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Panasonic DVD-F87

5-disc carousel DVD/CD/DVD-Audio changer (Silver)

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  • Panasonic DVD-F87

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Item #: 133DVDF87S
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Panasonic DVD-F87

by Steve Kindig
Panasonic

Panasonic's DVD-F87 is incredibly slim for a 5-disc changer. It's also an incredible performer, both for video and audio. For starters, progressive-scan video output takes advantage of the higher-resolution picture available on increasingly-popular HDTV-ready TVs. If your current TV doesn't accept progressive-scan signals, your next one no doubt will, and the DVD-F87 delivers a terrific DVD picture whether you select standard or progressive-scan mode.

Playback versatility extends to music discs, too. The DVD-F87 does a great job with regular CDs, as well as your recordable CD-R and CD-RW discs. And you've heard about DVD-Audio, right? Special discs with nearly every bit of data dedicated to music — up to six channels of better-than-CD quality sound! In addition to surround-sound mixes, many DVD-Audio titles also include ultra-high-resolution stereo versions. Among savvy audiophiles, Panasonic's DVD players are known for being bang-for-the-buck champs, and this changer kicks things up a notch by adding HDCD® playback capability.

Read more

PC music fans will love that the DVD-F87 also plays MP3 and WMA (Windows Media Audio) music discs created using a computer CD-R/W drive. WMA is an increasingly popular format, and both MP3- and WMA-encoded discs can hold up to 10 hours of music! If you engage Panasonic's Multi Re-Master audio processing, you'll hear more spacious and nuanced sound on everything from MP3 and WMA discs to DVDs and CDs.

Built-in decoding for Dolby® Digital and DTS® means that you can use the player's decoder and connect to a 5.1-ready A/V receiver, or do what most people do and simply use the digital output for an easy one-cable hookup to a receiver with Dolby Digital/DTS decoding. The DVD-F87 even includes Dolby Pro Logic® II, for convincing surround sound from stereo music CDs.

Highlights:

  • change 4 discs while the 5th keeps playing
  • plays DVD-Video, DVD-R, DVD-RAM, and Video CD
  • plays DVD-Audio, CD, CD-R & CD-RW, MP3 and WMA CD-R & CD-RW
  • plays digital photo CDs (JPEG)
  • 54MHz/10-bit video DAC
  • selectable interlaced/progressive-scan component video output (progressive scan requires an HD-compatible TV)
  • de-interlacer with 3-2 pulldown processing
  • image sizing (4:3 Shrink and Letterbox Zoom & Shift)
  • Advanced Virtual Surround Sound for enhanced 2-speaker sound
  • built-in Dolby Digital/DTS/Pro Logic II decoding with 5.1-channel output
  • digital bass management (speaker size, delay time, and channel balance)
  • coaxial digital output for Dolby Digital/DTS/PCM
  • 1 set of A/V outputs (composite video, S-video, and 480i/480p component video)
  • HDCD decoding
  • Multi Re-Master audio processing (selectable)
  • Audio Only mode (switches off video circuitry)
  • 192kHz/24-bit audio D/A converter
  • audio signal-to-noise ratio 115 dB
  • remote control
  • Energy Star® compliant
  • 16-7/8"W x 2-3/4"H x 17-7/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • designed for use with "Region 1" coded DVDs

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Number of Discs 5
Built-in Decoder Yes
THX Certified No
DVD Recorder No
Multibrand Remote No
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 90 Days
Compatibility
CD-R Capable Yes
CD-R/W Capable Yes
MP3 Playback Yes
SACD Playback No
DVD-Audio Playback Yes
Outputs
HDMI Outputs None
Composite Video Outputs 1
S-Video Outputs 1
Component Video Outputs 1
RS-232C Port None
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Silver 5-disc DVD changer
  • N2QAJB000092 Wireless remote control
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 68" AC power cord
  • 55" Audio/Video cable (has left and right RCA audio connectors and an RCA composite video connector on each end)
  • Operating Instructions
  • Panasonic Customer Care Plan (additional cost extended service plan)

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Inputs and Outputs

Features

Overview: The Panasonic DVD-F87 is a 5-disc DVD player that features a built-in Dolby Digital/DTS/Pro-Logic II decoder. The DVD player is available in a silver or black finish.

