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Average Customer Review:
( 108 customer reviews )
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55 of 57 found the following review helpful:
Good value, good picture, but slightly frustratingAug 08, 2007
By Mitch Haile
I have this unit plugged into a 55" Sony projection TV with an HDMI cable.
The up-converted picture is great; episodes of House are much sharper than with a progressive scan DVD player, Star Wars looks terrific, etc. No complaints on the picture quality at all. The unit is small and looks attractive. Some people have complained about a buggy firmware in these reviews, but I haven't noticed any bugs.
The best feature, besides the picture quality, is that you can turn off the unit while a DVD is playing, turn it back on later, and the player remembers where it was--no more pausing for hours or days (or dealing with the frustration of trying to "rewind" or "fast-forward" to where you were).
There are some drawbacks though. The number one issue is that the player is slow to respond to the remote commands. Pressing "power" on the remote takes a few seconds to turn off, and so I often press it again--which eventually turns the player back on. Menu, play, pause, etc. also lag just enough to make me wonder if the player got the command or not.
This wouldn't be so bad, except the remote/player combination is finicky about the angle of the remote to send a command successfully. I find I have to hold the remote at just the right angle (not directly pointing at the player!) for it to work. I guess the idea is that users want to hold the remote so that they can read the buttons, not aiming it at the player--neat, but I am using to aiming. This is extremely aggravating, so I am docking 2 stars for this.
Another annoyance is that when the player switches between layers on the DVD, there is a huge and obvious glitch in the video playback. My ancient JVC player didn't do this, nor have I seen this on el cheapo Zenith players.
But this player is cheap, small, and is a good value for passing the time until the HD-DVD/BluRay thing is resolved.
49 of 53 found the following review helpful:
Finally, a player I can live with!May 11, 2007
By Daniel J. Zajic
I've been looking for a new, inexpensive DVD player for many months now, but everything I tried had problems I couldn't live with. This one seems to be a winner. Picture quality is excellent (HDMI) and sound quality is noticeably better than the other players I've tried (Oppo 981, Toshiba SD-5000, Panasonic DMR-EZ27K).
Just as important, it has some key features that many players do not have, such as multiple "screen fitting" options (there are 4), disc resume after power off, and quick on/off and disc loading.
The only negative I can think of so far is that the display only shows the time, not the chapter. This is only an annoyance when playing audio CDs, but the superb sound quality makes up for it. You just couldn't make it perfect, could you Samsung? Damn you!
The other player I was considering was the Sony NS75H. I'm sure it's fantastic (based on reviews), maybe even better than this one, but it only comes in silver, and I need black. This player looks pretty good for the price. It doesn't feel/look cheap like some other budget upconverting players.
I've been so tempted to go with HD-DVD, however, I think the lack of disc resume and the 30 second startup would drive me crazy. Also, I don't think the improvement in quality on a 42" screen is worth paying 3 times as much. I think the benefit of HD movies really shows on much larger screens. I'm going to wait until the 3rd of 4th generation of players is out next year.
I returned this unit due to an incompatability with my Westinghouse LCD. I had the same problem with the Samsung HD tuner box (scan line at the bottom of screen). I got the HD-A2 at a ridiculously low price on Amazon and I absolutely love it. I wouldn't even consider getting a DVD player now that I've seen HD. The 30 startup and lack of disc resume don't bother me one bit.
23 of 23 found the following review helpful:
Pefect mate to my Samsung HDTVJan 18, 2008
By R. W. Russell
I read the critical comments in the earlier reviews, and was a little hesitant at getting this unit. But I was attracted by its match-up to my new big screen Samsung TV. The prospect of being able to run both with the TV's remote was a big plus, so I decided to give it a try. I could always return it within 30 days if it turned out to be troublesome.
It didn't. I don't know about anyone else's installation, but this thing mates with my new Samsung TV like it was built into it. The operation could not be easier: power it on, and it turns on the TV and switches the source to the proper HDMI input automatically. All I have to do is insert the disc and press the Play button on the TV remote.
The picture quality is really excellent. The up-conversion process doesn't give the same video quality as a true 1080p program source, but it's far better than that produced by my pair of older, standard mode players.
There are probably better upconverting DVD players out there, but for connecting to a modern Samsung TV, this one is a very worthy choice in all respects.
34 of 39 found the following review helpful:
Excellent image quality, but not without caveats.Jul 22, 2007
Fastidious as I am, I've checked out all the local consumer brands. (A $300 DVD player that doesn't play HD or Blu-Ray seems pointless, and I'm waiting for either of those brands to become THE standard. right now, bet on Blu-ray... but I digress.)
Many local electronics stores probably don't like me right now, but as a consumer who works hard for his money, I'm going to scope things out.
Many low-end brands (sub-$100) have pitiful quality. Even more pitiful up-converting quality that is actually worse than standard component video.
I've read enough to stay with "the two S's" - meaning Sony or Samsung. The brands starting with M, L, or P seem to be problematic with picture quality (PQ), and I looked at those models too.
I ultimately returned the Sony model because it wouldn't play some of my DVD+R DL discs. Plus, I wasn't entirely happy with the upconverting PQ despite it being much better than average.
