Friday, March 11, 2011

A Better, Inexpensive DVD Player Than My Own: Sony's DVP-NS57P DVD Player Works Fine!

The Good: Compact, Great basic functioning, Easy-to-read display, Memory function.
The Bad: Some delay on layered/branching DVDs, Might not fit some colorschemes
The Basics: A decent DVD player, the Sony DVP-NS57P might not fit my colorscheme, but its functioning is more than enough to satisfy most consumers!

There is a certain irony to my brother's recent upgrading of his whole entertainment system; he has ended up with a DVD player that I found I enjoy more than my own! He recently purchased a Sony DVP-NS57P DVD Player to go with his new Sanyo 19" HD TV (reviewed here!). Not being even passingly interested in how things work or fit together, he came to me and asked if I would connect his antennae, set up his television and DVD player and show him the basics of how to use it. I said I would, of course, help, provided he allowed me to play around on his new system and review what he bought. This, however, quickly led me to further disappointment in my Memorex DVD player (reviewed here!), which I had purchased years ago based on the criteria that it matched my television and sound system. The Sony might not match my steel-gray color scheme, but it has a few functions that work better than my Memorex.

DVD players are pretty standard pieces of equipment these days and their prices have hit all new lows in the face of the emerging Blu Ray technology. At this point, there are few questions most people purchasing a DVD player will have outside: Will it interface well with my HDTV? and How long will it last? The simple answers right up front are: Yes, quite easily and I don't know because my brother has only had his for a month. The Sony DVP-NS57P is a simple player, not a digital recorder. It is also not a combo player, so it only plays DVDs or items on DVD quality or below discs (this unit plays compact discs as well, but not HD-DVDs or Blu Ray discs).

For most consumers, a DVD player need only play the DVDs. Even for slightly more sophisticated systems, the key to getting the most out of one's viewing experience is in the television and sound system. The DVD player need only play DVDs. And by those criteria, the Sony DVP-NS57P is well worth recommending. It is functional, easy to set up and if the Sony brand name still means anything, it will continue to endure for some time.

The Sony DVP-NS57P has a black case that fits the color scheme of most brands, so it fits my brother's Sanyo television (but not, ironically, my Sony television and sound system). This Sony looks good and it plays DVDs just fine. As well, I have used it to play CDs and I am pleased to say that it lives up to its promised ability to play that medium well enough. The player seems to have no trouble switching between mediums; when a disc is popped in, it recognizes the format of the disc and plays it accordingly.

The Sony DVP-NS57P also looks good in the clarity of the display. An LCD display clearly informs the consumer when the player is loading, playing, stopped or there is no disc present. The bright blue LCD also informs the user of ERRORs and this is so simple anyone with the remote may use it easily.

I love energy saving devices and this Sony is Energy Star compliant. Moreover, it encourages the user to conserve energy by shutting the system down through its memory function. When one hits "stop," the DVD player remembers the point the disc is at and it restarts there the next time one hits "play." Moreover, the memory function works even when the unit is powered down. So, if one hits stop, turns the player off and the next morning wants to pick up where they left off, the Sony DVP-NS57P remembers the correct location to resume at! This seems to be pretty standard for Sony DVD players, but living without the function, I truly miss it. The Sony DVD player goes into a powersaving mode after it is paused for five minutes, causing a slight delay when the disc is resumed, but saves the consumer energy.

The remote is intuitive to use with very clear controls for loading the discs and navigating the menus. As well, the Sony DVP-NS57P comes with the batteries for the remote, which is nice. Arrow keys are large enough for those with failing eyes to see, but there is no lighting function on the remote, so if it gets lost in the dark, the viewer will need to turn a light on to find it. The Sony DVP-NS57P seems to be able to pick up signals from the remote anywhere in the 180 degree field in front of the sensor, making it very flexible to use. One may have the DVD player in a location of their choice, as long as the pathway to the sensor is not obscured, the remote and DVD player seem to work well in combination, even from twenty-five feet away.

Lately, I've started to play with the DVD player's advanced functions a bit and in doing that, I discovered the Surround Sound feature and my brother's Sanyo responds to the function pretty well. My sound system - when I connected it to my system for testing - utilized the Surround Sound function without difficulty.

Finally, when using the player to play DVDs that are layered for length or have a branching function - like putting deleted scenes back into the body of X-Men or The X-Files, I have noticed some delay. The lag is usually less than two seconds, but having seen these functions work on higher end models, it is disappointing to downgrade to one that has to think about what it is doing for a few seconds.

As for connecting the unit, the Sony DVP-NS57P is simple to connect (my brother could have done it if he wanted to). The DVD player comes with the standard three-in-one cord that hooks color-coded jacks from the DVD player to the television. One need only be able to match yellow to yellow for the video input and output and the red to red and white to white for the two sides of the audio system. Everything is color coded and if one makes those connections and plugs the DVD player in, it is ready to go, no additional effort or work necessary.

Outside the slight delay on layered works neither my brother or I noticed any problems with the operation of the player and given how little he uses a DVD player anyway, odds are this will still be up and running when whatever comes after Blu Ray is introduced to the market!

For other television-related electronic devices, please check out my reviews of:
Sony Bravia HD-TV
Sony DVP-PQ1 DVD Player
Playstation 3


For other electronic produce reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts.  May not be reprinted without permission.

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