Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 4/20/98
Pioneer DV-09 DVD Player
review by Digital Man,
special to The Digital Bits
Pioneer had one the
first players out, the DV-500. It was loaded with problems,
including a faulty, nine bit DAC. The performance and quality was
light years behind everyone else's players. All of this came as a
surprise to the videophile community, who for years had come to
recognize Pioneer as the leader in optical disc technology. Finally,
two years later, the second coming is here: Pioneer's DV-09 - the
new digital Messiah.
This player has everything a videophile and audiophile wants. Let's
start with the video. The new DAC is highly improved. The ten-bit
video is seamless, with no reportable glitches other than the
all-too-famous "Devil's Advocate" glitch. Fast menu speed
and selectablity in pause modes (between frame and field) make
playback fast and furious.
The Elite DVD-only unit is loaded with video outputs: composite,
s-video, and component - it has everything except progressive scan.
However, most videophiles will choose to run an external line or
active doubler instead of purchasing a TV with a line doubler built
in, anyway. The heavy copper chassis allows for static-free
On the audio side, the player has coaxial and optical digital
outputs. There are two sets of analog outputs, for those who want to
take advantage of the player's 96khz, 24 bit audio DAC. The player
outputs Dolby Digital, as well as the new DTS bitstream. The new DAC
allows for two channel PCM high definition audio through the analog
The best features on this player are the on-screen features.
Various preset video adjustments are built in for viewing of sports
or art programming. The video menu allows for complete adjustment of
the Y/C timing to black level adjustments, as well as digital noise
reduction on just about everything. You can choose four settings for
the front display, as well as prioritizing your language and
subtitle choices. The unit features an optional multicolored Pioneer
The remote is the same as all Elite LD remotes we are used to. It
comes with the famous jog shuttle, and has the DVD menu arrows as
The sides are glossy wood, as the CLD 99 and VSX 09TX Elite pieces
have. The unit weighs an impressive forty pounds and features a
double air-locked tray for dust-free playback. They even threw in a
Sony-esque front panel which lowers down to reveal the tray.
For those who want to spend a hefty $2,000 on a DVD player, this is
the one to get. It sets the new reference, and has the look to
match. It bears the THX logo on the front, and wears it deservingly.