Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
TEAC Australia DVP904
A capable portable DVD player
- Large screen, decent inbuilt speakers
- Poor quality headphone output, noisy drive
Teac's DVP904 DVD player has a smooth and vibrant 9in screen and decent stereo speakers. Its battery lasts long enough for two movies and it comes with everything you need for a long car trip. It's let down by a very poor set of headphone outputs and a noisy DVD drive.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
Teac's DVP904 is a budget portable DVD player, although it also features an external audio and video input. As a DVD player for in-car use it works well, thanks to the 9in screen and competent stereo speakers. The system is compromised by a noisy DVD drive and a pair of headphone outputs that suffer from a lot of electrical interference.
Since it's a 9in model, the unit is quite sizeable. It measures 24cm in length, 19cm in width and around 4cm in height, so it's certainly not a device you can fit in your pocket. Plenty of extras are included — an AC power brick, cigarette-lighter adapter, headphones, slim-line remote control and video input cable — but annoyingly there isn't a bag to carry all these accessories.
The player is finished in a simple matte black, with silver-accented buttons. The screen is also coated in a matte finish, which is preferable to a gloss screen in harsh lighting conditions.
Using the player is simple; just flick the player's power switch on and insert a DVD. There are no annoying menus to deal with — the DVD will start playing automatically.
The player's screen is of decent quality. Unfortunately, Teac doesn't provide information on the resolution of the screen, but it's most likely around 480x234pixels. This is only a quarter of the DVD resolution standard, but it's still enough to make out most detail during movies. The screen's strongest point is its vibrant colour, which is surprisingly deep and well contrasted for a portable model. There's also a large amount of adjustability, thanks to on-screen menus that cover contrast, brightness, hue and colour saturation.
The player's inbuilt speakers are passable. They can handle surprisingly loud volumes without much distortion, but they have quite a tinny sound. Dialogue and musical elements are relatively clear, even if sound is harsh at high volumes.
Where the player stumbles is the quality of its headphone outputs. There are two headphone outputs — useful if you're watching with a friend — and they suffer from a large amount of background electrical noise when the DVD drive is spinning. At low volumes this noise is very noticeable and detracts from the sound quality of the DVD. The problem persists throughout the volume range.
This problem goes hand in hand with the DVP904's other main flaw: a noisy DVD drive. When watching DVDs, the drive noise is enough to be heard above the stereo speakers at low volumes, and it gets worse when navigating through menus.
If you're using the DVP904 as a simple DVD player for a car trip, the vibrant screen and capable speakers mean that it will perform well. If you're close enough to hear the drive noise or are using headphones, you might not be so impressed.
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