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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:00 am
Posts: 9551
Location: Arlington, MA
I've got a bunch of trips and the like coming up this year and I'm tired of getting stuck with a crappy hotel cable selection, or having to wait until "the big game(s)", or "the big parade(s)", or "Dora the Explorer", or whatever are over to watch something with some entertainment value.

I'd like to get a portable player that works well stand alone and can also drive a TV (this cuts out a bunch of portables). Order of criteria roughly, playback quality, ruggedness, wide media compatibility, and price (I'd like to keep it at or below $250).


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:23 am 
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 10:49 pm
Posts: 112
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I've been extremely happy with my Toshiba SD-P1700. Of course that's an older model. The feature set that made me buy it were:
- it has a memory card slot that takes SD, MMC, MS, & XD cards
- it plays Divx/Xvid files
- pretty solidly built - mostly metal case
- the 7" screen is easier on my old eyes than a dinky mp3 player with video.

I have a part time job that has a large amount of thumb twiddle time between customers. I put all my video podcasts on a couple of memory cards and watch them instead of exercising my opposable digits.

The external output to the TV seems a little smeary. That may just be that it's composite video, and the only device I've used with comp/vid in years. It could also be a function of the quality of the included cable - quite thin. I think I've seen after market ones that are a bit better.

Toshiba's current 7" model doesn't have the memory card slot or DivX.

Their 9" SD-P1900 doesn't have the memory card slot, but does have the newer Divx Home Theater certification (I think that lets a file have DVD like menus and subtitles). Though it only 480 x 234 Resolution - same as my older one. It's about $179

Their SD-P2900 is a 10.2" 800 X 480 screen, with the memory card slot, and Divx Home Theater certification. Priced at $299 (suggested retail) is a little above your target though.

I haven't played with either of those models, but based on my experience with my older unit, they are definitely worth looking at.

When you say "and can drive a TV", do you mean at the same time as the on board screen? I haven't seen any that do that - usually an either/or situation.

Other models - again no personal experience other than seeing in the store

LG LPA-838 - 8" 800x480 Divx (I think plain not Home theater) and USB NTSC & PAL

LG LPA-837 - 7" 480x234 Divx (I think plain not Home theater) and USB NTSC & PAL

Sony DVP-FX815 - 8" 480 x 220, Divx (I think plain not Home theater), 5.1ch Dolby Pro Logic Down-mix (to Lt/Rt Out), NTSC no memory card or USB

Panasonic DVDLS82 - 8.5" resolution not specified, Divx (I think plain not Home theater), 5.1ch Dolby Pro Logic Down-mix (to Lt/Rt Out), NTSC no memory card or USB

I know there are other second or third tier manufacturers with similar specs. Hope this helps!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:27 am
Posts: 299
How about a used laptop? You wouldn't need to carry the disks around.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:10 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:18 pm
Posts: 1385
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
I recently got an LG (I don't have it in front of me for a model number) and it is nice. 7" screen and takes USB, which I use most times to power a small set of External speakers. Plays Xvid/DivX via CD/DVD or USB, has output capabilities but I have never tried it.

Good little unit that was relatively inexpensive here in Aussie Land.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:16 pm
Posts: 292
I second the vote for a cheap laptop :D . $400 seems to be
the bottom price for a cheap, new laptop in my area. Certainly
you can beat that on Ebay. A year ago I bought a minimal
64bit laptop (a return with case crack which I glued) from Fry's
for $360. It even has an SVideo out.

I know that $400 is well above your $250 price point, but
look what you get extra over a DVD player. I honestly don't
see why they even bother to make DVD only players.
- Wifi/LAN Internet at home and on the road
- Modem Internet backup
- MythTv FE over Wifi
- Games for everyone
- Music and Video stored on optical disk or the hard drive
- Add-on external USB storage
- Offload your camera / camcorder each day on vacation
- burn CD's / DVD's as needed for relatives

I have Ubuntu on mine and the MythTv that comes from their
repositories was so simple to install that I was actually
disappointed to have it running in 15 minutes.

I watch MythTV in bed over the Wifi, now that is living...

Cliff

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R5F27 using R5F1 Nvidia drivers
HD-5500 analog from NTSC Sat Rx, with OTA DVB too
GeForce MX-440 SVideo tvout to a TV
Older dual core 3.4ghz Intel CPU
Asus P5PE-VM Motherboard
2 GB RAM
1 TB LVM2
VirtualBox
Samba


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