DVD Benchmark - Product Review - Toshiba SD-1600 DVD Player - February, 2001

Stacey Spears



This is one of Toshiba's lowest priced DVD players, and is a replacement for the SD-2109. We actually picked up this DVD player at a grocery store for $179. It is currently available at CostCo as well. It handles DD and DTS discs.

Anyway, here are our test results:


For a $179 DVD player that you can buy at the super market, its not bad. I would not put it into a high-end system, but it would make a great DVD player for kids, the bedroom, or as a gift to a friend (JJ gave this one to his father for Christmas). It is one of the top 10 DVD players, in terms of sales, in the US right now.

Black and White Levels

Format Black White Comments
CAV 8.2 106.5 Black is a just a bit high. White is way above normal.
YC 8.1 106.0 The YC levels closely tracks the CAV levels.

Color Bars


The Y out of the CAV channel are hot across the board, except for black where it is low.

The Pb portion of the CAV output is matches SMPTE and EIA levels. The Pr portion of the CAV output matches the SMPTE and EIA levels.

Component Analog Video Data



The Y level of the YC output is higher than SMPTE 170M, except for black where its low. 

The chroma level is also hot compared to SMPTE 170M. The Chroma phase of the YC output is perfect.

Composite/YC Data


Video Frequency Response

The CAV and YC outputs closely match each other. The SD-1600 does exhibit ringing on the Avia sharpness pattern.

The frequency response stays above the 0 the entire time. It begins to rise at 3 MHz up to about 4.18 MHz, where it tapers off just slightly. There is very little pre-shoot and overshoot on the 2T pulse below.

The chroma response in the middle is from the two chroma channels. The response goes out to 2.75 MHz. Remember that the maximum CAV bandwidth of the chroma channels is 3.375 MHz. The SD-1600 is one of the first DVD players where we have looked at the chroma response. While we have looked at a few others, the SD-1600 is the only one that actually rolls off. I would venture to say that it is flat out to 2 MHz and is gone at 2.75 MHz. You are not getting the full chroma resolution from the CAV channel with this player. It is a $179 player so what do you expect? I doubt most installs of this player will even notice the loss.

Video Frequency Response



To show, by comparison, what a good chroma response is, here is a picture (below) from our review of the Sony DVP-S9000ES.


To remind you what pre-shoot and overshoot can look like when large, here is a picture (below) from our Onkyo DV-S939 review. The pre-shoot and overshoot are accentuated when the edge enhancement feature is turned on.


Pixel Cropping

We did not get a chance to measure the pixel cropping of this DVD player.

Signal-To-Noise Ratio

Format Output SNR (dB) Comments
CAV Y -55.5 OK to Poor - The Y channel is a bit noisy. There is the usual spike at 3.58 MHz, but there are several other little spikes, including one at approximately 1.6M Hz, 3.0 MHz, and 3.3 MHz.
CAV Pb -78.5 Excellent
CAV Pr -74.6 Excellent
YC C-AM -58.5 OK to Poor
YC C-PM -57.2 OK to Poor

Component Channel Timing

Channel Timing (ns) Comments
'Pb' to Y -1.5 Excellent
'Pr' to Y -1.6 Excellent
'Pb' to 'Pr' 0.1 Stellar


We did not perform audio tests on this DVD player.


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


Test Results Comments
Subpicture The menu highlights disappeared on Avia when we navigated in several layers deep.  We could get them back by turning on the player’s subtitles.
Slide Show This player could not pause on slide show material.  We got no icon.

Video Essentials

Test Results Comments
Blacker-Than-Black This player does pass blacker than black.
Stress Test  


Subpicture Palette (DCS)

Test Results Comments

Default Palette Color Index

Test Results Comments

Custom Palette Color Index

Test Results Comments


Test Results Comments
Seamless Branching This player is slower than normal and takes 3 sweeps to branch.
Multiple Angles This player takes about 1.25 - 1.75 second to change angles.


Test Results Comments

Field/Frame Freeze

Test Results Comments

16x9 Menu

Test Results Comments


Test Results Comments

Layer Break

This player was slow, it took about 1.5 to 1.75 seconds to change layers.

Test (DVD) Results Comments
"Cruel Intentions"  
"Friends" VCD  
"Saving Private Ryan" (DTS)  
"The Abyss"  
Chesky Super Audio 96/24 This player down converts the 96 kHz audio to 48 kHz for digital output.
Random Number Generator  
Chroma Upsampling Error This DVD player is using the Zoran Vadis 3 MPEG decoder.

Physical Response

We gave the overall response of this player a 4.

Test Results Comments

Error Correction/Concealment

Pierre Vareny

The audio error correction on CD is near the bottom (worst) end of player performance.  It was able to handle up to and including chapter 29, which represents a 0.50mm gap.

Scratch the Dog

Like other Toshiba's, the 1600 is very good about dealing with errors in that it just keeps on going.  The picture is pixilated at Chapter 2 and then pauses for a long period of time at chapter 8. It then continues on all the way through chapter 23 and then returns to the menu.


We did not perform a usability test on this DVD player.

All in all, a nice value at $179. No wonder it is a big seller.

- Stacey Spears -

DVD Benchmark Explanatory Articles


Part 1 - Video

Part 2 - Audio

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



© Copyright 2001 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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