We tested the player with several test files of different formats. All tests were carried out by connecting the DVD player to a Sony Bravia 32" HDTV using component cables.
Disc Compatibility: The player recognized all DVD±R/±RW/±R DL discs without problem.
Audio compatibility: The player recognizes the following formats: .AC3, .WAV, .MP2, .MP3, .MP4, .AAC and WMA files.
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 ability, you would be better off going for the new GDP-3560 series. Our overall impression regarding the picture quality was good.
Looking at the test 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 with up to 8Mbit rates. DivX format is supported, with 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 player. Lastly, DivX HD files cannot be displayed, due to chipset limitation.
Xvid files are also not a problem for the player. 8 Mbit encoded files and GMC 1 way points are supported perfectly, QPel isn't. So, it's suggested you avoid GMC and QPel encoding options.
When trying Mpeg files, we noticed some glitches. With FF/RW, you have to cycle through, from 2X~8X, before being able to see 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 device.
Subtitles are supported, both in SRT and IFO/Sub formats. However, there are some problems. The .SRT subtitles are way too small for someone to read at a long distance, and there is no option available to change this. This problem doesn't occur with the IFO/Sub format however, but only English language is available.
Greek characters are not recognized, either in filenames or in subtitles. Using Greek subtitles results in north-European character set being used (with umlaut, etc):
Greek character filenames are not a problem. Again, a north-European character set is used so you can't make sense of the title, but you can still playback the file. Photos or images can be displayed, but only Jpeg files, captured up to 2272x1704 pixels in size.