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★★★★★

“I'm a student. I'm on a budget. I know my way around...”

Written on: 29/04/2004 by coin (1 review written)

Good Points
Cheap, easy to install, looks great.

Bad Points
Problematic...

General Comments
I'm a student. I'm on a budget. I know my way around electronics. I want a Surround Sound DVD bundle. Cheap.



And here is the solution : the Sony DAV-SA30. It may be labeled as "an entry-level DVD player" but don't let that put you off - it's got more than enough bang for your buck.



First things first. You want something easy to install - no "hunky monkeys" needed to install it. It's all very DIY, and that's great. The speakers are all color coded, as are the leads and the sockets. There are no fidly plugs, only a scart lead is needed. And by the way - it is needed. They don't give you one. If you want to use it, you need one. Pick up one for about £5, or $9. After that, you're all set. It really is that simple.



Right, moving on. Looks. The speakers are discreet - but not that discreet that they look "dodgy". They're nice and chunky, and have a nice rounded top. Don't worry about them stealing the focus from watching the DVD's, they merge away into the background as soon as the lights are dimmed. The subwoofer is chunky, but once again not too much so. Could do with being a bit less deep though, but it's no biggie. The actual DVD Player and Decoder have the most beautiful frosted glass covering about a mm away from the actual box, and it also has one of those nifty knobs that you can turn to adjust the volume, much easier than buttons. It doesn't crowd the set either, it's nice and thin, but quite deep. It doesn't waste space with too many buttons, just the basic play, pause, stop, rewind (chapter -) and fastforward (chapter +), as well as a function button and a headphone socket. All in all, very nice indeed.



Now here's the big question; "How does it perform?" Well, firstly, it sounds great. You've got the option to put it 2 RGB leads. (You know, the lead that splits into a yellow, red and white head? The ones ya got on PS2's...) Unfortunatly, it lacks a SCART input, but it doesn't matter. Anyway, like I was saying - sound. It converts all 2 channel - Stereo - channels into that lovely 5.1 surround sound that you love. It's really wonderful. TV in Dolby Digital? Yes please. That goes for VCR's and games too.



The image is great, no complaints.



However (and there's always a however) this model has a problem. Occasionally the sound will dissapear. Leaving you with a very annoying discreet white noise, rather than the surround sound. When this happens, it give no sound whatsoever. None. Nada. Nyet. So you've got to turn it off and on again AT THE SOCKET. Very important. I'd was really annoying me...



Other than that though, no complaits, and the remote is nice, though it could have had slightly larger buttons.



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