The player comes in a burnished gold finish and is sturdily-built. It isn't the most attractive DVD player that I have ever seen, but neither is it the ugliest, either.
The front panel layout for the Start SD-2001VNK is fundamentally the same as that of the Start SD-2010VNK.
The left side of the front panel carries the power on-off switch and the controls and sockets for Karaoke mode. The power on-off switch is a microswitch and hence has quite a soft touch about it. Despite the fact that this switch is a microswitch rather than a hard-wired power switch, the player must be turned on with the on-off switch before it will respond to any other buttons. A more logical approach to the operation of a DVD player is to have the eject button turn on the DVD player if it is pressed.
The center of the front panel carries the disc tray and the fluorescent display. This display cannot be dimmed, and is a little too busy for my liking. One of the criticisms I levelled at the Start SD-2010VNK was the annoying flashing chapter indicator located on the right hand side of the fluorescent display. This indicator is present on the Start SD-2001, but it is used much more sensibly to indicate the current title being played. It is still an unnecessary item on the fluorescent display, but at least this is much less distracting than indicating the current chapter. One further operational irritation is an unnecessary disc spinning graphic on the fluorescent display. This indicator has the potential to cause some visual irritation in a typical darkened home theatre environment, and it has little operational use.
The right side of the front panel has the tray open/close button, and the basic DVD navigation buttons; chapter skip forwards and backwards, play, pause and stop. Additionally, a Menu button is present. On the surface this seems like a nice inclusion, but in practice it is essentially useless as there are no arrow keys to allow menu navigation.
The rear panel of this player is equipped with a excellent selection of outputs. From left to right;
The video outputs are grouped together and comprise the S-Video output, the composite output and three colour-coded RCA sockets which function as both RGB and component video outputs.
Audio outputs consist of 5.1 Dolby Digital outputs from the internal decoder, left and right analogue audio outputs and both coaxial and optical digital outputs.
A 240V AC input finishes off the rear panel.
The operating range and angle of operation of the remote control were acceptable, though were less than other remotes that I have used to date.
The video output from this DVD player was generally excellent and of very high quality. It is of better quality than any other DVD player that I have reviewed to date other than the Toshiba SD-2109. The video output was extremely crisp and clear with no detectable chroma noise or low level noise inserted into the signal. Indeed, the video performance of this DVD player is far superior to the performance of the Start SD-2010VNK. This is largely explained by the fact that these two machines use different MPEG decoder chips. The Start SD-2001VNK uses a C-Cube MPEG decoder chip, whereas the Start SD-2010VNK uses a Zoran MPEG decoder chip.
Unfortunately, I noted one specific video problem that was exhibited by this DVD player. An occasional vertical skip was introduced into the image. This would happen several times during any given DVD, and whilst subtle, it did become annoying after a while. It would occur once every five to ten minutes. I suspect that most people would not notice this fault at all.
The player is marked as a Zone 4 player, and is marketed as such. The evaluation unit that I was supplied with played only Zone 4 and Zone 0 DVD titles.
The fast forward and fast reverse functions are relatively smooth and work in x2 and x8 speeds both forwards and backwards. These functions lock in immediately when they are selected.
The reverse chapter skip function will return to the start of the current chapter rather than to the previous chapter. I personally prefer the other implementation of this function, which is for the player to skip to the previous chapter when this button is selected.
RSDL layer changes were noticeable, but the typical pause was of the order of 1/2 second and was quite unobtrusive.
Subjectively, there were some very subtle, marginal audio sync problems. Objectively, the analogue vs digital delay measured on this player was 16 milliseconds, which puts it into the territory where sync problems will very occasionally be barely discernible.
DTS output is not supported by this DVD player. Linear PCM audio output at 96kHz/24 bit sample depth is not supported by this player. The player will downconvert any such DVD output to 48kHz/16 bit sample depth output.
MPEG bitstreams are automatically converted to Linear PCM.
The Matrix Region 4 "Follow The White Rabbit" extra did not function correctly. When this feature was activated, the player would skip directly to the scene immediately following the first "White Rabbit" icon instead of starting the movie from the beginning.
Image Quality: This DVD player has one of the better image outputs that I have seen, with an unfortunate occasional very slight vertical skip in the image that marred the overall presentation of the image a little.
PAL-50: This DVD player can output a PAL-50 signal from an NTSC DVD, and can do this very well.
Eject button. The player must be turned on with the on-off switch before the eject button will function.
Occasional vertical skips in the image.
|Video||Component Output||RGB Output|
|Audio||DTS Output||96/24 Output|
|Conversion||NTSC to PAL-50|
|Inbuilt Decoder||Dolby Digital|
|Value For Money|
|Product Type:||DVD-Video, Video CD and Audio CD player|
|Region:||Zone 4 (Australia, New Zealand, Central and South America, Mexico).|
|Signal System:||PAL / NTSC|
|Audio Frequency Response:||4Hz - 22kHz (48kHz sampling)
4Hz - 44kHz (96kHz sampling)
|Signal to Noise Ratio:||98dB|
|Total Harmonic Distortion:||0.003%|
|Dimensions:||430 (w) x 340 (d) x 85 (h)|
|Distributor:||Start Digital Co
151-153 Clarendon Street
South Melbourne VIC 3205
© Michael Demtschyna
13th March 2000