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Samsung DVD-P401 DVD Player Review

Samsung DVD-P401 DVD Player Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Progressive scan is the yard stick by which all DVD players are now competing and relates to the level of quality in the final TV-bound image.
 87% Rating:   
Filed under: Home Theatre Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Samsung Oct 23 2001   A. Yong  
Home > Reviews > Home Theatre > Samsung DVD-P401

Video Playback

Being blessed with a healthy obsession for DVD's and a generous girlfriend who gave me a Toshiba SD-2150 earlier this year I will be paring off the Samsung DVD-P401 with this player. Keep in mind that since I don't have a HDTV, I can't fully comment on the absolute difference in picture qualities. However, the Philips television I will be testing the DVD players on does support higher than typical resolutions so all is not lost. That being said, I really couldn't detect any visible differences in the level of picture quality between the two players other than where the progressive scan feature would fit in.

Occasionally during DVD playback I would notice odd pixelization on the DVD-P401. It would appear almost as though one were getting a video feed from the Internet - just a small "pixel wave" that would run through the screen sporadically.

My initial thoughts about this distortion were that it was merely a defective DVD, and that was it. However, when I 'rewound' the scene back, the "pixel wave" would not appear again. I tested the same DVD at the same chapter on the Toshiba SD-2150 and didn't experience any of this picture distortion.

It's worth noting that I've never experienced this odd and sporadic picture distortion when watching a DVD movie on my Toshiba player. To add to the mystery, the picture distortion on the Samsung unit only appeared during certain random times. I think it happened about 40 or 50 minutes into the movie when it was played continuously without pausing or stopping. My personal theory on this is that after a certain point the unit begins to experience troubles processing the video information fast enough and it overloads an internal buffer.

Could this be the cause of a faulty MPEG decoder? Similarly, I wasn't able to play certain test VCD videos at all on the Samsung DVD-P401. The Toshiba SD-2150 that I used in comparison had no problem at all playing the same discs.

MP3 Playback: The Hidden Feature

Any new DVD player entering the market that doesn't support MP3 playback is really not worth considering. I mean it is such an easy feature to add-on to the DVD players themselves, and the added versatility of being able to drop in favorite mix-CD during a party is like a god-send. Cause unless your company is super geeky, pulling out the old computer and tinny computer speakers is not going to cut it. Now in the other hand, piping those MP3's through a set-top DVD player hooked up to the stereo is just so much better, both sonically, and for your persona.

The DVD-P401 can handle both CD-RW's and CD-R's thanks to dual laser pickup, and read the files stored in a one, or several directories. My only beef was that the player did not appear to have any random play back function. On a side note: the P401 was capable of playing back DVD's in random mode. A very useful feature if you want to drop in DVD music videos when your friends come over.

Users who insist in encoding their MP3's in VBR should be aware that the DVD-P401 may not play them back properly.

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Contents of Article: Samsung DVD-P401
 Pg 1.  Samsung DVD-P401 DVD Player Review
 Pg 2.  — Video Playback
 Pg 3.  The Look, The Style

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