So if you’re ever in Hong Kong, what is the one thing that you should definitely buy? In the gadget world, there are probably a hundred different answers I can give you. PDA, MP3, MD? We have so many unique products from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Europe, and North America. But without a doubt, I tell everyone that if you haven’t already got one (and even if you already do) you should buy a DVD player in Hong Kong.
DVD players in Hong Kong and specifically, some of the China made ones, are some of the most advanced DVD players in the world. There are so many reasons I can think of to get one. But let’s start with the two most critical factors, they are some of the cheapest players in the world and more importantly, they can play DVDs from anywhere in the world.
With that in mind, the Skyworth 1050P is probably one of the best choices. China-made DVDs are notorious for being “ugly” – in contrast, the 1050P actually looks nice. China-made DVDs usually lack a lot of functions — this one has a lot, so many that I haven’t even learned them all. Lastly, China-made DVDs have been known for their poor quality, but the 1050P is actually very well made.
As I wrote some months ago, I had wanted to buy a new DVD player, primarily because I couldn’t view any of the Europe (region 2 and PAL) DVDs. European DVDs offer a number of different choices in entertainment content, in particularly TV shows which we don’t get on TV. For example, they have the first 4 seasons of Buffy, the first two seasons of Angel, all the episodes of Friends, including the 8th season, the first season of CSI and of course the outrageous Ali G. At first, I thought that I would buy a recordable DVD player. But they were all still very expensive and there is still a high risk of getting stuck with a standard that won’t be around later.
The China-made DVD players are of course much cheaper than other brand-name players from Japan, Korea, and Europe (regardless of where they are actually made). The cheapest DVD player I have seen was around US$85 while the Skyworth 1050P costs close to US$200 which would be considered expensive for these products and is certainly at the top end of the range.
The 1050P is surprisingly attractive given that China-made DVDs have for a long time looked comparably poor and “cheap”. The finish of 1050P is superb and I really like the blue lights on either side of the front panel, which adds a touch of class and elegance to the machine. They obviously borrowed some of the design of the Sony S9000 lighting. There are no ugly logos or obtrusive buttons anywhere. Shiny, silver casing – just the way I like my video/audio components. This component is a well made machine.
Here’s truly where the 1050P surprised me. It is a really amazing player. The specs are just fantastic for a China made player. First of all, it’s progressive scan. Here’s the thing that astounds me. I remember like 8 years ago when a Faroudja line doubler would cost something like US$10,000. So how in the world did progressive scan DVDs now incorporate the technology and cost a fraction of the costs. Sure, the iScanPro also does a great job these days for a lot less, but that’s still US$600 or so. So how does a US$200 DVD machine incorporate this technology? I have no idea, but it’s there. If you look on the front of the machine, there’s even a sticker with the word Faroudja in it.
The 1050P has the option of either a VGA output or a Component progressive output. (The 1050D, a lower model does not come with the VGA output.) I chose the VGA output because the back of my Plasma is already crowded with 3 other inputs. The visual verdict: Wow! The picture is stunning. Extremely sharp and clear, I was really impressed with the playback. The 1050P does not do as good a job with the color balance as my Sony S7000, but it’s the details and overall picture quality that really stands out. The S7000 has a much softer tone in terms of its color which is sometimes more desirable, but the images are much more “grainy”. For the price paid, the 1050P is awesome. The picture is stunning in case you didn’t get that.
The multi-code player destroys all the region encoding and even the copy-protection systems, playing everything from protected DVDs to scratched VCDs. This player played at least five DVDs that my S7000 no longer accepts.
I did not get a chance to test out the DTS because I do not have a DTS decoder, but the sound through my Nakamichi works really well. I am pretty sure I would not be disappointed.
The one downside to the 1050P has to be the remote control. I don’t know what is wrong with it but it is just not very responsive. In fact, the buttons often stick and you pretty much have to press everything about five times before the player reacts. I programmed my Sony RM VZ950T universal remote and it works much better. But you just can’t program all of the functions and you’ll eventually have to revert back to the remote which is really a shame because it’s not very good. But as I said, it’s a small complain that you eventually get used too.
The 1050P really is one of the most complete DVD players because it offers everything. Progressive scan, all-code, multi system, DTS, you name it. All this in a very attractive package makes this one of the most ESSENTIAL buys. I’m glad I chose this player instead of buying the Sony DVP S9000 which costs some 5 times more. Regardless of whether you already have a DVD player or not, this is a great replacement, 2nd player, or even a first player for those not yet on the DVD bandwagon. I’m using it as my primary player and I have no regrets.