03 May 2006

A New Toy

My beloved Cyberhome CH-DVD-500 died the other day. It was a good, nay, a great DVD player. It was progressive scan. It had 5.1 component audio out. It played both NTSC and PAL formats. It was region free (well, it was easily made region free). It played MP3s and displayed Jpegs. It only cost me $90 at Best Buy. It lasted a good 3-4 years and allowed me to play some of my prized foreign DVDs like Nobody Someday and the Australian versions of Serenity and The Dish, among others.

I almost got the same unit again from Amazon, since it's not in stores anymore, but I know there are some quality issues with the Cyberhome line, so I went local. The latest and greatest Cyberhome goody is the CH-DVR 1600, and what a goody it is. Besides having all of the above features (excepting 5.1 component out), it also plays DIVX- and XVID-compressed AVIs (so I can watch The IT Crowd on my TV rather than my computer). And as if that weren't enough, it has a built-in TV tuner and can record straight to DVD at several quality levels. It can also record from a firewire video camera. This makes me happy. It's also only $82.29 at BestBuy.com. You need to order it online, though, as it's $97.99 in-store, but since you can just pick it up locally, it's not really a hassle.

If you do get it, make sure you look at the model number on the box sticker carefully. There are 3 CH-DVR-1600 models: ZU (old), MU (newer), and MU1 (newest). Supposedly only the MU1 will play DIVX and XVID AVI files properly, and I can vouch that it works. As for making it Region Free...go here.

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