Hey folks Valkor. When you’re a guy like me who’s always on the go; whether by bus, train or plane, you’ll need the right entertainment to make the time fly by just right. And Axion has delivered unto us just the treat, covering all your bases when it comes to movies and music.
Enter The DVDMan.
At first glance the DVDMan looks like another CD player, only square in shape not circular like most CD players. Also it’s a bit larger then most CD players, but not enough to consider it bulky, or too heavy to carry. It doesn’t fit in your pocket but with the right bag, you can transport it with ease. On the front is the 4.2” 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD monitor, plus all controls such as play/pause, previous and next buttons; all controls for the media media, plus the speakers, are just below the screen. On the right you have the on/off switch, a/v port, a/v switch, Axi port, brightness control, and DC port. On the left are two, count em two headphone jacks so you can share in your movie watching or music listening, also volume control. And at the top is the hold and eject button. Every button and switch is easily accessible in their respective position, though I find the buttons a bit stiff, they are functional. My only objection is that there isn’t a stop button. I know it’s a minor detail, but I think it makes things easier rather than having to switch the player on and off to switch discs. There is a 3 second DVD skip, which I found works great. I did a little simulating of a typical travel day by rocking and shaking the DVDMan, it only skipped once and that’s actually a good thing because I thought it would skip all over the place. Can you imagine watching a movie on the plane and you hit some heavy turbulence? It would be unbearable to watch without the anti-skip.
The DVDMan can play most DVD (DVD audio/video/DVDR/DVDRW) and CD (CD-audio/CDR/CDRW) formats; With CD’s you have a choice of audio or mp3 CDs, which I have tons of. I tried all formats of discs, and though there is a bit of loading, it recognized each format with no problem. What surprises me is that the DVDMan isn’t Divx compliant, which a lot of media & DVD players are. Maybe the next version of the DVDMan will play divx disc or if possible, there might be a firmware upgrade to make divx work in this model.
Ok let’s get to the meat, how does it play? Visually it’s pretty good. The TFT LCD, with the right adjustment, is very nice to look at. Colors are bright, darks are… well dark, and you get a sharp picture to boot. Here’s my complaint. It’s a little too sharp, in that the image needs some anti-aliasing to take off some of the jagged edging. When I watched my Fantastic Four DVD, it was very obvious but not distracting. But with my Batman Begins DVD, it’s subtle to nil existent, mostly because a lot of the scenes take place at night. With animation you don’t notice the edging too much. And since I have a lot of anime, my biggest fear was that the edging would carry over to the subtitles. Thankfully it didn’t; the text was very readable and nothing distracted from that. The 4.2” wide screen is the perfect size for this player and the fact that it is widescreen, means most movies will fill up the entire screen without letterboxing. Thank Jeebus for anamorphic widescreen!
The sound is where it’s at and the DVDMan passes with flying colors. I’m not talking about the speakers, I mean when you pop on a pair of nice headphones, in my case Sony’s mdr-60’s, you are in for a ride. And Given that the audio is Dolby Digital, you can expect to be immersed in your film, especially if it’s sound effect heavy. Everything is rich, crystal clear, and you hear everything from their proper position. You wanna get an idea what I mean? Play Batman Begins from the beginning where the bats fly across the screen. Whoa, sweet! CD audio and MP3 also sound awesome; everything plays and sounds just right. But please make a note, depending on the quality of Mp3 you’re playing you may have to lower the volume because the bass just grates or turn it way up because sound is spot on perfect.
The DVDMan isn’t without its imperfections. Again there is the need for anti-aliasing. Also the buttons are a bit stiff to the touch. It’s great that there are two headphone jacks, however one on either side of the player would have been perfect as normally the player will sit in the middle of two people and at times the wire from the second pair of headphones will jump in front of the screen.
Overall, this is a passable DVD player with many media options and very travel-worthy. I would especially recommend the DVDMan to parents with small children, only because I know parents let their kids watch a lot of animated DVD’s and with a price of $129.99 it’s not a bad deal for the kiddies. But for you adult bunch, if your not a techno enthusiast and you just need something simple to help pass the time, then yes I would recommend this to you as well. TOV tested and approved.