Recommended: $70 Philips DVP642 DVD/DIVX/MP3/etc. player

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by David Chien, May 5, 2004.

  1. David Chien

    David Chien Guest

    Summary and review of a unit available at Walmart and elsewhere ver 0113
    firmware. Good unit for testing DVD & DIVX format productions before
    release.

    http://www.consumer.philips.com/glo...A&subCatId=DVD_PLAYERS_SU&productId=DVP642_17

    The Philips DVP642 can be had for about $70 (see Walmart, Compusa, etc.).

    The advantage of this player vs. other DVD players:
    1) DIVX 3-5 support!
    2) MPEG-4 support.
    3) JPEG CD support.
    4) MP3 CD support.
    5) Playback of MPEG/AVI files on CD/DVD directly.
    6) Region-free (open tray press 7 8 9 OK 0 close tray) - verfied, works!
    7) Can be hooked up through VCR to TV if you've got an old TV with only
    RF inputs. Video through both Svideo & RCA jacks come through clear and
    clean, and there's no problems doing it this way to avoid an extra RF
    converter box for just the DVD player.

    Plays most discs w/o any problems at all, and it's a stellar performer
    on DIVX movies. VCD quality is slightly worse (blockier) than the Apex
    AD-3201, so something to consider if you have lots of VCDs. Everything
    else simply works well, and nothing to complain about on this nice DVD
    player.

    ---

    DIVX Playback is excellent for most movies you can get today, esp. the
    recent DIVX 5 version encodings. Smooth playback, audio is in-sync the
    entire movie, no significant blocky problems on 'well-encoded' DIVX
    movies ( you will see some in low bitrate DIVX movies, esp. those in
    version 3,4 but none in the recent ver. 5 encodings done properly ), and
    plays just about everything you toss at it that was created 'standard'.

    Only hiccup? DIVX movies with non-standard audio tracks encoding
    formats which simply result in no-audio-playbacks. This problem is rare
    and not usually seen in the majority of DIVX movies out today.

    FF/RW works decent, though not the same as on a VCR. The video skips
    past lots of frames, displays the next point for a moment, then jumps
    ahead again in FF/RW mode -- very similar to other DVD players. (VCRs
    simply let you see all the frames, but everything moves faster w/o
    jumping ahead.) Still, no problems here trying to find a spot. Only 8x
    max, but sufficient for most -- and the time jump is for any other time.

    Time jump works well and fast. Simply press 'display' then enter a time
    code, press ok, and poof! in less than a second no matter where in the
    DIVX movie, y ou're there! Very, very nice and done right!!! (unlike
    other, slower players which take many seconds to jump by timecode
    through a DIVX movie)

    Basically, the video looks smooth, plays back fine, no glaring problems
    of note, and just like any other DVD video - Nice!

    ---

    VCD/SVCD playback works fine, but some VCDs look a bit worse than that
    from the Apex AD-3201. Something to keep in mind if you have a large
    collection of such.

    Otherwise, no problems here.

    ---

    MPEG-1 & DIVX/MPEG-4 AVI files can be stored on a CD w/o conversion to
    VCD/SVCD format and played from the menu file list just like MP3 files
    -- pick the latest Britney MPG download file you want played, and it
    plays just fine. You can skip to the prior/next file easily with remote.

    MP3 files are selected and played as on other Apex players through the
    menu system. You can play any MP3 file on the disc as a background
    music while looking at other JPEG picture files -- interesting way to
    create a fast slide-show presentation with music w/o a PC.

    ---

    Remember to switch the video output from component to SVIDEO in the
    SYSTEM MENU if you're attaching anything by SVIDEO - otherwise, you'll
    only get B&W picture and wonder what's wrong.

    ---

    System menu is easy to navigate and understand. Not a whole slew of
    features, but enough to get the basics set.

    Remote control is easy enough to learn although the FF/RW buttons are
    overlayed on top of the 4-way menu pad and not labeled such (you simply
    have to remember that the 4-way L/R = FF/RW). Otherwise, no problems
    learning to use it in a few minutes and easy enough to use.

    You can choose on the remote whether the DVD player displays the full
    disc menu file tree upon loading each disc or if you want it to simply
    pick the first file and start playing w/o bringing up the file tree.
    The former is nice if you've got a lot of DIVX/MPEG files scattered on a
    CD and only want to play a specific one; the latter is nice if you have
    just one (or a small number) of files on a disc and want to play from
    the first file on.

