anybody own a DVD player?

I/m thinking about buying one now that the ptrices are sub $300 for some of them. Do you think it is worth it? Is the difference between these and VHS noticeable? Do they all show in a letterbox format?


I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

If I’m not wrong, there was a recent thread about this…

In a nutshell, If you appreciate good quality sound and video, then buy one. If you just casually watch movies and aren’t picky, wait for the price to drop some more.

here’s a couple of older threads:

http://boards.straightdope.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/002967.html

http://boards.straightdope.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/005492.html

With the risk of repeating data in another thread i respond:

As was mentioned if you’re looking for the best sound and video they’re great. especially if you have a good TV and a surround sound stereo system.

Not all players have the same features. You should look at the payer carfully to make sure it has all the features you want… some play letterbox, some have polymorhpic letterbox (thich mean the aspect ratio is computed based on the screen size and the image size).

Overall investigate carefully to make sure you get what you want.


Voted Biggest Smartass by all you beautiful people!


You always use violence. I should’ve ordered glutinous rice chicken.

You talkin’ about anamorphic widescreen, BMU? If so, every DVD player should have the capability for it, since as I recall anamorphic widescreen is part of the DVD hardware standard. That doesn’t mean, however, that every widescreen movie is anamorphic…

I’m simplifying, but the idea behind anamorphic widescreen is to give optimal picture clarity to owners of widescreen displays (TVs with a 16:9 width-to-height ratio, as opposed to modern 4:3 displays. When HDTV becomes the norm, we’ll all have widescreen displays). The movie is recorded on the disc at a resolution that, to owners of regular TVs, would look “stretched”. To make the image appear normal on a 4:3 TV, every fourth line is removed, eliminating the “stretch”.

Owners of widescreen displays, when viewing a letterboxed movie, have to do a sort of “zoom” to make the image fill their screen. Without those extra lines, the zoomed image can look a bit blocky. With them, everything’s nice and smooth.

But, like I say, I’m oversimplifying. Check out this article for better info.

As far as DVD players go: Hell yeah, they’re worth getting! The picture is nicer, the sound is much much better, you can jump straight to your favorite point without fast-forwarding or rewinding, you can fit over 6 hours of video and sound onto one disc (with DVD-18), you get nifty extras like trailers, deleted scenes, games, commentary tracks…not to mention that they don’t wear out like videotapes. And, you can rent DVDs by mail from Netflix.

No, the movies are not all in letterbox format, but letterbox is generally preferred, and for very good reason. With letterboxing, you get the full width of the theatrical screen; you see the movies exactly as the director intended you to see it. On movies that have been “altered to fit your screen”, some yahoo had to edit a new version by sliding a window across the full width of the display, cutting off significant portions of the action. I can’t stand watching movies in pan-and-scan anymore; I’ve come to notice when the movie’s been edited for the small screen, and I find it distracting.

Go buy one. They’re nifty.

I bought one recently, that I saw described at a site that MaxTorque had mentioned (thank you MaxTorque!)

My main jusitification was that the discs hold up well under multiple viewings, and you can jump to any section of a movie very quickly. (Think of all the advantages of CD’s over cassette tapes.) Also the extra features are sometimes well worth having (biographies of the actors, theatrical trailers, director commentary, etc…)

Of course, if you have a fancy new television and sound system, you will notice many more advantages.

I went to the store to look at DVD. THey showed it to me on their tv. I wasn’t impressed so I didn’t buy another piece of technology I probably wouldn’t have much use for.

Be sure you have a store that rents dvds before you get one.

Also, our local video store rents themso you might try that angle first to see if you really like them.

Anyone know anything about the player from Apex? The one that not only plays dvds, but mp3 cds? All for around $180? I’m thinking about buying one, but I’ve never heard of this company before. Not to mention the old adage ‘You get what you pay for.’ $180? Does this mean it’ll be broken next year?


Fippo-

Through our bleeding/We are one

Also DVD’s come in multilingual. Which is nice if you aren’t into english.

Only thing I don’t like about them is you can’t record.

Fipp:

Go to DVD Resource and scroll down…the site manager bought and tried out an Apex player recently. While it wasn’t reference quality, you sure get a lot of features for $180.

Also, wasn’t the Apex the player you bought, Arnold?

I adore DVD. Another nice thing is crystal clear still screens. So if something flashes on the screen you can freeze it and see what that book’s title was, read that note, look at faces in a crowd, etc.

We have a DVD player, our PC has a DVD Rom, and so does my laptop. DVD rules :slight_smile:

Also, a dvd disk can’t get “eaten” or stretched, doesn’t need to be rewound, etc.



From an actual catalog: “Disco balls create an enchanting, dazzling effect of light shafts, adding movement and glamour to any occasion”
the Abrams’ bris was certainly memorable
O p a l C a t
www.opalcat.com

Netflix is interesting. Get this, all the dvds you want for as long as you want them for $20/month.

I saw a DVD burner in a Fry’s ad a few months ago, and it wasn’t too bad (I believe it was about $299). But it didn’t have the software to decode a DVD movie, and I don’t think that it will ever be availiable.

Yup, MaxTorque, I did buy the Apex.

fippo, I’m very happy with it.

The reason I chose it is because I wanted to be able to play Zone 2 DVDs. I have successfully tried it out with Zone 1 (USA, NTSC) DVDs and Zone 2 (European, PAL format) DVDs and it worked for both. However, to get it to work, I had to find out about a “secret menu” that the kind folks at the The Laser Exchange told me about (MaxTorque is the one that gave me the link to The Laser Exchange.) I bought my APEX AD 600-A at Circuit City (US$190), and of course the salespeople at Circuit City didn’t know anything about its features, and, get this, when I called the manufacturer they told me the player wouldn’t play back Zone 2 DVDs. But it does!

I haven’t tried out the other features, e.g. karaoke, MP3, etc…

It’s hooked up to a regular old television, with no fancy sound system (using the TV speaker), so I can’t vouch for the excellence of its sound, but I’m happy with it.

Actually, there’s a program out there called DeCSS which will crack your dvd’s region code. It’s legality is being heavily debated, though.

I also just found out that the MPAA is considering taking action against the Apex player due to it’s ability to play any dvd movie. I think I should step on it before they go black market only!


Fippo-

Through our bleeding/We are one

I got a GE DVD player in December for $180 and the best things are noise-free picture and great sound. The letterbox format looks small on my TV (27") and I have to move closer to the screen to get all the detail. If you have a projection TV, all the better.
Check out your local library for DVD movies. Mine has a whole rack of several hundred that they checkout for free for a week plus the latest releases at 3 days for a buck. LOTS cheaper that the video rental shop.


“Everybody smokes in hell”

circuitcity.com? It has:

             This is the DVD player the whole Internet has been
             talking about because the AD600A also plays back
             MP3 files on the CD-R's you've made AND lets you
             sing along with the built in karaoke function! Hook up
             your home theatre now because this player has Digital
             Coax Output, S-Video and Component Output. Get
             yours now while supplies last!

What do you think?