A Great Home Entertainment Solution

Written by David Richards     24/07/2005 | 03:21 | Category: WIRELESS & NETWORKING

The Cisco owned KISS Company is set to become a leader in networked entertainment. European designed the KISS products are custom built for an IP based patform. This sets them aparts from other mass market players.

A Great Home Entertainment Solution

The KISS DP-470 is a DVD receiver that combines the function of DVD player with that of a surround sound receiver. The DVD player section incorporates the following features:

1. DVD, CD, CD-R/RW, DVD-R/-RW/+R/+RW, MPEG4-Divx, MP3-CD, and JPG Photo CD playback.

2. Composite, S-video, and Progressive scan output. SCART available on European version.

3. NTSC/PAL compatible with bi-directional conversion

4. Digital optical output for connection to external home theatre system, if desired.

The surround sound receiver features include:

1. Built-in 5-channelx50 watt amplifier with Dolby Digital, DTS, and Pro Logic II decoders.

2. Connections for five satellite speakers and a subwoofer line output.

3. Three Analog audio inputs for additional components, such as audio from a VCR and television.

4. Digital optical and digital coaxial input for connection of an external digital audio source.

5. Built-in AM/FM radio

6. Wireless remote control for on-screen setup, amplifier, and playback functions.

Lastly, the DP-470 is firmware up gradable.

What really makes the KISS DP-470 different is that it is a DVD/CD player combined with a five channel amplifier and AM/FM tuner; just add a TV, 5-satellite speakers, and a powered subwoofer, to create a complete system.

Basically, the DP-470 is similar to a home theatre-in-a-box. However, this unit allows the user to choose and connect their own loudspeakers and not have to settle for the marginal loudspeakers provided with many budget home theatre systems.

With the DP-470, the user has a choice; it can be used as a self-contained home theatre system, or simply use the DVD player section with your existing home theatre system.

During my testing for this review, I simply placed the DP-470 and loudspeakers on a mobile rack and wheeled it from room to room, spreading out the speakers as needed. Then, when I used it with an external home theatre system, I simply left the loudspeakers that were connected to the DP-470 on the rack, activated the loudspeaker mute function, and simply connected the DP-470's digital audio output to the external AV receiver I needed to use.

Using this approach, a user can easily move the unit from room-to-room, setting it up in the same manner. In essence, you can have two systems in one.

Setup: Setting up the DP-470 is very easy using the unit's well-laid out and simple onscreen menu system. The setup options even include a test tone for adjusting the output levels of the amplifier.

In addition, the back panel hook-up layout is also easy to decipher, with inputs, outputs, and speaker connections clearly labelled and logically placed. However, the good ergonomics of the onscreen setup menu and rear panel connections did not carry over to the front panel and remote control, whose small buttons and labelling were hard for me to see at a reasonable distance without reading glasses. For the purpose of this review, I set up the DP-470 as both a standalone system, attaching speakers and a subwoofer to the onboard amplifier, and also bypassing the onboard amp and connecting the DVD player section, via both Analog and digital optical output, to a couple of existing comparison home theatre systems.

The additional components used in setting up for testing the KISS DP 470 included the following: Outlaw Audio Model 950 Preamp/Processor, Butler Audio Model 5150 5-Channel Power Amp, Yamaha HTR-5490 AV receiver, Olevia LT30HV LCD Television, Optoma H56 DLP video projector (using S-Video connection), Yamaha YST-SW205 subwoofer, and a variety of loudspeakers. Audio and video interconnects from both Cobalt and Accell were used. Comparison DVD players included the Samsung DVD-HD931, Philips DVDR985, Pioneer DV-525, and Technics DVD-A10. DVD software used included scenes from the following: Kill Bill - Vol1, Pirates of the Caribbean, Chicago, Valley Of Gwangi, Underworld, Passionada, Moulin Rouge, Ed Wood, and Show - A Night In The Life Of Matchbox 20, as well as video content on DVD-R and DVD+RW discs. . In addition, various CD and DTS music discs, as well as music content on CD-Rs were used to check the audio-only capabilities and playback compatibilities of the KISS DP-470.

