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Appeared on: Monday, June 14, 2004
Kiss DP-1504


1. Introduction

Kiss DP-1504 DVD Player - page 1

After the review of Kiss DP-1000 player we asked from Kiss Technology to provide us with a sample of the DP-1504.

DP-1504 and DP-1508 are based on the Slim Line DivX® Compatible DVD Player KiSS DP-1500 with its built-in Ethernet Port and its PC Card Slot. These features enable these players, if connected to a Broadband Internet Connection to read Audio/Video/Picture content straight from a PC with the KiSS PC-Link Software as well as playing Internet Radio Station with WebRadio. WebRadio, with its friendly interface provides the user with a few thousands radio stations to choose from. The PC Card Slot placed at the back of the player, also adds a new feature: Wireless Connection. No more ethernet cables in the way, thanks to a simple setup on the player. KiSS provides the Access Point and PC Card (IEEE 802.11b) as extra accessories. The difference between these players resides in the Hard Disk where the KiSS DP-1504 comes with a 40GB Hard Disk and the KiSS DP-1508 comes with a 80GB Hard Disk. Having a hard Disk on the player will enable the user to store Audio/Video/Picture content on the DVD Player, up to 58 good quality DivX® Films for the KiSS DP-1504 and up to 117 good quality DivX® Films for the KiSS DP-1508. The KiSS DP-1504/08 players also comes complete with the standard CD/MP3, Ogg Vorbis, DivX®, XviD, Jpeg, CD-RW and DVD+-RW playback.

Both DP-1504 and DP-1508 have the official certification from DivX.

Specifications

• Full DVD/MPEG-4/DivX®/XviD/CD/MP3/Ogg Vorbis/CD-RW/DVD+-RW compatibility
• JPEG Picture CD viewing
• Progressive Scan Video Out
• Time Search
• Playback Control: Play/Pause/Stop/FF/RW/NEXT/PREV
• Repeat Playback
• Slow Motion
• Title/chapter select
• Parental lock, Multi Language, Multi Subtitle, Multi Angle
• Remote Control
• TV Type (PAL and NTSC)
• Configuration Setup Menu
• Aspect Ratio (4:3 Pan and Scan, 4:3 Letter Box and 16:9 Wide)
• S-Video Output
• Composite Video Output
• Component Output
• Dolby Digital, MPEG Audio Decoding
• Dolby Digital/MPEG 5.1 Digital Output
• S/PDIF Outputs
• Analogue stereo
• Ethernet 10/100
• PC Card Slot for Wireless Connection
• PC Card and Access Point are extra accessories
• WebRadio/KiSS PC-Link
• KiSS PC-Link Software for PC
• Track name search on audio CDs
• Firmware upgradable
• 40GB Hard Disk on DP-1504
• 80GB Hard Disk on DP-1508


2. Unpacking - Control Menu

Kiss DP-1504 DVD Player - page 2

Unpacking - Control Menu

The retail package includes the unit, the remote control, the stereo and the video cables, the Scart cable, PCMCIA card with the PC-Link software CD and the power cable. S-Video cable is also included in non European countries.

As we can see the player has only two buttons on the unit, which are the play/pause and the stop/eject respectively. On the left side is the loading tray.

Below we can see the inside of the DP-1504, after removing the cover, something which is not recommended since you void the manufacturer's warranty. (Click on the image for an enlarged view).

Click to enlarge

The internal drive's chipset is coming from Mediatek and its MT1388E series.

Below are the main chipset used in the unit. DP-1000 had the EM8500 chipset. Now there is EM8550. The basic differencies are summarised in the table below.

