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Home > Hardware Reviews > Consumer Electronics

Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Grundig GDP-3550

4. The Tests - Page 1

The player has been tested with several test files and different formats. All tests were carried out with the DVD player connected to a Samsung 32R51B 32" HDTV, either with AV or Component cables.

Disc Compatibility: The player recognized DVD±R/±RW/±R DL discs without any problem.

Audio compatibility: The player recognizes the following formats: .AC3, .WAV, .MP2, .MP3, .MP4, .AAC and WMA files.

Video Tests:

The player supports .AVI, .DIVX, .MPG and .MP4 files. It also supports progressive scan but doesn't offer any HDTV upscale mode (720p/1080p). If you want this feature, you should opt for the newer GDP-3560. The player left us with a good overall impression regarding picture quality.

There is an function available to display some basic information about each folder/file, such as format and creation date.

During playback, some basic info is also available, like Audio channels, subs, format, resolution and time elapsed/remaining:

Looking at the tests results, we were satisfied with the performance of the ESS 6698 chipset, despite the fact that it doesn't support Qpel, like its older brother, the ESS 8380 Phoenix.

The player is being advertised as DivX Home Theater certified. We confirmed this claim, since we didn't have any problems playing back DivX encoded files, even up to 8Mbit rates. DivX format is supported, in terms of Audio tracks and Subtitles, but there is no menu support, while .DivX slideshow files, won't be displayed. DivX encoded tracks with two Audio tracks (VBR Mp3 and AC3) are also not a problem for the GDP-3550. Lastly, DivX HD files cannot be displayed, due to chipset limitations.

Xvid files are also not a problem for the player. 8Mbit, and GMC 3 way points are supported perfectly, QPel isn't.

When trying Mpeg files, we noticed some glitches, at least in what the "info" tab showed: wrong resolution and bitrate. With FF/RW, you have to rotate the function from 2X~8X, before being able to see the movie at normal speed again, whereas with other players, you just press play. The ESS 6698 chipset can handle up to 12Mbit encoded Mpeg2 files, which is typical for this category.

Subtitles are supported, both in SRT and IFO/Sub formats. However, there are some problems. SRT subtitle characters are way too small for someone to read at a distance, and there is no option available to change this. Moreover, with IFO/Sub formats, only English language was available.

Non-latin based character sets are not supported (e.g. Greek), either for filenames or subtitles. You can still play the files, but subtitles show up as garbage characters. Pictures can be displayed as long as they are Jpeg, at up to 2272x1704 pixels in size.

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