Video D/A Converter: This player uses a 54 MHz/10-bit video digital-to-analog converter. This high-bit, high sampling D/A converter helps to reduce digital artifacts to give you a better picture.

Audio D/A Converter: This unit includes an audio digital-to-analog converter capable of providing 192 kHz/24-bit and 96 kHz/24-bit resolution. The 192 kHz/24-bit and 96 kHz/24-bit capabilities of this unit allow it to play DVD Video discs with 96 kHz/24-bit audio tracks and DVD-Audio discs with sampling rates of 192 kHz.

PCM Down Conversion: You can select one of four PCM Down Conversion settings:

  • Up to 48 kHz: Digital signals over 48 kHz are converted to 48 or 44.1 kHz
  • Up to 96 kHz: Digital signals over 96 kHz are converted to 48 or 44.1 kHz
  • Up to 192 kHz: Digital signals up to 192 kHz are output
  • Off: When no digital output connection is made

Note: Signals from copy-protected discs are converted to 48 or 44.1 kHz regardless of the setting.

Progressive Scan Output: Progressive-scan video has less flicker and fewer motion artifacts than the traditional interlaced-scanning method, resulting in a superior picture. To take advantage of this feature, you must have a television with component video inputs that supports the progressive scanning mode. The component outputs on this unit can be set to pass either progressive or interlaced video.

Built-in Decoders: This unit has built-in Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Pro Logic II decoders.

Digital Bass Management: This unit has built-in bass management that allows you to adjust the speaker size, delay time, and channel balance when using the 5.1-channel output.

Disc Compatibility: The player is compatible with the following discs.

  • CD, CD-R, CD-RW, HDCD
  • Video CD, SVCD
  • DVD-R, DVD-RAM
  • DVD-Video, DVD-Audio

MP3/WMA Playback: This unit will play MP3/WMA files recorded onto CD-R and CD-RW discs using the ISO 9660 level 1/level 2 format. MP3 files with a compression rate from 32-320 kbps and WMA files with a compression rate from 48-320 kbps are supported. 

Note: This unit is not compatible with ID3 tags.

JPEG Disc Playback: This unit will play JPEG files recorded onto CD-R and CD-RW discs using the ISO 9660 level 1/level 2 format. Exif 2.1 JPEG Baseline files with a resolution between 320 x 240 and 6144 x 4096 are supported. All JPEG files on a disc can be played back in a slide show. The slide show has an adjustable interval from 0-30 seconds.

Multi-Channel DVD-Audio Playback: DVD-Audio is a multi-channel format used for high resolution audio recording. This unit can decode and play DVD-Audio discs with a sampling rate up to 192 kHz with a 24-bit word length. 

Note: DVD-Audio recorded with this sampling rate is passed through the analog outputs only.

HighMAT Disc Playback: HighMAT stands for High Performance Media Access Technology. Co-developed by Panasonic and Microsoft, HighMAT was designed to significantly improve interoperability for digital media content between PCs and popular electronics devices such as CD players, car stereos and DVD players. HighMAT is a digital-media standard that provides a dramatically improved method of storing, arranging and playing back personal digital photo, music and video collections on recordable discs such as CD-RW media. 

HDCD Decoder: HDCD is a digital recording technology, compatible with the conventional CD format, that significantly reduces distortion during recording to expand the dynamic range and realize high resolution. The HDCD decoder allows this unit to play discs that have been recorded in HDCD format and to bring out the superior sonic performance from these discs. 

Advanced Surround (V.S.S.): When playing a Dolby Digital disc, this feature allows you to obtain a surround sound effect from only two speakers or headphones. If you are playing a disc with surround effects recorded on it, the effects are broadened and the sound seems to come from virtual speakers on either side. You can indicate whether you are listening to speakers or headphones, and with each mode you can choose "Natural", "Enhanced", or Off.

Dialogue Enhancer: The Dialogue Enhancer increases the center channel volume (relative to other channels), making movie dialogue easier to hear and understand.

Audio Only: When playing audio discs, this feature can turn the video section of the DVD player off to improve the audio quality.

Multi Re-master:  This feature increases the data density in CD or DVD signals to reproduce even high-frequency sounds outside the audible range, creating incredible sound quality. It can also be used in conjunction with compressed formats like MP3 and WMA to compensate for signal loss, giving you a full, rich sound. You can choose one of the following settings: 1 (Light), 2 (Medium), or 3 (Strong).

