I am often to be found awake in the wee small hours with my nocturnal 2 year old. Even when I manage to get the little prince back to sleep I sometimes find it hard to return to my dreams! Television in the small hours is not too great, unless you want to learn Spanish (too demanding for my brain at that time of the morning)! Fans of the Trisha show would be all right too but my viewing needs were just not being catered for. We have numerous D.V.D s which I am yet to get round to seeing, so the obvious answer for me was to get a D.V.D player to go in my bedroom. My husband has usually stomped off to the spare room, so this would mean I could watch what I liked-bliss! I didn?t want to spend too much as we are a bit strapped for cash at the moment. I looked on the Internet and found a yamada 5500 priced at only £34.00. I thought this sounded like a real bargain. The price included free delivery too! So with just a few clicks I waited with anticipation for the parcel to arrive, which only took a few days. Well that was several months ago now, so I feel able to review this great piece of kit, albeit in my usual techno phobic way! What you get for your money. The actual player itself is small and sleek to look at. Its silver colour makes it look very stylish. There are few buttons on the actual machine as there is a remote control, which operates the controls and means I don?t have to get out of bed! The most important feature for me is that this player is multi-region. This means that you can play DVD?s from anywhere in the world and as we travel to the states on a fairly regular basis I will be able to buy cheaper D.V.D ?s. Most models available on the high street only play 1 region. I think this is to ensure that you can only buy expensive DVD?s from this country. The player is mp3 compatible, which means you, can play tracks burnt onto a C.D from your computer, in addition to any other C.D?s you choose. The player has
Dolby digital 5.1 sound output. You do need to connect to a surround amplifier or T.V with an optical digital audio lead for this though. Mine is simply connected to my Panasonic T.V and I find the sound very adequate for my needs. It is possible to clear subtitles from a film if you wish, this is a features I really value! All functions can be operated by using the remote control. I love the fact that the buttons are illuminated making it easy to use in the dark. All the usual functions of most DVD players can be performed by this model, such as search, pause, stop.eject etc. It is possible to enlarge the picture too with the zoom facility. The player can play Kodak picture C.D?s. This is a great facility for me as our computer is in demand and I can always view by pictures on my private T.V screen! When the picture C.D is loaded into the D.VD player you get an automatic slide show. The pictures can be paused at any time. So if you decide to buy one of these players, remember to tick the C.D bow when you get your films developed! There is no scart lead supplied with this player, but that really was my only moan and considering the price I?m not too worried. An instruction manual is supplied which was easy to follow and gave all the information needed to set up and operate the player. The Verdict I am very happy with this D.V.D player. It has excellent picture quality and the sound is clear. I love being able to buy DVD?s from anywhere in the world to watch and so far it has played them with no problems. Multi-region DVD players are not so easy to come by for the reasons I have stated. Richer Sounds also sell these players and rate them highly. I think for the money you would be hard pressed to find such a good all round model. Yamada is manufactured by umax and has branches in Europe (Germany) and Asia) Taiwan)
I bought a 6100 from amazon.co.uk for £79.99 after being recommended by some online forum readers. It has all the features of a standard DVD with IR remote control, digital output in Dolby 5.1 surround, stereo output and RGB. Scart connection only. It plays formats MP3, MPG, MPEG, AVI and is comaptible with Kodak picture discs and jpg files viewer. It will not play .mov, .asf or .ram. If you are wondering what is different about this DVD player than others, well here it is in a nutshell. DVD are an MPEG4 format digital video. MPEG4 is a high quality digital output you watch on standard DVD's you buy or rent. The problem with MPEG4 is the file sizes can run into gigabytes in size (4 to 5GB). Not a problem when it is on a disc. If you want to download the file from the Internet, it can take several hours even on a high speed broadband connection. On a modem, forget it! It is possible to 'rip' the DVD to an avi video file using a codec (compressor/decompressor). DivX is a codec used for this purpose. The advantage of this is the file squeezes down to an average of 650-800Mb. Much smaller than the MPEG4 format of comparable video quality, and a downloadable size from the Internet. Problem is, you could only watch avi format files on cmputers with the correct codec installed (Divx-3.11-alpha). Up until now, you could convert the avi file back into MPEG4 format and burn to a DVD-R using a DVD writer to play on a standard DVD player. The problem here is that most conversion software of quality is very expensive and it can take 4 hours or more to do on a high spec computer. Plus it is fraught with problems and takes a lot of knowledge of different formats such as NTSC/PAL and frame rates. To cut a long story short, you could end up with a DVD where the sound doesn't match the film or is out of sync or wont play at all. You can buy software that can convert your video camera output to MPEG to put onto DVD, however
this seldom works to convert a downloaded file to a DVD format. With the Yamada DVX player, you can put the avi directly onto a CDR/CDRW/DVDR and play on the DVD player without having to convert back to MPEG4. You can also put more than one video file on the disc. The player has an in-built 'file browser' so you can select which file to play. In other words, this player lets you download DIVX (avi) files from the Internet and play them directly on the DVD player as well as VCD (MPEG2) in any format NTSC or PAL. Although this is an excellent idea, it does encourage piracy of films from the internet. I am not condoning this in any way with this review.