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Appeared on: Wednesday, November 24, 2004
NeuNeo DV308 MPEG4 DVD Player


1. Introduction
NeuNeo DV308 MPEG4 DVD Player

Introduction

About NeoDigits.com

Having evolved back in 2003 into a hobbyist website offering unique gizmos for AV enthusiasts and early adopters, NeoDigits.com has developed into one of the leading e-commerce sites and a recognized brand on the Internet that focuses on providing quality consumer electronics to customers around the world.

Through strategic partnerships with manufacturers and direct merchant business practices, NeoDigits.com brings to customers the latest products, content-rich shopping experiences and the best values at great convenience.

Direct Merchant. As a direct merchant, we work in partnerships with suppliers throughout China and other parts of Asia. We will work closely with the suppliers to ensure high quality standards and introduce newly designed features that match the latest trends in the market.

Price Advantage. Typically, price is considered the most important factor for most buyers. By eliminating the markups of the middlemen, we pass the extra savings on to our customers, who shop directly with us via the Internet and we will always ensure the most competitive prices for the products in your local market.

Customer Service . When you shop at NeoDigits.com you know you'll be taken care of all the way from the time you require general assistance from our staff, to the time you receive your products. At NeoDigits.com, we believe that our customers are the reason we exist. We are committed to doing whatever is necessary in order to meet customer needs.

NeoDigits.com is our dream, our vision and our inspiration. Having served thousands of online customers from every corner of the globe, we pride ourselves in providing original products at incredible savings and special convenience. With our enthusiasm for innovative products and a team of dedicated professionals, NeoDigits.com strives to be among the best customer performance Internet companies.

The NeuNeo DV308 is an MPEG4 DVD player featuring a whole new 3rd generation MPEG4 decoding chipset. It offers the best MPEG4 playback quality and compatibility as well as subtitle file support. Just burn your favourite movie files on CDR/DVDR and then play it on this player like a regular DVD!

Features

Based on the 3rd generation MPEG4 chipset, the NeuNeo DV308 offers the best MPEG4 video playback quality and compatibility.

Specifications

Support Media Type CDROM, CD-R/RW, DVD, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, Audio CD, Video CD, Super Video CD, Kodak PhotoCD
Video DAC Quad 10bit 108Mhz video DAC
Audio DAC 192 kHz 24 Bit Audio DAC
Audio response 20Hz-20kHz
Audio s/n ratio >85dB
Audio Distortion+Noise <= 80dB(1KHz)
Dynamic Range >=85dB(1KHZ)
Power AC90V~240V;50/60Hz
Power consumption < 30W
Dimension 17 x 10.5 x 1.7 inch (430 x 270 x 43 mm).
Weight 3.2KG

2. Interior Look
NeuNeo DV308 MPEG4 DVD Player

Interior Look

The pictures below show the interior of the DV308, after removing the cover. This action is not recommended, since it voids the manufacturer's warranty. (Click on images for hi-res views).

 


3. Main Chipset
NeuNeo DV308 MPEG4 DVD Player

Main Chipset

The NeuNeo DV308 uses the Amlogic 3288 chipset, which has all the features of the 3285, mentioned below. Additionally, the chipset itself is DivX® Home Theater Certified.

The AML3285/AML3295 A/V Processor is a completely inegrated system targeting all types of Audio/Video decoder applications. The AML3285/AML3295 combines the full functionality of MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 decoding, numerous dedicated and general purpose peripherals and an embedded 32bit host CPU in a single device. The AML3285/AML3295 has two built-in AMRISC 24-bit RISC processors with special instructions to accomodate audio and video digital signal processing.

The embedded 32-bit host CPU handles system initialization, DVD navigation and other systems applications. The AML3285/AML3295 processor provides a glueless interface to all external components: ATAPI loaders, Thomson serial front-end devices, audio DACs and memory. Numerous general-purpose I/O pins can be used to control the front panel display and other miscellaneous tasks. The Flash interface allows the Flash memory to be shared with the front-end chip to reduce system cost in mono-board designs. Together, the embedded host CPU and special glueless interfaces reduce the total system cost for all A/V applications.