EM8550 Features:

- Supports MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 over IP.
- Supports DVD-Video, Superbit? DVD, DVD-R/-RW/+R/+RW (conditional), SVCD, VCD, Picture CD, CD/CD-R/CD-RW (audio, WMA, DivX?*, MP3, JPEG and MPEG-4 files) media formats.
- MPEG-1, MPEG-2 MP@ML, MPEG-4 ASP@L5** video decoding.
- Dolby Digital, MPEG-1 Layers I, II and III (MP3) and Windows Media® Audio (WMA) audio decoding.
- Embedded RISC to run system software and applications.
- Integrated IDE (ATA/ATAPI-4) and DVD loader interface supports a wide variety of DVD loaders, DVD drives, HDDs and CompactFlash.
- Local Bus for interfacing to external MPEG encoder and networking chips.

The drive's main chip is the MT1388E from Mediatek.

On the rear panel are all the appropriate audio/video outputs. Analytically they are:
the coaxial and optical audio (digital)
analogue stereo audio output (L & R)
composite video and S-video output
the universal (Scart) line out
the Ethernet port
and the PCMCIA slot for wirless Ethernet connection

Component Video outputs (PbPrY) are missing from this unit.

As with DP-1000 here is still no built in 5.1CH decoder, but this player has a different direction.

For excellent sound reproduction, DD5.1 and DTS, we recommend you to use one of the two digital outputs.

For wirless network connection you 'll need a PC Card ( Transmitter) and an Access Point ( receiver). Both are extra accesories and not included in the players package.

The all in one SCART couldn't be missing.

The package also includes the remote control for the device. The remote control is absolutely necessary for operating the device, since other than the two buttons on the front panel, play/pause and stop/eject, there no other buttons.

Click on the remote's image for an enlarged view.

Click to enlarge

Below we have included screenshots of the main menus from the player.


3. DivX - Xvid

Kiss DP-1504 DVD Player - page 3

DivX - Xvid

One important thing that makes a DVD player good is its ability to read all the discs and all the formats. For this reason we tracked down all the appropriate material in order to check the manufacturer's specifications regarding format support.

DivX support

All the DivX versions we tried, v2,3,3.11,4,5.11, played successfully with the DP-1504 except this one where the Quarter Pixel was enabled, as it can been seen in the screenshot below. With this feature disable there were no problems.

Xvid support

Our tests confirmed that the Xvid 1 and 2 are supported by the Kiss player. Once again the Quarter pixel had to be disable, otherwise you won't be able to play the files.

In our Xvid test movie, with AC3 sound, we had to files with subtitles, one was a .sub file with english subtitles and the other a .srt file with greek subtitles. The second one was not been recognized from the player. We don't know what was the problem, the greek subtitles or the type of file? This is exactly the same issue we had in the DP-1000.


4. Reading Tests

Kiss DP-1504 DVD Player - page 3

Reading Tests

DVD support

The Kiss DP-1500 we have in our hands is a region-2 drive, which means that the player is able to decode (play) only the pressed DVD-Video discs coming from the European region. However since you can upgrade the device with new firmware it is possible, with an unofficial version, to make it region free.

 

We connected the DP-1504 through the Scart interface with the corresponding cable, which is included in the player's package. As was expected, the player supports the DVD-Video format. We recorded a 4.35GB DVD-Video file on various DVD+R/-R, DVD-RW/+RW media. The recorders we used are some of the latest dual-format available on the PC market, as well as some 1st generation recorders. Pressed single / dual layer DVD-Video discs were also included in the test. All the test discs were created with the same PC /software in the DVD-Video mode.

We checked the player's disc recognition as well as smooth navigation and playback. The results were very good, since all the discs were read completely. The table below lists the drives and media we used in our tests.

Recorder
Media
Speed recorded
Recognition
Playback
Sony DRX-500UL v1.0c
TDK DVD+RW 2.4x
2.4x
OK
Sony 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
Pioneer 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
Pioneer DVD-R 4x
4x
LiteOn LDW-811S vHS0K
FujiFilm DVD-R 4x
4x

Kiss player supports reading of DVD-ROM discs.

Cannot reproduce this advanced audio format.

