DVD player recommendations?
January 27, 2005 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Help me find my dream DVD player [MI]

My dream DVD player would be region free, play DVD +/- R, VCD, SVCD, CDR, mp3 on DVD, show ID3 tags, pal/ntsc conversion, and be sturdy, reliable, and easy to use. I don’t want something too complicated, as my family will be using it. Optional but nice things are DivX support and ethernet / wireless connection to a PC. Any suggestions?
posted by quibx to Shopping (13 answers total)
Any Sampo/Apex/Hiteker updated with One Firmware For All. OFFA will give you the initial set of your requirements (maybe not ID3 but at least long filename support). Future Apexes will apparently all have DivX capability, not sure about ethernet/wifi but if so there's your perfect match.
posted by Gortuk at 7:50 PM on January 27, 2005

All of your answers are at videohelp.com. They have a list of all DVD player makes and models, and take reviews from people who have tested various formats on them, and let you know what they found to work and not work.

Cyberhome has a cheap and very versatile player. I also really like my Gateway Connected DVD player, reviewed by Matt here.
posted by adampsyche at 8:20 PM on January 27, 2005

These Q&As come to mind. A modded Xbox with XBMC (Xbox Media Centre) might be the way to go.
posted by d-no at 8:31 PM on January 27, 2005

Z330 DVD/MPEG4 Player
posted by krisjohn at 9:18 PM on January 27, 2005

Most of my stuff is encoded as XviD. Will MPEG4 players play it? Even if it's AVI?
posted by gentle at 10:16 PM on January 27, 2005

As I mentioned in another thread, the Philips DVP642 handles about anything you throw at it, with the exception of one lesser used DIVX encoding scheme.

The man in the brown suit should be delivering mine today. They run between $60-70 - I got a decent deal and free shipping from that large internet based bookseller.
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:54 AM on January 28, 2005

That DVP642 looks quite nice... can it be coaxed into being region-free?
posted by neckro23 at 6:52 AM on January 28, 2005

(nevermind... apparently there's a remote combination, according to the linked article.)
posted by neckro23 at 6:52 AM on January 28, 2005

I second the Cyberhome suggestion - I have one - I bought it a couple years ago for $70 and it's still working fine as my main DVD player. It does everything you mention except id3 tags (though it does play MP3CDs) and it won't play divx and it has no ethernet connection. I've played different region DVDs and both ntsc and pal discs without any problems.

I also second checking out videohelp.com. That's how I decided on the Cyberhome.

So, yeah, basically, what adampsyche said.
posted by soplerfo at 7:24 AM on January 28, 2005

I got a Philips DVP642 from Target for $70; it was very easy to set up region free.
posted by carter at 8:00 AM on January 28, 2005

From experience with an XBox / XBMC, I'd recommend it if you want divx/xvid amd ethernet, but maybe not for the "usable by the rest of the family" test. It'll auto-play most things, but if you want the family to use ethernet things or discs with multiple files on them then there's a few menus to navigate.

It's also lost the price advantage it used to have now that lots of cheap divx dvd players are turning up on the market.
posted by OldMansHands at 8:00 AM on January 28, 2005

I just got the suggested Philips 642. A few observations:

It does play DivX files, but if they have WMA audio (some do), you get no audio. There are programs that transcode WMA audio streams to MP3 (I found "DivXWMAconverter" for OS X). It does not play AAC music files, unless I'm missing something.

I burned a CD with some video and audio files I had lying around my hard drive, and it brought up a menu showing what was on the disc; it can traverse directories and all that good stuff. With the exceptions noted above, it played whatever I threw at it.

The screen image when playing a movie is fine, but static images generated in the box are "boiling" -- I suspect this is an interlace issue. I've got an old TV that doesn't have any of the more sophisticated inputs, which may have something to do with it.
posted by adamrice at 8:04 AM on January 28, 2005

Response by poster: Picked up the Philips 642 today. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm gonna pass on the modded xbox, as i have a modded ps2 already...

This is more of a family room dvd player.
posted by quibx at 11:15 AM on January 28, 2005

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