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LG DN191H Upconverting DVD/DivX Player Hands-On

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At a price of under $100—and possibly under $80 if you look in the right place—the LG DN191H is a pretty thrifty option for upconverting your old media. With an HDMI connection (not component), the 191 will play back DVDs at up to 1080i, provided you've got an HDTV.

It's slim, light, and it looks quite stylish next to either a black or silver HDTV. The buttons are all on top, and discs are tray-loaded (some box shots may erroneously say it's slot loaded). However, the remote is somewhat unintuitive, and requires some getting used to. For example, if you put in a disc of DivX files and pictures, the player will load the picture list first and you have to press the "return" button to get to the movie listing. This isn't written on the remote itself—you'll have to find it on screen.


But the performance is pretty impressive for such a cheap player.


On our test 46-inch DLP set, the upconverted DVDs looked noticeably better than standard DVDs, as you'd expect. However, even though there's 1 optical digital out and 1 coaxial digital out for audio, there's only Dolby Digital and DTS 2-channel audio supported—even if you've got a DVD with 5.1 channels. This is a thrifty set after all. As for video, there's HDMI and component, as well as composite for older sets.

The player managed to support all DivX and XviD files we threw at it, on both CDR and DVDR discs. All in all, a bargain player if you're looking for a stopgap solution between your old DVD player and the new-fangled HD DVD and Blu-rays. Plus, you can burn your downloaded movies and enjoy them on upconverted 1080i quality on your big HDTV. The only downside is the lack of 5.1 audio.


But if you're willing to spend a little bit more, there are much better DVD/DivX upconverting players out there.

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