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Help a newbie pick a DVD player please.

 
 
LASERandDVDfan
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-31-2004
>Since this is a gift I don't want to risk buying the
>lower cost Korean made or Philips products. However whatever I buy it might
>be made in
>China and I'm not really sure they are any better than the Korean made
>products.


Just because a product was made in China doesn't necessarily mean that it will
be crap.

Generally, name brands still try to maintain a good level of quality control
with their lower-cost labor sources and they almost always still use superior
parts.

But what can really matter is engineering. How the player was actually
designed can have a lot of say in how the player will fare later on.

This is usually where the no-name cheap brands fall short on. Mind you, when I
say engineering, I mean designing something for endurance and performance, not
features.

My opinion stems from rather wide experience, including repair experience of
other people's players.

So, my opinion is not to my own personal players.

>Oh
>well. I bought a Sony mini-stereo for a gift less than 2 years ago made in
>China and it's
>already having problems reading MP3's from CDR's.


What do you expect?

It's a shelf system. Shelf systems, regardless of brand, are almost always
going to be designed as throw-away items unless you reach a certain pricepoint.


In the case that you run into a shelf system that is actually decent, the
pricepoint ends up justifiying the purchase of separates instead.

Besides, a shelf system and a DVD player are two very different items. Sony
was never good with audio unless you talk about their ES line. But, they are
what I'd recommend for a lot of video applications. - Reinhart


 
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LASERandDVDfan
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-31-2004
>
>Are you saying the ROM memory itself may fail? I like the idea of hooking up
>a hard disk
>though I have know idea how I would use that feature with a DVD player. Thank
>you.


A lot of cheaper DVD players implement a standard IDE interface for their disc
drives. So, an IDE spec DVD-ROM drive is used. The same kind of drives you
can install in your computer can work with those DVD players.

But not all cheaper DVD players are like this, including brands that have been
known to use IDE drives. Plus, don't forget, the DVD-ROM drives that are used
in cheaper DVD players can be inferior in quality, like the DVS drives used in
a lot of Apex players.

In the case of DVS DVD-ROM drives, they are generally of a good design, except
for the optical pickup.

Plus, you have to factor the cost of a new drive from a better manufacturer
(like LiteOn, Panasonic, or Pioneer) and figuring out how to mount it in place.
It could put the total to the point where you may have been better off buying
a quality player from Sony, Pioneer, or JVC. - Reinhart
 
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LASERandDVDfan
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-31-2004
>That's not true with these units. The cheapest unit is often nearly the
>best.


Best in terms of format capability, but worst in build quality and A/V
performance.

Try measuring cheap players. One aspect they fail is audio frequency response.


While a name brand, like Sony, usually has a pretty flat and even response,
others like Apex has a response curve that could only be compared to that of a
rollercoaster with a hard rolloff at the high frequency range. Of course, if
you use the digital output, the audio performance ratings of a DVD player
become irrelevant. However, if they screwed up the audio aspect, it can reveal
a lot about how the video aspect is going to be.

Another aspect is video frequency response. Name brand players typically have
a fairly even response curve, while cheaper players have curves that are
sometimes way too high but mostly way too low. Too low means you get a soft
picture.

Another aspect is how cheaper players handle progressive scan. A lot of
cheaper players have awful deinterlacers and some don't even have 3:2 reverse
pulldown. A lot are flag dependent instead of cadence and have horrid recovery
times.

>There's not much room for product differentiation


Except in build quality and A/V performance.

Open up a Sony player and a Mintek player and compare the quality of their
construction and parts side by side.

>So the high-price brand names offer only two things that the cheap units
>don't:
>1. High-price
>2. Brand name


Don't forget no.3 and no.4

3. Reliability
4. Better A/V performance

Check out the DVD benchmark at:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/
for more details.

- Reinhart
 
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Colin
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-31-2004
It plays region 2 DVD's after the hack, does that mean it will play PAL
format aswell as NTSC?

