Here's another offering from the sub Rs. 5000 camp, hoping to find a place in the chain of consumers just getting into video entertainment, or maybe even upgrading. Actually the latter is a slim chance, as this type of DVD player mainly meets the needs of budget-conscious noobs who are going in for their first system.
Even in this price category there is a lot of competition; in fact it’s a game of megabrands and marketing more than anything else. Speaking of the brand, Mitashi started off making products for kids – educational gizmos and stuff.
Let's see whether the new Mitashi DVD player, the DHD 911, is worth picking up from the shelves. The product costs Rs. 3990, and we were eager to put it through its paces.
Design and Features
This player has a regular sober design, with one notable feature I haven't seen in other players in its class – a large trademarked Mitashi brand name embossed on the top panel. A paper illustration runs along the joint of the top and front panel, highlighting the features this unit supports, which are quite numerous (please see the 'Features' section for details).
The drive glows a luminescent blue once the player is switched on. The player has one retro on/off switch, a silver push-button type that you may recall seeing on old stereo amps. A USB port and an SD card slot are found at the right extremity of the front panel, while a centrally located four-way joystick-style silver button does the play/pause and navigating functions.
The overall design and finish are above average, if you overlook the sticker.
The DHD 911 supports a lot of features and allows you to play back almost everything you throw at it, including DVD, VCD, DivX, Audio CD, MP3/MP4 and JPEG. Connections available are Composite, Component, S-video and HDMI, and we were anxious to see how the unit performed while sending upscaled HD signals.
The lightweight remote has small gray buttons, interspersed with some blue ones for important highlighted features.
The setup menu reveals that this little monster can go up to 1080p, but we didn’t have a TV currently that is full HD, so 720p was the selected resolution. Regardless of the price and segment a player falls in, they all undergo the same tests, including the strenuous patterns from the DVE disc.
In HD mode the image detail was better than average, though we encountered one major flaw that can be spotted from any angle or background. Technically known as Y/C delay, it occurs when the color bleeds out of its borders. The frames moved along fine, but clarity was not upto the mark. Jagged lines were visible in sections.
The dynamic range of colors was good though. The player could churn out dark shades blacker than black, and various lighter shades till it reached a pristine white. This was on digital content from the test disc.
Next we played film content in normal 480p through the component cable, including the Star Wars DVD (what better?) It's important to check movie DVDs while testing as these DVDs have content that was originally captured at 24 frames per second, while the DVD player plays it at almost 30fps (in case of NTSC). More on this.
Simply put, it's the DVD player's job to account for this difference, and the Mitashi did an okay job of this, and the crazy fast motion scenes in the movie were depicted with decent conviction. But some flaws were there. For a player in this value segment, I suppose one can't expect too much in this department.
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