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My experience buying a budget DVD player

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Stuart Wright, Dec 8, 2001.

  1. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    I only just had a play with burning various types of media for playback on our ultra budget DVD player (a Nicole thing obtained for the 1 year old). The video of her 2nd birthday works well after burining to a VCD. Still photos work fine when burnt to a VCD and MP3s work dandy also.
    So the girlfriend suggested buying a DVD player for her folks this Christmas. Primarily so they can view the hundreds of digital photos we've got but never printed out.
    While quality is somewhat important, the main goal was to get as close to £100 as possible. I thought about the multiregion Philips from HiFiBitz, but it hasn't been reviewed by any of the mags. Then I found the Richer Sounds advert for the Cyberhome 528. Multi region out of the box, onboard decoder, plays VCDs and MP3s and isn't bad quality according to the reviews. And it's £99.95.
    The hardest part was getting one. Or two as we decided to get one for each of the sets of parents. It was a nightmare trying to actually phone the Birmingham branch to see if they had stock. Luckily 20 machines arrived today so I swept in to town and got a couple. In retrospect I'm surprised that I went for this model as I'd normally go for well known brands only.
    Lets hope the parents are happy.
     
  2. pointon

    pointon
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    I almost did the same thing as you Spectre.

    Was planning on buying a Cyber Home ADL528 for the parents months until about two hours from the time I was finally about to place the order. I suddenly found myself with more money than I thought I'd have, and just discovered the Multiregion Magic website.

    In the end, I decided on the Samsung M105 modified. It doesn't play as many types as discs as the CH, or have onboard DD decoding. But it does have wonderful pictures and equally wonderful sound (seen one in action), and to have automatic region changing just meant I was more comfortable placing the order for this model. After all, the parents only want a machine that is easily multiregion (so technologically feeble they wouldn't even be able to use a remote hack), and can play just DVD's as well as possible. The Samsung does that.

    It all goes to show, budget DVD players and other equipment can be great, when you just expect the basics from them.
     
  3. IanB

    IanB
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    Here is a question for you then. Based on the quote above, how many of us use all the features that we have on our more expensive machines? I only use the basic functions, I like to have a play and find out what it can do, but I can't see me using them.

    My perfect machine would be a player with outstanding picture quality, fantastic sound and a good cross section of connectors round the back… and that's about it, I might be wrong, but what else do you need?

    Why can't the big boys make a machine like this and sell it at the 'budget' end of the market?
     
  4. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Well potentially plenty.
    Naturally the machine must be multiregion. There are RCE issues. And some might want to be able to defeat macrovision.
    Then some may want to be sure that VCD/SVCD playback is ok so thay can make VCDs/SVCDs contining footage from their camcorder or burn their Digicam photos to view on their TV.
    Some might want MP3 playback so they can burn half a dozen albums onto one CD for a jukebox effect playback via their TV/sound system.
     
  5. IanB

    IanB
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    '[devils advocate]'
    Fair comment but then isn't that machine becoming a bit complicated, wouldn't it be better to have a stand alone mp3 player etc that does ITS job brilliantly rather than a player that's trying to be a jack of all trades?
    '[/devils advocate]'
     
  6. pointon

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    Although I don't have the money to pratice what I preach at this moment in my life, I am a strong believer in 'Less is More'.

    My perfect DVD player would be one, commanding about £500, which has had all the production costs spent on DVD video and audio playback and top notch connectivity from scart/component vid and digital outs. I don't want it to play VCD's, CD-R's, CD-RW's, MP3's or even CD's. All I want from a DVD player is a 'DVD player'. If I want an MP3 player I'll buy an MP3 player. If I want to play CD's I'll use my CD player.

    My parents, through total ignorance to everything but DVD's and CD's, only want a DVD player because they don't have VCD's, CD-R's/CD-RW's or MP3 discs. And most (I said MOST) people who buy budget machines buy them because they want an affordable solution to one need. Budget DVD players will be mostly (MOSTLY) bought by people who only want a player of DVD's.

    Unfortunately a great deal of people want more expensive multi function machines, and those machines without these options tend to suffer in magazine reviews and the like. I think this is wrong. A DVD player should be judged on how well it plays DVDs. Makes me mad.
     
  7. IanB

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    I'm with pointon. :cool:

    Though I'm all for pushing the envelope, I reckon they could sell it cheaper and still keep the build quality and their profit margins.
     
  8. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Horses for courses.
    The DVD players I bought will be connected via composite in one case cos the telly hasn't got scart inputs. The TV is mono and the people watching it are 60+. They want simplicity. When we give them a disc marked 'photos', they are (or will be) delighted that they can plonk it in the player and it plays. Ditto MP3s and the VCD of our kid's birthday party.
    The player almost doesn't need to be multiregion.
     
  9. GrahamC

    GrahamC
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    Yo! Specter.

    Which software do you use to burn your VCD birthday footage? I am trying to find a good combination of software and DVD player, I have found it near impossible to find a player that does not stutter or loose sync. Most of the players say they play VCD but fail. (Philips even the new DVD burner failed) so still looking.
    :confused:

    Thanks..
     

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