So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Legend Performance Technology LSDDVD Digital Receiver DVD Player
- Cheap, easy to use, includes minesweeper
- Looks cheap, poor build quality
The LSDDVD does the job well enough, but suffers from a substandard DVD player.
Price$ 169.00 (AUD)
Legend's LSDDVD Digital Receiver DVD Player is exactly what it sounds like; a set top box with a DVD player thrown in for good measure. It's a rather plain and not particularly inspiring device, but the LSDDVD does the job adequately if you can make do without fancy features.
Combining both a DVD player and set top box into one is in theory a good idea, as nobody wants dozens of identical silver boxes cluttering the space under the television. We were curious to see if Legend would have to sacrifice anything to get both into the one unit. While there are certainly a few features lacking which come as standard on more expensive models, for the price tag this model is reasonable value. For the DVD player this means no advanced sound processing features such as Dolby DTS and no support for DivX discs. For the set top box it means no second tuner. Many people won't miss these features, so their exclusion makes sense, and makes the package that much cheaper.
First of all we took the set top box for a spin. Setting things up is fairly simple, just a matter of pressing a few buttons and watching the LSDDVD scan through the channels. One nice feature is the ability to display a frozen snapshot of nine channels simultaneously on-screen. If you know what you're looking for, this makes channel hopping that much quicker. From here onwards things were fairly standard. There's a simple yet effective interface, an easy to use EPG function and the unit throws out decent picture quality. Programme information is tucked away behind a few more menus than necessary, but it's not too hard to access.
Obviously not happy with such normal features Legend has also included a few exciting extras. Best of these was a game that's somewhat akin to Connect4, but surprisingly hard. We couldn't beat the LSDDVD even on the easiest settings, which was slightly embarrassing. But the fun doesn't end there, as there's also Tetris, Minesweeper, and even a calendar!
Moving on to the DVD player, things took a bit of a downturn. Firstly, and rather ridiculously, any settings programmed in set top box mode are not transferred to DVD mode. This means television aspect, video output and others have to be set up twice, which is completely unnecessary. The second problem is that DVD playback isn't very good, despite the LSDDVD supporting progressive scan. Pictures suffered from colour stepping, graininess and pixelisation. This was using a component connection, which should produce better quality than this.
The overall design of the LSDDVD is nothing especially exciting, coming in a slim silver case with a reflective panel along the front. It is better than the boring grey plastic used by many companies, but still ends up looking somewhat plain. The remote on the other hand is anything but boring, looking almost like a child's plaything with a myriad of multicoloured buttons. The remote is also poorly made, with unresponsive buttons that are hard to press. When it comes to connections, Legend has done a good job, with component, composite, coaxial and digital optical all included.
Overall the LSDDVD is a decent machine that will suit those on a tight budget. It may not be the most stylish unit around, and it has an underperforming DVD player, but at this price we can't complain too much.
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