    The latter is faster only because it skips the file tree display and OK
    press to start playing the file selected. Otherwise, individual
    file/movie loading times are the same no matter which way you go.

    ---

    Almost all discs take a few seconds for the drive to read the disc
    contents, then start playing the movie file. Nothing abnormally long -
    normal for most DVD players.

    ---

    MP3 files simply play fine. No problems. CBR, VBR, encodings from years
    ago, encodings from now - all work fine. Navigation like any other Apex
    DVD player through the menus.

    (unlike the DIVX movies where maybe 10% of the movies out there won't
    play right due to the audio being encoded in some wierd format; video
    still plays on all of the DIVX files though)

    ---

    JPEG CDs play fine as well. DVD player takes something up to about
    3000x5000 pixels (or 15 MP in size), so no problems displaying images
    from digital cameras on this player. Pictures look colorful, saturated,
    vivid, and no problems here. Works as expected and auto-slideshow means
    it's easy for anyone to show their pictures on this machine.

    ---

    After buying this, would one even return it or regret not buying the
    LiteOn? Nope.

    Machine is very nicely built, everything is intuitive and well-designed
    on the remote, the playback simply works w/o fuss at everything you toss
    at it (for DIVX movies, everything that's 'properly' encoded, meaning no
    funny audio formats - haven't hit a movie yet where the video can't
    play), is lightweight, looks nice, and works.

    -= Highly Recommended =- and well worth the buy! Run! and forget the
    LiteOn LVD series! This baby runs fine and can be fully unlocked!
     
    David Chien, May 5, 2004
    #1
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  2. David Chien

    FLY135 Guest

    Thanx I saw one at Target and almost bought it. I have two Philips DVD727
    players and they are fantastic. It looks like it has the features of the
    727 but adds MPEG-4. The 727 will play MPEG-1/2 off CD or DVD. So that is
    something I want. Adding Divx and MPEG-4 is a bonus.
     
    FLY135, May 5, 2004
    #2
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  3. David Chien

    Keith Clark Guest

    That's only an issue for pirated movies. For those of us who make our own files, that shouldn't be an issue.

    Let us know how you like it after using it for a couple of weeks in your entertainment center. Do your wife and teenager(s) like it? I returned two Liteon players
    that did Divx playback just to keep peace in the family. ;->

    Keith
     
    Keith Clark, May 5, 2004
    #3
  4. David Chien

    David Chien Guest

    Let us know how you like it after using it for a couple of weeks in your entertainment center. Do your wife and teenager(s) like it? I returned two Liteon players
    Already decided to keep it forever. Tested it yesterday with a
    couple more movies, and the baby just rocks. Definitely not the 'best'
    when compared vs. PC players (which add a whole slew of playback
    features; eg. WinDVD), but works very well for a home DVD/DIVX/etc.
    player at any price range. It's basically no-fuss, and so cheap, I'd
    keep it even if it wasn't so good just for the features alone.

    That said, haven't found a single review of any other DIVX DVD player
    out today that has more features that I need or want or plays any better.
     
    David Chien, May 6, 2004
    #4
  5. David Chien

    Keith Clark Guest

    Great!

    So it's quiet, starts fast, plays all your commercial DVDs and rentals without any hassles?

    Those were things that the Liteon LVD-2002 didn't do well.

    Keith
     
    Keith Clark, May 6, 2004
    #5
  6. David Chien

    FLY135 Guest

    your entertainment center. Do your wife and teenager(s) like it? I returned
    two Liteon players
    If the Philips DVP642 is anything like the Philips DVD727 then I'd be happy.
    The DVD727 has been the best player I've had in terms of JPEG quality,
    (F)Fwd/(F)Rev controls, and compatability with -/+R and RW discs. I've yet
    to stick a disc in it that it wouldn't play. Although high bitrate MPEG-2
    files on a CDR are a bit jerky, as it doesn't appear to get the data off
    fast enough.
     
    FLY135, May 6, 2004
    #6
  7. David Chien

    Keith Clark Guest

    Schweet! What about MP3 files in folders on DVR RW media?

    You'd be amazed at how many players can't handle that. When I bought my Toshiba
    player, that (and the extremely nice remote control) was the deciding factor.
     
    Keith Clark, May 6, 2004
    #7
  8. David Chien

    Morrmar Guest

    If the Philips DVP642 is anything like the Philips DVD727 then I'd
    be happy.
    factor.