The AML3285/AML3295 A/V Processor also integrates an NTSC/PAL TV encoder that supports S-Video, composite, YUV component and RGB signals. The video encoder also supports high-quality de-interlaced progressive scan (480p/576p) with full Macrovision support. Contrast enhancement, hue adjustment, video scaling, video interpolation, pan-scan, letter-box, and zoom are also supported. In addition, four built-in Video DACs complement the video encoder further reducing system cost.

The integrated AMRISC RISC processor is designed to support advanced digital audio processing. The micro-coded engine provides support for all existing audio formats and it also has enough flexibility to accomodate new audio standards. Popular audio formats like Dolby AC3 5.1, DTS, HDCD, MP3 and WMA are supported.

Specifications

MPEG 1/2/4 Decoding

Video

Audio

Graphics

Built-in TV encoder

Built-in Host CPU

Peripherals and Interface

Miscellaneous


4. Connections
NeuNeo DV308 MPEG4 DVD Player

Connections

The package includes: 1 DVD Player, 1 Remote Control with 2xAAA sized batteries, 1 pair analog Video /Audio Cables and User Manual.

Power 100 ~ 240V AC/50 ~ 60Hz.

On the rear and at the left hand side of the device, there is the 5.1CH output, which indicates that the player has a built-in decoder for analogue multichannel sound reproduction.

Next to it, (see the screenshot below), are the composite and S-Video outputs.

Continuing to the right, there are the Component Video (PbPrY) outputs. Next to these there are the coaxial and optical digital outputs for digital multichannel audio reproduction.

Next, there is the SCART connector and the stereo output connectors, as well as a VGA connector. In case you were wondering, yes, a VGA monitor can be connected using this output and video can be displayed. This type of connection is not available on most DVD players, but is usually reserved for high priced players.


On the front and top right of the player, there are all the appropriate controls for functionng the device without the need for a remote control.



Below you can see the included remote control that comes with the DV308. Simple and complete, you have total control over the device and it won't take you long to get acquainted with to. Click on the image to view a larger picture.


5. Menus - Page 1
NeuNeo DV308 MPEG4 DVD Player

Menus

After connecting the NeuNeo DV308, we turned it on. The following screen is what came up first. The first screenshot is without a disc inserted while the second had a DVD movie.


You also have the option of locking the player, by inputing a four digit password.

The "Display" menu option has four subcategories:

The first one, "TV System", sets the image transmission system.

The second menu option can be used to configure the aspect ratio of the video output image.

The next two menu options set the output signal of the SCART and S-Video output connections.

The last option in the main menu, "Languages", lets you define the language for the player's menus, disc menus, audio language and subtitles to be used by default.


6. Menus - Page 2
NeuNeo DV308 MPEG4 DVD Player

Menus

The "Sound" option provides all the necessary selections in order to set the audio to your liking.

The Digital Output menu option can be used to enable/disable the digital output's Dolby Digital/DTS feature if the device is connected to a Dolby Digital/DTS receiver.

The Stereo menu option when enabled, enables the stereo output connectors. That way, any 5.1CH/DTS audio signal is down-mixed to stereo if only stereo speakers are available.

In the "Speaker Setup" menu, you can set the size and power of your speakers and the distance and volume for each one. A useful feature found here is the ability to disable speakers, if the built-in 5.1CH decoder is used. We managed to connect a four point surround speaker system with subwoofer, by just disabling the center speaker through the menu. The DV308 automatically directed the signal for the center speaker to the front left and right speakers.





7. Menus - Page 3
NeuNeo DV308 MPEG4 DVD Player

Menus

The following screenshots are during playback of several MP3 formats. As it can be clearly seen, all types are recognized.



If the media includes both audio and photos, you get the following screen:


The player can also read folders and subfolders.







8. Menus - Page 4
NeuNeo DV308 MPEG4 DVD Player

Menus

There are also several options that can be set during movie playback. Track number, chapter, subtitles, audio, mode, set bookmarks or changing angle. Below we provide screenshots from each feature.








