"Not a lot of functionality for price. Plays movies/songs, stores files but doesn’t record."on by sugarski
Pros Built in LCD has good resolution.
Cons No supplied software for converting your own movie files. Doesn’t record live TV
Summary Not a lot of functionality. Plays movies/songs, stores files but doesn’t record. I’ve tested 3 different units and placed this one in the middle.
A friend had a portable media player and I fell in love with it so I purchased 3 and used each one for 3 weeks before deciding which to keep. The ones I reviewed are the RCA Lyra A/V jukebox, Creative ZEN PMC and the Archos AV420.
I rate these as follows
RCA Lyra A/V jukebox 4
Creative ZEN PMC 6
Archos AV420 9
I will post a review for each of these but this review is on the Creative ZEN PMC.
This unit has the highest quality playback of all the units tested but it isn’t very versatile in that it can’t record. The price for this unit was the same as the Archos which I rate as the best of the bunch. Considering the price it should have came with more features such as supplied software, cradle and a remote control. This unit only accepts windows media video format and since they didn’t supply software you need to purchase it separate and the lowest cost I could find was $69.00. Easily connects to your TV but without a cradle you have to connect wires every time. I was also able to back up my purchased DVD collection onto it but it wasn’t as easy as with the Archos or the RCA and software didn’t come with it. This unit as did all performed perfectly in storing and playing music (MP3/WMA) as well as storing the family picture album. As all devices you can store files onto it as well. The built in LCD screen on this unit was the best of the bunch and provided great resolution. Manuals were not very useful as they really didn’t do a good job of explaining different formats required and where to find the codecs for these since they didn’t supply them. When playing the video it was jumpy at times. Not the greatest of quality.
Pros Holds 20 GB worth of videos, music, and photos.
Cons The core design is a bit bulky compared to other PMCs such as the Archos Pocket Video Recorder.
Summary Creative Lab's Zen Portable Media Center is one of the best PVPs out there. It packs 20 GBs to store just about any format of digital entertainment. The screen on this player is about 3.8 inches and is also bright and colorful, perfect for traveling at night. One of my favorite features on this thing is that it comes with an A/V cable that connects to any monitor for viewing with your friends and family.
Although the player is a bit bulky at its core design, I think that all of the versitile features on this PMC makes up for the design flaws.
The battery life on the player is very good. I was able to watch about three two hour movies without breaking a sweat at all.
This PMV is absolutely phonomenal. It's perfect for any situation such as traveling, you name it! This is definitley a gadget that I will be using for a very long time.
Pros perfect screen, good audio quality, easy to use interface, autosync with Windows Media, great battery life overall great product
Cons can't record video from TV (like archos av400 series), somewhat bulky
Summary This player has the best battery life out there, the LCD quality is amazing, audio quality is very good, and i love the autosync with windows media player, the interface is easy to work and the preset buttons on top make it easy to get right to one of your favorite folders or files
because it didn't have the ability to record from a TV like the archos, i purchased a TV tuner for my computer so i can just save anything i like and put it on the player and it works fine.
this is one of the bigger players out there but since size isn't really an issue for me it didn't matter and most people make it out to be much bigger than it is
overall a great, easy to recomend product
Pros Bigger Screen, AMAZING BATTERY LIFE, Intuitive Controls, Great Sound Quality, Easy Synchronization, Amazing Storage Capacity (Over 30 DVD quality movies and still enough room for 3GB of Music)
Cons Only one con: speaker that isn't loud enough. HEADPHONES SOLVE THE PROBLEM! Or you can plug it into a surround system or just regular speakers. So there's really no problem.
Summary This product is amazing. I did a lot of research and compared it to the different Portable Video Players (PVPs) and Portable Media Centers (PMCs), but I found that the Creative Zen was the best. It has the biggest screen, it looks extremely nice, and is easy to use. Synchronization is not really a problem (You can only put content into the media center by using Windows Media Player 10 Synchronization).
People complain it's bulky. I have absolutely no problem with it. If you want to go and jog with it, I suggest getting a fanny pack or something, but it's awesome and pretty light.
It feels great, looks great, works extremely well, is definitely worth the money, and can be easily used as the home's center for media. Have a party? Create a playlist on Windows Media Player or even directly from your Creative Zen and you can plug it into your stereo system if you have a headphone cable.
The sound quality is excellent, but the speaker integrated onto the Creative Zen isn't very loud. It sounds crips, but it's as loud as the other PMCs, but they all seem to be lacking the ability to get very loud. By using headphones or other speakers/surround sound makes completely fine and removes the problem - it's only the built in speaker that is slightly deficient. With audio, it's louder and with video it's quieter. You can only hear the video perfectly if you're in a room that's less noisy than a general store.
The Video Quality, as you might be wondering, is Awesome. I love watching movies on it, and I have never wished that I could watch it on a TV instead. If you're having doubts on this, go to a store that has it up on display, and check the sample under the "My TV" section. You will be in awe.
The TV-Out function is nice, as it works, but when it comes to the video quality of the TV-Out function, it isn't that great. Let's put it this way, on TV-Out, you can tell what's happening and pretty much see everything, but you could not ever really make out the faces of different people.
I'm so glad I didn't buy the Samsung PMC or the iRiver. The Archos PVPs don't seem as good either. I tried some of them and they just don't cut it! I wouldn't even rather have any iPod, even if it has color. So what if that's smaller? This thing is for around the same price but it has videos, movies, tv shows, music, and pictures! How's that for a deal?
Simply put, this thing is exactly what it says it is: A Portable Media Center. It holds all your media. It has great quality video for watching recorded TV shows, Movies, and Videos. It stores all my music and pictures, and the interface is exactly how I'd want it to be: Intuitive and Easy to Use.
For best deals, I would check Amazon.com. They usually have rebates once in a while, as I got this thing for $448.95 plus a $50 rebate!
9.9 out of 10 is what I'd give this. No regrets.
Pros The user interface if very good and the battery life is great. The headphones that are included have good sound. Obveral this is a very solid product.
Cons I was disapointed that you couldn't plug it directly up to your vcr and record
Summary I would buy it again. I would have gave it
a perfect review if it could record.