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To be honest I have never been one to replenish my electronic devices on a frequent basis, mainly due to not having the funds available at any given time or I just wait until the current machine dies a natural death. The last DVD player I bought was this JVC model 4 years ago. I believe it was originally released in 2002, and although it's getting on a bit, it's still going strong, so I thought I'd share my experience with it, so here are my thoughts on this JVC XV-N212 Silver DVD player.
--JVC - Victor Company of Japan--
Apart from being a famous shirt sponsor for Arsenal FC in the nineties, JVC are a large consumer electronics manufacturer and supplier primarily based in Japan. JVC is the worldwide name of the Victor Company of Japan, known as simply Victor in Japan. They use as their logo the famous 'His Masters Voice' image, much the same as HMV company use in the UK, but this is restricted to use only in Japan.
Founded in 1927 as 'The Victor Taking Machine Company of Japan', JVC have dwindled somewhat in the marketplace in recent years, having had strong competition with superior products from the likes of Sony, Samsung, Phillips and Toshiba. This is a shame, because during their golden years, JVC were at the forefront of new technologies and developments.
Most famous of all, is that they pioneered the VHS tape system which became the primary choice of in-home entertainment, having beaten off the competition from Sony with their Betamax system. They developed the ground-breaking Zilog Z80A Processor chip (Used in the Amstrad GX4000 console) in the eighties and also had a large part to play in the development of HD technology, in which they have received awards for their work.
Part of the reason for JVC losing prominance, especially in the UK, was due to major cost-cutting measures put in place at the end of 2006. Their primary assembly plant was switched from Japan to Turkey, and as a result a degree of reliability and build quality to the products suffered. People became aware of this quickly, and began to favour higher quality products instead.
In 2006 when I bought this DVD player, it was on an end-on-line sale, so I picked it up for a mere £25. I believe it retailed for around the £49.99 - £69.99 area. As the machine was discontinued in 2007, you can find it on Ebay and PropertyRoom for anything from £10 to £30. The available remote control units are numerous, as many JVC remote's were multi-compatible with their own DVD players. You can find them again on the usual auction sites for around the £8 price tag.
Width - 17.1 in
Depth - 7.9 in
Height - 1.7 in
Weight - 3.5 lbs
Media Type - DVD-RW , DVD-R , CD-R , SVCD , CD-RW , Video CD , CD , DVD
Picture Modes - Letterbox , Widescreen , Normal , Pan and scan
Supported Digital Video - Standards MPEG-4
Supported Digital Audio - Standards MPEG 2 Audio , MP3 , MPEG 1 Audio
Sound Output Mode - Stereo
Video D/A Converter - 10bit / 54MHz
Audio D/A Converter - 24bit / 192kHz
Response Bandwidth -43998.0 Hz
Dynamic Range - 100.0 dB
Digital Audio Format - Dolby Digital output , DTS digital output , MPEG 2 digital output
Total Harmonic Distortion - 0.0090
Connector Types - 1.0 x Composite video/audio output ( RCA phono x 3 ), 1.0 x SCART (RGB) ( 21 pin SCART ), 1.0 x SPDIF output ( RCA phono )
Power Device Power supply - Internal
Power Consumption Operational - 11.0 Watt
Power Consumption Stand by / Sleep - 2.0 Watt
--Looks & Quality--
Slimline in design, the player in entirely silver in colour, with a blue LED display to the left of the front panel. This is clear and bright, but doesn't distract your attention. The front panel also has the basic control buttons such as Play, Stop, Pause and Skip functions. Access to the menu system of only available via the remote control. The power lead is incorporated into the system and is about two meters in length, exiting from the right side of the rear panel. Although there is no HDMI sockets available, there is a robust SCART socket, Composite output and separate Phone outputs, and a output type selection switch so compatibly with modern televisions and hard-drive recorders is easy.
Although the machine is very lightweight, it feels a strong and well built casing, and can put up with a fair bit of toddlers meddling. The corner edges are a little sharp due to the combination of metal and plastic used, this can give you a small and annoying graze if not careful in handling. It's worth noting that my version has a multi-region set-up, but it was originally retailed as a region 2 only machine.
Upon loading a disc and playing, the tray responds and slides quickly, and more importantly doesn't ever catch or trap the disc halfway when closing. (I have had experience with DVD players that do this.) It loads the disc very quickly indeed, I have played over 300 discs, and every one has played without problems. The picture quality, while not at HD standard, is sharp, clear with a good colour balance and not too dazzleing to the eyes. At lot of the picture quality does depend on your TV however, but I have used this player with 4 different televisions, 2 being the old tube type and the picture is just as clear. On my modern Toshiba LCD, it is perfectly fine albeit a little blurry sometimes during the menu's and graphic animations, but mostly adjusts to the higher resolution with good results. Also, using a lens cleaner is recommend now and then, this becomes needed when the loading between menu's becomes sluggish.
The original remote control I had for this player enabled you to access some features metioned below, but It was damaged during moving home so I bought a cheaper JVC replacement. This is a RM-SXV058A, and works perfectly fine with the player, but doesn't have controls to operate the 10-second back-skip or the picture viewer, but you can use the navigational controls for this. The original controller was larger, a little confusing but worked without any problems, and as I have said is available from auction sites.
Without having a huge range of features, this DVD player has all the commonly used ones that you require. The obligatory Repeat , Program, One track Repeat , Track Shuffle for CD and A-B Repeat are all present and work well. The player loads and plays CD/CD-R without problems, but may have trouble with certain CD-RW depending on their brand. Even thought the machine was designed a while ago, it does have full support for JPEG images and MP3 files via a data CD as there is no USB input.
Other on-screen features include a zoom function and a handy 10-second back-skip, avoiding the need for rewinding the disc. Slow-motion and reverse-motion both perform well enough, but a degree of picture clarity is lost, as is any sound. During playback, the system has a nice automatic dim/screen saver function which activates after five minutes, shading the screen out, and upon touching the play button returns to normal viewing settings. This is a nice touch and certainly saves for a bit of life on your TV screen.
The range of features in general is good, and all perform as expected without any nasty surprises. The menu's are straightforward and basic to understand, and presented in a white and blue colour scheme with the current playing show in the background. This can be changed to a solid black background. A Parental lock is provided, but I have not found a need to use this as of yet.
This player comes in a rather colourful white and blue box, with protection provided buy sheets of polystyrene instead of chip or moulded types. The cardboard box is fully recyclable, as are the plastic sleeves the player and remote are contained in. Be wary of the sharp metal staples that are securing the box together, these are tricky to remove so care must be taken.
For a DVD player that was released over 8 years ago, I'm surprised is is still performing to the high standard of quality that it did when it was fresh out of the box. It is fully compatible with modern entertainment equipment, provides great picture and sound, freezes very rarely and is quite a fine looking piece of kit. The fact that it does lack HDMI ports is a concern for future use, and with Blu-rays becoming more and more widespread, this DVD player may not have a long life left ahead, but it would make a great secondary or back-up system. Being small and compact, it would be appropriate for the garage, kitchen or study. For the price you can pick this up for now, what more would you want?
So if the office is looking for a DVD player for their presentations, or if you need one for the kids room and you don't want to waste money on a new player, I would recommend that you look at this product. Go and JVC it!
Thanks for Reading. © Novabug
Also posted on Ciao.co.uk.