Product Type: Alba DVD players
Newest Review: ... and cost only £21.97 which I though was a good price. The dvd player is black and silver with a small screen on it which when turned on l... more
Cheap Isn't Always Cheerful
Alba DVD DS-5711
Member Name: Great_reviewer07
Alba DVD DS-5711
Advantages: Easy installation
Disadvantages: Background noise
We've got an all singing all dancing Blu-Ray DVD player in our living room that costs us a good £399 therefore I wasn't looking to spend the earth with this player, I wanted a cheep and cheerful one that does the job it's intended for; to play DVD's. I think my wish list was pretty modest so I looked on the Argos website and found this DVD player available for £22.99. It looks stylish enough for what I want it for and the cheap price was the main thing that attracted me to this DVD player.
I bought it there and then with little hesitation, it was actually the second cheapest DVD player available from Argos, the cheapest being an Argos player costing £19.99, this didn't really appeal to me so I went with a name that I had heard of before and thought would be a nice little bargain.
Upon getting the DVD player home, I unwrapped it to find that it had been tightly packed in. I, like so many other people find this incredibly irritating as it makes the package terribly difficult to get into however it was obvious that the DVD was well protected in the box and it made me feel better to know that even if it was knocked about a bit the likelihood of it being damaged was low.
After getting into to the box and taking the DVD out I was planning to leave it sitting on my bed for my boyfriend to set up when he gets back as I'm not the most technical of people however after having a glance at the very clear and simple instruction booklet it looked relatively simple to set up. All that was needed was the scart lead to be plugged into the back of my TV and into the back of the DVD player and I was away. It really was that simple that even I could do it! The DVD player weighs only 1.8kg meaning that it's easily manoeuvred into any place that you require it with little effort.
After it being so easy to install I was optimistic when turning it on to try a DVD in order to make sure everything works ok. Luckily, after inserting the two leads there's no other setting up, there's no need to adjust the TV in any way making it very simple and would be a great device for the elderly to use.
The DVD player only supports Region 2 DVD's which in laymen terms is just a DVD manufactured in Europe, Region 1 DVD's are primarily American that wont play on our DVD systems. Not only will the DVD player support Region 2 DVD's but it also supports a range of formats including:
JPEG files are picture files, meaning that if you have a digital camera that you use in conjunction with your computer or laptop, you can import the pictures onto a disc to play on your DVD player in a slideshow mode, most DVD players support JPEG format however so it's nothing new but could be a nice way to show all your holiday snaps to your friends and family.
In the box of course is the DVD control which comes with two AAA batteries, which again are easy to install. The DVD control is a silver/grey colour which is well spaced out with all the buttons clearly labelled with their specific use. My only problem with the control would be the layout of the buttons, near the bottom of the control you'll find the pause, stop, skip, and fast forward buttons like any other control unfortunately the crucial button that is missing from this line up is of course the play button. So where's the play button? Well the play button is placed in the middle where you'd usually find an 'Enter' or 'OK' button amongst the 'up, down, left and right' buttons. The play button is a blue colour and if you've got used to it being in a certain place near all the other DVD function buttons it may take a little while to get used to and you could find yourself pressing the wrong buttons for a short time. Despite the shortcomings concerning the control it redeems itself by being very responsive, the button rarely stick and you don't need to press them multiple times before they work. The control is sturdy enough and there are no real gripes from me concerning it.
So once everything was set up, I had put my DVD in the machine and turned it on using the simple push in button on the front of the machine to the left, you can of course switch from on to standby using the DVD control as well. You are immediately greeted with a blue background screen with the word Alba in the middle whilst the DVD loads. The disc loads up quickly and you can easily skip all the annoying adverts that you get at the beginning of the disc.
Upon pressing play to start the disc was when the problems irrupted, there's no major problems with the DVD player however when you play a disc you get a very off-putting humming noise throughout the duration of the disc and if you're watching a 2 hour film this can get very irritating. I wasn't expecting much from a DVD player that only cost me £22.99 but I was expecting it to play without any background noise. Background noise aside, the picture quality was fine although I do think that this may be partly down to the quality of my TV but there are no complaints with the viewing quality. On some discs however you may be faced with a letter box screen, which is basically where you have two dark strips at the top and the bottom of the screen. My first thought was that this was down to the DVD itself and not the actual player however when playing the same disc on a different DVD player and television I found the screen to be a normal size, another downside to this DVD player. The sound quality is fine though, of course this largely depends on your TV speakers but I have no qualms about the sound.
When I purchased this DVD from the Argos website, I had a scan through the spec list and noticed that it stated that there was a screen in which you can view how long the disc had been running for, this was exactly the same in the catalogue however this DVD player doesn't actually have a screen. This is something that I was very annoyed about and even thought about taking it back but I just can't be bothered, I've got a DVD player that works so I should just stick with it. If you're one of those people, like me that doesn't always watch films all the way through then a screen is ideal, it allows you to view how long you've been watching the disc for, enabling you to put the disc on at the right place when you next view it. Another feature similar to this was one that I had on my old DVD player. It's something that not a lot of DVD players seem to have so I wasn't expecting to have it but was hoping that it might, unfortunately it doesn't. It's a button found on some DVD players named 'Time Remaining', upon pressing the button it allows you to see on the screen how long the DVD has been running for but more importantly how long it has left. On my old DVD player I found this to be an invaluable feature that I am disappointed to have lost.
Overall I wouldn't recommend this player, the phrase cheap and cheerful isn't something that you can use to describe it, it's noisy and more importantly there is no screen which was something that was clearly stated on the internet and in the catalogue. If you're looking for a dirt cheap player that emits irritating whirring sounds then this is the machine for you. I just regret not looking around more for a more decent machine, I think in the near future I'll be changing this machine for a more expensive DVD player with a better name like Samsung or Sony. The only plus for this machine is that it's extremely simple to set up so may be a good choice if you're a technically challenged human being similar to myself!
Summary: Not a great purchase.
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