Phillips DVP-642 DVD Player
- By Chris Monfette
You have it, we play it! Your dream player with flawless, true-to-life picture quality and the ability to play virtually any disc! The Philips DVD-player delivers your movies and music entertainment experience.
Whenever I write a product review, I like to think of my parents, of a generation raised outside the technological bubble and supporting progress, but only in the most comprehensible of steps. I like to think of my father, frustrated and fiddling with a complex remote, asking the air if it could just offer him a little mechanical mercy. I like to carry this image with me because, in many ways, I realize that this is the larger portion of the audience asking to be served by these new advances. Thus, for me, a good product is one that is somehow both progressive and recessive, adding all the features demanded by both trend and time, but with a simplicity that would save our fathers and grandfathers from an early grave.
As DVD players go, the Phillips DVP-642 is just such a product, incorporating a wide variety of necessary features while maintaining an easy-to-use, highly-functional design. The fact that it‚s thin, light and budget friendly only adds to the bevy of benefits offered by this particular model. At roughly $70, the DVP-642 demands a closer look if only for its price alone, but upon further inspection, the player presents any number of reasons for either the tech-savvy or casual buyer to take the system home without much argument.
On the most basic level, the fact that the system supports a wide range of formats will please almost any potential buyer from the start. The DVP-642 can successfully handle DVDs, CDs, JPEG Images, MP3-formatted discs as well as MPEG and Divx files with little or no difficulty whatsoever. Whereas my current system is oftentimes picky about which files and formats it will or won‚t play, my time with the DVP-642 went by without a single compatibility issue. For those tech-heads looking to push the boundaries of just what a DVD player can process, I couldn‚t say just where that boundry lies, but for the average buyer it would be a safe assumption that whatever format one would want to play will play on this machine.
Measuring a petite 17.1 x 1.7 x 9.3 and weighing only a little more than a hummingbird‚s hearbeat, the Phillips DVP-642 is a sleekly designed player that produces equally sleek images onscreen. It supports progressive scan ˆ a must-have feature close to all of our High-Definition hearts ˆ and boasts 4x video unsampling, which, in short, will provide for sharper, higher-quality images even when operating in any non-progressive mode. As the happy owner of a Phillips widescreen, 32-inch, HD-ready television, I can certainly say that the image quality under the progressive scan is nearly flawless. When running the device from S-Video only, the quality remained exceptionally impressive for the hardware involved. Additionally, the "Smartpicture" feature, which balances color and light levels for ideal viewing, works, in most cases, to improve the experience. Those who pay particular attention to image detail may want to tweak the levels on their own, but otherwise, the Smartpicture option is remarkably workable.
Those of you concerned with sound issues simply shouldn‚t be. The digital output to my somewhat antiquated JVC 5.1 surrounded sound system still blew me away, with the high powered audio of Star Wars, LOTR and The Matrix still buzzing about my head. A built-in sound dampener is certainly a bonus feature for nighttime viewing, especially for those of us apartment-dwellers with sound-sensitive, trigger-happy neighbors. And while I still had to keep the volume controls within reach, the device is certainly smart enough to do its job effectively.
The on-screen menu system is easy to use and highly navigable and I had relatively few difficulties getting where I needed to go. The unfortunate topography of the remote, however, is somewhat of a disappointment, but for those of us who appreciate the basic minimalist approach, it might be considered a high-point. I think, again, of my father, mouthing, the phrase, "All these damn buttons" If you simply wanted to watch a DVD or scan through some digital photos, the remote is a fine inclusion. If you wanted to delve deeply into the all of the various and complex features offered on any such DVD, you might be asking a little much. But a remote is a remote and certainly nothing of a dealbreaker.
Overall, the Phillips DVP-642 is an ideal machine for most DVD watchers. Tech-heads and enthusiasts should be, for the most part, satisfied, but might have a few choice gripes, such as the fact that the device generally takes issue DVD-R‚s and has the occasional trouble with sound given the MPEG coding. It is, however, firmware upgradeable, which provides for a fortunate upside.
Given its price and wide-reaching functionality, the DVP-642 is a definite candidate for must-buy status. And if not for us, then certainly for our fathers.
- Christopher Monfette
Aspect ratio : 4:3, 16:9
D/A converter : 10 bit, 54MHz
Picture Enhancement : 4x Video Upsampling, Progressive Scan, Smart Picture
Crosstalk (1kHz) : 105dB dB
D/A converter : 192KHz/24 bit
Distortion and Noise (1kHz) : 90dB dB
Dynamic Range (1kHz) : 90dB dB
Signal to noise ratio : 90dB
Sound Enhancement : Smart Sound
Sound System : Dolby Digital (AC-3), MPEG2, Stereo
Compression formats : Divx 3.11, Divx 4, Divx 5, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4
Disc Playback Media : CD, CD-R, CD-RW, DivX, DVD, DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-Video, MP3-CD, MPEG4, Picture CD, SVCD, Video CD
Disc Playback Modes : A-B Repeat, Disc Menu, Fast Backward, Fast Forward, OSD, Pause, Screen Saver, Standard Play, Zoom
DVD Region : 1
Loader Type : Tray
Number of Discs : 1
Video disc playback system : NTSC, PAL
Video Enhancement : Progressive Scan, Smart Picture
Compression format : Dolby Digital, MP3, PCM
Disc Playback Media : CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3-CD
Disc Playback Modes : A-B Repeat, Next/Previous Track Search
MP3 bit rates : 32 - 256 kbps
MP3 sample rates : 32, 44.1, 48, 112, 128, 256 kHz
Still Picture Playback
Disc formats : DVD+R/+RW, Picture CD
Picture compression format : JPEG
Picture enhancement : Rotate
Rotation : 90 degree steps
Slide show : yes, with music (MP3)
Zoom : Yes
Digital audio out : cinch, coaxial, optical
Other connections : ComponentVideo out Progressive, Composite video (CVBS) out, S-Video out
Output rear : Audio L/R out
Child Protection : Parental Control
Convenience Enhancements : On-screen Display
Display Type : FTD
Ease of Use : On Screen Display
On-Screen Display languages : American, Canadian French, Mexican Spanish
Remote Control type no. : 3141 017 90221
Included Accessories : Audio/Video cable, Batteries for remote control, Remote Control
Lead-free soldered product : Yes
Packaging material : Carton
Packaging depth : 306 mm
Packaging height : 128 mm
Packaging width : 510 mm
Packaging type : D-box
Product depth : 235 mm
Product height : 43 mm
Product width : 435 mm
Product weight : 2 kg
Product weight in lbs : 6.6
Weight incl. Packaging : 3 kg
Automatic Power off : SmartSave
Power Consumption : < 10W W
Power supply : 110V
Standby power consumption : < 0.8W
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