Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Philips 10.2" Portable DVD Player PET1030

- $230 from Circuit City. It's one of the cheaper name brand 10.2" portable dvd players out there.
- I have several philips home dvd players and always liked how compatible they were with different kinds of dvd+/-R media and divx/xvid videos. This portable player is no different.
- nice slim remote (but no power button on it????)
- swivel into tablet mode. Great when you have little space. This is also the mode used for the headrest mount. It comes with a bracket that bolts around the two headrest posts. Then there is a screw in bolt on the back of the dvd player. It works ok but it ends up really close to your face (depending on how far back the front seat is). In the end we didn't really use the car mount much but it's a nice accessory that is included right in the box. Also included is the car power adapter.
- I had no problems playing divx/xvid, mp3's, and jpeg. You just browse directory with long filename support!
- There is your usual set of composite in/out, svideo, and only ONE headphone jack (but you can buy a splitter).
- NO OSD to show time elapsed/remaining.
- Shows the chapter number for a few seconds on the screen when you start a new chapter. So if you are watching a movie you'll see the chapter number every few minutes. It's quite annoying and I haven't figured out a way to turn that off (though I haven't tried really hard either).
- Chapter jump and scan are the same buttons (hold vs tap). I wish they had separate buttons.
- Great looking screen for the most part. Some back light uniformity issues.
- Built in speakers are good and loud.
- Resume is either lacking or not working so well.
- Built in SD card slot which worked fine. You can even stick a divx file on there and it will play just fine.
- Now on to my favorite feature. It has a USB port. Stick in any usb key drive with compatible media files and it plays them just fine. Even better I connected a 2.5" laptop hard drive in an external enclosure and it worked just fine! This is truly one of the most unique features about this player.
- Finally, my biggest complaint: NO USER REPLACEABLE BATTERY. There are a few screws on the bottom so maybe you can crack it open but I didn't try. WHY WHY WHY do manufacturers continue to do this!!???!!! LAZY ENGINEERS!! This was nearly a deal killer, and I almost returned it for this very reason.

In the end I decided to keep it. You just have to accept that this is a disposable $230 piece of electronics. It's too bad b/c I liked almost everything else about this player especially that usb port. Sure you can always use it in the car and such with the power adapter even after the battery is dead in 5 yrs but it won't be truly portable then.

UPDATE: 2/6/08
I finally got around to flashing the latest firmware and it fixed the chapter display issue. Thanks KK for the comment!

UPDATE: 3/24/08
region hack


Anonymous said...

Hey ARogan, nice blog about this PET1030. I just got one from CC too. Trying to hookup my new SimpleTech 160GB external drive with no success. What capcity was your 2.5" hard disk? I'm working it's a sizing issue.

By the way, there is fix for the annoying chapter issue. Download fix here


ARogan said...

Thanks for the tip! My 2.5" hard drive was probably 30-40gb. Make sure it's formatted to fat32. I bet that 160gb you have is NTFS which the PET1030 can't read. You might want to look at h2format. more info here:

Anonymous said...

ARogan, FAT32 did the trick. The manual says "The USB plug-in storage only support Mass Storage (MSC) device. It does not support support Hard Disk USB storage
device..." which is no longer the case. Thanks for your directions about h2format. Using this tool was easy as 123. For those can't read German, use Google Translate.

Happy Watching!


Anonymous said...

Thanks For the info on the Philips, I was concerned about the battery life as well. Do you know if someone sells a universal external battery that you can plug into the A/C jack once the internal battery dies? If they had something I could purchase like that, I would have more peace of mind buying this product. I appreciate the links to the fixes as well, if I chose to get this player those will come in handy.

Julius said...

I just got a PET1030 and also a 16gb SD card class 6. The sd card works fine on all my computers, but the PET1030 says "No Card". Any suggestions? It's fat32 formatet..

ARogan said...

Julius, My guess would be the pet1030 doesn't support SDHC (only regular SD) which means maximum capacity would be 4gb. You have to be careful and make sure you buy a NON HC 4 gb sd card. Maybe something like this:
Though I haven't tested it so I can't guarantee it will work.

Jamie said...

Hi - sorry to bring this back from the dead (the wonders of Google,eh?)...
I've got a philips pet712 in car dvd player, similar to yours but which come with crappy headrest mounts.
I want to make a better mounting system, but I can't figure out what type of screw hole is on the back of the screens - I assumed it was a M6 machine screw, but it appears not.
Any ideas?

Julian said...

Hi - I have bought one of these off ebay and am disappointed that my 8gb SD card won't work. I thought SD was nly up to 2gb and 4gb was the start of SDHC. Really disappointed. This means I can fit only 2 movies onto a card for the kids in teh car. I tried putting the 8gb card into a USB card reader so it would appear as USB not card but this didn't solve the problem. I may have to get an external drive but this is another thing that hangs out the side and has to be connected etc - I just wanted to put all my movies onto 1 card, leave it in there. Oh well. I'll have a look at the firmware updat e- thanks for this.


If you are looking for an upconvert DVD player to play many file formats with easy with an impressive user interface then this is the player for you. HDMI cables are included as well. I upgraded to the 15ft cable for an extra 30 dollars and still received the free 6ft HDMI cable that it comes with. I would recommend this player to anyone that is looking to upconvert their dvds to get great visual quality. Movies I have seen millions of times look brand new to me and I have noticed things in the background for the first time.