Quality portable DVD player for £130

Discussion in 'Portable Disc & Media Players & Recorders' started by Stuart Wright, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    I've had chance to check out a couple of portable DVD players : the Yamada PVD-500 (£130) and PVD-700 (£170).
    The players are similar in many respects. They both come with a detachable battery and all the leads you need (if a bit short) to hook up the video and sound out to a TV or home cinema system.
    For in-car use there is also a lighter adapter and small pair of headphones. The built-in speakers are very tinny so the headphones are recommended.
    Both players come with the same power adapter which you can plug into the player or the battery.
    Both players have the same thin remote control.
    The 500 is a solid little unit and you'd rely on the remote for most operation including the screen contrast/brightness/sharpness/saturation settings. IT has a 5 inch 4:3 screen which is fine for portable viewing.
    The NTSC/PAL switch on the back of both players is a boon for people with cheap TVs which don't do NTSC. And the initial inspection using the composite output looks very impressive.
    The other outputs are S-Video (lead supplied), composite and coaxial (yes picture & sound) doubled on one socket (lead supplied), stereo audio (cable supplied) and headphones (supplied).
     

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  2. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    The PVD-700 has a 7 inch widescreen display and color, brightness and display mode buttons underneath. The first two are wheels and feel very cheap. But you wouldn't need to use them much. The display mode button is very useful and changes the output aspect ratio.
    The 700 also has more useful buttons onboard and the battery goes underneath rather than at the back as witht he 500. So when the battery is attached the screen on the 700 can be opened slightly wider than the one on the 500.

    When viewing DVDs there is very faint interference lines appearing on the screen. This isn't really that annoying and not always visible. The viewing angle makes a difference to how visible the lines are and considering the budget nature of the unit I wouldn't expect reference quality images from it anyway. Which is why I am pleasantly surprised by how decent it is overall.

    I burned a CD ROM with MP3s and pictures on it. Surprisingly the player played the MP3s (variable bitrate no problem) and played the JPGs in a slideshow no problem. It did them at the same time. With the occasional hiccup between songs as the read head shot between the music and pictures from the 500. Not quite seemless music and pictures. The 700 coped much better and moved from picture to picture and track to track without any interruptions and with a much quieter drive mechanism.
    Great for hooking up to your TV and leaving playing to entertain party guests with your photo albums and music.
    Another useful feature is the ability to rotate the photos.
    And fun is the little moving graphic eq as the music plays.

    I used to use a Panasonic CD Walkman which played MP3s to play drums along to. It started skipping and I need a replacement. I recall it cost me £120.
    Why would I go out and buy another or buy an MP3 player when £130 gets me the YAMADA 500?!

    Personally I would go for the 700 simply because the drive mechanism is reassuringly quieter and because it plays JPGs and MP3s simultaneously.
    But the 500 would do perfectly as in-car entertainment for the kids or something to take on the train.

    www.umax.co.uk gets you more information.

    Hopefully we'll have a 700 to give away in a competition here to celebrate 25,000 members.

    Is it me or is £130 for a portable DVD player bloomin rediculous?
     

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  3. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    I bought the Yamada 500 from ebuyer back along. To cut a long story short I won't be buying from ebuyer again. They stole money from my credit card account with a deduction never authorised or even linked to a purchase from me.

    Anyway the reason I had to deal with ebuyers nightmare customer service is the portable came with a dead battery pack. I actually used the portable for a while without battery, just off the mains and it was superb. Excellent reader, superb performance, very fast and usable. However the one review on the ebuyer site at the time mentioned a dead battery pack and mine came with a dead battery pack so perhaps its a common problem on this model and shows a weakness in the battery pack or recharging function of this player.
     
  4. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Perhaps so. The battery pack with this one is just fine.
    They are NimH which is the preferable type.
     
  5. alancolledge

    alancolledge
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    Spectre,:hiya:

    in regard to the 700 the functions you have described and the picture shows that this is exactly the same unit as a Bush portable I got from Aldi some months ago on one of their specials for £199.99
    I have noticed the interferance from the motor too but the picture is not too brilliant to get over critical anyway!

    Perfectly watchable and as you say great for showing my Nan my digital pictures as she doesn't have a PC or DVD player!
    In fact that's how I convinced my wife to agree to buy one in the first place!:D

    Does the Yamada play VCDs as I know the Bush only does SVCDs?
     
  6. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    I just created a VCD disc. There was no mention of SVCD in the burn options.
    VCD2.0 it says when the 700 reads it. And it reads it just fine.
     
  7. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    6 months on and the players are still working fine.
    They came on holiday to keep the kids entertained in the car and during quiet times in the hotel. The budget nature of them means that the kids can have one each to avoid arguments about what to watch and with headphones it means us adults get some peace and quiet, too. The kids did have a problem using with the in-ear units supplied with the players and we instead used a couple of inexpensive, adjustable pairs of cup-headphones which sit on the kid's heads more reliably and comfortably.
    The interference issue with the 700 has never been a problem and I have not noticed it since my initial examination.
    The batteries continue to work fine although we tend to use the units via the main most of the time.
    I would still recommend these units.
     
  8. Damian1978

    Damian1978
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    Hi,

    This is an interesting thread. I've just had to return what I hope is a faulty Yamada PVD520 (the 500's replacement) and the picture from the 5" TFT was awful. It flickered and was more alarmingly littered with 34 pale white parallel lines running across the screen.

    Before it went back though I noticed that if the NTSC/PAL switch on the back of the player was moved from PAL to NTSC the distortions went. I always played PAL DVD's on it though.

    The box was a bit damaged too so I hope its a one off.

    Anyone had a similar experience though?

    :lease:
     

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