"Michael Bird" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:clv0gp$(E-Mail Removed)...
> Six weeks ago my 3 year old Cyberhome 500 bit the dust so I had to go
> shopping for an inexpensive (cheap!!) replacement. After shopping around
> quite a bit I finally bought a Zenith DVB412 player at Circuit City for
> $59.99 - my console TV is a Zenith and has been a good buy so far.
>
> I have quite a few Region 2 dvd's so I needed a unit that I could easily
> hack to play every region and found the hack software on the net. It was
> an
> easy download to the HDD and then to make a copy using Nero to a cd-r
> disk.
> Inserted the disk into the player and it bought up the screen for zone
> selection. Set the player to Region O and that was all okay. It did
> change
> a couple of settings on the player but that was an easy set up fix. (I
> had
> to reset the size setting for wide screen etc).
>
> It has played everything that I have tried so far. Regions 1, 2 and 3
> disks
> and widescreen and fullscreen presented no problems. I have the sound
> going
> through my Denon sound system and it has played just fine for my untrained
> ears.
>
> For $60 I have no complaints so far. It plays my CD's through the stereo
> and the stereo separation is just fine. I have owned a few players over
> the
> years from expensive to the very cheap ($300 Sony's to $39 Cyberhome 300)
> and this Zenith both plays well and looks good as well. May be worth
> considering.
>
> Michael
>
> http://www.geocities.com/dvdtechman/RegionFree.zip
>
>



 
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Michael Bird
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-31-2004
Good evening Colin.
Automatic output adjustment. No difference in the picture output from
Region 1 or Region 2 DVD's. I have played quite a few DVD's from the UK
without any problems or distortion on the Zenith US television. The hack
took me about 20-30 minutes after I located it on the Internet. I just
copied the complete download to the CD-R and when I put the disk into the
Zenith DVB412 the region menu came straight up on the screen and I selected
Region 0 and closed the menu. If anything it is playing better than the
Cyberhome units did after the region hack with the remote.

Michael


"Colin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:n_Ygd.14872$(E-Mail Removed) link.net...
> It plays region 2 DVD's after the hack, does that mean it will play PAL
> format aswell as NTSC?
>

"Michael Bird" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:clv0gp$(E-Mail Removed)...
Six weeks ago my 3 year old Cyberhome 500 bit the dust so I had to go
shopping for an inexpensive (cheap!!) replacement. After shopping around
quite a bit I finally bought a Zenith DVB412 player at Circuit City for
$59.99 - my console TV is a Zenith and has been a good buy so far.
I have quite a few Region 2 dvd's so I needed a unit that I could easily
hack to play every region and found the hack software on the net. It was an
easy download to the HDD and then to make a copy using Nero to a cd-r disk.
Inserted the disk into the player and it bought up the screen for zone
selection. Set the player to Region O and that was all okay. It did change
a couple of settings on the player but that was an easy set up fix. (I
had to reset the size setting for wide screen etc).
It has played everything that I have tried so far. Regions 1, 2 and 3 disks
and widescreen and fullscreen presented no problems. I have the sound going
through my Denon sound system and it has played just fine for my untrained
ears. For $60 I have no complaints so far. It plays my CD's through the
stereo and the stereo separation is just fine. I have owned a few players
over the years from expensive to the very cheap ($300 Sony's to $39
Cyberhome 300) and this Zenith both plays well and looks good as well. May
be worth
considering.
Michael
http://www.geocities.com/dvdtechman/RegionFree.zip



 
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Colin
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-31-2004
Thanks for the quick reply!
Looks like I'll be checking out my local Circuit City Tomorrow.

"Michael Bird" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:cm1pfk$(E-Mail Removed)...
> Good evening Colin.
> Automatic output adjustment. No difference in the picture output from
> Region 1 or Region 2 DVD's. I have played quite a few DVD's from the UK
> without any problems or distortion on the Zenith US television. The hack
> took me about 20-30 minutes after I located it on the Internet. I just
> copied the complete download to the CD-R and when I put the disk into the
> Zenith DVB412 the region menu came straight up on the screen and I
> selected
> Region 0 and closed the menu. If anything it is playing better than the
> Cyberhome units did after the region hack with the remote.
>
> Michael
>
>
> "Colin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:n_Ygd.14872$(E-Mail Removed) link.net...
>> It plays region 2 DVD's after the hack, does that mean it will play PAL
>> format aswell as NTSC?
>>