So I tried the Samsung 1080p7. Its upconverting PQ, of all available brands, is clean and crisp - it shows as much detail as cleanly as possible. While it won't perform miracles for poorly compressed discs (think "those tv show sets where they cram 9 episodes on a disc meant for 7"), it edges out in overall quality.
Now it is true that HDMI offers little compared to other video inputs (chiefly the 'component video' input). But there IS an appreciable difference to make the upgrade worthwhile; the output video isn't grainy and no color adjustments need to be made in either the player or TV set. They look accurate, properly saturated, with no appreciable bias of one color above any another. (my TV set being a high-end 32" Sony, but that's a separate review...)
Also, this player seems to work better with film sources (movies) than TV (video) shows. As I typically prefer movies to TV, the difference was negligible in my ultimate decision to purchase this player. Again, such differences are more likely to be seen on a LCD or plasma set; the anomaly can be seen when it turns the interlaced video image into a progressive one.
The Samsung 1080p7 also plays many of my DVD+R DL discs, though it has had trouble with some of them. (I did exchange the model at the store and the replacement, so far, has fared better with the same discs that wouldn't work before. It also has a newer firmware, dating 5.10.07 (compared to 4.26.07 if I recall the old date correctly), so I'm hoping Samsung has fixed the DL problem. If not, I can live with it. Though I'm hoping they have fixed it for good. :) )
As with the crisp and detailed video of solid gamut, audio - in Dolby 5.1, DTS, et al, is also excellent. One problem does exist in that it won't channel MPEG PCM audio through the fiber or coaxial out; requiring a second link to the audio receiver. MPEG PCM audio usually applies only to homemade discs of weddings, birthdays, street riots, births, divorce proceedings, conceptions, funerals, and so on, and never (so far) with store-bought discs. It's somewhat annoying, but I can live with it.
Oh, at least for North American units (R1), they nixed the ability to make the unit region-free. Disheartening, but as they say, "applesauce happens". Maybe I'll give that Oppo a try one day down the road...
All things considered, the pros heavily outweigh the cons. Samsung is definitely going to be a major brand in the consumer DVD arena. Though for LCD TV sets, Sony still has the edge and doesn't cost that much more...
14 of 15 found the following review helpful:
"Fits" Just RightNov 10, 2007
I have not submitted a review of any product before. However, I wanted to share some thoughts about what led me to this player. I have a large Philips tube HDTV 1080i that is about 4 years old. When I got it I was not up to speed on the 720p 480p 1080i 1080p references. At the time I was happy being able to watch films in widescreen.
Over time I have upgraded my small home theatre. Then a bout a year ago, Up-scaling came to the front. At the time I had a progressive scan player that had better resolution when it was NOT set on Progressive Scan. I decided to pick two different items. One was falsely marked. It had a HDMI output for low resolutions. The second was an LG upscaling player.
After getting the correct cable. HDMI - DVI. I was able to see my set at 1080i for the first time. Then disappointment set in. Around the areas between dark and light, the screen became cubed. It looked like oversized pixels. There were halos around all the light sources. The rest of the image was dark. I also was not able to control the aspect ratio of the screen. 4/3 dvds got flat and long. "What a waste" I thought. I opted to return everything and let the technology mature a bit.
Now comes my thoughts on this player. With the (High Price) advent of HD-DVD and Blue Ray, I wanted to try upscaling again. I started out with a Philips model. It had a good picture, but the aspect ratio was uncontroled. The sound had some bells and whistles, but also popped and clicked.
Then I read about this player. The result has been wonderful. The picture is great.
However, The player has some built in extras that require mentioning.
1. The picture control.
a. You can adjust three controls for picture quality each had 5 different settings.
b. The right balance helps. Especially with animation.
2. The EZ view function.
a. This is the function that sold me on the player.
b. The player senses the type of disk and enables you to change the aspect ratio
c. This is most effective if you have TV series on DVD in 4/3 ratio.
d. The player senses this and gives you the choice of watching in the 4/3 screen mode.
e. NO OTHER PLAYERS I tried had this ability!!!!
1. "House" season 1 is formatted in widescreen but is not enhanced for 16/9 sets.
2. It becomes very narrow when watched on other upscaling players.
3. This player allowed me to set the aspect ration to 4/3 to undo the distortion.
4 The image is smaller, but it is muck clearer.
5. Family Guy and American Dad play very well in the 4/3 mode.
I hope the are other players that will pick up this function.
There is nothing more distracting then watching something when you know the image is not framed correctly.
In the end I waiting longer to get the full effect out of my present set. My wife groans when I start talking about LCDs and Plasma sets. With this players ability to upscale to 1080p, I will be ready for the next upgrade to my small home cinema.
If you are picky about the things I mentioned, get this player.
HDTV is really something to see. When you can see it correctly. This player provides that.
As technology changes and becomes more affordable, this player will do well.
A new set. Yes..... Eventually!
HD-DVD or Blue Ray, Not till the war is over and the price is lower!
Soon it will all be within reach.
My suggestion is to take small steps.
This it a good place to start.
Thanks for reading.
I hope it helps!!!
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