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DVD Benchmark - Product Review - Sony DVP-S7700 DVD Player - November, 2000

Staff

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Background

Sony is probably the biggest consumer electronic company on the planet.  Overall we found their DVD players to be well rounded.

Anyway, here are our test results:

Video

The overall video quality of this DVD player is good.  In terms of video quality, Sony took a step backwards from the DVP-S7000, which we believe is superior.

The CAV outputs are properly labeled YPbPr.  They are also dual labeled with B-Y and R-Y.  They use the inferior RCA connectors.

Black and White Levels

Format Black White Comments
CAV 7.5 99.3 Black is dead on and white is only a hair below.
YC 6.9 99.3 Black is slightly lower than the CAV output, but still close.  White is identical.

Color Bars

CAV

The Y portion of the CAV output is just slightly lower than SMPTE and EIA 770.1.

The Pb portion of the CAV outputs match MII levels.  The Pr portion of the CAV outputs match MII levels.

Component Analog Video Data

 

YC

The Y portion of the YC output is very close to SMPTE 170M.  It is up a little higher at Magenta.

The Chroma level out of the YC output is a little high.  The Chroma phase is perfect.

Composite/YC Data

 

Video Frequency Response

The YC and CAV outputs do not match each other.  They follow similarly traits, but there is a difference between them.  The YC output is actually better at 5 MHz than the CAV.  The YC output will appear sharper because of its peaked frequency response from 2 MHz and beyond.

There is more ringing on the Avia sharpness pattern with this player than with the Sony S-7000.  Its not as bad as the Pioneers and Toshibas though.

Video Frequency Response

 

Pixel Cropping

Location Pixels Comments
Top 0 Excellent
Bottom 0 Excellent
Left 5 Good
Right 8 OK

Signal-To-Noise Ratio

Format Output SNR (dB) Comments
CAV Y -56.2 OK - The Y SNR is low on the CAV outputs, but the two color channels are good.
CAV Pb -71.3 Very Good
CAV Pr -70.0 Very Good
YC C-AM -66.0 Very Good - This is where most players fall.
YC C-PM -65.1 Very Good

Component Channel Timing

Channel Timing (ns) Comments
'Pb' to Y 30.8 OK - There is smearing on color fringing that is evident.  This is a big step backwards compared to the DVP-S7000.
'Pr' to Y 27.2 OK
'Pb' to 'Pr' 3.6 Good

Audio

Audio Frequency Response

The audio frequency response of the DVP-S7700 was excellent, with one of the flattest responses of the bunch.  The high frequency curve did result in slightly lower output at 20 kHz than some other models, but also maintained a flat response higher than any other, without any premature dips or peaks.  Of course, if it were ideal, there would be no deviation at all, but given the limitations of 44.1 kHz sampling rates, this is truly top-notch.

Audio Frequency Response

 

Harmonic Distortion + Noise FFT

The distortion spectrum of the DVP-S7700 was really quite nice.  Not quite like the Meridian 800, but not too far off either.  There was a little energy at 12 kHz that looks like it might be a harmonic peaking above the noise floor, but at 115 dB, which most would consider negligible.  The highest harmonic, at 3 kHz (the 3rd) was at 98 dB, followed by the 2nd, 4th, and 5th. Higher order distortion, on the whole, was minimal.

Distortion Spectrum

 

Wide-Band noise spectrum FFT (Wall AC)

The noise spectrum was reasonably good.  There was a peak at 50 kHz, at -98 dB, which was probably a main contributor to throwing off the dynamic range measurement (see below), and the 60 Hz power line frequency component was at 106 dB, with what looked like harmonic components at 120 Hz and 240 Hz.

Noise Floor (Wall)

 

Wide-Band noise spectrum FFT (Lab grade AC)

The use of a regenerated AC supply resulted in pretty similar results except in the lowering of the 60 Hz component in the noise floor.

Noise Floor (Lab)

 


Low-Level DAC Linearity

Low-Level DAC linearity from the S7700 was absolutely superb, and stayed within 1 dB of ideal down to 107 dB, without any suspicious dips or curves along the way.

DAC Linearity

 

Dynamic Range

The dynamic range was 93.6 dB.  We think that the actual performance as it relates to listening material is slightly better, and that the reading was thrown a bit by the peak in the noise floor at 50 kHz.

Inter-Modulation Distortion

IM tested out at -114.5 dB.  Looks just fine.

Functionality

Note: A green check in the boxes below means that feature worked OK. A red X means it is unsatisfactory.

Avia

Test Results Comments
Subpicture

 
Slide Show

 

Video Essentials

Test Results Comments
Blacker-Than-Black

 
Stress Test

 

WHQL

Subpicture Palette (DCS)

Test Results Comments
Still

 
Bob

 
Weave

 

Default Palette Color Index

Test Results Comments
Still

 
Bob

 
Weave

 

Custom Palette Color Index

Test Results Comments
Still

 
Bob

 
Weave

 

Branching

Test Results Comments
Seamless Branching

This player is below average; it takes 3 clock sweeps to branch.
Multiple Angles

This player is slow at changing angles; it takes between 2.5 and 3 seconds.

Menu

Test Results Comments
Loops

 
Ends

 

Field/Frame Freeze

Test Results Comments
Weave

 
Bob

 

16x9 Menu

Test Results Comments
Letterbox

 
Widescreen

 

Cropping

Test Results Comments
352x240

 
720x480

 
704x480  
352x480  

Layer Break

This player takes about 1 second to change layers.

Test (DVD) Results Comments
"Cruel Intentions"

 
"Ghostbusters"

 
"Friend" VCD  
"Saving Private Ryan" (DTS)  
"The Abyss"  
Chesky Super Audio 96/24 No 96/24 digital out

Physical Response

This player is on the faster end of the scale.  We gave it a 7 in overall response.

Test Results Comments
Setup

 
Transcode

 
CD-R  

Error Correction/Concealment

Pierre Vareny

Its CD error correction falls in the upper middle.  It is able to read up to and including chapter 33, which represents a 1.50mm gap.

Scratch the Dog

Its DVD error correction does not appear to be as good as its predecessor (the 7000).  The player only shows the FBI warning and the New Line logo.  It never makes it to the menu.

Usability

We did not conduct a usability study on this DVD player.

- Staff -

DVD Benchmark Explanatory Articles

Introduction

Part 1 - Video

Part 2 - Audio

Part 3 - Functionality Part 4 - Usability Part 5 - Progressive Scan

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Copyright 2000 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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