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- Age Rating: All
- Region: All Region DVD
- Released By: Other
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Hardware Reviews
April 04, 2002
What They SayThe Review!
Region 4 (with a multi region chip)
DVD/VCD/CD Player, AM/FM Tuner, 40W RMS Digital 5.1 Amplifier
And it comes with speakers… won't play CDRs
Picture: A (Competent player from Sony)
Sound: B (to fill a house you would need more than 40W RMS but it's good for a mid sized room) 5.1ch DTS Dolby Digital
Inputs: 2 RCA
Outputs: Speaker outs for 5.1ch, active subwoofer, S-Video, 1 RCA.
This is a complete system, not just a DVD player. It incorporates everything except the TV. Until catching sight of this my problem has been; ok, I would like a DVD player, but I also need an amp and speakers and … but this system got me all that with less cash outlay than buying everything separately.
The player is slimline and silver metal finished, about half the height of your standard video player. But it is quite deep, stretching far back on the shelf. It comes with 5 small speakers (similar to the small BOSE ones) and a passive subwoofer about the size of a component amplifier. These speakers are good for their size and are heavily shielded (you can put it on a TV without the swirly colour problem)
The front consists includes a display, the usual play etc buttons, a cursor control and some other functions. The system can be well controlled from here. The supplied remote is almost another story. It is large, with a flip up section revealing more buttons. I find a lot of the ones I use regularly (TV controls, mute, dim the display and amp controls) are under this cover while the number pad which I've never used is on top. Pretty annoying. But you can live with it. Warning: If you own a Sony minisystem (like my DHC-MD555) the remotes will control both systems, whether you want them to or not. They are both classed as AV systems by Sony and the remotes share buttons. I have to make sure of which one the remote can see when I start blasting IR energy around the room.
As far as I can see it comes with the current standard Sony interface. The menu system on that sky blue background. It is easy to navigate with plenty of options. This include default screen size, default languages, speaker location and many more. Easy to use and no trouble if ignored (apart from the screen size, a must to change before you start)
With all this 5.1ch available to me, I was out grabbing action movies, anything to test it out. And I wasn't disappointed even with far from ideal speaker locations (I only have a small room) I could hear the channels coming through well. The subwoofer is great and adds a lot of oomph to most soundtracks.
The system has various factory set "Equalizer" settings. Mostly best left on Automatic. When there's 5.1 it plays 5.1, when there's 2ch it plays 2ch. It does offer virtual surround, and virtual cinemas (apparently modelled off actual cinemas Sony owns) and Rock, Jazz … (hey it is a stereo in the classic sense too). Like I said, I mostly left it on automatic and haven't been disappointed. But you can adjust the speaker levels independently which is nice.
Okay picture. Well I admit I watch it on a 34cm (yes 14" !!) TV, but it's a Trinitron so not a bad set. Does make those widescreen movies that much smaller. But the picture is good. I have watched a variety of movies and anime and have always been impressed, especially when I go back to video or TV. The only picture problems I have seen have been the disc itself.
But it is a complete system and there is no room to later add on an amp and large speakers and turn it into part of a component stereo system. It is a perfect system for someone looking for a room sized stereo and would like a DVD player as well. All I've had done is had it chipped for multiregion.
Sony DAV-S300 DVD system $1400 Australian
Sony 14in Trinitron TV (about 3yrs old)