Onkyo DV-SP303

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Onkyo DV-SP303
  • Onkyo DV-SP303
  • Onkyo DV-SP303
  • Onkyo DV-SP303
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5


  • Support for DivX works well, very easy to use


  • Doesn’t do that much, but isn’t really designed to, A tad expensive

Bottom Line

A simple DVD player that does what it says on the box.

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In an age of home theatre where it seems that watching a DVD cannot be achieved without purchasing a 27.1 Hyper Surround Dolby Pro Plus 99 Active Bass Digital sound system with chocolate sauce and nuts, it is easy to forget that perhaps some people just want to watch a DVD on their TV. They have no need for fancy speaker setups trailing their wires all across the room, no need for subwoofers blasting the walls down, no need for ten thousand inputs or massive amplifiers. All they want to do is watch a DVD. Yes, these people really do exist.

The Onkyo DV-SP303 is a DVD player. All it does is play DVDs. Nothing more, nothing less. It's a simple, petite little machine and sits unobtrusively in the corner, bashfully trying not to draw attention to itself. No outrageous styling here, the DV-SP303 is finished in a plain but attractive silver finish. The DV-SP303 is about as wide as a standard DVD player but much slimmer and only about half as deep. The remote control looks like it could have been produced at any time in the last twenty years, again simple and straight to the point. Not one aspect of this system is superfluous.

Onkyo clearly have in mind the basic user who only wants to watch DVDs, yet doesn't want to sacrifice on quality. Although the DV-SP303 may not be the most feature packed system on the market, we found it had good image quality and was a pleasure to use. The progressive scan technology gives images a sharp output and with Dolby Digital and DTS sound is nicely produced. Various sound options are accessible including an equalizer with several presets and virtual surround. Although this is fine for a basic system, it would have been nice to see a bit more functionality. Although they are limited, Onkyo have also managed to include most of the necessary outputs we like to see on DVD players. Component, S-Video, Coaxial and Optical are all present.

The DV-SP303's on-screen interface is incredibly intuitive and easy to navigate. Activating features like digital zoom, subtitles or changing the sound mode is all made very easy and works quite well. We liked the way that Onkyo provide a scene browser that allows the user to flick through chapters and titles, giving a short preview of each one. We thought it was better implemented than the scene browser that most DVDs come with and something that we'd like to see more of.

When we said earlier that all the DV-SP303 did was play DVDs we were perhaps understating things. It does have a few extras up its sleeves, such as DivX and JPEG support. DivX videos seemed to work perfectly on the player, as did MP3s, WMA files and JPEGs. Browsing data CDs is made easy through the on-screen navigational browser. Overall we thought the DV-SP303 was a nice little system. It may not do that much, but what it does, it does well. The price tag seems a little high for such a basic system, but if all you want is a DVD player, then the DV-SP303 will do the job nicely.

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