Product Type: Alba DVD players
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Alba DVD 103
Member Name: jason_webb
Alba DVD 103
Date: 11/04/02, updated on 11/04/02 (734 review reads)
Advantages: Great Functionality, Multi-region, Budget Price
Disadvantages: Internal sound quality
I was lucky enough to get this DVD player in exchange for my 'Proline 1000' player when it broke down under warranty. The main features are as follows;
Dolby/DTS compatible (no 5:1)
2 x Composite video out
1 x S-video out
1 x Scart
1 x Optical out
1 x Coaxial digital out
2 x Stereo phono out
1 x Headphone socket (Front)
Functionality that i have not tested (have read about in reviews, but not on box & may be firmware dependant)
Multi-Region out of the box (no hack required)
CD-R / CD-RW compatible
The brushed silver design of the player is nothing to write home about but it has all the basic functionality plus a headphone socket with it's own volume control. This little addition is useful if you either want to watch a DVD quietly or play your music whilst everyone else watches the TV.
The back of the player packs in just about every socket you will ever need, including some only found on more expensive players. For your picture out, you have a choice of two composite video outputs, an S-video and a Scart. On reading some other reviews I have found that the composite outputs are not buffered, which basically means that if you do use both, you will get degradation in picture quality. There are also two pairs of audio outputs and if required you also have both optical and digital outputs as well. As for the audio output, there is no decoder built in but it is Dolby Digital and DTS compatible.
The remote control is a little cheap looking, beige plastic affair, which unfortunately lives up to it's look. The keys are very rubbery, with an uncertain travel which can lead to you having to press a key a couple of time to get the function that you want. Saying this, the transmit and reception arc to the player itself is good, mine is set up in a position of almost 90' and I have no problems using it. Functionality available is ve
ry good and includes, forward and reverse at four speeds, random playback, program playback, slow motion at three speeds plus repeat function, multi-angle (where available), two stage zoom, subtitles and resume function.
The set-up of the player is very straight forward using an on-screen menu to choose items like screen ratio, onscreen language, picture and audio outputs, plus the ability to set a parental lock.
Actual playback is very good with the picture quality almost up there with players at twice the price, although I have found the sound a little lacking on some disks. I had no problem playing the Matrix, which can give some players trouble, but it did lock up briefly during the Disney film Dinosaurs.
Overall I would recommend this player to anyone looking for a budget player with better functionality. When I switched to this player it was £150, but I have seen it available for around £99 recently so shop around.