Analysis and Conclusions

By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2003-08-06 Print this article Print

The Bravo D1 represents an excellent chance for early adopters to check out the possibilities inherent in fully digital playback of DVD content. The quality of the scaling at 720P was startlingly good, and watching movies in this manner was a distinct pleasure. However, its tough to recommend the D1 for users who lack a DVI connector. In many ways, the Bravo D1 seems like a one-trick pony. At a remarkably low price of $199, you get an excellent DVD movie experience if you have a digital display with a DVI input and can display at the native 720P resolution. We certainly cant recommend the D1 if your only input possibilities are S-Video or component video, however. Also, there are quirks with the unit that are annoying to live with, like the unresponsive, ergonomically-impaired remote and less-than-robust playback of content generated by video sources. But its certainly far lest costly than a home theater PC (HTPC), and about a hundred bucks less expensive than the Samsung DVD-HD931.
And the image quality in the movies we viewed was simply stunning. At that price, experimentation is relatively cheap. If your main goal is to watch DVD movies with amazing clarity and visual quality, and youve got a 720P display, then the Bravo D1 is definitely worth checking out.

Product: Bravo D1 DVD player with DVI
Web Site:
Pros: Excellent image quality with DVD movies played back through the DVI port to a digital display device equipped with DVI input; low cost
Cons: Pathetically bad remote; minor audio quirks; quality with video-generated source material a tad sub-optimal. Inferior analog playback
Price: $199 (direct from V, Inc).

Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.

In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.

Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.

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