Because of consistent quality and reliability, I have many things "Panasonic" in my home and I'm happy to report the DVD LS5 is definitely another winner from Panasonic.
Why I Chose the LS5: I'm an independent computer graphic artist, extremely picky about video quality in particular and ended up purchasing the LS5 because of its overall quality for the money. Video quality is very good (see "Video Quality" topic below). The LS5 is intuitive, extremely easy to operate, an ideal size for traveling, and seems well designed and constructed.
WHAT YOU GET: Along with the LS5, you'll get an AC adapter, AC power supply cord, a nicely designed attachable rechargeable battery pack, AV cables, remote control/battery, and an owner's manual. I was a bit disappointed that a car adapter wasn't included for the price.
DIMENSIONS/WEIGHT: Without the battery pack, the LS5 is 5.3125" W (144mm) x 5.5" L (140mm) x 1.28125" H (32.5mm). In terms of reference, width/length is nearly the same size as a CD jewel case. Attached to the rear of the LS5, the battery pack adds about another 7/8" to the length. Still a very compact unit. Without battery pack, the LS5 weighs 566grams or about 1.25 lbs. The battery pack adds another few ounces.
BATTERY PACK: The battery pack is easily and quickly connected by aligning two tabs on the battery pack with the corresponding recesses on the bottom of the LS5 and sliding sideways to lock into place. Instead of using a power connecting cord like many other portables, the battery pack makes its power connection via contacts on the underside of the LS5. Very nice. Removing the battery pack is just as easily accomplished by pressing the release button located on the end of the battery pack and sliding it sideways. The battery pack needs to be charged fully prior to first use and takes about 4 hrs. Run time is said to be about 2 hrs at normal screen brightness but I haven't had a chance to confirm this yet. Recharging is done with the battery pack attached to the LS5. Pressing "Display" will show the battery level on the LCD screen. When there is only a few minutes of charge remaining, an indicator will automatically appear on the screen.
Tilting/Sliding Screen System: Perhaps the most interesting feature of the LS5 is the unique tilting/sliding screen system. I own a Nikon CP 950 digital camera with rotating body/lens, and this feature has become invaluable. The LS5 employs the same basic principle. Unlike other portable DVD players with the screen permanently attached to the base and rotating from only one point, the LS5's screen is attached to an arm via a swivel system that allows the screen to either pivot from the base like normal, or it can be raised and rotated on the arm itself to attain many different angles of viewing. With this system, the screen can be maneuvered to lie face-up, flat on the unit or a myriad of angles in between. Since I'm not a technical writer, I find this feature difficult to easily explain. The LS5 photo on this web site shows the screen in a suspended position on the arm. It's a very interesting design. Time will tell how durable the design will be.
Media: The LS5 can play DVD-RAM, DVD-Audio, DVD-Video, Video CD, CD and CD-R/RW. It cannot play PAL discs, DVD-ROM, CDV, CD-G, +RW, DVD-RW, SACD, Divx video discs, Photo CD, DVD-RAM that can't be removed from their cartridge, 2.6GB and 5.2GB DVD-RAM, Chaoji VCD, CVD, DVCD and SVCD. The LS5 can play WMA and MP3 sound files, as well as provide a good source for viewing JPG graphic images.
Connections: Headphones, Audio/Opt Out, Video, DC IN.
Volume Control: Thumb wheel type located on side of unit.
Disc Access: Thumb slide at front of unit.
Screen Control: Three direct access buttons conveniently located below screen. MONITOR: Zoom, Full, Normal, Off. COLOUR: Adjusts color saturation. BRIGHT: Adjusts brightness.
Controls located on the LS5: On/Off, Top Menu, Menu, Return, Display, Repeat, Skip (both directions), FF, RW, Pause, Monitor, Bright, Colour.
VIDEO QUALITY: The bottom line of any type of video player is picture quality, and the LS5's is exceptional. Colors are rich and saturated, skin tones are excellent. Shadow/highlight detail is very good, compared to cheaper units I've seen that produce high contrast images with blocked shadows and washed-out highlights. The best way I can describe the LS5's video is "very well balanced" and pleasing to watch. It's so good, I don't ever notice the screen being only 5".
SOUND QUALITY: As expected, typically thin for portable DVD players. I bought a set of Sony MDR-V-150 stereo headphones and the sound quality is excellent.
I'd recommend the LS5 to anyone looking for a high quality, functional portable DVD player who doesn't need a large screen but wants exceptional video quality. When I first bought the LS5 it was $399.99 at Circuit City and after spending some time with it I felt it was worth every penny. But over the past couple weeks with Christmas approaching, with two price drops and a $50 rebate, I ended up paying $299.99. Now THAT'S a deal!!
Read all 11 Reviews
Write a Review
Amount Paid (US$): 299.99