Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Technical Pro DVB80 Professional CD / DVD / Karaoke Player Review


In the digital world, audio equipment keeps progressing so quickly that formats drop by the wayside pretty frequently. If you had told me 10 years ago that I would never use any of my CDs anymore I would have thought you were a nutjob. Well, it has happened, and nowadays my entire music library is on my computer, and shared with my phone, iPad and iPods.

Despite these advances, I still need to bring a CD player to my shows as people always seem to bring along a CD that they want to play a track from, or if somebody requests karaoke (shudder). I am still stuck in the dinosaur days of CD+G for my karaoke library, BTW.

Well, my Numark dual disk player recently pooped the bed and I was loathe to spend much on a replacement, and decided to try the Technical Pro DVB80. It met my format requirements, came with rack mount tabs (1U) and was dirt cheap.

The DVB80 will play back a dizzying array of formats, including DVD, DVD-R, DVD-RW, VCD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3, Kodak CD and CD+G. So you can watch movies, play music, view photos, or do karaoke with onscreen playback. By the way, this is a region-free DVD player (PAL/ NTSC), so it will play discs from other countries too. It is not Blueray compatible, though, but what do you expect for 90 bucks? As an added bonus you will find an SD card slot and a USB port on the front, so you can use these as music or photo sources too.

On the back you will find two microphone inputs (1/4-inch TRS) that can be used for karaoke or if the DJ is too cheap to buy a mixer. There are two RCA audio outs and a 5.1 RCA set-up that goes along with a Dolby AC-3 decoder so you can use your surround sound system. Oodles of video output jacks are also available, including YCbCr/YUV, RF DIN, Coax, CVBS, VGA, digital signal fiber optic.

All of these features are crammed into a normal-sized package and the DVB80 player measures (19" w/brackets) x 2.5" x 10" and comes in at around 6 pounds. It is capable of running on 110 or 220V systems, so it will work in pretty much any civilized country as long as you have the correct power cable (this player uses a removable IEC cord). A full-function remote control is included, which makes cuing up tracks a lot easier.

Prior to getting this player I had no experience with Technical Pro’s products, but they have not disappointed me. The players works well and cues up tracks nicely. There is no added noise to the audio output, and the picture quality is as good as non-Blueray players get. Overall it is a nice piece of equipment, and I hope it holds up better than my Numark player did.

My only gripe is that I do not think this player was originally designed to be a rack-mounted unit. The tabs are flimsy, and the metal that makes up the chassis is thin, so the whole thing sags quite a bit when it is bolted into place. I put shims between mine and rack units above and below it so it cannot flop around.

I think the Technical Pro DVB80 is a good deal, with a list price of $159.00 and a smoking hot street price of $88.95. This includes the remote, rack mount tabs and a 1-year warranty. It is a lot of player for the money!