9. Reading tests
NeuNeo DV308 MPEG4 DVD Player

Reading tests

The performance of a DVD player can be described in terms related to reading speed, reading accuracy, compatibility with various CD/DVD recordable/rewritable formats as well as data/audio playback support, stored on any common medium.

DVD support

The DV308, as it is also described on the NeuNeo website, is a Region Free drive, which means that the unit is able to decode (play) all the DVD-Video discs originating from any region.

The NeuNeo DV308 supports both PAL and NTSC TV signal transmission formats. It will also automatically convert a PAL encoded video to NTSC and vice versa, making it possible for the player to play and kind of DVD movie (PAL/NTSC) on any TV.

We connected the player through the S-Video connection and the corresponding cable (which is not included in the unit's package). As was expected, the DV308 supports the DVD-Video format.

We tried several DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW media, burned with several recorders and also some DVD+R9 (Dual layer recordable discs) of various brands. We recorded the DVD-Video discs with DVD-ROM booktype. Below we summarize the results:

Recorder
Media
Speed recorded
Recognition
Playback
Philips DRX-500UL v1.0c
TDK DVD+RW 2.4x
2.4x
OK
Philips DRU-530A v2.0h
Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD+R 4x
4x
Taiyo yuden DVD+R 4x
4x
N-Tech DVD+R 4x
4x
Philips DVD+R 4x
4x
Philips DVR-107D v1.05
JVC DVD-R 8x
8x
MKM DVD+R 8x
8x
CMC DVD-R 4x
4x
CMC DVD+R 4x
4x
NEC ND-2500A v1.06
JVC DVD-RW 4x
4x
Maxell DVD+RW 4x
4x
Ritek DVD-R 4x
4x
Mam DVD-R 4x
4x
TDK DVD-R 4x
4x
Plextor DVD+R 4x
8x
Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD-R 4x
8x
Taiyo Yuden DVD-R 4x
8x
Optorite DD0401 v1.30E
MKM DVD+R 8x
8x
Hi-Space DVD-R 4x
4x
Verbatim DVD-R 4x
4x
BTC DRW1008IM v0.55
Philips DVD-R 4x
4x
LiteOn LDW-811S vHS0K
FujiFilm DVD-R 4x
4x
Philips DVDRW885K
MKM 2.4X DVD+R DL
2.4x
NEC ND-2510
MKM 2.4X DVD+R DL
2.4x
BenQ DW-1600A DL
MKM 2.4X DVD+R DL
2.4x
Sony DRU-700A
MKM 2.4X DVD+R DL
2.4x
LiteOn SOHW-832S
MKM 2.4X DVD+R DL
2.4x

All the DVD media discs were recognized and played successfully without problems, even Double Layer media. Although the discs written had their booktype set to DVD-ROM, the DV308 can read DVD+R, DVD+R DL media without bitsetting

The HVD108 supports reading of DVD-ROM format.

Both formats are supported.

The NeuNeo DV308 supports reading of the JPEG file format. We tried several resolutions and qualities and all were "playable". Obviously, the larger the picture, the more time needed to load the file, but in general the display speed was good. Picture formats such as PNG or GIF were not recognized.

The DVR-320-S works well with AudioCD, CD-R/-RW, VideoCD and Super-VideoCD playback. The tracks are recognized correctly, regardless of whether the disc is factory- pressed or a CD-R/RW. Please note, that when talking about data CD (CD-R/-RW), we refer to either compressed audio files (MP3, WMA.), pure *.wav files, or to VideoCD and Super VideoCD. The Ogg Vorbis format cannot be recognized by the player.

In the case of pressed/recordable/rewritable AudioCDs, the player recognizes and plays all tracks. The device played audio files from CD-R, 10x HS-RW, 24x US-RW and 32x US-RW discs we inserted in the disc tray. Even those that were 90 or 99 minutes duration.

We also tried our Audio protected CDs, "Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies island" protected with Macrovision' Key2Audio scheme, and "Celine Dion - A New Day Has Come", "Aiko" protected with Cactus Data Shield 2000. Both titles were recognized and played without any problems.

