Spectroniq Portable DVD Player
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 01-24-2009
Provided by: Geeks

The first thing I was somewhat disappointed in is the display resolution. At only 480 x 234 it is roughly 75% of the pixel width of a standard 640 x 480 4:3 television, which is already too small to display the full 720 x 480 DVD format in its frame. I realize that this is a standard size commonly used on portable DVD player displays, but consequently the image is not as clear as it should be and "jaggies" appear, especially on words appearing onscreen such as the credits. I can imagine this would be particularly bad trying to read subtitles. The other negative I discovered is that despite the overly wide screen format, which if math serves me correctly is 2.05:1 as opposed to a 16:9 ratio of 1.77 or 4:3 at 1.33, movies that are filmed in 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 still have significant sized letter boxes at the top and bottom of the screen. 30 or more pixels to be exact.

To help offset this the user can opt to use a Zoom function, accessed through one of the buttons on top of the unit's base. The three images above show the effect of 0x or no zoom compared to 2x and 4x zoom on the same still frame. The 2x zoom definitely seems to offer the best viewing option, nearly eliminating the letter boxes without losing too much in the way of picture height. It does end up taking a sizable chunk out of the sides, however not nearly as much as what is lost through the 4x zoom, which doesn't appear to offer any benefit in getting rid of the letter boxes. There are still unused pixels on the top and bottom while the view to either side is cut so much as to be practically unusable.

With 480 x 234 resolution in a 7" diagonal screen, the individual pixels can indeed be singled out with relative ease from a few feet away. This would become even more obvious and most likely negatively impact picture quality if the same resolution is viewed in an 8" display. There are portable players with a higher definition screen of 840 x 480 available however and if a big screen such as 8" or 9" or larger is something you're looking for I would highly recommend spending the extra money on a high resolution display.

On to some final thoughts and conclusion.

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