New DVD Player, Take 2

The replacement SD-350E arrived and has exactly the same problems as the first one. I called Toshiba and they said that I just got unlucky despite the fact that I’ve had two that have done it, Jan has one, and several people in this thread complain of similar issues. Full credit to Amazon for their returns policy though, as they say that my card will be refunded in the next couple of days and they pay for DHL to come and pick up the returns which must cost them a fortune.

Anyway, I went to Richer Sounds and paid a bit more for a Samsung DVD-HD950. OK, so it wasn’t only a bit more. I paid twice the price of the Toshiba…

Samsung DVD-HD950

It’s a similar size and has all the same features (HDMI, upscaling, multiregion, etc) but also more connections, DVD-A support, SACD support, WMA support, and no annoying blue disc tray (instead it has an attractive but hardly practical white LCD screen and a power button with a blue light around the outside when it’s turned off). Also, as my TV is a Samsung as well, the remote can control my TV and saves me having to keep two around when I’m watching a DVD. Surprisingly, it comes with an HDMI cable (both HDMI-HDMI and HDMI-DVI) which could have saved me some money if I’d bought this one in the first place. At least I’ll have a spare when the PS3 comes out…

First impressions are that the remote is cluttered and will take some time to learn the ropes of, but this player has a lot more options than the SD-350E, which was fairly anaemic in that respect. Picture quality is excellent although the default settings need tweaking slightly, and it seems that the scaler is fairly cheap as 480/576p looks marginally better than 720p and 1080i. I’m sure once I get my head around what all those damn buttons do I’ll be fine.

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