This past weekend I made an impulse purchase in the form of a new DVD player. My previous player (a Samsung DVD-P421 from 2001) seemed okay, but recently it was hiccuping on the many-a-DVD layer switch. This always seemed to happen at a key moment in whatever movie I was watching. A minor glitch, but annoying nonetheless.
While off in the ‘burbs running errands, I decided to pop in to Best Buy to see if there was a cheapo DVD player for sale to replace my ailing Samsung. I’m not too hip to what makes a good DVD player these days. My only requirements where that it be progressive scan (even though I have a crappy 19″ NTSC television), be priced under fifty dollars or thereablouts and that it be able to play computer video media like AVIs or Quicktime. Lo and behold I fould what I was looking for in a Philips DVP3040.
Compared to the Samsung, this player is tiny, quiet (you can hear the high pitched buzz LASER on the Samsung) and it managed to stay near room temperature when watching a long DVD! It jumps from chapter to chapter very quickly. The remote is compact and easy to use. Again, this is comparing it to my Samsung which had an awful joystick-type of menu controller. It plays DivX movies effortlessly, subtitles and all, and they look great on my small TV screen. Now I can watch all my crappy video podcasts in the comfort of my living room. The photo and .mp3 playback capabilites are an added bonus.
On top of it all, it is region-free hackable! Just press setup and then navigate to preference. Press in the code 138931 and set the region you want. Awesome. It also claims to be able to play both PAL and NTSC media. I will have to find a PAL disc and test this out someday.
My only gripe so far is that, if you stop a DVD and power-down, it won’t pick up the movie where you left off. I thought that was a standard DVD functionality. I guess not. But, all-in-all a great bargin at about fifty dollars.