Pioneer Elite DV-47A DVD/SACD Combi Player

Wouldn't it be great if you could just go out and buy the surround sound music titles you're interested in without having to worry about whether they're on DVD-Audio or Super Audio CD (SACD)? Well, if more companies put out players like Pioneer's DV-47A, the format issue will eventually be a moot point, and we can all get back to focusing on the artists and the music rather than on whether we have the right type of player.

What's so special about the DV-47A, which hails from the company's upscale Elite series? For starters, it will play any video or music disc you bring home, whether it's a multichannel SACD or DVD-Audio disc or a standard CD or DVD. And if that's not enough to get your attention, the player will also spin CD-ROM or CD-R/ RW discs containing MP3 audio files - a feature that is becoming almost mandatory for DVD players in all price ranges these days. As usual, the MP3 capability is accompanied by a number of restrictions on the file and disc formats, such as being able to play files recorded only in the first session of a multisession CD-R/RW. If you want to delve into this further, visit Pioneer's Web site and look up page 9 of the owner's manual.

What about the new recordable DVD-R and rewritable DVD-RW discs? Although the early version of the manual we had implies that the DV-47A will not play them, I found the opposite to be true. The player had no problem reading both kinds of discs, and it will play DVD-RWs not only when they're recorded in standard DVD-Video format but also when they're in the editable VR format produced by Pioneer's own DVR-7000 recorder. It'll even play discs recorded in the Philips-backed DVD+RW format.

In The Lab