I'm not a techy person, so knew very little about DVD players except that you put a disk that looks like a CD in a machine that looks like a CD player. And to be honest that's just about the level at which my knowledge still is. However from the non-technical point of view I can say what I have found useful and pointless for my average-non-techy-person needs. I have a Toshiba SD-3109 which has a 'Dual Disk System', i.e. two DVD drawers. Ideal for a serious movie night, so you don't have to get up at the end of every film, but maybe a little too lazy... At any other time the dual system causes a problem, because there are two disks in the machine. It automatically plays one of them seemingly at random and then when you realise it's the other one you wanted, it takes ages to switch. The same if you want to take one of them out, you're bound to open the wrong drawer first. Otherwise this machine seems quite good it has lots of symbols on it, some of which I recognise, others I still have no idea, but then I'm quite happy with my DVD experience and probably don't have the necessary sound equipment to make use of them anyhow. So here is the list of it's functions: DTS digital out, compact disc digital video, Spatializer N.2.2, dolby digital and HDCD. This player can be used to play normal music CDs if hooked up to an amp and is a pretty gold colour (!!). The remote is stupidly huge and could quite possibly knock someone out if it fell on his or her head. What worries me though is if one day the remote dies, then I won't be able to use any of the functions, because there is an absolute minimum of buttons on the machine itself. I apologise if you are a techy person and are insulted by my lack of understanding. I would recommend this player, but only if you have a good memory to remember which disk is where!
The 3109 is one of the first DVD players on the market to caddy two discs. It has great looks, an internal 5.1decoder, DTS out, N-2-2 spatializer and all those little unused gadgets like display dimmer, 3X zoom, slow motion, memory function and much much more. So Gadgets apart, what is this box really like? Well, at first the two functions that hit you are "hey it caddies two discs" & "5.1 internal decoder, not bad". Well, the dual disc caddy... the answer there is, if you haven't had one, your not going to miss it. But don't be fooled into thinking that it is a gadget that is a waste of money and time. It is surprisingly handy, and the longer you use the machine, the more you find yourself using it. I could list a myriad of situations that I, and other people that own or test this machine have found themselves using. But lets face it you could argue against all of them. The fact of the matter is, if you have it you will use and find yourself congratulating yourself on buying such a system. But at the end of the day no one in their right minds would by a quality DVD player based upon a gadget. This is where the technical functions of the machine come into their own. An internal 5.1 decoder is a damn good start. Optical outs are a serious consideration. When you buy a DVD player, highest on most peoples agenda is top quality sound and top quality visual. Every thing else normally comes later (such as the dual caddy!!) When you start reviewing the technical specifications and tests completed on this machine you realise that you really are dealing with a quality player. Sound is well separated with good depth and range while the picture can absolutely stun. The digital DVD "Bugs life" is a good example of how vivid the image can impress. Menu functions are in the form of a windows drop down menu, which are both well presented and easy to use. The only improvement that this review would point out is that
the chapter skip and FF / REW button is the same on the remote control. It is differentiated by the time the button is depressed. This can really be a pain if you don't hold down the button for long enough and find yourself a chapter forward. This one point for improvement seems to have been addressed in the UK released version, along with a jog / shuttle control and the obligatory SCART socket. In conclusion the Toshiba 3109 is a very good technically based piece of equipment with enough useful gadgets to keep your guest amused.
This is one of the best dvd players on the market, due to its features, style and all for a resonable price! The sd3109 is jam- packed with features such as its built in dolby 5.1 decoder (which means no need for an external decoder), its simultaneous playback of s-video and composite and the fact that the player can be modified to play back all regions. All this for a really fair price! The only disadvantage is it costs a fair bit to modify, but if your happy with region 2, thats fine. This has got to be one of the best players on the market, so dont just stand there, go BUY IT!