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183 of 184 people found the following review helpful
MUCH more than just a DVD player!
on 19 June 2009
This Philips DVP3360 DVD player is simply amazing. DivX/Xvid support, USB 2.0, region free in a few clicks of your remote....what more can you ask for?
The main attraction here though is the scaling to HD resolutions over HDMI. Well good news.....the scaling/de-interlacing chip inside this baby is the very same Miediatek© chip used in the Oppo 980H upscaling player....which costs about £175 in Europe. So take it from me, 1080p, 1080i or 720p scaling/de-interlacing is handled MUCH better than all but the more expensive TV's chipsets. That is how it works you see....for a normal consumer grade TV set, IF you have a good upscaling player, you let the DVD player perform the scaling, by setting it to output 720p, 1080i or 1080p over HDMI. But if the TV is of a much higher quality than your DVD player, you make the player output 576p (or i) over HDMI or component and let the TV's chipset do the scaling/de-interlacing to the TV's native resolution. My Sony Bravia set looks great when it scales to HD resolutions, but the Mediatek chipset in this player does an even better job..so I feed my set 1080i. (Note: The Mediatek chip is also the same one as in the more expensive Philips DVP5990). At the end of the day, though, always let your eyes be the judge.
Please note, if you're new to upscaling: Ignore the salesman hype about SD upscaling rivaling Blu-Ray and broadcast HD....it simply never will. But it is DAMN nice when done well....and a perfect halfway house for those not prepared to pay Blu-Ray prices. Also, for those with TV sets smaller than 40", upscaled DVD is easily your best bet. For me and many other people, Blu-Ray is a specialist format for those with very big screens and even deeper pockets.
The DVP3360 has played every disc I've thrown at it.....even scratched up no brand DVD-R's or DVD+R's....no sensitivity issues here. This makes it perfect for home burned media. That's IF you can be bothered burning DVD's in the first place of course. As if you chuck a USB flash drive into your shopping basket at the same time as buying this, or if you have one at home already, you can take full advantage of the high speed USB 2.0 port on the front of the player. Just drag files to the flash drive on your PC...DivX, Xvid, MP3, WMA and what-have-you, and plug it in the DVP3360. No more formatting and burning discs....brilliant. Previous Philips players used USB 1.1....which was fine for playback of slow moving drama style movies, but when it came to car chases and other fast moving scenes it got very choppy indeed. So much so that it just wasn't worth it sometimes. And don't get me started on fast-forwarding and re-winding movies on a USB 1.1 drive....you got 2x speed at best. Not the case any more...USB 2.0's data rate is up to 480MBPS (USB 1.1 was a lousy 12MBPS), so fast scenes play as they would off a DVD, and FF/RW is also smooth and fast...up to 32x speed in fact. Brilliant!
You are not just limited to USB flash drives either....if you buy a USB 2.0 external HDD (160GB or less), and format it to the FAT32 standard (it does not recognise NTFS formatted devices), you can keep your entire movie/music collection in DivX/Xvid/MP3/WMA on one of these instead, and stand it neatly at the DVP3360's side. That makes it MUCH more than just a DVD player in my eyes....it becomes a multimedia centre at this point.
WANT REGION FREE DVD SUPPORT? No problem...just follow these very simply steps:
1. Turn the DVD player on (with no disc in the drive).
2. Press the "Setup" button on the remote control.
3. Highlight but do not select the "Preferences" page using the right directional button.
4. Type 1,3,8,9,3,1 on your remote. The default region setting will be displayed.
5. Use the Up/Down directional buttons to select the required region, or select "0" for region free.
6. Press the "Setup" button on the remote control to leave the menu.
Congratulations...your player is now region free.
So now that's a region free HDMI 1080p upscaling DVD player with USB 2.0....for less than £60? That means bargain in anyone's language.....especially considering the high quality guts of the machine and its sleek, sexy looks.
Note, too, that the only thing the more expensive DVP5990 has on this baby is an optional optical SPDIF output. This machine has just digital coaxial...but digital audio is digital audio. Oh...and the DVP5990 also has WMV support, but I know for a fact that a well known firmware modifier is currently planning an unofficial patch to add WMV support to this machine, so even that won't matter soon (although firmware modification is a warranty violation, so proceed with that at your own risk). In light of all this, I'd save yourself a few quid and buy the DVP3360 instead of its older brother - I did, and I am not regretting it in the slightest. A well deserved 5 stars.