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KiSS DP-470 review: KiSS DP-470

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The Good Progressive scan video output. Good disc and file format compatibility. Broad connectivity. Fast loading. Extremely easy to setup and use.

The Bad Noisy disc tray mechanism. Minor disc recognition problems. Occasional display corruption. Annoying glitch feedback when skipping tracks.

The Bottom Line The KiSS Technology DP-470 is a good all-in-one DVD receiver solution for those who only require a relatively simple and easy-to-use home theatre system. It has enough power, features and compatibility to satisfy basic users, however, this over-simplified approach will not satisfy many power users. There are also a few bugs that need to be ironed out, but as it is firmware upgradeable, these issues should be resolved in the future.

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The DP-470 from KiSS Technology is a simple integrated DVD receiver with enough power and features to satisfy basic home theatre users in small room environments. With wide file format compatibility and basic operation, the DP-470 will appeal to those who like to keep it simple.

Design
KiSS Technology from Denmark is one of the newest players in the home theatre equipment market in Australia, with a line up of interesting and feature-rich products that are designed to be simple to use. This ease-of-use tenet is fundamental to the KiSS (Keep It Simple Solutions) philosophy and is evident in its latest all-in-one home theatre receiver, the DP-470.

The DP-470 is a five-channel AV receiver with a DVD drive located in the centre of the front panel, situating it in the relatively new category of all-in-one DVD home theatre receivers. It has the standard form factor of a full-size hi-fi component with a relatively low profile. From a design perspective, the DP-470 is very conservative featuring only a single power button on the left of the DVD tray and eight major function buttons to the right. The uppermost black band hides the dot matrix display sitting above the DVD tray, which scrolls text and function information in a rather pleasant fashion.

The circular function buttons are in contrast to the remarkably sharp and square design of the receiver. Aesthetically, the DP-470 adheres to the KiSS design convention of alternating horizontal black and silver bands, which you will either love or hate. People with a mixture of black and silver components would probably feel most comfortable with this design theme. A simple black remote control unit is provided with the DP-470, with its basic layout highlighting the system's simple operation.

Features
The rear panel houses all of the DP-470s connection options, which are fairly comprehensive and include monitor outputs for RGB SCART, component video, S-Video and composite video. Audio outputs include optical digital, coaxial digital as well as analog stereo RCA outputs. The DP-470 also has RCA inputs for auxiliary AV devices, antenna inputs for the AM/FM tuner, small spring clip terminals for its five speaker outputs and a low-level RCA subwoofer output. A variety of connection cables are thoughtfully provided.

Powering the DP-470 is a modest internal 5 x 50 watt class-D digital amplifier that will drive small to medium size speaker systems. Also inside is an AM/FM tuner with RDS and dual antennas to ensure clean radio reception. Digital audio decoders are included for Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 soundtracks along with Dolby Pro Logic II and normal stereo modes.

Where the DP-470 excels is with its video decoding, which can handle DVD-Video, MPEG-1/2/4, JPEG picture CDs and its most touted feature, DivX and XviD digital video file decoding. This means if you have a collection of CDs or DVDs with DivX 3.11, 4 and 5 or XviD AVI movie files, the DP-470 will be able to play them back just like a regular DVD. The DVD drive will also accept DVD-RW, CD, CD+-R/RW discs as well as those containing MP3 and Ogg Vorbis audio files.

Performance
The DP-470 is very easy to set up, with a quick seven-step wizard taking you through all the fundamental connection options when it's first powered up. Once complete, the unit is truly ready to go, reinforcing the fact that there are very few options available for tweaking and tuning. The unit was connected to a display via SCART RGB and the graphical on-screen menu system was very easy to comprehend. Using the remote to switch between the four inputs of DVD, radio, video and TV it became evident very early that the DP-470 is a device well suited to those who do not like or need complications in their home theatre devices. With analog audio such as the radio, video or TV modes, virtually the only change you can make is to switch the sound output between stereo and Dolby ProLogic II modes.

With DVD-Videos the DP-470 will automatically detect and output Dolby Digital and DTS discs, as well as any DivX and XviD movie files that have Dolby Digital AC3 encoded soundtracks. Audio CDs and data discs with movie and music files are easily navigated with their file lists displayed on screen. Disc loading times are also quite impressive, with fast recognition of all but AVI movie file discs, which the unit would sometimes recognise only to reject at others.

Besides the rejection of an AVI movie disc that it had previously accepted, there were a few other quibbles with the DP-470 including the noisy disc tray mechanism and occasional display corruption. However the most noteworthy were the loud and annoying digital glitches heard when you skipped tracks forward and reverse on both audio and video discs. These glitches were heard as the unit attempted to playback the first few moments of the new track simultaneously. For instance, when skipping to a track on a CD you would hear a glitch and the song would begin a few seconds into the track, rather than cleanly from the beginning.

Video performance was quite good, with the progressive scan providing sharp image quality, good resolution and colour. There were only the occasional traces of diagonal line weaving but even when present they did not interfere with the presentation too much. The 5 x 50 watt amplifier section has enough power to drive small and medium size speaker systems at moderate levels, but when pushed to the upper volume limits the output became scratchy and started to break up with distortion. Overall, its performance was well matched to its specifications and would be suitable for small room home theatre systems such as apartments.

The KiSS Technology DP-470 is a simple but well-featured DVD receiver, but suffers from a few minor issues that would distract the target market - the basic user - as well as those with higher expectations. Without these hiccups the system would be a joy to use even for the most technologically impaired. Its beauty is also firmly in the eye of the beholder.

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