Harman Kardon DVD 22 DVD Players

DVD 22

  • To produce a noticeably sharper image
  • Compatible with DVD, MP3, Windows Media
  • The DVD 22 features high-end DACs
  • Backlit remote for outstanding video

User Reviews (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7  
lbrize   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 26, 2007]
Strength:

Amazing picture quality

Weakness:

Remote is terrible, but functional.

I previously was using a JVC player, fairly highly rated itself. The JVC has the fastest read time in the world (approx. 4 seconds). This is the only aspect in which my old JVC bests the HK. I own a 1080i Widescreen Samsung, and until now I thought I was simply one of those who did not like a progressive scan image. I thought I would have to upgrade to HD DVD or Blu-Ray to get a satisfying picture. This player has changed all of that. Hooking this player up was remniscent of the first time I heard a cd. The difference in picture quality is that stunning. My HK receiver has been down so I cannot comment on the sound, but I look forward to trying out some Dts and DD test DVD's I have. This player is the best I've used or seen, period. I listed my status as an enthusiast, but I have experience with $8,000 preamps, $20k tube amps, and $150k home theater setups. Picture only being considered, I have never seen a better picture quality from a regular old DVD. I didn't know they could look so good! If you find one (ebay, used shop, etc.) and are replacing a $100-200 player, you may find your jaw dropping at what you've been missing. Highest recommendation. Negatives? -The remote seems more at home with a 19-inch Apex tv than a player of this quality. It is poorly designed and looks like a toy.

Customer Service

Please Note: I Considered the price I paid when scoring 5/5

Similar Products Used: Rotel, Higher priced Denon, Maybe a great Onkyo could be of similar quality. Back in the day when transports/seperate DAC's were popular, but still picture quality was not this good.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
*gearhead*   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 10, 2005]
Strength:

-Picture quality -Menu layout -Setup

Weakness:

-Remote: Why have a backlight if none of the labels light up? HK needs to take some remote lessons from Mitsibishi....

The player has excellent picture quality and great playback. Menus are well laid out and easy to use. Setup was easy (time from out of box to set up for my TV to playing a DVD was about 15 minutes). The remote, on the other hand, needs serious work. Other than the remote, an excellent player.

Similar Products Used: Panasonic
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
larrimore   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 23, 2005]
Strength:

Video performance is EXCELLENT.

Weakness:

Audio performance via stereo outs is not great.

This player is a mixed bag. As a video source, it is one of the best performers I have ever seen. There really must be something to the pixel-by-pixel processing that HK touts. I have both a 106" projector and a 42" plasma that I tried this unit out on and I was simply amazed. The only one I have ever seen come even close with 480p is a $1000+ player with a built-in DCDi interlacer. This player even beats the Denon with HD upconversion that I use in my home theater! However, as a music source, this player disappoints me. Despite the Wolfson DACs, I A/B tested this one against my Sony and the Denon and it is really forward and accentuates the highs at the expense of a full sounding mid range. If you have a receiver that you can use the digital outs, you will not be using the internal DACs, but I was planning to use this player as a stereo only source for my integrated amp. I just can't do it.

Similar Products Used: No way I can list them here, but I have probably owned a total of 20 DVD players from all of the usual suspects as well as a few of the "audiophile" companies.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Bernard   AudioPhile [Mar 27, 2005]
Strength:

Noise and scan line free images. Excellent colour rendition. By FAR the BEST build quality in it's class and above.

Weakness:

Remote control. The buttons are backlit but have no print on them so the backlighting is useless as you can't see the functions of the buttons.(The print is on the unit not the buttons.).