Picture Modes: You can choose one of the following picture mode settings:

  • Normal: normal picture
  • Cinema 1: mellows images and enhances detail in dark scenes
  • Cinema 2: sharpens images and enhances detail in dark scenes
  • Video Output Mode: allows you to select interlaced or progressive video output
  • Transfer Mode: allows you to select the method of conversion for progressive output
    • Auto 1: for viewing film-based material
    • Auto 2: same as Auto 1, but able to convert 30-frame-per-second progressive video
    • Video: for viewing video-based material
  • User: allows you to adjust the following settings: contrast, brightness, sharpness, color, gamma, and Depth Enhancer. Depth Enhancer helps give you sharp images with incredible depth. Instead of affecting the entire image, the Depth Enhancer feature only processes an image's background, helping to leave the delicate details of the main subject intact. The end result is images with startling depth, true-to-life skin tones, and a soft, movie-like background focus.

Variable Zoom Function: When watching a widescreen-format DVD movie on a conventional 4:3 aspect ratio TV, this feature allows you to enlarge the screen image in order to eliminate the black bars on the top and bottom of the screen.

Image Sizing: When displaying a 4:3 image on a 16:9 screen, you can choose one of the following 4:3 Aspect settings:

  • Normal: laterally stretches the image
  • Auto: expands 4:3 letterbox images to fill more of the screen
  • Shrink: images appear in the center of the screen
  • Zoom: expands all images to fill the screen

Quick Replay: Quick Replay allows you to jump back 7-10 seconds during playback just in case you missed something, or want to see it again.

Position Memory: This function lets you eject a disc part way through a movie, and then resume watching from the same point later. This information can be stored for up to five discs.

Marker: Up to 5 points on a disc can be stored in memory and easily recalled. Markers are cleared when power is turned off or when the tray is opened.

Karaoke: When playing a karaoke disc, the vocals can be turned off. 

Note: This unit does not have a microphone jack.

Changing Discs: You can change the 4 remaining discs in the tray without interrupting the currently playing disc.

Sleep Timer: This unit is equipped with a sleep timer that will automatically turn the unit off after a specified amount of time. The sleep timer can be set to Auto (turns off 5 minutes after play finishes), 60, 90, or 120 minutes.

Inputs and Outputs

Inputs and Outputs: All connections are located on the rear panel of the DVD player.

Digital Audio Out: The DVD player features a single coaxial digital output.

2-Channel Out: The DVD player is equipped with a stereo pair of RCA connections.

5.1-Channel Out: The DVD player features a built-in Dolby Digital/DTS decoder for use with receivers that are only Dolby Digital/DTS ready.

Component Video Out: The unit has one set of component video outputs capable of 480P/480I.

S-Video Out: The player features on standard S-video output.

Video Out: The DVD player is equipped with a single composite video output.

AC IN: This input is for the detachable AC power cord.

 
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Panasonic DVD-F87 Reviews

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5 out of 5

Panasonic DVD-F87

Written By Lynn, Longmont, CO on Friday, October 06, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I tested CD-Rs of .wav audio and DVD-Rs of video successfuly, but a CD-R of JPEGs unsuccessfuly. The User's Guide is a bit unclear re JPEGs, but seems to assume them to be on CD-RAM discs. Particularly impressive were the various "CD Mode" on-screen displays including a "progress-bar" for audio tracks, and "Title" and "Artist" readouts for both the disc and individual tracks! When creating Audio CD-Rs for this machine, (disc) Title & Artist info is easy, the renaming of tracks to proper "Title"s is easy, but how to enter the track's "Artist" info is as yet undetermined. Altogether, an impressive package, missing only an HDMI port.
13 out of 16 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Absolute Best DVD Changer Money Can Buy

Written By Baseem, Denton, TX on Saturday, September 16, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've owned several DVD players since about 1998, and this one definitely tops them all. I own it's predecessor - The N85 (which was previously the best one that I'd ever owned), and this one is even better. These players both read DVD/CD and CD-R/DVD-R discs that other players won't read (scratches, swirls, etc.). The navigation is quick, the 5 different rewind and fast forward speeds are amazing, and the optical audio and compenent video quality are unsurpassed. I highly recommend this DVD player for anyone searching for a changer, or even a single disc player.
62 out of 66 people found this helpful
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