Curtis Mathes DVD CMD5000 Review with pictures

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Erwin, Sep 7, 2001.

  1. Erwin

    Erwin Stunt Coordinator

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    The Curtis Mathes (CMD5000)DVD player Review
    Well, the results are in, research has been done, some surprises have been discovered...prepare for the review.
    [​IMG]
    The Look
    The player looks pretty nice. A little different than the standard black DVD players on the market. It has a dark grey shade on the front panel along with a bright blue flourescent light. The light will blink when it starts to read the disc or when the tray is opened. Probably my favorite feature which distinguishes this player from other DVD players. The buttons are big on the front and the eject and play buttons seem to be a bit misplaced. I think the buttons should have been different sizes rather than the same. The only buttons different are the navigating menu buttons. The nice thing about this player is that it can still be used if the remote is absent. The digital readout on the front panel is very useful and easy to read. It displays the time, chapter, title, type disc, whether it’s dts or DD5.1, vcd, svcd, mp3, or CD along with the usual animated disc rotating while in play.
    Video
    This is one of the player’s strongest areas. MPEG1 and MPEG2 playback looks good. I have tested Pioneer, Apex, JVC, Sanyo, GE, RCA, Phillips, Sony, Memorex, and the picture on this player is downright incredible. I have it hooked up to 32' and pixels seem to rarely come even on XVCDs that were capture at a very low rate when I didn’t know as much about capturing (now the Apex is darn good player as well and is a very close second along with JVC). It gives the picture a very smooth clear look. Having several DVDs, I tested several and the DVDs looked good too. Almost as good as my trusty ProScan. I read one report where someone saw “jaggies”, but I didn’t see any and I’m pretty picky. You can either hook the player up though S-Video, component, or composite.
    Audio
    Another strong area. I have yet to hear this player hiccup or present a strange noise when playing XVCDs or DVDs like the JVC XV65 or the Sanyo DWM-370 did. XVCDs and DVDs sound good on my Yamaha DD/dts HomeTheater Receiver. Mp3 files sound good and the access time is faster than other players that I have used. It does present to whole name of the mp3 files, but I guess one could live with that feature. You can also play the mp3 files though digital or analog. You have an option to play the audio through optical, coaxial, or RCA .
    Performance
    This is one key area that I am sure most people would be concerned with if they are into playing XVCDs. The performance is very smooth. The player is fast, not quite as fast as the Apex, but it’s fast. The chapter pauses are there, but it’s very tolerable (1 and half to 2 seconds at the most). The player has blazed though all of my XVCDs and DVDs without a problem or strange occurrence. The player seems to adapt very well to noncompliant XVCDs. Audio and Video does not go out of synch. The player is very quiet.
    Surprises
    Well, this is where it gets very interesting. After taking apart an Apex, I was just dying to take apart this Curtis Mathes player. I was wondering why this player was doing such a good job—“What was inside this thing?” Well, Apex ain’t the only DVD player with a DVDROM. The Curtis Mathes has one as well. So, I attached the cables to my Hi-Val. It opened and closed, and it played. Then, I decided to push the fast forward button. The screen locked up. I unplugged it and it did the same thing again. Then, out of curiosity I decided to hook up the Apex DVDROM and it worked without any flaws. I don’t know if didn’t like my player or that card underneath the DVDROM has something to do with the Apex working because the Curtis Mathes has a card under it too.
    [​IMG]
    Here is the Curtis Mathes with a Hi-Val DVDROM which only partially works. You gotta love that blue light.
    [​IMG]
    Here it is with an Apex DVDROM and it works fine. I am sure someone knows why this ROM worked but the Hi-Val did not.
    Remote
    It has everything you need on it. Very easy to use, but not particularly attractive.
    Overall
    I think this is an excellent player for anyone who wants a player that will plow through all their XVCDs (regardless of compliance) and DVDs without displaying unwanted and strange behavior. You can get this player at K-mart for $159.99 and you can get an additional year warranty for $16.
    [Edited last by Erwin on September 07, 2001 at 11:00 PM]
     
  2. Erwin

    Erwin Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone in the hobby of buring XVCDs? [​IMG]
     
  3. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    quote: Anyone in the hobby of buring XVCDs? [/quote]No, but I can remember when the Curtis-Mathes brand was slapped on what was then about the most expensive VHS VCR for home use. (It was a rebranded box made by someone else, and the only "value added" was the marketing campaign for the brand name.) And they hyped it by saying their product "costs more and darned well worth it". They were usually sold at furniture stores and the like, not at hi-fi shops.
    Of course, they didn't keep up with the changes in design and features of VCRs offered by the competition and, ultimately, even folks just shopping for a new sofa and credenza realized the premium price WASN'T "darned well worth it". I hadn't seen the brand name mentioned anywhere for years until this thread.
    Interesting to see that with DVD they are positioning the brand name at the opposite end of the cost spectrum -- and placing it in the discount stores.
    Burke
    [Edited last by Burke Strickland on September 08, 2001 at 12:40 PM]
     
  4. Erwin

    Erwin Stunt Coordinator

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    XVCDs just happens to be a hobby I am into now. Sure, they don't look as good as DVD, but they are addictive and fun to create. There is nothing quite like watching your home movies on your DVD player. All you need is a CD burner, a decent processor(500Mhz or highter), ATI AIW 128pro, and practice to get the pattern down right. CDs take up alot less room than VHS tapes. I usually record TV and burn it on CD now.
     

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