The Good Lots of audio options; sharp, bright LCD screen; video-in/out connections; VideoCD and CD-R playback; good battery life; excellent 16:9-mode viewing.
The Bad Pricey; no component video connection; noticeable jagged edges on non-16:9-enhanced DVDs; mediocre speakers.
The Bottom Line It may not have every video bell and whistle, but this portable DVD player has solid audio options and is a roadworthy companion.
Palm GameFace handheld accessory kit
Panasonic's DVD-LV70 portable DVD player is a step up from the first generation of portable DVD players, with better audio options and a crisp LCD screen. It's relatively light and can last longer than a marathon runner. If pressed, this portable DVD player could even substitute for a full-sized DVD player in your home-theater setup--so long as you are willing to make a few compromises.Panasonic's DVD-LV70 portable DVD player is a step up from the first generation of portable DVD players, with better audio options and a crisp LCD screen. It's relatively light and can last longer than a marathon runner. If pressed, this portable DVD player could even substitute for a full-sized DVD player in your home-theater setup--so long as you are willing to make a few compromises.
Long live the players
Measuring just over 1.5 inches thick (with the battery pack attached), 7.25 inches wide, and 5.5 inches deep, the DVD-LV70 is a very compact unit that would be good for travelers. It weighs 1.35 pounds without the battery and sports a 7-inch, 16:9 aspect-ratio LCD screen. The package includes a detachable battery pack, an A/V cable, a remote, and an AC adapter. In our tests, the rechargeable lithium-ion battery hung in for five hours with the LCD on.
But we weren't as impressed with the screen on the DVD-LV70. Edges that appear smooth when the unit is hooked to a TV tend to look jagged on the LCD screen. Even on well-mastered DVDs such as Barbarella and The Matrix, we saw the jagged motion artifacts that are common to LCD screens. However, we found that engaging one of the device's several aspect-ratio control modes reduced the jagged lines. The wide-screen mode compresses the picture vertically and reduces the jagged lines, while the 16:9-enhanced mode completely removes artifacts. However, both of these modes crop valuable screen real estate on non-16:9-enhanced DVDs. But the real trick to enjoying this player is to view the screen from about three feet away. Despite the flaws, you can tweak the DVD-LV70's screen modes and settings to your liking, with 10 levels of brightness and saturation settings. When you hook it up to a big-screen TV, the player's picture is excellent, with overall balanced colors and no noticeable decompression pixel artifacts. There is even an innovative switch that lets you toggle the S-Video output to an input and allows you to plug anything from video cameras to game consoles into the LCD--a neat extra for mobile video buffs.
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