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Appeared on: Tuesday, February 19, 2002
Shinco 8320 DVD Player


1. Features

Shinco 8320 DVD/VCD/SVCD/MP3 Player - Page 1

We all know that DVD Players play DVD disks. And many newer models also support VCD/SVCD CDs. But how about a DVD player that also reads your favorite Mp3 CDs? Shinco 8320 DVD player claims to support all of the above , plus some more! Does it live up to the promises? Follow us in this interesting tour to find out...

Features of Shinco 8320 DVD Player :
- Ordinary and Wide Screen (16:9)
- Supports DVD (region free!), VCD, SVCD, Mp3 CDs
- Multi-Angle
- Multi-Language
- Parent Lock
- Zoom (2x,4x)
- DTS Sound System support
- Fast foward,fast reverse,slow play,frame play,repeat play and program play
- Time Search
- Resume Play
- Video Output (Standard Video, S-Video Out)
- Audio Output (Analog, Optical, Coaxial)
- Karaoke (Dual Microphone Input, Digital Echo)

The Technical Stuff: (Source)

Lumiere loader
The Lumiere loader has a more compact structure and smaller number of units. Without dual pickups mechanisms and drivers, the new single pickup design turns out to be more reliable and precice. Because of its lightness and less electricity needs, less energy is consumed, so less heat is dissipated. Considering China's "rural" enviroment SONY (O.E.M provider to some parts of the internals) have added something called "anti-dirt" technology. Overall, the player is more fit to function in harch enviroments, being able to handle heat, dust, and humidity a little better than the average home DVD player.The Digital servo system is composed of signal-processor CXD1889,DVD/CD decoder CXD1866,CD/VCD and digital signal processor CXD3008. When an error occurs, it is able to recover from it thanks to large quantities of data stored in the DRAM, so whenever it plays CD/VCD or DVD, it features a powerful error-correction.

Supreming decoder
Shinco DVD's MPEG decoding chip VS2811 developed by Supreming AV lab, is a forth generation DVD decoder. It is highly integrated to the audiovisual subsystems, resulting to a single chip MPEG system. Key part of it is a programmable 32-bit RISC microprocessor which can decode for many different compression algorithm by means of adjusting its microcode from outside. It supports CD, VCD, DVD, SuperVCD, and of course, MP3. Loader and C.P.U are interconneted through an ATAPI interface. Shinco's DVD software runs within the CPU(2811+SONY's16-bit CXP91200), ensuring a fluent transmission of data.

Others : 24bit/96Khz audio D/A convertor PCM1723 - 10 bit video D/A convertor

Shinco 8320 DVD Player Specifications :

Laser

WaveLength 650nm

Video System

PAL/AUTO/NTSC

Frequency Response

20hz-20khz

Signal/noise ratio

> 85dB

Audio Distortion+noise

< -80dB (1Khz)

Channel Seperation

> 90dB (1khz)

Dynamic Range

> 85dB (1khz)

Data Buffer

Audio Out (analog audio)

Output Level : 2V
Load Impedance : 10K

Audio Out (digital audio)

Output Level : 0.5V
Load Impedance : 75

Video Out

Output Level : 1Vp-p
Load Impedance : 75 , imbalance, negative polarity

S-Video Out

Output Level : Brightness (Y) 1Vp-p
Chromaticity (C) 0.286Vp-p - Load Impedance : 75

Input

Microphone 1/2

Jack Type : 6.35mm microphone jack

Maxi-output level :10mV - Load Impedance : 600

Power Supply

AC 110V-240V (50Hz-60Hz)

Power Consumption

<20W

Dimensions

435x95x280 mm

Weight

4Kgs


2. Installation

Shinco 8320 DVD/VCD/SVCD/MP3 Player - Page 2

Package

The Shinco 8320 box included the player, the user's manual (in English and Chinese), an RCA audio cord, an RCA video cord, the remote control, a set of AAA batteries for the remote, a DVD demonstration disc, and an SVCD movie called "Once Upon A Time In China & America". What's sadly missing is an S-Video cable, which can boost picture quality on newer TVs (buying such a cable, is strongly advised. Typical cost ranges from $10 for most cables, up to $50 for special gold-plated jacks).

Shinco 8320 DVD/VCD/SVCD/CD/MP3 Player

Installation

The player installation is pretty straightforward: The easier setup would be a composite-video and analog-audio connection to the TV (with the three supplied RCA cables). However, the use of the S-Video connector (on suitably-equipped TVs) yields far better picture quality, reaching the limits of the analog TV systems. For better sound, you could either connect the analog audio outputs to a stereo or Dolby Surround Prologic amplifier, or ?preferably- the digital audio outputs to a Dolby Digital and/or DTS amplifier.

