The SLV-D550P fulfills the full potential of your DVDs thanks to its progressive scan function. Referred to as 480p for the number of horizontal lines that compose the video image, progressive scanning creates a picture with twice the scan lines of a conventional DVD picture, giving owners of high-definition TVs higher resolution and sharper images while eliminating nearly all motion artifacts. Audiophiles will appreciate the multiple sound options, including audio output for PCM, Dolby Digital, and DTS, and a virtual surround option that simulates surround sound effects from a traditional two-speaker stereo setup. Viewers can also choose from several aspect ratios that optimize the image to the TV's dimensions. 4:3 letterbox, for instance, displays the entire movie image on a traditional 4:3 TV with black bands along the top and bottom, while 16:9 is the ideal setting for a widescreen TV. Additional DVD features include disc bookmarking, a handy zoom feature for closer looks at scenes, multi-angle playback, parental lock, and slow-motion frame advance.
Meanwhile, the VCR component is easy to program and set up, with a Quickset timer dial for setting the recording date, start time, stop time, and channel. A quick turn of the wrist is all it takes to activate the record function. In addition, the VCR's four-head design ensures smooth slow-motion play (forward and reverse) and clear still-frame images, and its hi-fi sound records and plays back stereo audio tracks. The unit's state-of-the-art 19-micron video heads deliver the clearest possible picture when recording or viewing in EP (extended play) mode, while the VCR Plus+ setting simplifies the advance one-month, eight-event programming timer. The VCR also offers commercial skip for zipping past commercials and previews, 60-second Flash Rewind, auto tracking, and an auto head cleaner.
Connections with combo units are often inconvenient, forcing you to use separate video hookups for each section (DVD, VCR), a problem for some TVs. This player has it figured out: a single RF or composite-video connection to a TV will display either the DVD or the VCR signal, depending on which format you're viewing. If you want to view DVDs in S-video or component video (either interlaced or progressive-scan), you will need to use two inputs, however, as the device will not upconvert the signal from the VCR to either of those higher-resolution formats.
It's a different deal for audio: you can listen through a single set of stereo analog audio cables for each component (one is supplied), or--if you want to enjoy DVDs in discrete 5.1-channel surround sound--you can send the DVD's audio to a compatible AV receiver and a multichannel speaker system through a digital audio interconnect (either optical or coaxial, not supplied). The unit also comes with an RF cable that will transmit VHS/DVD audio and video to your TV, a multi-lingual onscreen display (English, Spanish, French), and a multi-brand TV/DVD/VCR remote control.
What's in the Box
DVD player VCR combo, Cinema Illumination remote control, 75 ohm coaxial video cable, RCA-type AV cord, two AA batteries, user's manual.