XMS-150 DVD player

(A picture of the player and the remote control.)

I wanted a second player for the bedroom, so I thought I'd just buy a cheap one.  After comparing quite a few in the shop, most were actually the same as each other, except for the look of the box, the controls and connectors.  They generally had the same electronics, inside; and comparable playback quality.  I opted for the smallest one, so it'd be easy to cart around to friends places to watch movies, if they didn't have a player.

Unfortunately, it's yet another player with that crappy Macrovision, that upsets many TV sets (including all of mine), and I've not found any way to disable it.  Although there's enough information around about how to turn it into a multi-region (zone zero) player, easily enough, just by a few button presses on the remote (open the tray, key in 33080 or 89260, with the last digit meaning the zone; you can set the unit to any particular zone, simply by what you enter as the last digit—zero for region free).

It also had a fault with the remote control (flattening the batteries within a couple of days), so I had to return something that I've bought, yet again.  I'm getting really sick of having to return things that I've bought, manufacturing lack of care about quality control is disgusting.  But, at least the replacement remote seems to be fine.

It's one of the many Chinese kit-form type of players, using standard parts (ESS decoder board, a simple power supply, and a common DVD mechanism).  Making it very similar to the Lennox DVD reviewed elsewhere on this site.  Although that Lennox player didn't have Macrovision, and this XMS one will play the discs that the Lennox had trouble playing (stuffing up the picture periodically).

The deck that can play DVDs, VCDs, S-VCDs, MP3 discs, and audio-CDs.  There's no mention of whether it supports CD-RWs, but it played an homemade audio CD-R without any hassles (I don't have a CD-RW handy, at the moment, to test it).

There's no display on the unit, so you need a video monitor to see what the deck is up to (which is a nuisance, if you were just going to play an audio disc).  The front panel only has controls for power, eject, stop, and a play/pause button.  So you really do need the remote, unless you're just going to play a film.  The remote's a bit sub-standard too, with rubber keys that get caught against the plastic casing and each other.  It's one of the few devices where the main power switch does actually disconnect the power, rather than just put the deck into a standby mode (it does have a standby button on the remote control).

The back panel has a captive mains cord, composite video out, S-video out, left and right audio out, and a digital audio out (they're all RCA sockets, except for the S-video connector).

The on-screen displays and menus are pretty much the same as the Lennox's, so you can check out the Lennox review, for screen grabs.

The deck allows you to adjust the playback pitch of discs, including DVDs.  This could be useful to handle films which have been marginally sped up when being transferred for PAL video, though I haven't checked to see if you can adjust it by the right amount.

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