The KISS DP-500 supports playing dvd, cd, mp3, divx, xvid from CDs and DVDs or streamed over a local network via its built in ethernet port.
You may be wondering why a dvd player is being reviewed on a site about silent computing. The DP-500 solves the problem of playing downloaded movies and music on the TV without needing a pc buzzing in the corner. I supports most common movie formats, vcd (mpg 1), dvd (mpg 2), divx and xvid (mpg 4), and will play them not only off of a cd or dvd, but directly from a pc connected via the network. This means that once you have downloaded a movie onto your pc, you don't need to do anything else in order to watch it from the comfort of the lounge.
The kiss dp-500 comes with windows software for streaming movies, music and pictures from you pc, however there are better opensource alternatives that should run on any platform (windows, mac, linux) such as my favourite JLink. To update the software for the DP-500 you will need a cd-writer as the software is supplied as small a bootable cd image (.iso). The software has come a long way since some of the earlier versions, adding better support for more movie formats and bug fixes.
All of the settings, and browsing for music, movies, pictures is done from an on screen display, so even if you just want to play some mp3 tracks you will need to turn the tv on. Playing CDs and mp3 CDs doesn't require the tv however. It would be nice of browsing for music could be done using the small lcd display on the front of the player, but maybe that will come in a later update. Setting the unit up is very simple, as there is a quickstart to whisk you through it. It will correctly scale dvds for widescreen on 4:3 televisions, though strangely won't scale divx and xvid movies for widescreen sets, so you will need to use the zoom features of your tv.
The dp-500 has both analog and digital sound outputs, and composite, s-video and scart video connectors giving rgb and progressive scan display options. When playing ordinary cds I have found the analog sound output to be a little sharp, so would recommend using the D/A feature of your amplifier instead. There is a multiregion hack for the player, but it requires taking the dvd drive out of the player, and putting it in a pc to change the firmware. SO I still use my multiregion dvd player for dvds and the kiss dp-500 for everything else.
Overall the kiss dp-500 has a lot going for it, and solves on the big issues with playing movies in the lounge. It's by no means perfect, but for such a low price, it really is a complete bargain. It still has some niggles that need ironing out, but has so many good features you will wonder how you ever lived without it. I expect to see more and more ethernet enabled cd/dvd players hitting the market as manufactures realise that broadband internet is changing the way we see home entertainment.
Overall Rating 8/10
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