When the player is turned on, the Shinco DVD logo appears on screen (Further player actions, depend on the kind of disc inserted). First of all, it is suggested that you enter the Setup Menu (from the remote control) and make any necessary changes to suit your personal setup, such as the kind of TV in use, sound preferences, etc.


3. DVD Tests

Shinco 8320 DVD/VCD/SVCD/MP3 Player - Page 3

DVD Tests

We tested the Shinco player with several DVDs (from different regions) to test region free capability. Player is region free. This means it can play all DVDs without any modification. You have all heard about macrovision, that nasty copy protection that won't allow us to make copies out of our Dvd's (or videotapes) The Shinco dvd player turned out to be one of the *FEW* players available that has an option build into itself  to disable this protection.  Here's how to do it:

From the remote, press the following sequence: <STOP>, <SETUP>, <STILL/STEP>, <1>, <2>, <3>, (the buttons on the remote are a bit flimsy, so you may have to try this several times in order to make it work) and you will come to a menu called "loopholes".  From there you go to "Macrovision" and set it to off. Default factory seting is "auto" Be carefull if you decided to play around with the other settings from the "loopholes" menu, they shouldn't be touched normally.

Now, you have a clean unscrambled video out signal, we tested with a few region 1 & 2 titles and everything run smooth. Btw, changing settings in the "loopholes" menu will have a permanent effect on the system, so you don't have to do the same thing again. Just remember to make legal copies only! :-)

As an added bonus?of the bonus, now the previously grayed out "preferences" menu from the main menu, is available. Selections here include default audio, subtitle, disc menu language, country/region, and parental control settings. Make sure you set the parental control to "adult" otherwise you will not able to wiev a lot of movies. And we're not talking about xxx titles here, even harmless low-calorie titles like "Mercury Rising" had parental control check build in..

Title

Region

System

Result

James Bond - Tomorrow Never Dies (Special Edition 1999)

1

NTSC

OK

Face/Off

2

PAL

OK

Matrix

1

NTSC

OK

Imax ? Mystery of the Maya

0

NTSC

OK

The player was mostly tested on a 29" Philips Matchline 29PT910A01 TV (boasting 100Hz, Digital Scan, Digital Noise Reduction & Digital Comb Filter), and a Sony TA-VE110 amplifier (with Dolby Surround Pro-Logic), coupled with Sony speakers (SS-V17 front & rear, SS-CN17 center).

Picture quality through the S-Video connection was exceptional, rather up to par with every average DVD player in the market (The composite video connection offered lower detail pictures, typical of the composite signal's limitations). Audio was also quite impressive, given the results Pro-Logic can achieve. Unfortunately, we didn't have the opportunity to couple the Shinco player with a Dolby Digital or DTS-equipped amplifier/receiver, to test its performance in the digital sound realm.


4. Other tests

Shinco 8320 DVD/VCD/SVCD/MP3 Player - Page 4

VCD Tests:
We tested VCD capabilities with a few VCD titles, Some were ripped from DVDs for the absolutely best possible transfer quality, and some were of the usual vcd variety, including some "screen-cam" movies of horrible picture quality. Shinko's vcd reproduction was pretty above typical of the VCD system, which in turn is similar to VHS cassettes when it comes to resolution specs (with slightly better sound).

SVCD Tests:
SVCD compatibility and performance, was tested with the title included in the product's packaging. The movie came in three disks, and was not of very high quality. Picture and sound were average, slightly better than VCD, but definitely worse than DVD (that's obvious even to the average viewer).

VCD/SVCD Notes:
VCD and SVCD disks were used mostly for checking the player's compatibility with various formats. VCDs might be OK for viewing in small TVs or low-end systems, but when it comes to quality, there really is no competition for DVD disks. It would be a shame to use a DVD player just for VCDs, keeping it from unleashing its full potential.

That said however, for all you people that for various reasons still prefer or rely on vcd's, This player managed to excell in this area. Even the previously mentioned "screen-cams" that were almost completely unviewable when played in pc's, now came to life. Overall, an all areas concerning vcd's (picture, sound error-recovery) Shinco 8320 was the best player for such media we ever encountered.

Audio CD Tests:
We tested both factory-pressed and used-recorded Audio CDs (Mostly Princo Media, although we managed to get some Samsung discs to work too), and had no problem whatsoever during playback. All usual playback options, such as program play, repeat, A-B, shuffle, etc. are here. What's missing, is the pitch control (offered only in MP3 CDs).


5. Mp3 Tests - Technical reference

Shinco 8320 DVD/VCD/SVCD/MP3 Player - Page 5

Mp3 Tests:
We tested Shinco 8320 Player will all available Mp3 encoding modes,Constant Bitrate (CBR) and Variable Bitrate (VBR). For media we used Princo 74 & 80min , Yamaha 74min CDR-W and BTC 74min CDR-W.

