Pioneer DV-38A: Progressive Scan Video and DVD-A

Pioneer Electronics continues to refine audio and video performance with its new generation of DVD players. The $2000 DV-38A is the company's effort to combine high-resolution sound and image at an upscale but not unattainable price.

One of several DVD machines now on the market with progressive scan video output, the DV-38A boasts a number of innovative features that should yield excellent pictures. Among them are a 10-bit video processing system with a 54MHz bandwidth, an automatic jitter adjustment, separate horizontal and vertical sharpness controls, and component frame dynamic noise reduction. User-adjustable controls affect color saturation, hue, brightness, and contrast.

Video outputs include parallel component and S-video jacks, as well as coaxial and optical digital outs. A jog-shuttle remote enables slow motion, still pause, slow replay, and fast forward. The unit's "condition memory" stores setup information for up to thirty discs, allowing quick changes from disc to disc without wasting time tweaking the picture.

The DV-38A has an excellent audio section with dual 192kHz/24-bit digital-to-analog converters for the front left and right channels. The subwoofer output, center channel, and surround outputs are derived from Analog Devices DACs operating at 96kHz sampling rate and 24-bit wordlength. The 5.1 analog output with bass management and trim control can be used to drive power amps or active loudspeakers directly. The digital output on the DV-38A is said to support the higher 96/24 level of resolution, as compared to "Red Book" CD level of 44/16. Dolby Digital and DTS surround formats are fully supported with internal decoders and digital outputs for each.

Pioneer's new player is ruggedly built with a triple-layer chassis. Internal and external noise are minimized by the use of non-switching power transformers, an acoustic damper tray in the bottom of the chassis, and three isolated chambers for the power supply, transport mechanism and processing electronics. The DV-38A will play DVD-video and DVD-audio discs, and, of course, standard CDs. Warranty is two years parts and labor.