Philips MCD139/79

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Philips MCD139/79
  • Philips MCD139/79
  • Philips MCD139/79
  • Philips MCD139/79
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Very good sound, easy to use, well-priced

Cons

  • Can't play DivX or Xvid files

Bottom Line

This combination Hi-Fi and DVD player micro system is well-designed and performs all of its intended functions very well. If you want a neat Hi-Fi and DVD solution for a small room, this one is definitely worth your consideration.

Would you buy this?

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The latest offering from Philips is the MCD139/79 DVD Micro Theatre. It's a micro-sized 2.1-channel DVD and Hi-Fi system that has an attractive feature-set and a pint-sized price tag of $299. It will play movies without a fuss and it will also let you to listen to your favourite songs in a variety of formats: audio CD, WMA CD and MP3 CD.

Connecting the MCD139/79 was a breeze. It was simply a matter of attaching the right speaker and the sub-woofer to the left speaker. The right speaker and the sub-woofer are attached to the left speaker as the left speaker actually houses the amplifier. The main unit, which houses the DVD player, can then be attached to the left speaker using a DIN connection. Stereo audio output and coaxial digital audio output ports are also present on the main unit, and this means that you can also plug the main unit into another amplifier of your choice. Plugging your television into the main unit can be done via component, S-Video or composite cables.

The MCD139/79's DVD player proved to be flawless. It played our commercially produced DVDs, burnt DVD+R discs, Video CDs and Picture CDs without any problems. The video quality of DVDs via the component output was vivid and sharp. Through the composite connection, video was less vibrant, which is what we expected. As for sound, the relatively small speakers produced a clean and wide stereo image. They delivered clear Dolby Digital output (via 2.1 channels) at low, high and mid-range frequencies. High frequencies were crisp and clean, mid-range was warm and subtle, and the passive sub-woofer delivered a very solid bottom end. Playing MP3 and WMA audio files was a straight-forward affair, with the MCD139/79 accepting a number of different CD-R discs packed with numerous files of various bit rates. The menu system appeared promptly on the screen and was easy to use via the supplied 38-button remote control.

As for features, the MCD139/79 comes complete with a progressive scan DVD player and all the trimmings expected of a Hi-Fi system: a digital FM tuner with 20 station presets, a programmable CD player with shuffle and random modes, a sleep timer, a clock, an equaliser with built-in presets, and a CD\radio alarm function. Disc formats such as DVD, DVD+R, DVD+RW, picture CD, video CD, CD, SVCD, CD, CD-R and CD-RW are all playable. DVD functions include slow motion, zoom and resume playback from stop.

Physically, the main unit has an elegant grey and mirrored finish. It's slightly 'chubbier' than a standard slim-line DVD player--it's small in width, but it's higher than most slim-line DVD players--and discs are loaded from the top as the unit does not have a front-loading tray. The speakers (including the passive sub-woofer) all measure 25cm in height. All three speakers are housed in faux cherry-wood enclosures that add a retro touch to an otherwise modern looking system. Philips supplies a composite video cable, an FM antenna and remote control in the box. All in all, the MCD139/79 has a sleek and classy design and it performs its intended functions very well. The only real disappointment is that it doesn't have the ability to play DivX and Xvid formats. That's forgivable considering its small price tag.

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