DVD Player Shopping

2002-08-01 16:27 ☼ post

It’s always seriously annoyed me that my three year old Panasonic DVD/VCD player is basically worthless when it comes to VCDs becomes it can’t read CDR/RW discs. I’ve wanted to convert a bunch of my dad’s old basketball game tapes into digital format for over a year now, but one thing sapping my motivation to do so has been the knowledge that I won’t have any way to view them other than my computer. Up to this point there have been other conversion hurdles as well (hard drive space, processor speed, etc.), but with an EyeTV set to arrive for my birthday my interest in the VCD format and the DVD players that can play them has recently been renewed and I’ve spent the last couple days researching the topic over at vcdhelp.com.

Yesterday while doing a little birthday shopping for Mary I picked up an Apex AD-1100W DVD player at the northside Wal-Mart. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Apex brand, they’re basically low-end Chinese machines that have three extremely nice features:

In the case of the AD-1100W there are actually a couple different versions, a model with 1024K firmware and a model with 512K. The former is the most desirable of the two becuase it’s the most hackable and luckily I was able to find a couple after a quick survey among the stacks of boxes. Apparently they’re in short supply in many parts of the country. On top of that the AD-1100W models manufactured after some point in February stopped supporting VCDs as well for some unknown reason, but luckily mine is a January model.

At any rate, late last night I successfully burned my first VCD, put it in the Apex player and it just worked. Overall I found the quality to be quite satisfactory for the demo cd I was using and despite some obvious pixellation the quality was really not that much different than VCR. I can’t wait to play with this some more.