Date: June 21st, 2005
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Head Editor / Hardware Reviewer)
Product was submitted by: Samsung Canada
<--SHOP FOR A SAMSUNG DVD-HD841 HIGH DEFINITION DVD PLAYER HERE
PRODUCT PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH
Starting off with the front moving left to right, you have the unit's power button, DVD/Media tray and small tray eject button. The tray mechanism is extremely quiet, smooth and only takes a couple of seconds to open even when you are viewing a movie. A couple of times I hit the button while reading the manual and I reached down again thinking I didn't press the button hard enough only to find it open. It is just that quiet. Some of the cheaper units I have had the displeasure of experiencing in my life have been known to sound like some grinder opening and the tray opens so abruptly that the disc will actually come out of the tray a bit.
Keeping with the simple approach, the front blue digital display is functional and easy to read. Some DVD player manufacturers like to cram every little icon in there display which only leaves a small portion for the actual playing time and function. As with a lot of the products coming out the far east, Samsung personifies this player by having it greet you with hello when you turn it on, and goodbye when you turn it off. Not trying to be picky, but I honestly could do without the greetings. It just delays the product startup and use by a couple more seconds for no real purpose.
As said previously, the front panel is void of any buttons other than this round pad which only allows you to track forward, track backwards and the basic play, stop and pause. Everything else is covered by the remote control. This is where you should practice some caution. If you have a dog or a child that likes to chew or break your precious electrical components and controls, you best be placing your remote control out of harm's way. If the remote is rendered useless or runs out of battery power, your functionality is limited to only the basic controls and no more.
Although I do like the simple front face of this DVD player, Samsung should have incorporated some sort of door you can flip open just in case the remote runs out so you can access even a limited amount of advanced functionality keys.
When it comes down to audio and video connection, this product has all the bases covered. You have your composite (in/out), coaxial and digital audio connections along with composite, S-Video, component and DVI out video connections. If you find any connections this product is missing, you let me know.
DVI connection? What the.....why? These are a couple of questions that some consumers will ask when they see this odd connection on a component other than a PC videocard. Well, some of the newer LCD and Plasma widescreen TV do have a digital connection for the best possible video connection bar none. You just have to make sure that your TV is able to display progressive scan video signal in order to make the connection. I tried this functionality on both a digital LCD monitor and my 40 inch LCD TV and they would work until you hit play on the disc menu to start the movie. Then the screen would start to flash blue and black showing that the display was not capable of displaying the progressive scan signal not because there is a fault with the player, but that the display was not capable of doing the job.
On another note, I just have to express how much a pain in the bum it is to get the DVI functionality set up. You first have to set the DVD player up on a normal composite video connection and then go into the main DVD player menu and swap the connection over to DVI. Even with my technical knowledge and curiosity, it took some time and fiddling before I got it setup. God help anyone that can't set up their VCR clock. Samsung needs to make this more user friendly. Everything other connection sets up fine, but this, gah, ask my girlfriend. She got a good frustrated glare when she entered the living room and asked "How is it setting up?". The look I had on my face when I looked at her had her say "Oh..." and quickly backed up out of the room where she didn't return for some time.