Sony DVP-S300 (Mania.com)
Date: Thursday, April 04, 2002
What They Say
Sony DVP-S300 Region 1 DVD Player
Supported Media Formats: DVD, Audio CD, Video CD, CD-R
Supported Audio Output Formats: Dolby Digital(AC3), RCA Analog
Supported Video Output Formats: S-Video(2), RCA(2)
MSRP: $399 USD
Quick and Dirty Totals (On a scale of 10)
Video - 9 (Lack of Component outputs) Audio - 9 (Lack of DTS outputs)
Features - 7 (Not too many frills)
Appearance - 7 (General Sony product feel)
As this is the first hardware review I've done, I've decided to take the approach to it by providing experiences I've had with it since buying it in the winter of '98 and detailing some of its features.
As with some earlier Sony DVD players, the DVP-S300 is equipped with what Sony calls "Dual Discrete Optical Pickup". What this essentially means is it is equipped with two lasers, one for DVD playback and one for CD playback. The biggest advantage I believe to this arrangement is the ability to play back CD-Recordable CDs which most newer DVD players have problems doing. In Sony's newer models, they have since removed this feature from all but a few models.
For video hookup, two S-Video and two composite RCA connections are provided. For audio, both coax and optical Dolby Digital(AC3) connections are provided (No integrated decoder), along with two sets of analog RCA connections. Component video and DTS outputs are unfortunately not supported on this model.
As far as player operation itself goes, anamorphic titles are downconverted extremely well, producing a "softer" picture then most other brands. Some argue that this is bad, some say its good, but most Sony models are known for extremely good down conversion and I'd have to agree. The picture is quite sharp on both anamorphic, non-anamorphic, and pan & scan titles with no hint of pixellation on any of the 30 some DVDs I've viewed on it.
The audio quality is equally on par with other players. The S300 provides a 96kHz/24bit DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) which is quickly becoming common place with most players of today. I've personally not had the chance to listen to a DVD/CD encoded at this rate, but from what other people have said, it truly makes a big impression.
The remote itself is a decent size, identical to most of the higher end Sony VCR remotes. It provides options for adjusting both DVD and TV operations, with a volume control specifically for Sony receivers also. The menu selection button takes a little getting used to, but isn't bad once you do. That would be my only complaint about the remote, besides not having the ability to program the receiver volume control for anything but Sony receivers.
The unit itself is quite light and doesn't feature the massive shielding its model 7700 brother contains. All in all, its a fairly sturdily built player and I haven't had any problems with it has your normal buttons along with a jog wheel.
Unit setup is quite straight forward providing multiple languages and a screen saver (Ooooo, Ahhhh ^_^) to prevent image burn. The service menu code is different from that of Sony TVs (close though) and provides all of the normal options you'd find on most DVD service menus including laser recalibration.
Overall, the DVP-S300 is a fairly good player for its time and the price. With the current rumors of lip-sync problems with the newer Sony models (Especially the 5XX models), finding an older model like this one is well worth it, provided you can find one. If your looking for a solid player with not too many frills, capable of playing CD-Rs, and DTS isn't an issue, then the DVP-S300 may be for you.
Comments and questions are welcomed.
Age Rating: All
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Other
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Hardware Reviews