Kiss DP-450

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by bonzobanana, Dec 6, 2003.

  1. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    I finally got myself one of these. Bought myself a faulty one from ebay for £44 delivered and then got Kiss to fix it under their 2 year guarantee! Result!:smashin:

    Anyway just going through the checking it out phase now. Because I haven't integrated it into my system yet I'm just trying it via s-video and the front av connectors on my television.

    Feature wise it supports a wide range of output modes. These include multiple vga/svga resolutions and pal/ntsc progressive scan via component out upto 1080i I think. There was some mention of original dvds not working at high resolution and I haven't tried this yet as I haven't made up a cable to go to scart to vga or scart to component. I assume that all divx/xvid material can be scaled to whatever resolution you want though.

    Its a stylish design but the actual feel of the unit is less impressive. Its not bad but if it was a bit heavier and had real metal trim instead of silver paint it would look ten times better.

    The remote is sadly the same as a generic cheapy 8 in 1 remote I got from lidl's about a year ago. It may be a different colour and have different labels on the buttons but it is the same. However that said its still a very nice remote. Shame they couldn't have designed one themselves though.

    The Kiss player has a Toshiba dvd drive inside it. It seems to read media very well and is super quiet. Not as good as the loader in a Compacks DVD5000 though but a lot better than standard loaders in mainstream japanese players like the Toshiba 330. An example of this is a bulkpaq dvd-r that I have. My Samsung HTDM150 wouldn't read it, nor would my Toshiba 330 when I had it. However the Kiss plays the film upto about 1 hour 28 minutes where as the Compacks goes upto about 1 hour 33 minutes. Also the Toshiba built into the kiss won't read cdrs over 80 minutes I believe. Basically 90 minute cdrs which have a slightly smaller gap between the data tracks can't be read.

    Picture quality even through s-video is quite superb. Very clean. Playing divx films gives mixed results. Most play brilliantly and resemble a lowish bit rate dvd. Some play up occasionally mainly at the very beginning and then settle into playing flawlessly. I have a wide range of mpeg 4/divx type films and my success rate after trying about 80 discs is roughly 80% work very well. 5% have a few onscreen problems and 15% simply don't work. The ones that don't work are using the ogg codec, have something called qpel used and some come up with an error something like ' four cc' . Lesser formats like vcd and svcd are compatible but you don't have picture search! If you try to picture search it normally starts to search but then won't go back into play mode. Quite a nasty bug. Basically they playback brilliantly but you have to watch each vcd/svcd from beginning to end without skipping anything.

    When my Kiss came back from repair it had the latest firmware installed but since then I've installed a firmware patch to the toshiba drive to make it multiregion. I also upgraded it to a firmware without macrovision as my television (Sharp) is macrovision sensitive. Both these upgrades just require burning a small iso file to cdrw and inserting into the player itself. Even the multiregion hack doesn't require removing the dvd drive from the kiss anymore. It seems the dvd player itself can reprogram the dvd drive!

    The kiss DP-450 is based on sigma chipset which at its heart has a ARM 200mhz risc processor! Sadly no ones made a Acorn Archimedes emulator for the system though so I can't play Elite or chocks away when I'm not playing dvds on it.

    A couple of points regarding connections. It seems that if you want to use audio phono outs the sound output must be set as pcm not raw. The audio phonos operate at all times (unlike what the what video review said) but when set to digital raw output the audio phono output isn't as good as when set to pcm. I'm assuming that when set to raw thats actually whats sent to the DAC circuitry so it has a harshness to it where as probably formatted as stereo pcm its fine. While theres nothing actually wrong with the phono output when set to pcm I can't help wondering if its a bit more filtered than normal to make divx material sound cleaner. Anyway the digital connections as the back give the true digital sound of any disc.

    Another thing is there is no slow motion mode present as far as I can tell on any disc. There is frame by frame advance and picture search goes upto a whopping 48x but I can' see a slow motion option anywhere.

    If you select s-video out then the composite port seems to go black and white or at least it did with my Sharp tv. It could be a problem with the Sharp only but I'm guessing that when you select s-video it cuts off chroma (colour) to composite and redirects it to s-video.

    The player is completely silent in use, or at least mine is.

    Quite frankly if the player works well in progressive and vga modes this player really will be a superb bit of kit.:smashin:
     
  2. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    A few other points of possible interest. The phono outputs are volume controlled from the remote control. Not a bad feature I suppose but I have no idea what setting corresponds to normal line level outputs for linking to an amp etc. It goes from 1 to 50 but which of these settings represents line level output I don't know. If its anything like a skybox it will surpass normal line level output and therefore isn't 50.

    Another point is you can't select auto for output type with regards pal and ntsc. Its simply one or the other meaning each time you change the region of the disc your playing you have to got to setup. Obviously if your using a vga/svga mode this won't matter.

    Lastly it does have a rather nice display on the front above the dvd loader tray. Its all one colour but still looks quite sophisticated and uses dots rather than segments. Because of this it can give fairly detailed scrolling information. When you switch on you get a scrolling message something like "Kiss DP-450 State of the Art" scroll past.
     
  3. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    I've now exhaustively tested both vga and component connections. Good and bad news generally. Firstly you can not use commercial protected dvds with vga/svga. Deprotected copies and region 0/non macrovision commercial dvds work without problems over all vga resolutions but protected dvds are just a blank screen. I tried various vga resolutions and my ae100 projector stopped producing a good picture at about 1024x768 at 75hz. The next higher modes moved the screen to the right slightly and started cropping the image. The very highest modes 1600x1200 simply didn't work on my projector so I am not sure if this is caused by the player or the projector. A real shame vga output has been restricted like this. Pretty much a pointless feature if you can't show commercial dvds. The only people it will benefit are people whose entire dvd collection is made up of pirate copies and they can enjoy their films with high resolution images. I have about 150 commercial dvds so I won't be bothering with vga again thats for sure until a firmware is released without this restriction.

    The resolutions are;

    800x600 60hz
    800x600 75hz
    1024x768 60hz
    1024x768 75hz
    1280x1024 60hz
    1280x1024 75hz
    1600x1200 60hz
    1600x1200 75hz

    So after hopeing that vga would be all I needed I had to make myself up a component lead for the kiss too. Although it has options for 720p and 1080p (I thought it was meant to be 1080i) I don't think these are implemented as they don't work under any conditions and I have tested my ae100 in 720p and 1080i using an xbox. You have both ntsc and pal progressive scan and these work with all formats. So the best option on the kiss is standard progressive scan via component and you will need to swop between pal and ntsc progressive scan depending on dvd played.

    Results are excellent quality though but not quite as versatile as originally hoped.
     

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