Software Used:
Ripper/Encoder: AudioCatalyst v2.1 (Audiograbber & Xing Encoder)
Encoding modes: Constant Bit Rate (CBR - 16, 24, 32, 48, 56, 64, 80, 96, 112, 128, 160, 192, 224, 256, 320 kbits), and Variable Bit Rate (VBR -96, 112, 160, 192 kbits)
Recording media: Princo 74 & 80min CDR, Yamaha 74min CDR-W (4x), BTC 74min CDR-W (2x) and Ricoh 74min CDR-W (2x).
Recording software: Nero Burning Rom v4.0.7.5. We created several MP3 CDs, with files either in the root directory and sub-directories or both.

Test Results:

CBR

Kbits - Mono

Kbits - Joint Stereo

Mode

16

24

32

48

56

64

80

96

112

128

160

192

224

320

Result:

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VBR

Kbits - Joint Stereo

Mode (+- 10%)

96

112

128

160

192

Result:

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

MP3 Tests' Findings
Shinco 8320 Player seems to support most Mp3 (CBR&VBR) modes. It refused to play 12, 24, 32kbits (CBR) & 96kbits Mp3 Files. However this is not a problem since most mp3 files are encoded avove 128kbits (CBR) and 112 (VBR) for near CD quality..

You can see the file names of MP3 files on your TV screen (only 8 characters, ISO-9660 format) move around sub-directories and play files. Playback options include repeat and pitch control, but not A-B repeat (this is available only for Audio CDs and DVDs).

Some other remarks: The Mp3 decoding circuitry seemed to be a first generation thing, because it's plagued by various minor or major problems, so it would be safe to consider this capability only as an added partial bonus to the DVD player. It's safe to say however, that assuming you use Princo or other compatible cd-media, most of your mp3's will be played...

Techical Reference:                                                 (Source AudioCatalyst Manual)

What is Constant Bitrate (CBR) Encoding?
Constant Bitrate Encoding is a method that ensures a consistent bitrate throughout an encoded file at the expense of audio quality and/or Encoder efficiency. The Encoder allocates the same number of bits to difficult sections (for example, sections containing a relatively wide stereo separation), and easy sections (for example, sections containing silence or a relatively narrow stereo separation). As a result, difficult sections may suffer quality degradation while easy sections may include unused bits.

When to Use Constant Bitrate (CBR) Encoding
Use CBR encoding when you need to limit the size of the MP3 file or produce consistent and predictable file sizes.

Constant Bitrate (CBR) Encoding Benefits
CBR encoding produces MP3 file sizes that are easily predicted by multiplying the bitrate by the Duration.

What is Variable Bitrate (VBR) Encoding?
Variable Bitrate encoding is a method that ensures consistently high audio quality throughout an encoded file by making intelligent bit-allocation decisions during the encoding process based on a scale you set in the XingMP3 Encoder settings dialog. When the Encoder encounters difficult sections in the audio source (for example, sections containing a relatively wide stereo separation), it allocates additional bits to that section, ensuring the audio quality.

When the Encoder encounters easy sections (for example, sections containing silence or a relatively narrow stereo separation), it allocates fewer bits to the section, reducing unused bits.  As a result, your MP3 file consists of variable bitrates throughout the file because the Encoder puts the bits where they are most needed.

When to Use Variable Bitrate (VBR) Encoding
VBR encoding was developed for use when consistent audio quality is the top priority and constant or predictable encoded MP3 file size is not critical.


6. Conclusion

Shinco 8320 DVD/VCD/SVCD/MP3 Player - Page 6

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- Region free DVD
- NoMacrovision protection!!
- VCD/SVCD/CD-DA support
- Mp3 CDs (CBR&VBR files)
- Zoom (2x,4x)
- Foward and Reverse from 2x to 8x!
- Frame Play from 2x to 8x!
- Full connectivity options (Composite, S-Video, dual analog and two digital audio outputs)
- Karaoke Support
- Dimmer
- Support for CDR-W Media
- Pitch (+- 7%)

- Limited working CDR & CDR-W Media..
- Locks up if media not regongized
- No power off from Remote Control
- Problems with Mp3 CDs...

Overall, the Shinco 8320 Player seems to be a good all-round solution: It can do more than just replace your stand-alone Audio CD player. It is a region-free DVD player, which means that you can play virtually every DVD-Video disk in the world (plays Matrix DVD) and has no Macrovision Protection!!. VCD and SVCD playback might also prove useful. The player's biggest disadvantage is its limited support for CDR media (you are restricted to Princo and possible to Samsung Media). Support for MP3 discs is not perfect since it had various problems. Consider this capability only as an added partial bonus to the DVD player. You can buy the player directly from lik-sang.com at 319$..(check products>>DVD/Mp3 Players)



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