CD support

The DP-1504 supports AudioCD, CD-R/-RW, VideoCD and Super-VideoCD playback. The *.cda files of any audioCD are recognized flawlessly, even when the disc is factory pressed or is a CD-R/RW. In addition, CD-Text is supported.

In our case, when talking about data CD (CD-R/-RW), we refer to either compressed audio files (MP3, WMA, Ogg Vorbis..) or pure *.wav files, or VideoCD and Super VideoCD.

In the case of pressed AudioCDs, the player recognizes and plays all the tracks, offering additional features such as CD-Text reading and navigation between tracks, as already mentioned in the previous page. This also applies to CD-R and CD-RW discs. 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.

In addition, no problems were noticed when we played 8cm CD-R/-RW (185MB) or 90/99min CD-R.

CDS200 and Key2Audio protected Audio CDs are playable in all players, and the Kiss DP 1000 is no exception, since the protection schemes are intended for PC devices only.

This format, as was expected, it is not supported.

Let's see now how the player reacts to various compressed audio files stored on data CD-R/RW. Although the specifications of the DP-1500 indicate MP3 support, it is not sure whether the drive can handle all MP3 compression modes. CBR or VBR encoding mode and variations in the sampling rate could be hard for any reader to decode. Below is available, the behavior of the player with various MP3 and WMA files.

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
Yes
CBR 56kBit 22050Hz Mono
Yes
CBR 56kBit 44100Hz Mono
Yes
CBR 64kBit 22050Hz Stereo
Yes
CBR 96kBit 22050Hz Stereo
Yes
CBR 96kBit 44100Hz Mono
Yes
CBR 96kBit 44100Hz Stereo
Yes
CBR 112kBit 44100Hz Stereo
Yes
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
Yes
WMA 64kbps
Yes
WMA 96kbps
Audible problems
WMA 128kbps
Yes
WMA 160kbps
Audible problems
WMA 192kbps
Audible problems
WAV
WAV 16Bit 44kHz 1411kbps
Yes
Ogg Vorbis
Audible problems

The player supports decoding of all the popular CBR and VBR MP3 modes. In the case of WMA files, the player provided average performance. Half of our test files reproduced audible clicks and pauses.

You can use the DP-1504 to watch your photos. The Jpeg format is supported and there is the capability for the user to cycle through the images.

As was expected, from the manufacturers specifications, both formats are supported.


5. Built in HD

Kiss DP-1504 DVD Player - page 4

Built in HD

The main difference between the DP-1500 and the DP-1504 is the existnce of the Hard Disk. In our case the capasity of the HD was 40GB. The Hard Disk is manufactured from Toshiba and its specifications are:

- 2.5-inch 40 GB Capacity
- 2 ms Track to Track seek
- 1 Platter
- 12 ms Average Seek Time
- 8 MByte Data Buffer Capacity
- ATA-2/3/4/5/6 supported
- UDMA 100 supported
- 9.5 mm Height
- 69.85 mm Width
- 100.0 mm Depth
- 94 g Weight
- 300,000 hours MTBF

You can copy files from a media inserted or use the ethernet connection to put in files from a PC. Those can be either Audio files as well as Video or Pictures. The copy procedure is very simple. In addition with the same way you can delete the files you don't want any more.

There is also the ability for the user to totaly erase the contents of the HD, format, from the Hard Disk's info menu. Below you can watch the cleanup procedure.

As soon as the format is finish you see the above screen.

In order to copy files on the HD of the DP-1504, you must install the PC-Link software, from the CD, which included in the retail package. In that case you can use both ethernet and wirless connections. In the last case you also need the card below and the Access Point( not included in retail package). The connection can be straight from DP-1504 to a PC with a cross cable or the wirless card or by using a router.


6. Error Correction Tests

Kiss DP-1504 DVD Player - page 5

Error Correction Tests

Here, we try to simulate one of the most interesting problems faced by the average user while using a DVD player, the reading accuracy of a DVD player when accessing a defective or scratched DVD or CD disc.

