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Just did a search for my beloved Philips DVP520 and I can't believe its on here. I have had my Philips for around 7 years and I love it so much I was eager to review it for you.
As mentioned my Phillips is 7 years old so i think you can only buy them second hand or re-conditioned now, but if you fancy a reliable slimline DVD player then keep your eyes peeled for one of these. At the time the player did set me back over £100 as it was one of the most top of the range and DVD players were still in the early years, and as I was paying the good sum out I wanted a stylish one that I knew would last me, and Philips has such a good name.
I initially saw this player for its design. Its a stylish slimline DVD player, that's still compact even for nowadays standards! At just 36 cm wide by 28 depth and a tiny 4 cm height. I know you can now buy players smaller than this but I am still impressed on how shallow it is. It also only weighs just over 2 1/2 kilo's so its pretty light.
The player has a stainless steels looking case, with a slim black digital display and a sliding tray DVD loader. The DVP520 will play DVD, DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD, CD-R and CD-RW! That pretty much covers every disc type you can get.
It has one scart socket at the back, and was pre-HDMI leads so that's all you can expect. It plays your disc in a sharp picture, and loads them quickly.
The DVD player is so easy to set up, you literally plug in and go, and the easy to navigate remote makes the player a simple DVD player to use. The Menu's and Settings are child's play to get into and set.
The main reason I love the DVD player so much is its reliability. As mentioned mine is 7 years old and has never let me down once. And even though it is old, it looks a stylish and modern as the modern ones you can buy now!
Up until recently, I managed to go without buying a DVD player as each flatmate I have had has always come with one of these gizmos. However, now that I dont have one (I dont smell, honest!), I started to look around for a DVD player to accommodate my 300+ collection.
So, after deciding my criteria and ruling out a DVD recorder, I set about looking. Basically, I was looking to pay up to about £60 and would prefer it to be a quality brand that was small, sleek and good looking and it would need to have the ability to play MP3 and jpeg CDs.
Enter the Philips DVP520. Comfortably filling all of the above criteria, I was pleased to find it in my local ASDA for the rather good price of £49.99. So, I hurriedly bought the player and headed home to play with my new toy.
As I said, it fitted my looks requirement rather well. Measuring 360x43x285 and finished in silver with an integrated silver and black facia, it really is a smart looking machine. I wouldnt quite agree with the quote on the box that it fits everywhere, goes anywhere however I doubt people will have much trouble fitting it into a standard entertainment unit.
Setting it up is simple as pie. All you really need to do is take it out of the box, plug a scart lead into it and the TV (or VCR if you prefer) then plug it into the power socket and voila, you are up and running.
As I said, I needed it to play MP3 and jpeg CDs and it full fills this role admirably. The whole list of formats it can play are DVD, DVD+R, DVD+RW, VCD, SVCD, CD, MP3-CD, CD-R, CD-RW and JPEG-CD. Having looked around at other players, this is actually one of the most comprehensive lists you will find on any player in this price bracket and to be honest, I cant really think of any other type of format the average DVD player buyer would want. A handy feature that it utilises when playing other formats is that it uses Video Upsampling which I am lead to believe is some kind of technical wizardry that cuts out what is known as mosquito noise and I have found that it playing things like MP3s to play with no problems and pretty good quality.
Playing DVDs themselves, the picture quality is excellent and the sound quality is generally top notch. However, I do have quite a good TV set and I would think that the quality aspect here may have a bearing on it.
Not so good things
The first thing that bugged me about it was that it doesnt come with a scart cable. Now these things can cost as little at £2 (the one I bought in ASDA did anyway) so I really dont think that its going to eat into their profits TOO much to include that. Personally I think that manufacturers should be forced to include this as why should someone have to buy something that essential to the running of the machine separately?
Due to the sleek design, you have no choice but to use the remote control for everything other than the power and eject function. This for me is rather annoying as sometimes I may be looking for a specific episode on a boxset of something and will be flicking though many different DVDs. I would rather be able to use the buttons on the player when doing this. Also, the remote doesnt actually have an eject button. Again, this is a minor annoyance but when I am looking to change a DVD I would prefer to be able to open the drawer so that it is ready and waiting for me getting from the couch to the player.
The remote otherwise is simple and effective although I do find that the buttons are maybe a bit small. They are also all the same size and shape so you really do have to look down at the remote each time you press so that you hit the right button.
The display on the player is a bit bright for me. While it is simple and effective, I cant help but notice it out of the corner of my eye when a film is playing. In my house it sits behind a frosted glass door but if I shut it I can still see it, though not as bad. I would have liked an option to adjust the brightness of it to be honest.
Other than that, I am very happy with it. It does all the standard DVD player tricks, i.e. skip, fast-forward/rewind, zoom etc and so far, has been a nice addition to my living room. It is to my mind, very good value for money and is simple and straightforward to use. In rating, I have decided to give it 4 stars out of 5 because of the little niggles that I have, however it deserves 4 as it is very good value.
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