Home Theater Review


Harman Kardon DVD50 DVD Player Reviewed

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In today's vast world of digital home entertainment there are so many formats associated with DVD and CD playback that it make component selection not only frustrating, but seemingly impossible at times.

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It's not that manufacturers are incapable of offering multi-format compatibility, but more often a matter of economics. What you may or may not know is that many of the technologies supported by a format require a licensing fee in order to incorporate them into compatible devices. While a select number of "back alley" companies choose to ignore these licensing fees, reputable manufacturers are left to foot the bill.

In some cases, manufacturers will actually invest monies into these formats, in order to further benefit the industry as a whole and ultimately the end user. Where, I'm not implying that Harman Kardon is losing money here, I am saying that I believe they have a lot more invested in the DVD50 than just good engineering--and my hat goes off to them for it.

The Harman Kardon DVD50 is a component developed for the masses and this is why.. .

Unique Features
As DVD Players began to circulate into the retail market many people whom had yet to purchase even a CD player viewed the offering as a chance to break into hi-fidelity sight and sound. Of course there was only one problem, single disc play left work to be done for the couch potato. Soon after the DVD carousel was born and we were on our way...or were we.

The Harmon Kardon DVD50 combines the best of all worlds. The DVD50 represents a benchmark in the brief and colorful history of DVD as it is the first 5-disc carousel player to offer MP3 decoding. Harmon Kardon takes it a step further by including HCCD processing as well as CD-R and CD-RW compatibility to maximize compact disc playback. Remember, HCCD will also improve the sound quality of non-HCCD encoded discs.

Of course these attributes merely make it a great CD player. Indeed, if it wasn't for the progressive scan component video output and 10-bit video D/A conversion with 27 MHz filtering.

Aside from being a magnificent CD player with the probability of being an excellent DVD player through progressive scan, Harman Kardon takes the development of the DVD50 even further by furthering the video component quality. Often times scan lines and motion artifacts are a byproduct of progressive scan DVD playback. The HK DVD50 features component video outputs that reconstruct the 3/2 pull-down process and deliver a full 60-frame playback.

The result is an outstanding visual experience typically associated with players at nearly twice the price.

The Harmon Kardon DVD50 will integrate into your home entertainment system much like any other DVD player. The real treat is found within the user interface. Not only is the on-screen menu stylish, it is also easy to navigate, set-up and better yet, understand.

The player has a variety of viewing options including multiple aspect ratio (both 16:9 and 4:3). There are also multiple viewing angles and still and motion digital zoom capabilities. You may even find the 4-speed Super Fine Slow Motion useful during frame-by frame searches in variable speeds of x1/8, x1/4, x1/8 and x1/16.

Read more about the performance of the DVD50 on Page 2.
continue to page two
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