I received my Panasonic LS83 portable dvd player as a Christmas present from my parents. I had suggested a player so my partner and I could use it to entertain ourselves and kill some time at airports, train stations and long transfers on coaches, trains etc. It can be fitted onto the head rest of a car as the mount comes supplied with the player.
I was pleased to see they had gone for the Panasonic because of their reputation for quality and innovation.
After opening the box I inserted the Lithium 7.2v rechargeable battery into the player, connected the AC lead. I left the player on charge for a while (usually 5 hours), and had a closer read of the instructions, including the technical details.
The player was capable of playing several types of discs including DVDs, CDs, DVD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, J-PEG, DivX and formats NTSC and PAL. The screen is a 8.5" diagonal LCD screen and has the ability to pivot so you can get the best position to view the screen.
The controls are simple push buttons and have the same features as you find on any full size dvd player including; play, fast forward, reverse, skip, stop, pause, menu, cursor, repeat and return. The volume controls are on the side along with dual headphone and AV sockets. This means they are accessible when the screen opened flat like a tablet player, but the main buttons are obscured. The player is a comfortable size for transporting in a bag, as it folds flat and is roughly the size of a netbook and weighs approximately 1kg (including battery).
My partner Claire & I took the player with us on holiday to Italy in January, the coach transfer was 3 hours and we played a dvd, the winter sun was quite strong but it was a simple task to adjust the brightness/contrast using the onscreen menu. It was a chance to try the dual headphone sockets so we didn't disturb any other passengers. The quality was very good, this was a little surprising as I found the built in speakers slightly tinny when the volume was turned up past mid-range.
The player also has an easy to fit car mount for head rests and AC adaptor for in car charging.
Overall I have been very happy with the Panasonic LS83, the quality of picture and sound is excellent, operation is simple and the features are excellent for such a compact player. I would recommend this model or any of the subsequent newer models. There are cheaper portable players available but I do not believe they will be able to compete with the quaility of the Panasonic LS83.
Review of Panasonic DVD-LS83 portable DVD player.
This is a portable DVD player made by Panasonic. The DVD player comes with an 8.5 " diagonal wide screen LCD screen. It is a multi format playback model which will support all kinds of DVDs, CD, DVD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+R, J-PEG, DVD+RW and DVD-RAM. It is made of sturdy black plastic and come complete with all leads, cables, headrest mounting brackets and basic accessories.
These DVD players are designed for use on the move, with no need to be connected to a full size television. The unit operates from a rechargeable battery, this can be charged from the mains or from 12v. The battery pack is supplied and although it was a little fiddly to install when we first set the DVD player up, now we have the 'knack' of slotting it into place, there is no problem.
We purchased ours to use on our narrow boat as it can be operated from a 12v electrical system, which is of course what boats are fitted with! There are many cheaper versions of portable DVD player on the market, but we chose the Panasonic LS83 as my partner is hearing impaired and the sound quality on some models is unsuitable. We have a Panasonic television and stereo system at home and he finds that the audio quality of these is ideal.
We paid £129.99 for the machine from Comet in Weston Favell, Northamptonshire. This was a Spring special offer, the usual price from Comet is £149.99.
I am a bit technophobic so please forgive me if this part of the review is missing something vital!
The DVD player has a 6 hour playback ratio from a fully charged battery, with brightness set to lowest level and use of headphones. Without headphones and with altered brightness this is of course reduced, however not significantly. We have found 4.5-5 hour playback to be the norm.
Playback and visual
The playback menu features everything you would find on a standard sized DVD player, play, pause, skip, stop, language menus and so on. The control buttons for all functions are either on the top of the machine or the side.
The LCD screen can be set to normal or wide-screen mode and can be tilted to suit viewing positions. The LCD screen can be adjusted for brightness and colour. Obviously if used in a car or motor vehicle, the screen should be situated so that the driver is not distracted.
The audio quality of the DVD player is very good, the player has four settings, SP 1 natural, SP2 enhanced (speakers) and HP 1 natural and HP2 enhanced for listening via headphones. The sound is via a Dolby Digital system and includes a dialogue enhancer, bass enhancer and advanced sound surround. There are two headphone sockets situated on the side of the unit.
I must admit that we have not actually used all the various settings, having found one which suits my partner's hearing levels, we have stuck with that!
The player has the facility to be used as an FM transmitter, meaning that you can listen to CDs through your FM car radio channel by transmitting signals from the DVD player. This is totally beyond me and I will make no attempt to describe this function to readers as the handbook makes me none the wiser on the subject! Suffice to say, you could do this if you wished!
The DVD player is a compact size, being no larger than a standard hard backed book when closed. For those who like such data, the actual dimensions are as follows, 242mm wide x 46mm high x 173mm deep. It is light enough to transport with ease, the total weight is approximately 1000g including the battery.
The unit is operated from the rechargeable Lithium ion 7.2 v battery, mains power or from a 12v adaptor.
Recharging takes between 4 and 7 hours depending on the recharge method used.
The Panasonic LS83 is i-pod compatible and can be used with other electrical equipment for example a television set, and the relevant cables are supplied with the unit.
Over all the DVD player is easy to operate and I particularly like the fact that all the controls are in what I deem to be logical order. In my opinion there is nothing worse than having to get the handbook out to discover the location of the volume control!
What was in the box
The DVD player (Obviously!)
Rechargeable Battery unit
12 month Guarantee document
AC mains lead
Car DC adapter
Headrest mounting bracket and fixings
Cable for i pod
Competition card to win Panasonic products.
Pricing, availability and manufacturer
We paid £129.99 from Comet. This model is also available from www.amazon.co.uk for around £149.99.
Made in China for Panasonic.
Panasonic contact info:-
Customer careline 0844 844 3852
My thoughts and conclusion
It makes a bit of a change to be writing a review about something costing over £100, lately most of my reviews have been about bargain buys!
This portable DVD player is not the cheapest on the market, there are many other for £40 upwards, but as explained at the beginning if the review, my partner has hearing difficulties and he knows that Panasonic products suit him, hence the purchase.
The DVD player is sturdy and versatile, it can be charged via 12v which is an absolute necessity for us living on board a boat with no access to mains power!
If you require a portable DVD player which is durable, has excellent audio and visual qualities, I would recommend this model.
Thank you for reading
© brittle1906 April 2009
Also on ciao.co.uk under same name.