Momitsu DVD-V880N Initial Review - Kitchen Sink Not Included

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by oraos, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. oraos

    oraos
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    I just received the newly released Momitsu DVD-V880N from TaiPeiPC.

    http://www.taipeipc.com/webshop.asp?categ=16

    Shipping took only a week to Canada without any complications. They did, however, increase the price from 300US to 345US dollars by including component and DVI cables with the package. I received mine for 300US without the cables (I had my own anyway).

    I chose this player because of a combination of features that no other player seemed to offer.

    1. DVI output
    2. HD upscaling via DVI *or* component output (480p, 720p, 1080i) without macrovision
    3. Quality DIVX and Xvid play back
    4 Ethernet/Wireless 802.11b connectivity

    My current TV is the 50" Hitachi Ultravision 50AV500a rear projection LCD tv.

    Previous to this player, I had the LG/Zenith DVB318 upscaling DVD player which offered HD upscaling over component output and DVI, but lacked the other features mentioned above.


    Picture Quality

    In comparison, I have to say that the upscaling quality of the Momitsu player is noticeably better than the Zenith. The Zenith created harsh looking highlights and whites (e.g. moire like effect in the whites of actors' eyes, reflections on water, etc.) when upscaled to 1080i and and colour bleeding on 480p and 720p via component output.

    The Momitsu player doesn't suffer from any of these artifacts when upscaled via DVI (haven't tried the component). I couldn't test the DVI output of the Zenith since it didn't work with my Hitachi TV for some reason even though I thought the Zenith was HDCP compliant. In any case, I am far happier with the upscaled quality of the Momitsu and will leave it in 1080i.

    *note: Changing resolution output is also much easier with the Momtisu since it can be done via the remote control, whereas the Zenith forced you to get up and change it on the player itself after stopping the DVD.


    Mechanical Performance and Quality

    The Momitsu player is noticeably faster when accessing menu items, starting video, and other menu functions when compared to the Zenith.

    The Momitsu remote, however, requires a very direct line of sight to work reliably compared to the Zenith remote.

    The build quality of the Momitsu STINKS! The remote feels like something bundled with a PC TV card and the player itself feels and looks pretty cheap. But hey, I don't plan on moving the device, so it should hold up to the miminal stress of ejecting a DVD multiple times (i hope). It does have gold plated connectors on the back however.


    Features

    Features is where this Momitsu player shines and why I chose it !

    I wanted the Momitsu player to replace my Home Theatre PC (HTPC) and be able to play downloaded movies over my computer network via my Hitach TV. Whether it could win out over my HTPC I was skeptical.

    Installing the server software on my PC to share my files was VERY simple. Very little configuration was needed, and you can add as many folders as you want to be shared over the network for the Momitsu to access. The Momitsu player detected it automatically without a problem.

    An important feature is that I can access shared folders which are mapped as network drives via the server software. This means I can access files across multiple computers via a single installation of the server software. One could also install the server software on all your computers in the home. Each server will show up on the DVD player automatically for you to choose from.

    Testing it with a number of DIVX, MPG, and Xvid files I had, I would say it played 98% of them. As for file format, the software will also convert files on the fly to Open DIVX 3 for maximum compatibility with the player. I haven't tried this feature myself, so perhaps this may have increased my success with viewing certain files.

    As for quality, DIVX and Xvid looked as good if not better than via my HTPC (which was also displayed via ATI DVI at 1280x720). The Momitsu is able to display video files at 1080i just as the DVD's are. The DIVX files seem to be benefiting from the upscaling just as the DVD's are, which was something I wasn't sure was going to happen or not.

    The menu interface for accessing networked files is very simple and responsive via the remote. The ease of access has allowed me to do away with the cumbersome mouse and keyboard that I had to use with the HTPC. This means my girlfriend is more inclined to use it (as I am).

    The Momitsu player allows for many zoom options via it's menu (16:9, fit to screen, original size, etc.). By choosing "fit to screen" all my DIVX movies played either in 4:3 or 16:9 format without a problem, thereby optimally filling the screen.

    The Momitsu also allows you to access MP3's, Photos, Internet Radio stations, and even surf the Internet if you want onscreen. Access to all these functions was as simple as the movie access with multiple controls on the remote.

    Playing MP3's, however, is still better on my HTPC since the Momitsu can only display 10 or so file names on screen at one time. This makes choosing songs more difficult. Perhaps to compensate for this, the Momitsu player can read playlists from Winamp and Windows Media Player. This does away with having to search for songs. Speaking of searching, the Momitsu allows you to search for files by file name via the remote. Here is where a keyboard is better, since many of us know the painful experience of typing words using the buttons of a cell phone which is the same with the remote.

    I found the internet access somewhat gimickee however since it was slow and all the pages had to be reformatted on the fly. The internet connectivity, however, does allow for upgrading the firmware on the fly which is nice. As an aside, the server software seems to run via an HTTP protocol I believe -- which means it might be possible to access other media servers over the internet (as it does for streaming internet radio). You can set up the IP address and port of the media servers on the DVD player itself. This means that if my friend also had a media server running (with his pictures for example), I could display those via my Momitsu player at home. There is no documentation on this, but it seems technically possible. Especially since there is password protection on the server software.

    The media software will also import your Internet Explorer bookmarks as well, meaning you can access them via the DVD player if you want. But again, internet access is slow and poorly formatted, so I doubt I will bother.

    Having played with a few media center devices (Prismq, SMC media server, XP media center) I found that they either suffered from slow performance, poor file format support, or complicated set up and access. I never thought I would say that my DVD player offers a better balance between quality, ease of access, ease of setup, and compatibility than any of those devices would. Of course, whether Momitsu will continue to update the firmware on a consistent basis remains to be seen to maintain compatibility with file formats.


    Conclusion

    This wasn't meant to be an exhaustive review. These are just my initial impressions and observations after playing with the Momitsu DVD-880N for a couple days. For 300US, I have to say I got one hell of a DVD player quality wise, in addition to a media center that is powerful and robust enough to replace my HTPC for 80% of the tasks I would use the HTPC for.

    If anyone would like to know more about any particular feature, please ask me and would be happy to comment! :D
     
  2. argomazov

    argomazov
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    Oraos, what do you think of the Momitsu after a few months of use?

    thanks,
    Luca
     
  3. nealgs

    nealgs
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    I've had my V880n for 2 or 3 months or so now and have overall been very pleased with it. I've come across a few niggles with it's operations as follows:

    1. Incompatibility with Linksys WAP54G Wireless access point, but if connected together via a hub it connects fine.
    2. Problem playing R1 (can) version of Blade Trinity, Extreme Edition. Player will not accept that there is a disk in the tray. After it tries a couple of times to read disk, it gives up and display No Disk.

    The same DVD plays fine on a cheap Bush DVD player.

    I've contacted Momitsu NL regarding this and they replied with a 'Change the region on the player to Region 1' which as we all now (assume) you can't change the region on the V880N, so how the hell am i supposed to do that????

    Have replied to Momitsu tech support regarding that request, and am awaiting a reply

    Other than these two issues (which i've managed to get around one way or the other) the PQ is amazing at 720p, much better than our old Pioneer 525, and from what i saw of my brief spell with a Philips 963sa

    Gary
     
  4. argomazov

    argomazov
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    Gary,

    thanks a lot for your answer.

    Cheers,
    Luca
     

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