> "Michael Bird" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:clv0gp$(E-Mail Removed)...
> Six weeks ago my 3 year old Cyberhome 500 bit the dust so I had to go
> shopping for an inexpensive (cheap!!) replacement. After shopping around
> quite a bit I finally bought a Zenith DVB412 player at Circuit City for
> $59.99 - my console TV is a Zenith and has been a good buy so far.
> I have quite a few Region 2 dvd's so I needed a unit that I could easily
> hack to play every region and found the hack software on the net. It was
> an
> easy download to the HDD and then to make a copy using Nero to a cd-r
> disk.
> Inserted the disk into the player and it bought up the screen for zone
> selection. Set the player to Region O and that was all okay. It did
> change
> a couple of settings on the player but that was an easy set up fix. (I
> had to reset the size setting for wide screen etc).
> It has played everything that I have tried so far. Regions 1, 2 and 3
> disks
> and widescreen and fullscreen presented no problems. I have the sound
> going
> through my Denon sound system and it has played just fine for my untrained
> ears. For $60 I have no complaints so far. It plays my CD's through the
> stereo and the stereo separation is just fine. I have owned a few players
> over the years from expensive to the very cheap ($300 Sony's to $39
> Cyberhome 300) and this Zenith both plays well and looks good as well.
> May
> be worth
> considering.
> Michael
> http://www.geocities.com/dvdtechman/RegionFree.zip
>
>
>



 
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Lester Horwinkle
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-31-2004
"Pug Fugley" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:5vigd.5391$(E-Mail Removed) nk.net...
>
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > On Fri, 29 Oct 2004 01:45:12 GMT, "Pug Fugley" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >
> > >Jeez man, all of those are pretty much junk. Where are you shopping??
> > >

> >
> > The big chains. They have other brands and models too. I just looked at

> the low cost
> > models up to around $70 for the Philips and RCA and saw they had the

> features I wanted,
> > not knowing what is junk or good. If I knew what was good and what was

> junk I wouldn't be
> > here asking. Thank you.

>
> For under $70 you can get a Pioneer, Panasonic, JVC, Samsung, Toshiba, or
> Sony. Of course don't expect much if you are not willing to spend some
> money. You get what you pay for. Buy the cheap player, you get the cheap
> player.


From what I can see, cheaper is better. More compatibility. My first player
was a $155 Pioneer. No more.

I'd stay away from the no-names, but you can still get excellent results
from an under-$50 unit from the mass retail stores.


 
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Lester Horwinkle
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-31-2004
"LASERandDVDfan" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> >Since this is a gift I don't want to risk buying the
> >lower cost Korean made or Philips products. However whatever I buy it

might
> >be made in
> >China and I'm not really sure they are any better than the Korean made
> >products.

>
> Just because a product was made in China doesn't necessarily mean that it

will
> be crap.


Indeed. China is the new Japan. It will soon be the case that the BEST
products come from China. Manufacturing is moving there en masse. Most cell
phones are made there. The trend is clear: we're moving everything there.

(We're moving McDonald's and Pizza Hut there too. Eventually, the Chinese
will die off from all the Western high-fat junk food, and **then** maybe
manufacturing will move elsewhere


 
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Lester Horwinkle
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-31-2004

"LASERandDVDfan" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> >That's not true with these units. The cheapest unit is often nearly the
> >best.

>
> Best in terms of format capability, but worst in build quality and A/V
> performance.
>
> Try measuring cheap players. One aspect they fail is audio frequency

response.
>
>
> While a name brand, like Sony, usually has a pretty flat and even

response,
> others like Apex has a response curve that could only be compared to that

of a
> rollercoaster with a hard rolloff at the high frequency range. Of course,

if
> you use the digital output, the audio performance ratings of a DVD player
> become irrelevant. However, if they screwed up the audio aspect, it can

reveal
> a lot about how the video aspect is going to be.
>
> Another aspect is video frequency response. Name brand players typically

have
> a fairly even response curve, while cheaper players have curves that are
> sometimes way too high but mostly way too low. Too low means you get a

soft
> picture.
>
> Another aspect is how cheaper players handle progressive scan. A lot of
> cheaper players have awful deinterlacers and some don't even have 3:2

reverse
> pulldown. A lot are flag dependent instead of cadence and have horrid

recovery
> times.
>
> >There's not much room for product differentiation

>
> Except in build quality and A/V performance.
>
> Open up a Sony player and a Mintek player and compare the quality of their
> construction and parts side by side.
>
> >So the high-price brand names offer only two things that the cheap units
> >don't:
> >1. High-price
> >2. Brand name

>
> Don't forget no.3 and no.4
>
> 3. Reliability
> 4. Better A/V performance
>
> Check out the DVD benchmark at:
> http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/
> for more details.
>
> - Reinhart



 
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Lester Horwinkle
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-31-2004

"LASERandDVDfan" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> >There's not much room for product differentiation

>
> Except in build quality and A/V performance.


The only valid measuring tools are the eyes and ears. If you like what you
see and hear, it's good. For now, I'm sticking with cheap. After all,
today's cheap units are the same ones that were the high-priced gear 6
months ago.


 
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