Till now if
you wanted to see movie on your living room TV, you had to use only
DVD or VCD if you could stand lower quality of picture and didnt
mind dealing with multiple CDs for every movie. But that is about
to change. Divx/XViD a format based on MPEG4 and wildly popular
among internet downloading techies and wildly hated by Hollywood
studios is gaining support from DVD player manufacturers. Almost
99% of full length movie available on P2P networks like Kazaa are
700mb .avi files encoded in Divx/XViD format and subtitles are in
.srt, .smi or .sub format. This week we will have a look at Philips
Q: Why is
this player so expensive when Philips sells their own other DVD
players for fraction of this price?
A: This player
is priced at approximately US$77 (more in countries with high custom
duties), This player is positioned at top end of entertainment hierarchy
of Philips. It supports Progressive scan (NTSC and PAL) for better
quality, it plays Audio CD, Video CD, SVCD, DVD, Karaoke, DVD+R,
DVD+RW, MP3, JPEG, Divx 3.x/4.x/5.x, XViD, DVD-RW abd DVD-R media/formats.
No other player available officially as of today in this country
offers so exhaustive list of format and media playbacks. On back
of player you will find all possible connections for connection
to any audio or video systems you may own. It can plug to TV using
Component Video (with 3 RCA cables), or S-Video or Composite Video.
It has built in Dolby Digital and DTS decoder. Best part is, this
player is more of computer and can be regularly upgraded with firmware
updates available from www.philips.com
Q: Will spending
extra on DVD player which supports Divx/XViD movie format will I
save any money in future?
A: Yes, Divx
movies can fit in single CD-R (costing 20 cents), quality is close
to DVD, supports subtitle. If you were to make copy of DVD today,
it will cost you US$1.5 or more, VCD will cost you 40 to 60 cents
per movie depending on length of movie. Divx/XViD movies usually
fit in one CD and will cost you price of single CD-R. Apart from
money, you will need much less storage space for your collection
Q: Will Hollywood
studios release movies in Divx format?
Hollywood doesnt like piracy and Divx/XViD is very user friendly
and very easy to copy. There is VOD (Video On Demand) format in
Divx where by you can download movie with credit card and buy license
for watching it for week or month on your Divx certified DVD player.
But very few movies are available as of now in this format. http://www.divx.com/vod If
Hollywood did embrace this format, you can expect huge change in
way we rent movies. Just imagine Netflix sending you custom made
VOD Divx movies to you which will play for week or month only on
your player and you dont have to return it back. It will change
economics of movie rental business. Right now there is huge cost
involved in returning DVDs which we rent and also queue for popular
movie titles where by you dont get DVD till others before
you in queue has seen movie and returned it. With Divx VOD every
customer can be provided with custom made VOD CD without any queue.
other brands like Sony, Samsung, LG are selling Divx capable DVD
A: Philips has
launched this player and its variants all over world and is first
major brand to do so. Why does Philips put its worldwide muscle
behind Divx format? Why didnt consumer electronics giant Sony
do it? One reason I can think of is that Philips doesnt own
any Hollywood studios and hence doesnt have any conflict
of interests and can just offer consumer latest and best available
technology without worrying about feelings of Hollywood studios.
Other brands like Kiss Technology, Avayon, RJTECH has also launched
Divx capable DVD players and in this column it will be reviewed
in near future.
can I get Divx/XViD encoded movies?
A: If you already
have DVD or access to DVD of any movie, you can use Gordian Knot
available at www.doom9.org or and convert your movie to Divx format.
You can also download movies encoded by others in Divx from P2P
networks like Kazaa. But when you do this, you may be breaking copyright
laws if you are downloading or copying movies.
else we need to know before buying Philips DVP 642K?
for Divx movies are in format .srt, .sub and .smi. I was not able
to make it work. So it will be good idea if you buy player at showroom
and ask sales people to show you subtitles on divx movies working.
If you can, carry one Divx or XViD movie with subtitle file to test
this. Also you will need to download firmware and upgrade your player
to make best use of it as latest firmware is available for this
player on www.philips.com , if you are not confident of doing it
yourself, have showroom from where you buy this player do it for
you or have Philips service centre do it. Every few month you will
need to update the player this way to keep up with latest features
and updates of formats supports.
lacks good DISPLAY function and you cant find length of movie
or remaining movies duration on screen, only duration of movie
already seen is displayed. This is major drawback and Philips
should be able to rectify it in next firmware update. Their remote
though small and cute uses lot of keys for dual functions. There
is no Open/Close button but STOP button pressed for 2 second will
do that job. There is no Rewind or Forward button but direction
keys for menu system would do that.
Q: Is this
player region free? Will it play all DVDs?
A: No, out of
box it is locked to region 3, but in 2 seconds by pressing few codes
on remote control, you can make this player region free.
Q: Is Philips
DVP 642 and DVP 642K same player?
A: No, they
are different models. You will find only one of this two in any
country. In USA it is DVP 642, in some Asian countries including
India it is DVP 642K. Both the players are physically different.
You can see picture of DVP 642 by here.
DVP 642 doesnt have Karaoke function; DVP 642K has Karaoke
function. DVP 642 when I tried with firmware update, it played subtitles,
DVP 642K doesnt play subtitles. Both players are 110-220V
compatible and will work anywhere in world.
Q: Did Philips
did a good job with DVP 642K and DVP 642?
A: Philips gets
10 out of 10 points for making effort to include Divx format in
their players and 8 out of 10 points for implementation.