Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
What's wrong with it?
on November 26, 2005
Note: See updates.
I'm not quite sure why so many people are bashing Toshiba DVD players. I was reluctant to get one because of this. But then I heard that they have unusually good sound quality. And a big boxer had them on sale dirt cheap. Also, they have WMA play capability. So decided to give it a try I did.
I don't see anything wrong with it. The remote is well organized and seems loaded with features, including some I don't have on my other DVD players. I hooked it up with SVHS and am getting a very clear picture, including in zoom mode. And finally I am getting a DTS signal to my amp, unlike another brand that claimed to have DTS.
The sound quality on CDs and DVDs through the analog out is excellent, as is the digital out through the coax cable (no optical - so what). In fact, on one particularly challenging recording, Respighi's Church Windows, I found the Toshiba's analog out seems significantly better - clearer, smoother and more detailed - than the digital out to my Marantz receiver. We are talking exceptionally good sound here (although I am not sure which is more accurate). I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that it be hooked up to a hifi to play music CDs.
WMA playback is good, but some people might be disappointed; it is hard to tell what is accurate frequency response with WMA; some portables seem to artificially reconstruct the high frequencies. With classical WMAs the sound is clean and accurate, with loads of bass. But compared to the excellent CD sound section, the limitations of compressed music files are obvious. However, I find the sound more naturl with the digital signal processed through the Marantz DAC. Needless to say, you will need the tv display to navigate the WMAs. But the setup is great for non-stop background music.
I have had no problems with it freezing on any discs, including DVD-R, DVD+R and DVD+RW, and music CDs. I tried a CDR with a skipping problem on most of my players due to a bad burn and it played fine, except for two brief silent skips, but no freezing or pausing.
A plus is that it has all the basic controls on the player.
A minus is that the display is minimal.
A minus is that there is no resume.
A plus is that it seems you can get out of the copyright warning early with the skip button.
As to the fast forward, it can scan up to 100x. And it can do several steps of slow scan - 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 - with very clean motion.
It gives you the option of a wide variety of information on screen, including the bit rate, a feature I haven't seen since Sony's first DVD player. And you can customize the picture settings for output.
I tried using the remote pointing away from the unit and it worked, pointed 90 degrees away to a wall, 90 degrees to a window, and even 180 degrees to a wall! All I did was put in some fresh, but cheap non-alkaline, batteries. What's the problem?
I found that it plays MPEGs, but not reliably; perhaps it depends on the bitrate or something. But then it doesn't claim to play them at all.
The player is small, but it does not seem to be heating up significantly. I use the button to load the DVD, rather than pushing the tray. I also make sure it is on a level surface, and not on top of a heat source, like a television.
Of course, the test will be with time. I left it running on repeat for 48 hours with various media, no problem. But will it keep working?
I can't help wonder whether this issue has been overblown, as so many of the other criticisms don't hold up. I will let you know if it dies.
Dec. 11 -- it's still working....
Dec. 16 -- it stopped working. Won't read CDRs or CDs. A shame.
Dec. 17 -- it's working again.
Dec. 18 -- not working today.
Dec. 20 -- definitely not working.
Dec. 23 -- not reading CDs of DVDs. I think it may be kaput.
Dec. 31 -- going back in box for long goodbye.
I can't help wondering if these Toshiba DVD players are made in the same factory as the Apex players that had a history of dying after a couple of months.
I cannot understand why a company would put out a product that is otherwise excellent that they know is likely to die prematurely. Don't they know that this is going to do to their future sales. I have already crossed several brands off my list because although the specs look great are actually defective junk. Rio / iRiver is one such outfit, and I see that Rio has folded. This is why: bad reputation. I love my Toshiba laptop, but the Toshiba DVD division is a different animal.
ps, right before I boxed the player for its return I plugged it in. It worked, as if pleading for its life and second chance. I didn't fall for it. But I can just see some rushed person at the store's repairs dept saying that it works and putting it out for sale as open box. Some poor sucker then buys it, brings it home, and it works for one or two days, at most.