DVD players with host USB

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by funnelbc, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. funnelbc

    funnelbc Member

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    Howdy folks, my dvd player (that I only bought a couple of years ago :mad: ) is starting to get a bit cranky and will sometimes not play rented dvds - my home discs which I take care and aren't scratched seem to play fine. A guy at work mentioned that it might be something to do with the rental dvds having a special coating that might cause it to play up?

    At any rate. I am interested in getting a cheap dvd player, and as I am starting to read up on it, it appears that there are some with USB. Does that mean that I can hook up my external 3.5" hdd enclosure and have it read my movies on that? Does it have to be formatted NTFS or FAT32 to work? Anything I should be aware of before I invest a few bucks in a cheapy?

    Is there a model which you would recommend in this kind of price segment/feature set? Looking at spending anywhere between $70-$150.

    Many thanks av forum ocau folks :)
     
  2. FantoM_CircuiT

    FantoM_CircuiT Member

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    i have no experience with these, but would like to get one as well. I highly suspect they would not work with ntfs formatted drivers. They would handle fat32 fine though.

    I would mainly be worried about how much power they can supply over the bus - if it would be enough to spin up laptop enclosures etc.
     
  3. Belgarath

    Belgarath Member

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    I bought the Pioneer sometime back and returned it immediately when I realised that the USB port was only for Digital cameras or Portable Music players.

    I believe the Zensonic's allow you to do this, but they are out of your price range.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    funnelbc

    funnelbc Member

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    Yeah, I saw that zensonic (z500) in my forum searching and it looks like a lovely bit of kit, but doesn't serve the primary purpose of being dvd drive as well.

    My hdd is a powered 3.5" enclosure so supplying enough juice via USB isn't a major issue for me.

    The model I found first up on msy.com.au Maya 702 looks a bit sketchy from this persons review:

    http://phorums.com.au/showthread.php?t=185728

    But another person in that very same thread doesn't seem to have a problem with it. Anyone had any experience with this model?
     
  5. lavi

    lavi Member

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    I din't return mine but it's a shame you can't just dump the mp3's from say a DVD or HDD via USB into it's own HDD and play them with Jukebox
     
  6. Belgarath

    Belgarath Member

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    Yeah I was disappointed. I didnt really do my research and when the salesperson said you could, i bought it straight away. You could copy across full CD's, but only original's.

    Got my refund and bought a crappy pioneer dvd player for the time being. Waiting for something that does what I want it to do before I spend big dollars on a new DVD player :)
     
  7. lavi

    lavi Member

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    from original DVD's takes too long, like real time and the DAC's in it are shit, i only use it as a transport now

    funny thing the sales guy told me the same, you can mate! idiot me for listening to him and i was to lazy to drive 1 hour to take it back.

    Interested if anything at the moment can do that
     
  8. OP
    OP
    funnelbc

    funnelbc Member

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    Well, I bought one of the cheap MAYA 702's today. I thought I would copy and paste my thoughts on it from this thread on the Phorums.


    I will try and write up some more on this once I have had enough time to get my head around it.

    But so far,

    + dvd playback is good (I wanted to test some dvds that wouldn't play in my $350 phillips dvd player). To clarify, if a dvd plays and the audio sounds okay, then I would class it as "good". However you may be looking for more out of your gear. If in that case, I suspect you won't be dropping $70 on a dvd player anyway. Your mileage may vary.

    + divx from one of my oldest/crappiest disks seemed pretty smooth and the quality on-screen looked good also. (I didn't watch the whole movie, but I intend to play around with a bunch of different files believe me)

    - Fit and finish is pretty so-so. But I wasn't expecting anything very impressive. There was dust on the dvd tray when I first opened it! Still it doesn't look too out of place next to my other dvd player and from a meter or so away you can't see the imperfections.

    - Infrared reception is botchy. I'm contemplating drilling a hole in the plastic cover over the receiver to see if that improves things. Its quite serviceable if you are close (within 3 meters - I have a small loungeroom) and directly infront of the receiver.

    - Menus onscreen are super dodgy looking, but once again, I think this is a "you gets what you pay for" thing.

    just formatted my usb hdd to fat32, so.. yeah. But I'm keen to see if the USB hdd support is serviceable, if it is, then for the money it's a good buy, even if the quality is a bit sketchy. I will report more as I discover it.

    edit:

    Okay I'm back from initial testing using an external usb hdd. Results are encouraging. I put my newest divX *acquisition* on there and it worked just fine. I tried another older file and that seemed to halt mid load. The file that worked had a bit rate 131kbps, and the file that didn't was 192kbps. Maybe I just needed to restart the player to see if that helped it play the higher bit rate file.

    I'm not sure what the differences were in encoding, so I cannot vouch one way or another on that. I will try and suss out the difference. I also tried a h462 (i think) mp4 that was ripped on a Mac. No luck there (it said unsupported audio).

    Load time was not too bad. It took about 25-30 seconds to get the movie playing from the hdd (from cd 10-15 secs). My enclosure is 2.0, but I'm pretty sure there's no way this player is? Anyway, maybe thats enough to fill up the buffer or whatever.

    So far my impressions are this. It's not an amazing bit of kit in terms of quality. But what you lose in quality you more than make up for in price (i think this is a fair price for the kind of unit we are talking about) and maybe you have to learn a few dodgy workarounds (or possibly transcode some of your files) to get it playing perfectly, but right now, to me, it seems pretty okay. I will continue to tinker with it, to get a better idea of what it's capabilities are and see if I can write up a proper full review once I have done that.

    edit 2:

    Okay so last night I tried a bunch of different files running off my external usb 2.0 enclosure. Nearly all of them exhibited the same thing at one point in time or another. Playback would stutter and then the audio would loose sync. If I then paused the player and then pressed play again, it would sucessfully play with the audio synced - until it next stuttered. I had once case this morning when I was trying a shorter/smaller file where it just stuttered and froze onscreen.

    As near as I can tell the USB interface (at least for HDD's) is rubbish. I am about to test with my flash disk to see how that fares. But so far on all files played back off the hdd it has lost sync which requires pausing and pressing play again. (Okay. Just tested with flash disk and it did the same thing. USB on this = no go)

    Further to this, the way the fastforward is setup confuses me. I pressed fast forward and then when you press play it keeps going fastforward. I read the manual and it seemed to suggest that after pressing fast forward five times (2x, 4x, 8x, 20x, normal playback) it would go back to normal speed. No luck with that. I may be misunderstanding the manual.

    More updates and thoughts as I play with it. As far as CD/DVD playback of DivX files, it seems fine and the stuttering hasn't occured so far, so I'm thinking that the usb is just dodgy full-stop.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2006

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