What's your experience with cheap Apex DVD players?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave H, Mar 23, 2002.

  1. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    These routinely run for $69-79.95. I'm thinking of picking up one for the bedroom. However, I don't want it to stop working in 6-12 mos. Have you gotten much use with one of these and how do DVDs look on it?
     
  2. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    PIcture quality is not the issue. They have a clean picture. It's the reliability. I've heard 1 out of 2 won't have a problem w/ the tray opening and closing.
     
  3. Mark Gurney

    Mark Gurney Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave,

    I currently own the Apex AD-600A which I purchased for $100 in November of 2000. Up until a month ago I had no problems with the player. Picture quality was good (IMHO), played every DVD I threw at it (including other region encoded discs), played MP3's, CDR's, CDRW's, an over all good player.

    My recent problem cropped up when I was trying to play a music CD in the player. I placed the CD in and after spinning for 30-45 seconds, it could not detect a disc in the drive. It does this about half of the time (on MP3, CDR, CDRW and studio pressed CD's). I tested a few DVD's, and received the same 30-45 second pause, but it eventually played the DVD. Just recently, the player sometimes fails to recognize DVD's, but will eventually play them if you open and close the tray.

    Additionally, at the same time of my purchase I bought my parents the same DVD player. About six months into ownership, the Apex refused to play any music CD's, but has never exibited any other kind of problem.

    I'm looking to purchase a replacement player (the Sony DVP-NS500V) next week. While DVD's will still play, the problem is frustrating. If you can only spend a max of $80 on a DVD player, then I say go for it, Apex has served me well for 15 months and will still function as a second player. If you can possibly save/spend $100 more, I would strongly consider an entry level player from Panasonic, Sony or Toshiba.

    Mark
     
  4. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    I purchased the Apex 800A progressive scan player from Sam's as an additional player for my Florida room and experienced major problems. I tried three diffrent units and finally gave up.

    At first the players would not send out a bitstream signal so the audio was only dolby pro logic. After lots of fooling around I finally got one of the players to send out the correct signal for both DTS and Dolby Digital. Then I experienced another major problem. The player could not play many DVD's. I gave up and purchased another JVC pro scan player. No problems the JVC plays perfectly.
     
  5. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

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    Some of the older Apex models (703a) aren't very good, but the 3-disc 5131 is a winner as well as the current single-disc 1000 (1500?).

    If you want a changer, you can't do better for $150 or less than the 5131. I've had one for awhile now. Actually, the $200 Sonys and JVCs and similar usually don't play mp3 or SVCD or sometimes even have trouble with CD-R VCD, so in that regard they are very inferior.

    Picture quality on any cheap player nowadays is still very good and I doubt the majority of people could tell a difference between most of them. Except for Oritrons. bleh.

    If you want a single-disc player, I'd spend the extra $20 and get a Daewoo 5700 from Sam's. For a changer, Apex 5131 it is.
     
  6. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Well, I guess I could buy the entended three-year, $20.00 warranty if I would buy this model from a B&M.
     
  7. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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  8. Gui A

    Gui A Supporting Actor

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    I'm still using the Apex 600a I got way back in Nov.Dec 2000... The image quality is okay. It's not great, but it gets the job done.
    Mechanically, everything appears to be fine. It does got a bit hot after you watch a movie, but that hasn't been a problem yet.
    The only beef I have with it is it's anamorphic downconversion... some titles, like Tron and Atalantis, won't downconvert at all. Not a good thing if you have a 4x3 TV. Seamless branching is hard on the player too. It won't do it properly from the menu.
    Overall, it's a pain. but I like it for its all-region and macrovision "enhancements."
     
  9. Matt Krapf

    Matt Krapf Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought my 600A the day after I got back from the First HTF LA Meet in March, 2000. Everyone was raving about it.

    It worked great until roughly October, then simply stopped working. It wouldn't power up.

    There's a release for the Disc tray under the machine, which I used to retrieve a DVD which got stuck in there once it stopped working.

    It never resumed functioning, so I bought a Toshiba.

    For what it's worth, I think the CPU fried from a lack of a heat sink.

    Matt
     
  10. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

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    Dave, you can get the 5131 from Sam's Club for $129, and adding a year to the warranty is only five bucks. Circuit City sells it for $140 or less, I think it was in their sales flyer this week, actually, for $130. I think their extended warranty if more like 10 bucks. I wouldn't pay more than that for an extended warranty. Putting it on a Visa usually doubles the warranty anyway.

    And like I said, the Daewoo 5700 at Sam's for $99 is as good as it gets in that price range. I would have bought that one if I hadn't needed a changer for SVCDs.
     
  11. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

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    btw, if you don't have a Sam's Club membership, the $15 a year is worth it just to get the phone cards. Last I checked they were 600 minutes for twenty bucks. I know plenty of people who have canceled their long distance entirely and just use the cards.
     
  12. Ten_Smith

    Ten_Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    My question is can these cheaper DVD players handle anamorphic DVDs?
     
  13. BillG

    BillG Agent

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    A friend of mine bought an Apes, I don't know what model. It would not play "The Ultimate DVD Platinum" but would do everything else we tried. He used it very lightly for a year - maybe played 15 or 20 disks in it. Then it stopped working. Would not turn off, would not eject the tray.

    What a piece of crap. For the same money my friend now owns a nice Panasonic which plays everything and has not quit after 50+ movies.
     
  14. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Stunt Coordinator

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    Ten,

    Yes, they will play anamorphic DVDs just like any other player should.

    To answer the original question, my experience was bad. I bought one at Sam's Club, only to use in a debugging effort when I was having a problem with my RPTV. If I selected a DTS soundtrack, every time it switched from Pro-Logic to DTS, as it does going from the menu to the actual movie, it popped all my speakers. It was like, loud an amplifier clip or something. Made me think it was going to blow every speaker with that noise, and it did it every time.

    I'll never hook up another Apex to my system, not even temporarily.
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I have one of the original 600A Loophole Menu APEX players. I have never had a single problem with it. It is in the bedroom system and gets very light use. However, I have bought some S-VHS tapes to copy my all-region PAL and Japan region NTSC DVDs to tape in the case of failure. I just haven't gotten around to actually making the copies!!!
     

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