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

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