Before buying this unit I had two Toshiba DVD players which were both excellent and highly regarded by the press. When setting out to buy a new player my goal was to get better picture quality and a DVI output for my Sony HD LCD rear projector. Also I did not want to pay Denon prices. So how did I come to buy the HK DVD 22? Well, I bought EVERY competing model on my credit card and kept the one I liked best.Well, I didn't but every one. Only the ones I liked and that had gotten good reviews in magazines, etc. I tried Samsung with DVI outputs(images too dark but amazingly smooth), Sony(good colour but grainy/noisy picture),newer Toshiba (the second best and the best by far if you're on a tighter budget,good colour and smooth image) and of course the HK. All these players had progressive scan and were the latest models available. The HK did cost more than twice as much as these other models. Why did I pick it? Well, even though it did not have a DVI output it still had the most grain/noise free image of all. Also the scan lines were almost non existent. When looking at high voltage power lines in the back ground of a movie you could clearly see jagged scan lines running through them with the other models. Only on the HK were the power lines smooth and scan line free. Also the colour rendition is amazing. I started seing patterns and colours in peoples clothing that I never noticed before on any other player. Simply put, nothing compares to this player without going to much higher priced units from Denon. The build quality also far exceeds that from it's less expensive competitors. It is a really well built unit. When you plug in high end interconnects the connectors do not bend and wiggle precariously like on the other models. This is a really nice piece of equipmemnt and I recommend it highly. I find the colour setting a little too vivid from the factory and set it back one notch. I also purchased a Monster Ultra 1000 component cable for it which made a noticable difference. I love this player more every time I watch a movie on it. Don't waste your time, this is the one to get.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha, three Toshiba's, Sony, and Samsung.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rebelsage   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 10, 2005]
Strength:

picture clarity clear, smooth sound

Weakness:

none so far

Great picture and even better sound. I plan to use it for both movies and audio. This player handles both remarkably well. My system: JVC 48WP30, Marantz SR7300, Axiom M22/M2/VP150, SVS 25-31 PC+,

Similar Products Used: pioneer
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
J*E*Cole   AudioPhile [Jan 01, 2005]
Strength:

Pure audiophile grade DACs and sound. Excellent picture quality and performance. Unsurpassed good looks.

Weakness:

If I HAD to find one, it would be the lack of SACD in 5.1 channel playback.

The Harman/Kardon DVD22 has the most striking appearance of any DVD player out there right now, and I dare say that this will be one of the bigger reasons for buying this player. If you own one of H/K's matching receivers, then you will want this unit just to match it, regardless of it's capabilities. I say this because when I set out to replace the last "old" component left which was my DVD player, I started out going to but a universal player, then decided that if it could playback SACD in 5.1 channel sound, then that would be enough. Well the DVD22 does not play SACD, but it does play everything else, including JPEG cd-roms and other picture discs... Despite this drawback, I still purchased this unit, partly because like I said earlier, it just looks so cool, especially with my H/K receiver. Also, because being familiar with Harman/Kardon's reputation for remarkable sound from their products, and their commitment to quality. I knew this unit would sound exceptional, and ffrom the sellers website reviews, I learned that it must have a good picture as well since almost every reviewer, (there were 87 reviews) gave it 5 out of 5 stars almost across the board. This is a serious player, and just because it won't playback SACD, does not diminish it's high end sound. Besides, SACD might not make it, or at least, won't make it too big. The DVD22 uses audiophile grade 24bit/192kHz DACs, and 10bit/54mHz video DACs. Utilizing pixel by pixel video processing, and true 3/2 pull-down reconstruction of film-based programming, the DVD22 delivers razor sharp graphics with pristine sound at all levels. I enjoy popping a cd in now and then just to hear how they sound on the DVD22 compared to my Sony 300 disc cd changer, which also has high end sound, and the differences are that the H/K sounded a little warmer and fuller, and seemed to have more dynamic range. The low end was very well handled by the player, and the mids were everpresent and accounted for, while the highs were crisp and clean, but not overbearingly so. All in all, this unit is most impressive in bith the looks and performance departments. At under $200, it is very hard to beat in terms of value. Some reviewers have said that they could not tell the difference if blindfolded between this unit and ones costing up to $2000. I think that says alot about Harman/Kardon products, and since I have owned one of their receivers for about 4 months now, I have learned that they take their music very seriously and they like to make sure that you are completely surprised with their products performance and want you to have over-surpassed expectations. They do not disappoint.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Peter_13   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 11, 2004]
Strength:

excellent picture

Weakness:

no acceptable way to zoom 16:9 (and worse) movies on a 4:3 set, problems with interlaced DVDs.

