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Audiovox D8000XP - DVD player review: Audiovox D8000XP - DVD player

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The D8000XP's more compact size necessitates that its input/output jacks are divided on either side of the unit. The biggest (and most curious) compromise is the use of a mini-USB jack; an adapter cable for standard USB devices is included, but why Audiovox didn't just make the port itself that size is a mystery (there's plenty of room). Otherwise, you'll find the same group of controls and options as the D8000IP: dual headphone jacks, AV input/output (one port, with a toggle switch), USB port, volume and brightness sliders, flash card slot, and a power switch. In addition to the AC adapter, Audiovox throws in a car charger and a composite breakout AV cable (use it for the video input or output, as needed). When using flash media, the onscreen interface will allow you to search through all of the folders on your card or thumb drive. It accepts SD/MMC and Memory Stick media, as well as their smaller variants with the appropriate adapter. The onscreen GUI (graphical user interface) is easy to use and we had no problem selecting files for play. If a file is not supported by the D8000XP, it will not show up onscreen (more on that below).

While an adapter cable is included, the D8000XP's mini-USB port makes reading digital media from a flash drive much less convenient.

In addition to playing DVDs, the Audiovox D8000XP will play audio CDs and MP3 CDs. It will also play some video and photo files from a connected USB flash drive or a compatible memory card. As far as DVD playback was concerned, we tried numerous combinations of home burned +R/RW and -R/RW DVD media--all of which worked without a hitch. But anyone with a large digital media collection will be disappointed with the limited file format compatibility---just MPEG movies, MP3 music, and JPEG image files. We would have really liked to have at least seen DivX compatibility.

Video quality is exactly what you'd expect for a portable player in this price range: resoundingly average. The brightness slider on the side of the unit allows for adjusting on the fly. Battery life is very good--you'll get just under 4.5 hours of DVD playback on a full charge. You'll hear a moderate amount of spinning from the disc inside, but it is nowhere near as loud as the buttons we mentioned earlier.

In place of iPod video support, the D8000XP features a small set of onboard applications that seem tacked on as an afterthought: a calendar and clock/alarm. The calendar program only highlights the current day and allows you to scroll through the year by month.

While the D8000XP addresses some of the issues we had with the D8000IP, it still suffers from the majority of problems that hinder its performance--and with a price tag of $150, the Audiovox D8000XP still remains a tough sell. An integrated battery, better digital media support, and some ergonomics tweaks--along with a price shave--would go a long way toward making this bargain DVD portable easier to recommend.

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