Our old Samsung DVD player had been acting up of late – half the discs we inserted got a “no disc inserted” error and skipping had become a major problem, even on discs with no discernible scratches. So, I picked up a Philips DVP 5990 from Walmart yesterday evening, with an eye towards using it with the HDTV we will eventually buy. Note that Walmart is offering $100 gift cards for anyone buying a Blu-ray player (including the PS3) until next Sunday, but we didn’t want to spend that kind of money, so a regular upconverting DVD player seemed like the most reasonable choice.
The 5990 is a 1080p upconverting player, which makes it future-proof. There is a hack available to make it fully region-free, which is nice in theory but in practice something I am unlikely to need unless I buy DVDs abroad. More useful is the unit’s DIVX support, and the USB2 port on the front. This means I can load up video files that I’ve dowloaded onto a USB flash drive and play them on my TV.
Of course, my TV is still the analog set I’ve had for over ten years, so none of this will look as good as it does on my laptop screen, but eventually when we do go HDTV I am looking forward to having the convenience.