Top positive review
148 people found this helpful
Small but mighty!
on August 6, 2001
I upgraded from the previous 310 model Panasonic DVD player and am absolutely amazed by the performance of this little machine. While the actual box is a bit smaller and lighter than the previous Panasonic I owned, the machine itself is much better. The progressive-scan output on component video is truly the best I've ever seen. I am currently using it on the new 34" Sony wide-screen HDTV and I can't imagine a better picture. The colors are clear and crisp, the optical sound output is bright and lively. The menus are clear and attractive and seem to be programmed better for 16:9 tvs. The previous model had some distortion in the menus because it did not seem to output them in amamorphic wide-screen. While I'm not sure if the menus on the new model are anamorphic, they certainly look much better on a wide-screen tv.
The manual warns that there may be compatibility issues with progressive-scan output, but even on my non-Panasonic TV, I did not have to do the adjusting solution. It worked like a charm from the very first try. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon blew my socks off!
While the previous version did not have too much trouble with layer changes, it still had trouble with a few disks. This new model, on the other hand, handles the most problematic disks I had with great success. Fear and Loathing in Las Vagas, for example, used to pause almost 3 seconds (and sometimes froze). Now it switched layers with lightning speed.
Another great feature is the MP3 playback capability. With this feature, I can play mp3 disks which can hold around 600+ minutes of cd-quality music. Very useful for parties or entertaining, where I can stick in a CDR of my own make and not worry about changing the cds during the evening.
My only complaint, and it is a very small one, is that the remote is not as nice as the previous models. All the buttons are visible from the get-go, whereas the previous model's had a nice little flap that covered the lesser used buttons. Also, the buttons must be pressed a bit harder than the previous model's. Nevertheless, this is a very small complaint considering the great performance of the component.
All in all, for the money, this is a fantastic progressive-scan dvd. Given how expensive similar models were a year ago, it is clear that this technology is evolving to a cheaper production method with great success.