Top positive review
18 people found this helpful
on January 17, 2010
I was looking for a fair-priced DVD player that could double as a TV (and possibly a PC monitor) -- yes, in that order -- to use in our moderate-sized bedroom. Originally, I was set to order the comparable SHARP model but it was sold out, so I went with this TOSHIBA. I was a bit apprehensive about it because of all the negative reviews on its sound quality, but with Amazon's awesome returns policy and process in mind, I took the plunge. Here's my review after 1 month of ownership...
APPEARANCE: Looks great! The TOSHIBA logo on the front lights (and stays lit) when you turn the set on. This feature can be turned off, too. The remote control looks and feels cheaper and of lower quality than the set, but it works fine.
EASE OF USE: If you've ever used a TV and DVD player in the past, this is a breeze. Just scan the user manual for what you need -- hookups, DVD, channel programming, etc. The manual is also pretty easy to manage. Upon reflection, I could have skipped the manual, simply unpacked the box, plugged in the TV and popped in a DVD within 5 minutes. Figuring out the TV and getting the channels OTA took another 5-10 minutes. (I tried the cable hookup and it worked fine; over-the-air I needed an antenna.)
FEATURES: DVD player works fine; nothing spectacular and no problems. A bit slow at times when jumping from one section to another, but that might be the DVD itself. (Not sure.) This is the only feature I really cared about (for now).
PICTURE QUALITY: Excellent with DVDs! (Note, if the quality of DVD is meant to be grainy, like some old movies or shows, it will be reflected that way on the set.) Color is great, picture is sharp and auto-sized.
PORTABILITY: Did not buy it to carry around but it is light and easy to move from spot to spot or room to room.
Drum roll please......... And now, the most contentious aspect of this set....
SOUND QUALITY: We live in the city, an apartment about a dozen floors up from the street. So, we hear traffic, construction, planes, copters, sirens, dogs barking, etc. Our viewing distance is about 8-10 feet from the screen. Keeping that in mind, when there is no other sound in our home -- such as a toilet flush or heater/air conditioner/fan -- then we can actually hear well at volumes from 5 to 10. With the added noise, we need to temporarily bump the volume from 15-25. (Top volume on the set is 50.) With some DVDs (such as some of the Pink Panther movies or Night at the Museum II when Larry is whispering to the Smithsonian guard) we had to turn the volume to 35. We have never gone beyond 35 in watching a show or DVD.
We are satisfied with this set as (1) a DVD player and (2) an OTA TV. Have not tried it as a monitor, yet.
UPDATE (2/23/2011): (1) The DVD player has been in extremely heavy use for over one year and is still working fine (and so are the TV and Remote Control). (2) We also hooked up an old VCR... very easy to do, and works great with the TV, but the TV Remote Control does not (or can not) control the VCR. (3) One negative is that there is a lag between turning on the unit and it actually displaying an image, maybe 2-3 seconds that seem like an eternity; though this doesn't ruin the rating, it has become annoying because it also happens to a similar extent when changing channels.
UPDATE (1/18/2012): DVDs are starting to periodically freeze up. The discs are in great shape - no scratches, dirt, prints. But, for some reason they sometimes freeze, and the controls don't work (play, pause, ff, rew, etc..., except eject). Maybe it's due to heavy use(?).
UPDATE (7/7/2014): DVDs have been freezing up pretty regularly for the past couple of years. Often it will go through previews but then stop before getting to the DVD menu screen. Also, on discs with multiple episodes, such as TV shows (Gilligan's Island; Are You Being Served; Simon & Simon; etc.), Play All does not end up playing all the episodes because of (you guessed it) freeze ups.