English is not my first language, please excuse me for the linguistic errors. The DVD-22 was intended to replace a broken Toshiba SD-4700 player. First, I got the Toshiba SD-4960 that also plays DVD-Audio and SACD. The video quality of the 4960 was so bad that I decided I would keep it as a universal music player and will look for another player for movies only. The DVD-22 seemed a perfect choice given the excellent customer reviews, and the lack of Dolby Digital decoder and multi-channel music decoders that I would not use anyway. My TV is a 55” HDTV Toshiba, 4:3, hooked up through the component inputs. The GOOD: It does have an excellent PICTURE QUALITY. Everything that other reviewers said about it is right; I do not want to repeat it. The 2 CHANNEL STEREO is quite good, too. This unit is supposed to use the same brand name DAC as some audiophile CD players (Arcam, I think) although I am not sure that they use exactly the same chip. Compared to the build-in DAC of my Marantz SR-7000 receiver, it sounds very close. The Toshiba SD-4960 has a nice sound, too, and has Blurr-Brown DACs, according to some web reports. The HK sounds more detailed than the Toshiba; on the other hand, the Toshiba’s smoothness can be addictive. It is a matter of taste, both players offer unexpected sound quality in their price range. The BAD: PAN-SCAN does not do anything. In principle, the pan-scan is supposed to zoom a 16:9 picture so that it would fit on a 4:3 monitor by cutting some of it on the sides. It should work only if the DVD is programmed to allow it, and contains information about where the image should be cut, at least this is my understanding. The idea is not to change director’s intent, which apparently is that you use only about 1/3 of your screen, and burn it in; or use the zoom feature that distorts the quality more than the pan-scan would do. Well, I have never seen a DVD with pan-scan enabled and the other DVD players I owned behaved in the same way as this one. On the other hand, the Toshiba SD-4960, with pan-scan enabled, really zooms a 16:9 movie such that it perfectly fits a 4:3 monitor by overriding director’s intent and replacing it by my intent. If the aspect ratio is different than 16:9 you still get horizontal black bars but they do not take much of your screen. I guess that this is not a real pan-scan, so I could not blame HK for that but it would be nice to have it, especially given the zoom bug described below. The ZOOM distorts the proportions. At 2x (which actually is 1.5x or so), and on 16:9 anamorphic movies, the image is stretched horizontally (circles look like ellipses, people look fat, etc.). At 3x, 4x, the proportions are right; at 5x they are wrong again. I called HK and they claim that this is not a defect; it is the way it is designed. I have no idea why would anybody design it this way, unless he had a preference for chubby people. The zoom on the other players I have owned does not do this. Problems with INTERLACED disks. Some of the DVDs in my collections are interlaced, according to the info screen of this player (all concert DVDs I have, like Santana’s Supernatural, etc.). My home videos burned on DVD+R’s are interlaced, too. The motion on those is quite jittery. This can be fixed by going to the settings menu and putting the player in interlaced mode. It is a very annoying thing to do before playing any DVD. The problem might be incompatibility with the line-doubler of my Toshiba TV, even though I tried to disable the 3:2 pulldown on the TV, no effect. Occasional MOTION ARTIFACTS: The motion is not as smooth as it could be, most of the time it is the MPEG compression but occasionally I see artifacts I have not seen on the other (inexpensive) DVD players I owned. Sometimes they look like vertical scan lines, strangely enough, since such lines should not exist. Sometimes they look like interlacing artifacts. This is a minor complaint, because the overall image quality is so good that it compensates for those artifacts. All I want from a DVD player is a decent picture and the ability to zoom “wide-screen” (actually, “short-screen”) movies. The DVD-22 does the first thing very well, with the little annoyance of the need to change the settings for interlaced movies. It fails completely in the zoom department. That is why I am returning it with a little regret. People with 16:9 sets would be probably happy with it.

Similar Products Used: A few other DVD players, including Toshiba SD-4960
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-7 of 7  

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