 

Compression type
Compression settings
Recognize / Play
MP3
CBR 20kBit 11025Hz Mono
Yes
CBR 20kBit 11025Hz Stereo
CBR 32kBit 11025Hz Stereo
CBR 32kBit 22050Hz Mono
CBR 40kBit 22050Hz Stereo
CBR 48kBit 22050Hz Stereo
CBR 48kBit 44100Hz Mono
CBR 56kBit 22050Hz Mono
CBR 56kBit 44100Hz Mono
CBR 64kBit 22050Hz Stereo
CBR 96kBit 22050Hz Stereo
CBR 96kBit 44100Hz Mono
CBR 96kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 112kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 128kBit 44100Hz Mono
CBR 128kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 160kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 192kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 224kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 256kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 320kBit 44100Hz Stereo
VBR - High compression
VBR - Highest compression
VBR - Low compression
VBR - Lowest compression
VBR - Medium compression

Windows Media Audio

(WMA)

WMA 48kbps
WMA 64kbps
WMA 96kbps
WMA 128kbps
WMA 160kbps
WMA 192kbps
WAV
WAV
No

The DV108 does not support the Super AudioCD format nor DVD-Audio.

The NeuNeo DV308 can play back DivX/Xvid encoded video with subtitles support (.srt format)

In our tests, the device played back without problems DivX video encoded with DivX 3.11/4/5 and MP3/AC3 audio. Same goes for Xvid encoded videos. Bear in mind that the DV308's chipset responsible for MPEG4 playback is DivX Home Theater Certified, so this behavior was somewhat expected.

Where things are a little fuzzy with this device, is the support of the most advanced features for the DivX/Xvid codecs, such as GMC (Global Motion Compensation) and QPEL (Quarter Pixel). While the manufacturer claims that these features are supported, some movies we tested that were encoded with these advanced features did not playback properly. Image was blocky and distorted, expecially in high motion scenes.As we found out by further testing, videos encoded with QPEL in conjunction with the use of B-frames seem to be the source of most problems. This did not appear in all videos we encoded though.

Nevertheless, these features (GMC/QPEL) are fairly new, and there is a large debate going around about their effectiveness and gains from using them. And most probably, this behavior can be fixed with a future firmware update, as the chipset used on the DV308 is fairly new.


10. Error Correction Tests
NeuNeo DV308 MPEG4 DVD Player

Error Correction

In this section, we try to simulate one of the most interesting problems an average user frequently faces while using a DVD player, namely the reading accuracy of a DVD player when accessing a defective or scratched DVD or CD. The performance of the drive here may be influenced by the quality/precision of its mechanical parts (Optical Pickup Unit, sufficient servo control, etc), as well as with the drive's reading strategy under abnormal conditions, controlled by the main chipset and firmware commands. We tested the NeuNeo DV308 with a number of pressed DVD-Video and AudioCD test discs. The ABEX series from Almedio offers a good picture of a CD/DVD reader's error correction capabilities. In addition, we used the SBC444A test disc from Philips and CD-Check test disc from Digital Recordings.

DVD-Video

This is a single-sided, dual layer (S-2 type, OTP) disc with 8.5GB capacity. The disc can be used for checking the layer switching operation from layer1 to layer 0. The disc also includes test pictures and test signals for Dolby Digital , linear PCM (48kHz/24bit, 96kHz/24bit) and others, to examine high quality pictures and sound. The disc content is an MPEG-2 NTSC DVD-Video file. The TCD-545 includes defects on the disc area (black dots and fingerprints). The size of the black dots varies from 0.4mm to 1.0mm and fingerprints from 0.065mm to 0.075mm.

The NeuNeo DV308 read the disc without skips, picture stills or glitches. This is good behavior since this is prominent problem amongst most PC DVD recorders/players.

 

This disc is exactly the same as the Abex TCD-545 tested previously, except that the defect is a scratch ranging in size from 0.4mm to 3.0mm, increasing by 0.2mm /per step. The DV308 showed very good performance again. All chapters of the DVD-Video were played correctly. Here we should say that not all PC DVD/CD players are able to read this specific test disc.

