Pros: Value for money, Fairly high quality for both sound and video, lightweight
Cons: Poor visual design, not all cables included, tiny remote buttons.
Me and my wife got this DVD player as a Christmas gift (price shown below is how much it cost at a local dept. store during the Christmas 2001).
Since we didn't have DVD player yet but had a few disks (played on our Mac), we were quite excited to get such an excellent gift but I was secretly disappointed, since we were planning to get a DVD player and wanted to get one with bells and whistles.
The player has a very good picture and sound quality. Video signals can be output through S-Video and Component Video or Composite Video. Although you have to use a mechanical switch at the back of the DVD player to switch between S-Video (No cable) and Component Video (no cable) which I found a bit awkward and not very contemporary (remember test signal switches on old VCRs? - Similar switch).
Sound can be output through Optical (no cable), digital (no cable) or Analog. Player is a DTS capable, Dolby digital and surround.
I found both Video and Audio to be of an excellent quality and should suffice for an average home viewer.
It has many standard and some extra functions which you may not find all in one player at this price such as: 6 menu languages, parental control (with ratings 1 through 8), 3 TV aspect ratios (4:3, 4:3 Pan-Scan, 16:9), still mode, Black level, easy disc navigation, slow motion, program playback, repeat, step forward, bookmarks, picture zoom (in both steel and play) and lots more - the remote control is just loaded with the functions.
The things I dislike about this DVD player:
(and I'm being ruthless considering the price)
a?? Although it can play VCDs, It can not read CD-R or CD-RW. I have digitized some of my home VHS tapes in order to archive them on a CD and get read of the tapes. None of my video CDs would play on this player, because of the CD-R incompatibility. The reason I am saying that is that what good is the Video CD compatibility if I can not play the CD-Rs? Video CDs are not very common (except for Asia and some other regions) and only use I can think of them would be for backup and archiving purposes.
a?? No A/V cables came with the player except for the cheap composite cable. (cables can cost $25-$50 depending on quality and brand)
a?? Can not play CD-R backed up music CDs (I avoid using originals from my collection to preserve them longer).
a?? Do not like the face design of the Player, looks like the manufacturer did not even make any effort. Remote for example is light gray/green, when the player itself is black.
a?? Remote although full with functions, but keys are tiny without any Shift button to combine buttons and save on space like some other remotes have.
a?? I have tried to enter three different codes for Hitachi in my Sony universal remote so that I could use one remote for the player and TV, but they did not work, Hitachi must have changed their codes and their tech support was not able to confirm that. I have a JVC VCR and a Panasonic VCR and they both worked with Sony remote programming, Hitachi 315U did not.
overall, a good player considering the price and quality, but if you are looking for a player that will be your total DVD/CD solution, and want to be able to read CD-R, CD-RW, Video CD that you have created or MP3 discs, buy a different one for about $50 more.
I personally would not have bought it and would have gone for higher range, but hey! I'm a tech junkie, are you?
This DVD player is ideal for you if your family has a limited budget set-out for a DVD player and would be satisfied with only viewing factory made discs, in return to a value but still without sacrificing on a quality viewing experience, I think the picture and sound is awesome!. Also ideal as a gift for a teenager as a graduation gift who is not into MP3s or CD burning.
By the way the player By the way the player Region Code is presumably hackable through the remote, but none of the hacks I found on the internet worked. If you don't know what the Region Code hack is, search the google.com with keywords: "DVD region code hack". In a nutshell, Region Hack allows you to view DVD disks from other regions of the world. It is implemented by some manufacturers for servicing, USA is region 1, UK region 2, etc.