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
I had some doubts about the benefits of upscaling before reviewing the
H4000. I was pleasantly surprised that it really makes a difference.
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
. 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.
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.
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
I can switch the resolutions directly from the remote control.
Switching takes a couple seconds and you see a black screen in the
I also tested the Helios H4000 with the
PLV-Z4 projector. Here there is no improvement visible. The
reason is that the projector is already doing its own upscaling.
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
remote and store this one in a drawer.
- 1080p upscaling
- Region free and
- Lots of features
- Great choice of
- Not stackable,
because smaller than a standard component
- Cluttered remote
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.
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