 Testing - Audio Overall when using the DP-470 in various rooms, I found its built-in surround amplifier a little lacking in power output for large room setups. However, it is quite adequate for a smaller entertainment room, apartment, or second room, without having to incur the added expense of an additional surround sound receiver.

When using the DP-470 DVD player's digital audio output connection to external home theatre system, the unit performed as expected on both music only and DVD soundtrack material. When used with both the Outlaw/Butler Audio combo and the Yamaha HTR-5490 AV receiver, I found no obvious faults in the audio signal. Using the digital optical audio connection, the DP-470's digital audio bit stream seemed to be transferred intact. In addition, the Analog stereo output signal from the DP-470, when used with standard CDs appeared fine as well.

Lastly, In terms of format playback compatibility, I found that the DP-470 had no trouble playing back CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, or DVD+RW discs, in addition to standard DVDs and CDs.

Testing - Video: On the video side of things, the testing was more involved. When hooked the DP-470 to the Optoma H56 DLP video projector with standard S-Video, the unit performed very well, and was on par with several other DVD players I have used with this projector, including the classic Technics DVD-A10.

For additional video testing, I connected the DP-470 to an Olevia LT30HV, which is a fixed-pixel LCD television with both composite, S-video, and progressive scan inputs. In the component 480p progressive scan mode, the KISS DP-470 did not perform quite as well as my Samsung DVD-HD931's progressive scan mode, exhibiting a slight difference in grain or smoothness. However, the Samsung does have the advantage of an onboard Faroudja DCDi processor.

Lastly, I found that the basic composite video output of the DP-470, although not as good as the S-Video and component output (which is to be expected) was actually slightly better than the composite outputs Pioneer DV-525 and Philips DVDR985, with fairly stable colour and line consistency.

However, I did not have the opportunity to test the MPEG4-Divx capabilities of the DP-470. Hopefully, I will have a future update on this.

 

Conclusion: I found the KISS DP-470 to be a fun and flexible home theatre component to use. Both its audio and video performance was very good. Although I found it's built-in surround amplifier a little lacking in power output for large room setups, it is a great feature for those setting up a basic surround sound system in an apartment or second room without having to install an additional surround sound receiver. Lastly, I found that the DP-470 had no trouble playing back CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, or DVD+RW discs.

In addition, the built-in surround amplifier performed very well in terms of surround sound imaging, with slight roughness on high frequencies, but on par with many basic home theatre-in-a-box systems.

The DP-470 allows input connections from other components and the connection of it to an external home theatre system if being used as a standalone DVD player. This is preferred if using the unit in a large room.

I found the KISS DP-470 to be a good performing, flexible, DVD Receiver. The only feature I was not able to test was the MPEG-4 Divx playback. However, along with all the positive attributes of the DP-470, I found areas that I feel could use some improvement:

1. The buttons and labelling on the remote control and front panel are too small, making them difficult to read at a reasonable distance.

2. The power output of the built-in amplifier is not adequate for large room setups. This is typical of similar home theatre-in-a-box systems, however.

3. No SACD or DVD-Audio playback compatibility. Considering all the other playback capabilities of the DP-470, the addition of DVD-Audio and SACD playback would really be further plus.

In conclusion, the KISS DP-470 is definitely a unique home theatre component. Its ability to be used as both a self-contained home theatre system, or, as a DVD player within a larger setup, is a real plus, in my opinion. Add the fact that the DP-470 also has great video and audio performance, as well as extensive format compatibility in its product and price class, makes this unit deserving of your consideration. Based on my own user experience, I give the DP-470 Four out of Five Stars. Distributor Qualifi: Recommended Purchase Price: