Product Type: Samsung DVD players
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Best of the budgets
Samsung DVD 709
Member Name: GroundZero
Samsung DVD 709
Date: 04/10/00, updated on 22/10/00 (802 review reads)
Advantages: Multi-region hack, macrovision disable lets you play it on old TVs
Disadvantages: None really
I had already been introduced to the joys of DVD through owning a DVD-ROM drive on my PC, but really wanted to get a DVD player so I could watch films on a normal TV. Unfortunately the TVs I have available to me are a bit on the old side (verging on ancient in some cases!), without the required sockets.
The solution to this was to get a Samsung 709, which can be hooked up to an old TV through a VCR. Granted, the quality won't be as impressive, but I couldn't afford a new TV as well.
The Samsung is one of the few players that you can do this with, because you need to be able to disable the Macrovision (a feature that aims to stop people recording DVDs on to VHS). Most players won't let you do this, but the 709 can be set up to disable it by using a multi-region hack. This has the added attraction of allowing you to watch Region 1 discs from the States.
The quality of playback is impressive, with a number of nice features like a zoom function and a facility to step to the next frame. Yes, these may be fairly standard on DVD players (I don't know) but they're still nice for someone more used to videos.
The build quality of the player seems more impressive than some of the other budget models I looked at (for example the Proline), and overall it does seem to be a good quality bit of kit. At a price of £159 (from letsbuyit.com), this seemed an ideal budget player, and it has turned out to be superb so far. I have not had any problems with any discs, as you always hear stories about particular problem DVDs.
I have seen a number of reviews of this player complain about the remote control, but I personally like it. It has a small joystick contol for selection of menu items, which works well.
For such a modest price, this player cannot be recommended highly enough. As an introduction to the world of DVD it is perfect.