    I've got a cheapo Apex that'll play anything I throw at it, including
    mp3's on rw's. But I don't seperate mine into folders so I might give
    that a shot the next time I burn mp3s. I got it to be able to play vcd
    and svcd's before I got my DVD burner. I don't mess with DivX so that's
    a non-issue for me.
     
    Morrmar, May 6, 2004
    #8
  9. Does it output non-interlaced component at 32kHz for display on a PC monitor?
    JP
     
    Jan Panteltje, May 6, 2004
    #9
  10. David Chien

    FLY135 Guest

    factor.

    MP3 files in folders on DVR R media works. I haven't tried RW. Mostly
    because I bought 200 DVD+Rs for $0.50 each so they are pretty much
    throwaway. However RW did work for photos and MPEG videos.
     
    FLY135, May 6, 2004
    #10
  11. David Chien

    FLY135 Guest

    It outputs non-interlaced component at approx 32kHz, also known as 480p.
    But It's YCrCb, so I don't know if it will support your PC monitor.
     
    FLY135, May 7, 2004
    #11
  12. That is great, YCrCb to RGB can be done with a simple electronic circuit.
    (is is basically add and substract).
    The Samsung 950p SyncMaster 19inch I have I would like to try this.
    Now to find the player here :)
    Thank you for the info.
    JP
     
    Jan Panteltje, May 7, 2004
    #12
  13. David Chien

    David Chien Guest

    So it's quiet, starts fast, plays all your commercial DVDs and rentals without any hassles?

    Pretty much. Has no problems playing MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 AVI files on
    CD/DVD w/o conversion to DVD format as well =- ie. straight ala MP3
    files on CD.

    quite. someone asked, and yes, if you listen hard for a few seconds,
    you will hear the head seek every tick of the second during playback.
    that's just the laser head moving along, and because the player is so
    thin, you'd expect some noise to come out due to the lack of insulation.

    This is not something I'd ever notice since my clock ticks louder and
    I never notice it when watching movies. Only when I'm concentrating to
    hear the sound do I hear it. Quiet enough for me that it isn't an
    issue, but those wanting 'super silence' should look elsewhere. Nothing
    more 'noticable' vs. any cheap boombox playing a CD either.

    That said, still not an issue for me at all, and still a keeper.
    (that guy must be way too sensitive to noises...)

    Anyways, playback on this machine is so =boring=, everything just
    works as expected (a few odd Divx movies with non-standard audio won't
    have sound, but that's rare nowadays).
     
    David Chien, May 12, 2004
    #13

  14. My 727 plays them fine.

    I also unceremoniously dumped some mixed mpegs on a cdr (and I think
    a couple of AVI's?) and it played them all fine


    STRATEGY
     
    Bay Way 41510, May 20, 2004
    #14
  15. David Chien

    John Guest

    I have one and love it! To answer your question, it DOES play MP3s in
    folders on DVD+R/+RW discs perfectly!
     
    John, May 21, 2004
    #15
  16. David Chien

    John Guest

    I can play MPEG music videos on my +RW DVDs just fine. I collect music
    videos in various formats and just toss them to +RW media in the root
    directory. It played them all perfectly (some Divx, a few Xvid, mpg2).
    The only file it choked on was some Windows Media file. It played it
    with no audio and it slow-mo. I noticed a new firmware update is
    availible. I'll try upgrading tonight and see what happens. Over all,
    if somebody reading this thread hasn't bought one yet, DO IT NOW!!!!!
    These players are the best!
     
    John, May 21, 2004
    #16
  17. David Chien

    FLY135 Guest

    I picked up a DVP642. If you need Divx or MPEG-4 then it is probably a good
    choice. I say probably because I haen't tried Divx/MPEG-4 yet.

    However, I still find the DVD727 to be a far superior unit for MPEG-1/2 and
    JPEG. I use AB Loop(repeat) and pause/step frame to analyze sports video
    and the DVP642 fails miserably on it's ability to set AB loops. Also the
    DVP642 overscans JPEGs so you can't see the whole picture. And the DVP642
    is significantly slower to come up with a menu when you have a DVD with a
    lot of images.


    factor.
     
    FLY135, May 21, 2004
    #17
  18. David Chien

    Keith Clark Guest

    That's great feedback!
     
    Keith Clark, May 21, 2004
    #18
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