The Lenoxx DVD-9000 has an attractive and functional front panel.
The left side of the front panel carries a hard power on-off switch. The player does not have a stand-by mode. To the left of the power switch are two microphone jacks for Karaoke mode, a microphone volume control and an echo control.
The center of the front panel carries a blue-green fluorescent display whose digits are reminiscent of old-style calculator displays. The display cannot be dimmed, and four faint diagonal orange lines can clearly be seen in the background of this display. Below the display is the disc tray, which is nice and quiet in its operation.
To the right of the disc tray is the OPEN/CLOSE button and various lesser-used navigation buttons. A loud sound-effect accompanies the opening of the disc tray, which is startling until you get used to it. The rightmost part of the front panel carries a circular and somewhat counter-intuitive arrangement of the commonly used DVD navigation buttons; PLAY, FAST FORWARD, FAST REWIND, CHAPTER SKIP BACKWARDS and CHAPTER SKIP FORWARDS.
The rear panel of this player is equipped with a limited selection of outputs. From left to right, we have;
The central arrow mechanism of the remote control is well laid out and easy to use, but it has far too many small buttons surrounding it, all of which are difficult to differentiate and none of which are particularly important function-wise.
The SUBTITLE and ANGLE buttons are grouped together, but the confusingly-labelled LANGUAGE button is placed poorly at the bottom left of the remote, next to an inappropriately-labelled AUDIO button. The MENU button is also awkwardly located and difficult to find.
The operating range and angle of operation of the remote control were passable, however, I found that the remote needed to be aimed directly at the DVD player in order for it to operate correctly. On a more positive note, the DVD player was very responsive indeed to remote keypresses, far more so than many other remote control and DVD combinations that I have tested.
The initial appearance of the image output of the Lenoxx DVD-9000 is misleading. It produces a very soft but seemingly good-looking picture, but its faults become more and more obvious the more the player is used.
The biggest problem for this DVD player is its inability to complete image transitions cleanly. During crossfades between images, the background of the image becomes very noisy, losing resolution and becoming somewhat blocky in appearance. The poor detail shown by this DVD player effectively hides the blocking of the image, but does not hide the excessive noise that this produces in the resultant image. One DVD in particular that I tried on this player was horrendous in this regard - Barry Manilow-Manilow Live! On the DVD-9000, the image on this DVD was extremely noisy and poorly-defined, particularly in the large fields of blue to be found on this DVD. On my reference DVD player, the image from this DVD was razor sharp and as clean as a whistle and a magnificent example of superb DVD mastering.
The Snell & Wilcox test pattern on the Video Essentials DVD was problematic. The central section with concentric circles in motion displayed cross-colouration artefacts as did the closely-spaced lines in the bottom left section of the test pattern. I have never seen this artefact crop up via an S-Video connection and it indicates an unacceptably high level of crosstalk between the luminance (Y) and chrominance (C) signals.
The Video Essentials DVD Image Montage also proved to be problematic for this DVD player, with a noticeable latticework of diagonal interference lines frequently marring the image during pans. Additionally, the smooth black to white transition test pattern (Title 18, Chapter 6) was rendered as a series of fairly closely spaced discrete grey bars instead of being a smooth transition from black to white.
The manual indicated that this player was a Zone 6 player (sic), however it played various Region 4 and Region 1 DVDs that I tried in it. It did not play The Patriot R1, which is protected with RCE code.
The fast forward and fast reverse functions of this player are generally of average smoothness. 2x, 4x, 6x and 8x speeds are available, with 2x fast forward being particularly smooth, leading me to believe that the DVD-ROM transport used by this player is at least a 2x drive.
RSDL layer changes resulted in a very short pause, typically of the order of 1/4 second, and may well go unnoticed by many viewers.
The DVD player knows a limited amount of full names for languages, so you either get the full name of the language displayed or UNKNOWN if the player does not recognize the language in question.
Functional key-presses on the remote are accompanied by various text messages appearing on-screen.
Subjectively, there were no audio sync problems noted with this player. Objectively, I was unable to measure the analogue vs digital delay as this player did not output digital and analogue audio at the same time, seemingly a characteristic of the ESS MPEG decoder chip family.
DTS digital output is supported by this DVD player. MPEG audio bitstreams are output as Linear PCM only.
MP3 output was excellent, with no audible flaws.
There appeared to be no shuffle function for MP3 playback, so playback will only occur sequentially, a potential problem for those interested in this unit for MP3 playback.
Inbuilt Dolby Digital decoder.
No stand-by mode.
The fluorescent display cannot be dimmed.
No coaxial digital audio output.
Poorly laid-out remote control.
Unable to output analogue and digital audio at the same time.
|Video||Component Output||RGB Output|
|Audio||DTS Output||MP3 Playback|
|Inbuilt Decoder||Dolby Digital|
|Value For Money|
|Product Type:||DVD-Video, Video CD, MP3 and Audio CD player|
|Region:||Zone 6 (China), although the test unit played back non-RCE discs from all regions|
|Signal System:||PAL / NTSC|
|Serial Number Of Unit Tested:||D9000-8-0811|
|MPEG Decoder:||ESS 4408F|
|Audio Frequency Response:||4Hz - 22kHz (48kHz sampling)
4Hz - 44kHz (96kHz sampling)
|Signal to Noise Ratio:||>89dB|
|Total Harmonic Distortion:||Not stated|
|Dimensions:||430 (w) x 300 (d) x 96 (h)|
|Distributor:||Lenoxx Electronics (Australia) Pty Ltd
5 Grace Court
Sunshine VIC 3020
© Michael Demtschyna
14th November 2000