Pros: Basic features, trouble free playing, easy to hook up and use.
Cons: Remote buttons are a little too small.
I picked up my DVD player from Amazon.com when they had them on sale last year for $139.99 [free shipping]. Like most people I am trying to convert all my VHS titles to DVD, which is proving to be both time consuming as well as costly. Even so, having the ability to skip through half a movie in under 30 seconds, without having to worry about damaging a VCR, makes it all worthwhile to me. Overall I am pretty happy with my choice and haven?t had any trouble with it so far [knock wood].
This is a rather basic model ? the usual features you would expect to find on any DVD player [play, forward scan, search, stop, zoom etc] so if you are looking for something that is going to do everything but microwave popcorn for you, look elsewhere. If you are a casual DVD viewer, 5 ? 7 DVD?s per week then this would be a great choice for you. Since this is an older model you may even be able to pick it up at a lower price. However, if you are a DVD junkie you might want to opt for a player from the 700 or higher series.
It Even Says Hello!
Talk about a user friendly! When you turn the unit on the word ?Hello? scrolls across the data screen, ?Goodbye? is displayed when you power down. Granted this is just for show but it helps to let you know that you?ve actually shut it off. It took me about a week to set the clock on the display screen, part of the being my lackadaisical attitude to interacting with electronics and partly because the instruction booklet was misplaced.
The display screen is large which would make this a great purchase for those with vision impairment. Some of the smaller icons on the display may be a little hard to see from a distance but you can always access them from the remote and have them displayed on the television screen.
We have two DVD players in our house [not counting the PS2] and this one is just as nice as the overpriced JVC XV-D723GD in the family room. The picture quality is crisp and clear and I?ve only had two instances of a ?jump? or ?skip? in the picture and both of those were directly related to the DVD being played, not the player itself. The forward and backward scan features allow you to see the picture clearly and can be advanced up to 32X the normal speed of play. The forward scan is displayed on the screen so if you are watching a movie with a lot of slow parts this allows you to gauge your speed a lot more accurately than a VCR.
The Remote Control
The ergonomic design is supposed to make this remote control easier to use, hold and control. After you get used to it and the somewhat tiny buttons it is nice, but I am looking for a replacement for it as we speak. The number buttons on the top portion of the control are too small ? well ? either that or I have Gigantor fingers. They are also placed a little too close to each other for my taste but since this remote is only used for playing DVD?s and not controlling the television, VCR, cable box or stereo it?s a seemingly minor inconvenience.
You have the ability to control all the features of the DVD player from the remote control; this is a great feature for all the couch potatoes. Some of the features of the DVD played can only be accessed from the remote so if you are looking for a replacement remote make sure it will have all the same buttons and will be able to operate all the features.
The button I use the most [outside of the standard options] would be the bookmark feature as well as the angle feature. I like the ability to mark a certain spot on a DVD, comes in great for when I want to reference something or come across an error on the DVD itself. Not all DVD?s come with different angles but having this button on the remote allows me to sit down and be able to pick a DVD apart rather than having to get up every three minutes to fiddle with the options section.
The standard buttons include: power on and off, open and close the DVD tray, numeric values, play, stop, fast forward, scan fast forward, rewind, scan rewind, pause, zoom, angles, bookmark, subtitle options and controls, menu access and menu control buttons [up, down, left, right, enter]. The replacement part for the remote is 00056A.
The remote is operated by two AA batteries which last me about three months. This is if I play one DVD a day, each and every day. I don?t wait until the batteries are completely dead and I have to slap the remote on my leg repeatedly to get it work. So you might be able to squeeze a little more life out of your batteries but is it really worth the frustration? There?s no screw mount on the battery case so keep this away from smaller kids ? but in Samsung?s defense, the case does require a little elbow grease to open.
The DVD Deck
From the front of the DVD player you have the following control options: open and close the DVD tray, power up and down, fast forward + scan, rewind + scan and stop. The access features on the deck are limited so make sure you don?t lose the remote control. The DVD player will also accept audio CD?s and video CD?s but as of yet I haven?t tried either option since I have a stereo system already in play.
I was a little shocked when the box arrived from Amazon.com, I fully expected this to weigh a ton but it is only about five pounds. This makes it easy to install, move and relocate without having to break a sweat.
Aside from the power cord that comes with this unit you are also provided with a three pronged cable [2 audio,1 video]. For me, this connected into the front of the Go Video deck and allowed me to eliminate climbing behind the wall unit to hook this puppy up. The AV connection is located on the back of the unit which keeps the cords out of view ? not the case for my Go Video deck that has the AV In connection on the front of the unit. I had trouble with a certain little furry creature [the rabbit] chewing through the AV cord and it was easily replaced with one quick stop at Radio Shack.
I?ll admit it, sometimes the instructions aren?t the first thing I look at when I am installing, building or working on something. Nine times out of ten it does come back to haunt me but in this case hooking up the DVD player was simple. I originally wanted to have this in my office so I could avoid having to watch Galaxy Quest for the 93rd time but opted to put it in the livingroom to give the Go Video deck a break.
Hooking it up took about five minutes and that included trying to make space within the wall unit for the DVD player. The cords are long enough to allow you to have the player about 10 inches from another source or television and the power cord is standard issue. The instructions show you ? through a series of illustrations ? how to hook this up to your television or VCR. Sometimes looking at the illustrations is a little more difficult than reading text so be prepared for this minor pitfall. You also receive a warranty card that covered the unit for one year against manufacturer defects. Be sure to send this in after you try out your machine and make sure it works. If there is an issue right off the bat, take it back to the store for an exchange.
Bits & Pieces
This DVD player is set up for Region 1 Encoding so it will play and DVD from Region 1 [United States and Canada]. For me this was of little significance until I ordered a few DVD titles from online vendors only to find out I needed a machine with Region 2 [Europe] access. So the Harry Potter title I thought I was getting before anyone else sat and collected dust until I sent it off to my family to watch. Make sure you are careful when buying DVD?s over the internet and check the Region lots before you pay for your purchase.
The DVD tray opens and closes quietly. Some of the DVD players that I looked at sounded like heavy machinery being operated and I later found out that this was due to the heavy use of the display models and abuse by frustrated customers. The tray slides out slowly, giving you plenty of time to get out of the way.
The Bottom Line
So far I am extremely pleased with this DVD player. I have ordered a DVD / VCR combination deck for the livingroom and will move this one into the kid?s playroom when that arrives. This will eliminate the repetitive viewings of Wing Commander, Deep Blue Sea and the entire Scooby-Doo library. It should serve them well providing they are careful inserting the DVD?s into the tray and don?t lose the remote control.
As always, thanks for the read!
^V^ Freak ^V^