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neodigits Helios H4000 1080p Upscaling DVD Player Review

Nov 27 2006, 12:00am CST | by

neodigits Helios H4000 1080p Upscaling DVD Player Review
 
 

So you have a HDTV, but nothing to connect the HDMI port to? The most low cost device that can be connected to it is a DVD player with HDMI. Better yet, get an upscaling DVD player that uses all available lines on your fine HDTV. Most upscaling DVD players do 720p. The now shipping neodigits Helios H4000 is even able to upscale to full high definition resolution (1080p).
I had some doubts about the benefits of upscaling before reviewing the H4000. I was pleasantly surprised that it really makes a difference.

Gallery

6 images
neodigits Helios H4000 1080p Upscaling DVD Player Reviewneodigits Helios H4000 1080p Upscaling DVD Player Reviewneodigits Helios H4000 1080p Upscaling DVD Player Review

Benchmarks

The neodigits Helios H4000 upscaling DVD player is not the only DVD player supporting 1080p upscaling. Denon offers the DVD-5910Ci, but we talk two different product categories here. The Denon DVD-5910Ci sells for $3,799.99 on Amazon.com. The Helios H4000 only costs $169.

The H4000 has pleasing design in an all black slim line case. It has not full-size component measurements, which I am not a fan off. This means you only can place the H4000 on top of your component stack. Measurements are 360x250x50mm. All buttons are on top of the player. The H4000 looks well made. The drive runs smooth and silent.

neodigits helios h4000 upscaling dvd player review test

neodigits Helios H4000 top view

Besides HDMI, the H4000 also has component video output, composite video out, S-Video, VGA, 5.1 audio outputs, optical audio out and coaxial audio out. Neodigits bundles a component video cable and a HDMI cable to the player. As you know Sony does not give you a HDMI cable with the Sony PS3. So I was pleasantly surprised that Neodigits is able to bundle it with their DVD player.

The good thing about the independent DVD player makers is that they have no region coding and play anything. The Helios H4000 supports also PAL and NTSC output. Supported media include besides DVD movie discs, SVCD, VCD, CD, HD-CD, MP3 and JPEG.

neodigits helios h4000 upscaling dvd player review test

The full backside.

Now to the important topic: image quality. I tested the H4000 on a 50 inch Panasonic Plasma HDTV (TH-50PV60E). The difference to an analog connected (SCART) dvd player to the H4000 is pretty dramatic. The image o the screen when looking close is crisp and detailed and nearly without artifacts. The Panasonic only supports 720p. I do not have a 1080p display available to test the 1080p upscaling of the H4000. The 720p upscaling works definitely great.
I can switch the resolutions directly from the remote control. Switching takes a couple seconds and you see a black screen in the meantime.

I also tested the Helios H4000 with the Sanyo PLV-Z4 projector. Here there is no improvement visible. The reason is that the projector is already doing its own upscaling.

neodigits helios h4000 upscaling dvd player review test

screen shot from the setup menu

The helios has a rather rich setup menu for video and audio settings and also an overlay menu while playing a movie. The front LED display shows the current status and chosen actions. It is bright and easy to read. The remote control is too cluttered for my taste. I suggest to train the needed buttons onto your universal remote and store this one in a drawer.

neodigits helios h4000 upscaling dvd player review test

The remote control

Verdict

Conclusion

Pros
  • 1080p upscaling
  • Region free and PAL/NTSC support
  • Lots of features
  • Great choice of outputs

Cons
  • Not stackable, because smaller than a standard component
  • Cluttered remote control

Verdict
If you have a large HDTV an upscaling DVD player is a good investment and will improve the image quality for watching movies. Especially if you do not want yet to enter the Blu-ray or HD DVD era this is a cheap way to use all lines of your HDTV. The neodigits Helios H4000 is a full featured well made DVD players with great upscaling capabilities for a low price.
8.0
10
 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr (Google) is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com.

 

 

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