Product Type: Samsung DVD players
Newest Review: ... based on online reviews and the price. The main reason this DVD player was selected was for the fact that this DVD can play HD DVD's. Th... more
What is it?
Samsung DVD F1080
Member Name: RunnyHunnyBee
Samsung DVD F1080
Advantages: Excellent picture quality, sleek & modern, compact size
Disadvantages: Annoying beep, slow response in menu functions
~~~ What it looks like ~~~
This DVD player is definitely the most stylish I have seen. With its black gloss finish and unique rounded 'pebble' design, it looks more like a large CD walkman than a DVD player. The ultra thin disc tray is hidden within a chrome effect groove on the front, and the touch-sensitive buttons on the top help to keep the player sleek and modern. There is no digital display present on this model, but all necessary info can be displayed on the TV screen as and when required. It is smaller than most, at 5cm x 24cm x 24cm, and while it may be too tall to sit between the telly and stand, it is compact enough to sit alongside my PS3 on the middle shelf of a standard sized TV stand. It perfectly matches both the black glass of the stand and the glossy finish of the (older version) PS3, and due to its unusual design, continues to draw attention to itself, with visitors often questioning its identity/function.
~~~ What's in the box? ~~~
The DVD player comes with a video/audio cable, separate AC IN cable, a particularly small remote control complete with necessary battery, and a 35-page user manual. I had to buy the HDMI cable separately in order to get the best from the player. It is possible to connect it up using the video/audio cable supplied, but you would just get a normal picture rather than making use of the upscaling capability of the player.
~~~ Performance ~~~
I was intrigued by the fact that this wasn't simply a basic DVD player, but an upscaling one. I was told that as long as it is connected to an HD ready TV it would improve the picture quality of normal DVDs, upscaling them to 720p, 1080i or 1080p. I had already tried Blu-ray discs through my PS3 and been amazed by the picture, and I soon learnt that this player was capable of transforming my normal DVDs to a very similar quality.
I had been working my way through the entire collection of the TV series 'Lost' on DVD when I first used this player. The first time I put a disc in, I instantly noticed the improvement in picture colour, particularly in the luscious green tones of the vegetation on the island, and the vibrant turquoise waters. There was notable improvement in picture quality also; I compared it with the picture quality when played through my PS3, and the F1080 provides a much sharper picture with crystal clear detail and far less picture noise.
The remote control was a bit of a let down, as it doesn't look as if it goes with the DVD player at all. Granted it is very small, just like the player, but it's also very square and boring looking. However, as my telly is also made by Samsung, I am able to take advantage of the Anynet+ function, meaning that my TV remote will also control the DVD player.
To control the player without using the remote, you simply rest your fingertip on the appropriate button on the top. Well actually, they are raised touch-sensitive symbols rather than buttons. Quite annoyingly, the player lets out a fairly high pitched beep whenever you use one of these, and it isn't a modern mobile phone type of beep either. It's a boring, loud, old-fashioned kind of beep. It also makes this sound when you press the standby button on the remote.
The menu function is all very idiot-proof, and provides all the usual adjustable settings such as aspect ratio, bookmark, zoom, and camera angle.
Unfortunately, the menu is quite sluggish. It is so slow to react to the remote, that I find it very irritating, as I often scroll too far thinking that it just hasn't responded, whereas there is actually just a delay of about half a second.
I find the search speeds (2x, 4x, 64x, and 128x) to be a bit too far apart, leaving you with the choice of either a painstakingly slow search, or one that takes you too far into the film. I would have liked at least the extra choice of 32x, which I think I have always had in the past.
Playback is very quiet, with the occasional little inevitable squeak during search and skip functions, but no constant whirring sound I have experienced with other players.
You are able to play a scene in slow motion by pausing and then fast-forwarding whilst it is paused, and you can choose between 1/8, 1/4, and 1/2 of normal speed, which is very useful if you want to study particular scenes more closely.
~~~ Overall opinion ~~~
Annoyingly, the newer version (Samsung H1080) is available in Rose-Black, which would match my TV perfectly. This newer model does look slightly better than the F1080 as it is more rounded, and has lost a couple of buttons on the top, but as far as I can tell, the only improvement this model brings in terms of function is the addition of a USB port. I have one on my TV, so I don't feel any urgent need to upgrade just yet.
I have had the player for a year and a half now, and am still very happy with it. I was given it for free, but at the time, it would have cost around £70, but I believe it is now available on Amazon for £35. To me, this is a really good bargain, due to the amazing picture quality it provides. A few minor irritations such as the slow menu response, the loud beep, and the lack of a mid-way search speed mean that I couldn't quite award it five stars, but the overall quality of playback and it's stunning good looks make it a very welcome freebie.
Summary: Good looking, clever little gadget
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