So, in order to test the abilities of the Kiss player against several types of defects, we used the ABEX series from Almedio which offers a good indication of the error correction capabilities of a CD/DVD reader. In addition, we used the SBC444A test disc from Philips and the 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 check for high quality picture and sound. The disc contents is an MPEG-2 NTSC DVD-Video file. Apart from the disc contents, 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. Fingerprints are sized from 0.065mm to 0.075mm.

 

DP-1504 plaback the contents of this disc without problems.

This disc is exactly the same as the Abex TCD-545 tested previously, except that the defect is a scratch of dimensions varying from 0.4mm to 3.0mm, increasing by steps of 0.2mm/step.

This disc was not a problem for the DP-1504 player.

AudioCD

This is an AudioCD disc used for measurement and adjustment of the error correction ability and tracking/focusing servo characteristics of a player against the defects included in 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 in the disc fabrication area. Their size varies from 0.5mm to 1.0mm. The diameter of the black dots are from 0.4mm to 1.0mm. Last, the simulated fingerprints are small, gathered dots, of diameters sized from 65 micrometers to 75 micrometers. 160 individual black dots in total construct the artificial fingerprint.

Once again the player ignore the defeactes of this disc.

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 micrometer to 1000 micrometers, while the black dots have a size of 300 micrometers to 800 micrometers.

 

DP-1504 read successfully the contents of this test disc.

 

Same contents as with the Abex TCD-726, but different defect. A scratch with a size of 0.4mm to 3.0mm is 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.

The DP-1500 played successfully the first 6 tracks out of the 15 in total. The 5th track corresponds to a scratch size of 1.2mm. First problems occurred at the end of the 7th track (1.4mm) with audible "clicks" while playing, which increased and were followed by sound skips and playback interruptions as the defective area was increasing in size.

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

- 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 2): 1.125mm scratch
- Check level 5 (track 2): 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
OK
one click
one click

The player had very good performance since it managed to reproduce the first three levels without problem. During the 4th and the 5th track we heard only one click at the beginning of each track for every time played, and then nothing else.

 

 

 

The error correction of this player is good.


7. Conclusion

Kiss DP-1504 DVD Player - page 6

Conclusion

DP-1504 looks like DP-1000. The menus and the navigation are almost the same, with the same functionality. The provided connections are not the same. DP-1504 has the PCMCIA and the Ethernet connection while there is no Component Video outputs (PbPrY), as it was in DP-1000. One thing we would like to be existed is a power button for open and close the device. There were some time that we wanted to power off the unit for reset, so we had to disconnect the power cable.

The DP-1504 player, as far as it concerns the playback part, performed just like the DP-1000. Almost in all tests the results were the same. That was expected since the DVD player is the same in both devices. So according to our reading tests, DP-1504 managed to confirm all the manufacturer's specifications for DVD/MPEG-4/DivX®/XviD/CD/MP3/Ogg Vorbis/CD-RW/DVD+-RW compatibility. Once again SACD and DVD-Audio advanced formats are not supported from the player, which we estimate it is logical for this DivX player. One thing we noticed is that there is no Fast Forword or Rewing while MP3 playback.

While Xvid and DivX playback we saw the same incidents. If the files were made with Qpel enabled then they were unplayable. Extra subtitles were not also visible.

The error correction for the Kiss player is very good. The drive maneged to ignore defeacts up to 1.2mm. Larger defects (1.5mm) caused audible clicks but even in that case were few. Once again black dots( sized at 0.4-1.0mm) and artificial fingerprints(0.065-0.075mm) were not a problem for the player.

The greatest advantage for the DP-1504are the built-in Hard Disk and the wirless or Ethernet connection. The included software for loading files onto the HD is also good. A few steps are enough to accomplish your work. However we estimate that the tranfer rate for writing files on the HD is a kind of slow. We would like to be faster.

The Kiss DP-1504 is already in the market at the price of 430 euro( 449 euro with the PC Card).

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