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KiSS DP-500 - Playback

Below is a list of all the formats I've played. Most formats are clickable, so for those of you who are not familiar with the different formats just click on it for more information.

Video:

Audio:

MP3

CDDA/Audio CD/CDA
Images:
Sub titles :
SAMI (.smi)
SubRip (.srt)
MicroDVD (.sub)

* I could not find a good link that described what XDVD is, but just as with XVCD it's simply a DVD that doesn't quite follow the standards considering i.e. resolution and bitrate.

Comparing this player to Neuston quickly made me notice two major differences: the KiSS player handles DivX 3.11 a lot better than Neuston, on the other hand it handles all VCD/DVD formats, except the normal VCD 2.0 format, worse than Nesuton.

An example of the problems I have is found below:


Saving Private BSOD?

This is what I see when I try to play Saving Private Ryan Special Edition (DTS) on the KiSS DP-500. Simply a black screen with a marker on what I assume is a menu item. No sound nor am I able to press enter on any, what I assume is, menu option. In short Saving Private Ryan was a no go on this player. Granted I haven't seen any other movie with this same problem but if one DVD is "handled" like this I'm assuming other might have the same result as well.

The new firmware 2.7.1 was supposed to fix problems with an unspecified amount of DVD movies and their menus. Private Ryan is still a no go for me though.

DivX 3.11 worked better as mentioned. This player has less problems with high bitrate DivX 3.11 though it too seems to hit it's limit when closing in on a 1 mbps bitrate, at too high bit rates the player freezes for a few seconds now and then rendering the movie unwatchable. I also had some slight problems with smearing pixels on the Neuston player but I haven't seen these problems at all on DP-500.

Neuston - KiSS: 1 - 1

Music playback and picture watching of the supported formats worked flawlessly, no problems whatsoever.

Limitations:
As the specs mentioned it also works fine to burn files on almost any disc. There are two limitations though: the player has no support for DVD-RAM (which isn't very surprising considering the physical aspects of the format) and no support for CD-R/CD-RW longer than 80 minutes. In other terms: the player cannot handle discs that are overburnt - a fact that bothers me a lot.

Two other unsupported formats are SACD (Super Audio CD) and DVD-Audio.

WMA/WMV support would be very nice but there is none as of yet.

Playing

Even though the player supports a lot of formats that doesn't say that they work problem-free. A short description of all the different format's support is listed below. Notice that we don't take count of the image quality, except when it concerns actual bugs.

Video:

DVD:
The player handles DVD just as good as expected. Fast forwarding, time search, zooming, changing subtitles and audio tracks and more works perfectly and the player works quickly without delays. The exception being Saving Private Ryan which didn't work at all on the DP-500.

VCD: (All versions)
VCD 1.x - 2.x works very good in general, playback seems slightly smoother than on Maestro DVX. Other VCD formats is a bit worse off though as playback tends to get choppy at times. Especially high bitrate VCDs don't work very well at all.

XviD:
Works like a charm.

DivX 4.02 - 5.05b:
See XviD.

DivX 3.11:
Works nicely except when the bitrate gets too high (roughly 1 mbps).

RMP4:
Of course Sigma's own format works splendidly with their own decoder.

MPEG 1 and 2:
Again the player seems to dislike the high bitrate MPEG files here as playback is a bit choppy.

Audio:

MP3:
Sounds as good as an MP3 does.

Ogg Vorbis :
Works as good as one would expect. .

Audio CD:
Works as it should. I really like that KiSS has built a menu for Audio CDs, Neuston don't have this which makes navigation cumbersome.

Images:

JPEG/Kodak Picture CD:
Works very well, loading times are shoter than on the Neuston player.

Just like on the Nesuton player I made a CD which really tests the limits of the player. A high bitrate XviD file with 5.1 AC3 audio and subtitles was played. While audio and video was as good as it ever gets I did have some very slight problems with subtitles being out of sync (before the 2.7.0 firmware subtitles was completely out of sync by several minutes) not a bad problem, at worst it was a few seconds (1-3) but still in a scene with lots of conversation it's pretty irritating.

Formats/Playing
We look on the number of audio and video formats supported, and how it works practically. The media formats are also included in the judgement.

I had a hard time deciding if this player should get the same grade as Neuston or a bit lower. In the end I'll have to lower it a bit. Mostly because the fairly poor SVCD support but also because of problems with subtitle sync.

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