 

 

 

AudioCD

This is an AudioCD disc used for measurement and adjustment of the error correction capability and tracking/focusing of the servo characteristics of a player against possible defects on some CDs. Three kinds of defects are included on this disc: interruption in information layer, black dots and fingerprints. The interruptions are fabricated by intentionally varying the lengths of pits on the disc fabrication area. Their size varies from 0.5mm to 1.0mm. The diameter of black dots is from 0.4mm to 1.0mm. The simulated fingerprints are in turn, small gathered dots, of diameters sized from 65 micrometers to 75 micrometers. 160 black dots together construct an artificial fingerprint.

All audio tracks were played successfully by the NeuNeo player while no audible read errors (clicks, skips) were noticed.

The test concept with the Philips SBC 44A is the same as in the previous test disc. Interruptions on the information layer vary from 400 micrometers to 1000 micrometers, while black dots have size of 300 micrometers to 800 micrometers. This disc is not too difficult for players to read and the DV308 read it accurately.

 

 

 

 

The medium has the same contents as the Abex TCD-726 but with a different defect - a scratch sized from 0.4mm to 3.0mm on the disc's surface. Error symptoms expected when playing this disc are noise, sound skips, same sector repeatedly played, start of tune cannot be detected, etc.

Only the first 6 tracks of this CD played without clicks or skips. The specific track has an artificial scratch sized at 1.2mm. The rest of the tracks, even the last with a 3.0mm scratch, reported few clicks or skips. According to this performance the drive has average error correction.

We finish this testing cycle with the CD-Check disc from Digital Recordings. Five audio signals (5 tracks) are combined with disc error patterns to rate the player's ability to read and reproduce music completely. The five tracks contain a sequence of tests of progressively rising difficulty .



Check level 1 (track 1): Standard manufacturing errors

Check level 2 (track 2): 0.375mm scratch

Check level 3 (track 3): 0.750mm scratch

Check level 4 (track 4): 1.125mm scratch

Check level 5 (track 5): 1.500mm scratch

Any clicks, interruptions or looping during audio reproduction indicate failure of a Check level (audio track). Below you can see the test results:

Check level
1
2
3
4
5
Result
OK
OK
1 click
2 clicks
5 clicks

The NeuNeo DV308 played flawlessly the first 2 tracks, which correspond to a scratch up to 0.750mm at the end of the track. The last 3 tracks presented a problem for the player. However we should mention that many players, even PC drives, cannot read the past the fourth or the fifth track on this disc.

Summarizing, we can say that the DV308 performed well in our error correction tests. However its performance with the ABEX TCD-721R could be better.


11. Conclusion
NeuNeo DV308 MPEG4 DVD Player

Conclusion

After using the NeuNeo DV308 for several days, we can say that the device is very versatile and has a very easy to learn and intuitive menu navigation system with all the settings for playback. The device has all the appropriate connections, even a built-in decoder with 5.1CH outputs, and can playback almost every DivX/Xvid encoded video (even the ones encoded with older codec versions) with subtitle support.

It can also playback any kind of media inserted, such as CD/CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/+RW, DVD+R DL, with or without booktype set to DVD-ROM.

The price for the DV308 quoted at NeuNeo's website is at $109.

Body & Design
Reading
Compatibility
Ease of use
Features
Connectivity
Value for money
The Good

- Easy to setup/use
- MPEG4 (DivX/Xvid) playback with subtitles support (chipset used is DivX Home Theater certified)
- Good error correction
- Region Free DVD player
- Several Audio/Video connections, progressive scan
- Firmware upgradable

The Bad

- Retail packaging could be sturdier to prevent damage during shipping or handling
- No S-Video or Coaxial cables included
- Does not always playback correctly movies encoded with the advanced features of newer DivX/Xvid codecs (GMC/QPEL)

Like to be fixed

- improve compatibility of DivX/Xvid playback for movies encoded with GMC/QPEL.



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