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Old December 9th, 2005, 04:03 PM   #1
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Portable DVD Player: Connection Roadblock on SPDIF Audio

I just bought a Philips portable DVD player, so I can have a self-contained way to show my videos at meetings and visits with friends. It's a PET 1000 with a 10.2-inch screen and was my best pick after a long examination of many models.

However, it has 1/8-inch minijacks for outputs and Philips supplied adapter cords with standard, large plugs on the other ends for everything but the coaxial digital audio output (SPDIF). Philips doesn't make or sell a coaxial cord that fits this connection requirement, that would have a two-way miniplug on one end and an RCA plug on the other. The dealer knows nothing about it. Radio Shack never heard
of such a thing.

You can't use standard cords with RCA plugs for digital audio. Could you splice a miniplug onto the end of a standard SPDIF cord or use an adapter plug, with a miniplug on one side and an RCA jack on the other, to successfully pass coaxial digital audio? If anyone knows of a source for such an odd adapter cord or adapter plug that would carry digital audio, please respond. I wonder how many other portable products have this configuration? Has Philips designed a proprietory output connection and failed to invent a cord to serve it?

This DVD player is excellent otherwise. It has great resolution, with an 800 X 480 pixel screen. It has component, S-Video and composite video outputs and a L/R analog audio output, which I've been using in lieu of a workable digital connection. It has an A/V input with composite video and L/R audio. Despite listing only DVD-video and DVD+R/RW in its playing specs, it does play my finalized DVD-R discs and other users say it does DVD-RW as well. It also will play most CD formats, MP3 and Divx/M-PEG4 DVDs. It does a better job of playing back DVDs than all my other equipment, including a standalone DVD recorder, a desktop player and a computer. The resolution and color it sends by component to my HDTV is superior to what those others will do. It also sends a full widescreen mode that the others won't do in a way that doesn't need to be expanded by the TV itself. Consequently, I can watch a widescreen movie that fills the full width of the HDTV screen, at a full 500 lines of resolution, instead of only about 400 lines of res on a picture that the TV has to expand. The PET 1000 has full controls on both the top panel and its remote controler and it's easy to change the language in the subtitles and dialogue, with any combination of the two. My other DVD units have these options buried in menus that are inconvenient to access.

This model doesn't have a progressive output, but it will be a great help to me in showing my videos in all sorts of places. I'll take it in my backpack when I'm out shooting and I'll carry some DVD-Rs with my recent highlights, to show to the people I'm always encountering, that want to see them. The Toshiba SD-P2700 was a close second in my evaluation of portable players, as it has a progressive output and a card slot for J-PEG still pictures/M-PEG movies. It has an 8.9-inch screen and 1024 X 600 pixels.
However, on the dozens of customer reviews I read, the Philips PET 1000 was highly favored by its users over all other models.
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Old December 11th, 2005, 05:10 AM   #2
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Problem Solved

I took care of the connection problem I described in the first message. I got an adaptor plug from Radio Shack, that has a mono 1/8-inch miniplug on one side and an RCA jack on the other. When connected to my DVD player's minijack for digital audio output, and with a coaxial digital audio cord running from it to my audio receiver, it worked just fine. It carried the digital audio quite adequately. Actually, I discovered what many others probably knew before about this: I could use a standard yellow-coded video cord or even a cheap red or white audio cord and they all passed the digital audio without a flaw. It seems to me that the necessity of using an expensive special cable, that is designated for digital coaxial audio connections, is a myth. There was no difference in the sound quality I got with either a $25. coaxial digital cord or a $2. one that was sold for analog-type audio.

My remark in the first message that "You can't send digital audio over a standard audio cord.", was in error. I had based this on the insistence of several salespeople in electronic stores who swore that they had tried this and had gotten no digital signal with the standard cords. So much for expert advice from such sources.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 07:29 PM   #3
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Philips does accept video in?

Steve,


Have you tried inputting any video signal onto the PET1000 DVD player?

Like one from a camera?

How did it resolve it?

What about the battery? Is it enough to have just one of them?


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Old February 24th, 2006, 08:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Carlos E. Martinez
Steve,


Have you tried inputting any video signal onto the PET1000 DVD player?

Like one from a camera?

How did it resolve it?

What about the battery? Is it enough to have just one of them?


Carlos
Bom dia, Carlos. Yes, I have sent a composite video signal into my PET1000 from both my VX2100 and a digital still camera. The picture looked very good on screen, despite having only the composite input option. One reason I bought the PET1000 was to have a larger portable monitor for a camcorder in the field and it works quite well for that task. The battery that comes supplied with it will play for at least 3 hours from a DVD and probably longer when it's displaying an outside input. I use the plug-in power supply whenever possible and haven't found a situation yet when the battery has run out of power for me. In fact, I have yet to find a source for an extra battery. The dealer doesn't stock or order them and Philips didn't offer them on its website, the last time I checked. The battery is large and I'd expect it would be expensive, if you could find one. The fittings for it are unique and I doubt if any generic-brand battery would work with it. Hopefully, Philips will make it easier to buy an extra battery in the future, as I always like to have
some extra running time, even if I rarely need it. I would hope that this DVD player lasts longer than its battery. I have a 4-year replacement warranty for mine, but that doesn't cover the battery.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 03:58 AM   #5
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Bom dia Steve (when you wrote it was good night),


Thanks for your very thorough commens on this player. It certainly looks like the one for me, in spite of possible limitations it may have.

In fact I am impressed with the very good owners feedback I have read.

To know a little bit more about it, I even went to Philips and downloaded a manual, which is the only way to learn technical stuff.

The extra battery unavailability seems to be a problem, but the connector is generic. So you can use a large 9.6v NimH battery which you can load elsewhere. That is both cheap and easy to find, and I bought an external NimH for my Digimedia 7" portable LCD, and it works great. Pity this Philips uses 9.6v batteries, or I could use this same 12v/4.5A battery, but a way around it would be the Philips included car-adaptor, wehich should convert it to the right voltage.

But as you said one battery should be enough, as these screens are not so current "thirsty". And that should be mostly on eventual shootings. For actual portable DVD playing it should be fine.


Carlos
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