the DV-563A.
SACD-only players, despite the specification having been out for several years, are still usually pricey. This was resolved to some degree, by adding the capability to some DVD players. However, due to the bitter rivalries
between these two specs, it has been hard to find a player that could handle both, for an at-all reasonable sum of money.
The DV-563A changed all that. A well-equipped
DVD player that can handle MP3
formats, as well as CD-R
mediums, it also supports both the SACD and DVD-A specs
. Combine this feature set with the quality standards that have come to be expected from Pioneer
, and an initial market price of $160 USD
, it is hardly difficult a difficult justification
to make, when shopping for a new player, especially if one is a fledgling audiophile
The sound and video quality on this player are terrific, and with the ability to support both means it will stick around long after the most recent standards skirmish
is (ever?) resolved. With the battle lines
drawn all around, Pioneer stepped up into this power-vaccuum
of sorts, and exploited this animosity to provide a high-quality product that "Joe Consumer" can afford and use.