With the most new LCD sets capable of producing 1080P Full-HD resolution, a user has to upgrade lot of equipments enjoy these new standards. I already had my lesson in HDMI cables (and boy, is this going to be the default connection moving forward, I'll be looking at TV specs carefully in the future to ensure I have atleast 4 to 6 HDMI support).
Going back on topic, I wanted a dedicated DVD player that is both Progressive Scan capable as well as 1080P upscale capable to enjoy my existing DVD movies. I also have visitors from other countries, I also wanted the ability to play discs from a different region code. I've always had a Philips DVD player in the past, I bought one that can be easily hacked to play multiple regions and it was progressive scan at 480P (which in layman's term, is really nothing). Philips has always offered easy hacks to region codes (just press a few buttons on the remote) and I noticed their newer players are throwing in all the features to compete with Panasonic, Toshiba, Sony, etc...
After some research, I decided to pickup a Philips DVP-5990/37 for around $60 in store. Some of the features I really liked about this player are:
* 1080P upscale (via HDMI only)
* HDMI output w/ Easy Link support (more on that later)
* Progressive Scan (if using only Component cable, but that 5-cable system is a thing of the past)
* USB support (to view WMA movies, play MP3 or photos; it even converts audio CDs as MP3s to Flash Drives)
* Very easy to hack and enable Region code 0 to view movies from different continents.
My impression with the Philips is that it is a capable DVD workhorse but a little rough around the edges. Basically, the overall operation is a little slow, which has always been the case with my other Philips player (ie. slow to power up, slow to eject disc, slow response to my command on the remote). However, it is extremely easy to use and one cannot deny its features. Within seconds, I was able to unlock the region code restriction. Using an HDMI cable, I am able get it to upscale to 1080P and to use a feature (called HDMI CEC Easy Link) so the DVD player can turn on my TV and tune to the correct input port with press of just one button - "power" from the DVD player remote. The USB port comes handy if you want to use it as a second input for music, video or image playback. Personally, I have enough audio and video devices to not run use this port for such things. Second, the AVI files my digital camera records are not supported and image playback is not that sharp. It is cool to have a working USB port, never the less. I don't believe this is USB 2.0, the DVP 5992 may offer that from my research online.
I would recommend this DVD player to anyone who is looking for an affordable player with strong feature set. As for me, I am using it to take a load off of my PS3 for regular DVD playback and it works great when I want to playback DVDs from other region codes. Having this model in black finish is just icing.