Pros it works easy, it works well
Cons none yet, after 6 months
Summary Not only does it play just about everything available in the USA, it can be set to region free and play DVDs (and perhaps more) from other countries. 'we been there, done that...'
Pros Inexpensive, easy to set up and use, good performance for the money..
Cons Only basic controls on the unit itself.
Summary I don't know what player some of these folks are talking about, but it certainly isn't the same DVP642 I have. Just to clear up the mystery, yes, it does play Xvid. Yes, it does play DVD-R\RW. And yes, it does support DTS. Some of the other reviews I've read saying it doesn't do this and doesn't do that make me wonder if those people are reviewing the thing before they even take it out of the box.
I can't really address the complaints about long-term reliability becaue I haven't had the unit that long, but as of now it has well over 100 hours of use without so much as a hint of the playback glitches some others have mentioned. Image quality isn't outstanding, but it isn't bad either. Certainly nothing like some have claimed. And for the record, the "crappy" remote doesn't bother me a bit.
The best part is I found this player at my local Wal-Mart for $54.89. Overall, it isn't the best player money can buy, but if you need or want DivX capability and don't have a lot to spend, I don't think you'll find anything better for that price.
Pros DVD compatibility
Cons remote too simple, AVI subtitles tricky.
Summary All my foreign DVDs or copies of DVDs that gets stuck, skips, or can't play at all on my other DVD players will always work with this Philips DVD player. It's absolutely incredible! Great DIVX/AVI compatiblity. Although getting the subtitles to work is a little tricky and disappears altogether if FF or rewind. Remote a little too simple - need more disc data display option buttons.
Pros cost, plays most formats, plays MP3s and JPGs, etc.
Cons remote a little user-unfriendly, minimal on-screen display information
Summary This really is a great all-around video player. I don't know why so many people say it dies, etc. I got mine in June of 2004 and it has performed flawlessly since then. There was at the time one firmware update available from Philips, which involved burning a file available from their website onto a CD and running that CD in the player. Not sure if that update is available anymore, but it probably doesn't matter as all new units are probably shipped with the latest update anyways. It plays all the popular formats of media, including CD-R, CD+R, DVD-R, and DVD+R. What makes this player unique is the ability to play video files that are of the DivX and XviD formats. This is great for those who know how to download TV Shows and movies (not advocating any illegal downloading, but it comes in handy when you miss a show--DVRs aren't perfect!). In the summer of 2004 there were some XviD files that wouldn't play but that seems to be less of a problem these days. It also plays DVDs and CDs that are burned with MP3s (great for having huge numbers of songs play nonstop for hours), as well as photo CDs and DVDs loaded with JPGs. My only gripes are that the remote is small and somewhat confusing (but what remotes aren't, these days), and that the on-screen information is minimal, e.g. the last DVD player I had would show you how many minutes remaining, etc. All in all it's a great buy. These was at one time the cream of the crop of DivX players, but probably now lies somewhere in the middle (there are definitely cheaper players out there made by nobody companies like Norcent, etc.).Updated
A couple more items: it DOES play DVD-R, unlike what some say. I believe this was something that was updated in the firmware update. It also plays all MPG, including VideoCD, SuperVideoCD, and just plain MPG. You don't even have to convert any files to VideoCD/SuperVideoCD format. You can just burn them onto a CD/DVD as a Data Disk and it still plays them. Not sure about the DTS support, but this really shouldn't be an issue as 99% of DVDs have DTS in addition to Dolby 5.1, and if you have a DTS-capable receiver than you'll have no problems with the DTS issue. Apparently there is also a hack you can find online that lets you put in a code to make it play any Region DVDs, which I guess is nice for people who buy DVDs from outside North America. Also, have never had it "skip" during playback like some have said.
Pros Able to read any kind of recorded disk, low price.
Cons Poor reliability. Not able to read any disk at all now
Summary We didn't use it much at all. It displays NO DISK when there is a disk inside. Replaced with Panasonic S27, hopefully it lasts longer than an one year. Very disappointed with Philips' reliability.