Had the Panasonic A-160 for about 9 months now. As far as it goes for a Region 2 player, i would have to say it is an average player. There are no real special features to mention. The on screen menus are user friendly. The build quality is fine. Sound and picture, no probs. Plays all the tricky Region 2 movies. Really only thing that lets it down is no region hack, but then again, isn't it illegal to have a region hack? For a first time player, if you are not looking to spend too much, then this is a good player, and you can always get it modified to play other region movies. Overall, i have had no complaints about it, and i am very happy with it. Haven't felt the need quite just yet to change players or to get it modified. A good player at a a good price.
I bought this DVD player at Christmas 1999. It cost £240 having initially been put on the market for about £400. The reduction was due to stiff competition from many of the excellent budget players. The picture quality is really superb using the S-Video channel. I deliberately puchased a machine without and on-board Dolby Digital decoder because I intended to buy an amp dedicated to this. I have not regretted this decision. The signal for the decoding is sent via an optical connector and works very well. I would really have liked an RGB option but this is not available on this machine. The difference between S-Video and RGB is minimal anyway and it's usually personal preference. There is one drawback to the machine though - it will only play pre-recorded CDs. Another factor is that the macrovision cannot be disabled - so you cannot record onto VHS. I have also had it modified for playing R1 DVDs and, because it does have a read-ahead capability, it works very well. I would recommend the player but you can probably find better players for the money now. In fact, if this product is still on the market, the price will surely have dropped again.
I bought the Panasonic SL-VP40 Vcd player on import two weeks ago. It was the best investment i made. Not only does it allow you to listen to your favourite CD's and has 10 second shock memory, it also allows you to watch VCD's in NTSC or Pal format. It comes with a Remote control and audio leads, Panasonic head phones, batteries as well as an adaptor (Converter plug needed). The quality of films are better than Video, and many old releases can be viewed. Although the quality may not match DVD's at its price iits good value. The size is just a little bit bigger than a Normal CD (Same size as a expensive CD player) and weghs about 250gms. Finished in Silver, it looks and sounds really good. I would have writtent the name of the companmy that sells the device, but that would be a product advertisment for the company, so if interested, just mail me. The best thing about it is that you can watch VCD's with only two batteries, and listen to cd music for over 18hrs with two duracell batteries, not bad if you ask me. So go and get one of these little gems, and listen and watch VCD's. If you want you can also get the kareoke version, so you can sing along with your favourite songs..!