LaserDisc UK Web Site

 

 

Pioneer DVL-909

DVL-909_Starship.jpg (22867 bytes)

North American version

North American back panel

 

 

European version

European back panel

 

Pioneer DVL- 909 2-Sided Laser / Video-CD / Audio-CD / DVD Player  

The archive site has a copy of the Operation Manual for the DVL-909. Please see the manuals page. 

dvl-909_champagne.gif (15985 bytes)

Pioneer DVL-909 Hong Kong/Japanese model (Champagne colour), 240/220 volts, NTSC only for laserdisc, PAL/NTSC for DVD playback. 

Pioneer_DVL-909_European_model.jpg (11416 bytes)

Pioneer DVL-909   2-Side Laser / Video-CD / Audio-CD / DVD European model. 



Specs for the US and Japanese DVL-909:

Pioneer improves on their original design by offering the DVL-909. New features and improvements include single-chip 10 bit DAC MPEG-2 video decoding system, "Personal Modes" hardware preference settings menu, MPEG-1 Video-CD playback compatibility, Composite video outputs, and "VitterBi" data buffering to reduce digital errors caused by mechanical "wow and flutter". Additional features include double-side laser disc play, dual layer DVD play, optical and coax Dolby Digital 5.1 sub-carrier outputs for both laser and DVD discs, separate loading drawers for 5" and 12" discs, full digital effects on CLV format laser discs, PCM digital output for DTS decoding, Twin S-video & component video outputs, wireless remote control, 96Khz/20-Bit digital audio decoding, on-screen graphical user interface (GUI) and CD-R playback.

Specs for the European DVL-909:

Pioneer improves on their original design by offering the DVL-909. New features and improvements include single-chip 10 bit DAC MPEG-2 video decoding system, "Personal Modes" hardware preference settings menu, MPEG-1 Video-CD playback compatibility, Composite video outputs, and "VitterBi" data buffering to reduce digital errors caused by mechanical "wow and flutter". Additional features include double-side laser disc play, dual layer DVD play, optical and coax Dolby Digital 5.1 sub-carrier outputs for both laser and DVD discs, separate loading drawers for 5" and 12" discs, full digital effects on CLV format laser discs, PCM digital output for DTS decoding, single S-video & composite video outputs, one scart loopthrough socket outputting either a composite or S-Video signal, wireless remote control, 96Khz/20-Bit digital audio decoding, on-screen graphical user interface (GUI) and CD-R playback.


Note: All the DVL-909 models with not play DTS encoded DVD's.

Review courtesy of HomeCinemaChoice

Please visit their website for the latest home cinema reviews.

The Pioneer DVL-909 is unique in the DVD universe - it can play both PAL and NTSC laser discs. So is this jack of all trades the deck for you?

Pioneer DVL-909Only those living on the MIR space station have an excuse for not knowing about the DVL-909. It's unique in being the only DVD player that also handles laser discs. As such, it's an aspirational machine for home cinema enthusiasts from Hong Kong to Hounslow - especially as it can now be made to easily play all Regional Codes. More on this later.

The livery (in champagne gold) and styling are superb. Up front we see large and small loading trays (for CDs/DVDs and LDs) plus basic transport controls and a key for switching off the display.

At the back there's a weird box-like bulge. In this under-the-bonnet test HCC can reveal this houses a dual laser mechanism. One at 780nm has its wavelength optimised for CDs. The other at 650nm is for DVDs. Both are fed to the disc via an elaborate U-shaped mechanism that allows dual-side disc playback.

FOCUS
Pioneer DVL-909
Price: 900
Telephone 01753 789789
RATINGS

Build quality
Features
Video jitter
Colour performance
Composite detail
S-Video detail
Chroma crosstalk
Video noise
Value
Overall tech score

ANALYSIS
Jitter : 7ns
Chroma AM : -67.3dB
Chroma PM : -52.1dB
Composite response at 4.0/5.8MHz : -5.21/-8.82dB
S-Video response at 4.0/5.8MHz : -4.39/-8.84dB
Chroma crosstalk : -39.8dB RMS
Inherent S/N : -58.1dB RMS

WHAT'S IT GOT?

Connectivity is first-rate. For audio there's the usual stereo phonos, plus digital optical and coaxial feeds and a Dolby Digital AC-3 RF terminal for use with demodulators and amplifiers featuring a dedicated Dolby Digital laser disc input. Video terminals include Scart loopthrough, composite, plus S-Video. A systems switch changes the video signal for PAL/NTSC (or auto) output.

In terms of features, this machine is a combination of Pioneer's DV-505 DVD and CLD-925 LD decks. Functions are dependent on discs. For example you can only enter DVD set-up with a DVD loaded in the tray. All the regular features are provided - 16:9 and 4:3 displays with 4:3 letterboxing, parental coding and digital output selection for Dolby Digital/MPEG Surround or PCM.

One function that's hidden on the set-up menu is Regional Code selection. Although provided in the software, it is electronically defeated until two terminals within the player are linked. See HCC's guide to hacking this Pioneer, elsewhere in this issue.

Value-added DVD functions include an onscreen bit-rate display and three visual filters: Cinema, Animation and Standard. These tweak the video performance to optimise programme material - Animation gets extra colour, Cinema boosts the contrast and reduces brightness, whilst Standard gives an unfettered signal.

You also get a Condition Memory for retaining subtitle and picture parameters for up to 30 DVDs. Another DVD tweak is dynamic range control to limit the incredible transients available off Dolby Digital soundtracks.

For laser disc playback the biggest boon on the 909 is its frame store. Regardless of whether you have an active-play (CAV) or long-play (CLV) disc, you get trick functions such as slow motion and still-frame. Best of all, side changes are accompanied by a still from the last few moments of playback, rather than a blank screen.

Last but not least, this player has some plus-points with regard to compatibility. Because it uses dual lasers, the 909 is one of the few machines around that can play CD-R (CD-Recordable) media, and it's compatible with discs encoded at 24-bit/96kHz. This standard is being adopted for audio-only recordings by a couple of US specialist record companies.

UNDER THE BONNET

With so much on offer, surely this player is the best to grace our lab? Curiously not. In this comparison it measures second worst for inherent noise, worst for averaged colour quality and worst for video jitter. As for chroma crosstalk, it's almost on an equally low footing as the same-brand DVD-only DV-505.

Clearly, compromises have been made in accommodating both laser disc and DVD formats. However, DVD delivers such a giant step in image quality, even a machine with poor technical traits, subjectively looks good. Considering its positive points (the crisp resolution cannot be ignored) we see a player that is much sought-after.

If you're a laser disc fan looking to embrace DVD, the DVL- 909 is the business - even though technically, it's not the last word in DVD performance.

Bob Tomalski, Home Cinema Choice, August 1998