Wednesday, October 06, 2004

One satisfied customer

I finally decided what I wanted to get myself as a belated birthday present: a TV-free, and computer free multi-region capable DVD solution which could fit into a watch-in-bed scenario.

I could just have bought a DVD-R drive, to replace one of the CD-RWs and have one drive R1 and the other R2, but I really have no need for DVD-R capability yet (maybe when I next need a real hardware upgrade - which may be sooner rather than later as one of the machines has been getting a bit flaky lately); or a cheap external DVD drive, just to make R1.

I would have liked to be able to feed the video output from a normal DVD player box into an existing monitor - but that sort of thing involves a video-in card on the computer, rather than any obviously discoverable black box. The only displays that seem to take the multiplicity of video formats are either small (8" or less) seat-back units or TVs.

The best thing that turned up in terms of display size and other requirements from the wonder that is Google was a 9" player (9" Shinco (aka "Initial" or "Mintek") portable DVD player) from allcam.biz, a Nottingham based mail-order outfit; so that is what I ended up plumping for. I ordered Sunday afternoon, and it arrived Tuesday morning, and I had a bit of a play with it last night. I was impressed by the speed and efficiency of the service, and with the initial impressions of the device.

As indicated, it is indeed region free out of the box; the picture and sound quality are entirely satisfactory - and the small inbuilt speakers are capable of being louder than I need. The drive is a little bit noisy when seeking, but that seems an inevitable result of the slim-line case not having room to be sound-proof.

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