New Hitachi DV-P505U DVD Player Review : LUSENET : Video CD : One Thread

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to let you all know about a DVD player I just bought. I think I am one of the first consumers to actually own one of these units. The store I bought it from was in San Antonio, Texas and the Hitachi salesman said they got them by airmail from the manufacturer. All the other units are being sent by boat and won't be available in stores until late in June. As a matter of fact, the Hitachi 800 number for tech support didn't even know that the unit was available commercially yet and had no tech information about it. I bought it knowing I have 14 days to return it if it doesn't meet my needs. Anyway, I have already tested it pretty thoroughly and am posting the results on this forum first. Oh yea... the price was $289.

It is a DVD/VCD/Audio CD player that WILL play both CD-R and CD-RW. I tried both CD-R and CR-RW VCDs that I burned and it played them perfectly with no stuttering or audio problems. (I also have a Panasonic A-120 that plays VCDs only on CD-RW and one VCD I made that has a lot of fast motion stutters and artifacts badly on it. The same disc played perfectly on the Hitachi.) Also, it is Region 1 and 2 compatible and will convert NTSC/PAL to whatever format your TV is.

It has the standard output jacks (composite, svhs) and also has component YPP video out, 5.1 channel audio out and digital audio out (optical and Coaxial) in Stream and LPCM.

My initial impression are that this is a very well built unit and the playback of all the various media I tried was excellent. The remote is on the small side and the buttons are very close to each other but after using it for awhile you get used to it.

All my VCDs are at the standard 1150 bitrate because I burn with Adaptec, so I was not able to check SVCD compatability. If someone reading this has a good working SVCD disc, please contact me ASAP. I would very much like to try one before my 14 day trial is up as I plan on making SVCDs in the future. I can send the disc back or send blanks in trade.

Some of the neat features this player has is a very good 2X, 5X, 10X and 100X forward and reverse in DVD mode. 2X, 5X and 10X in VCD mode. Also, it has a 2X and 4X zoom for any video mode, and can be panned. When you play VCDs, you can have it display the first frame of all the tracks on one screen. You can direct access any point in a VCD track by entering the time you want to goto.

There is one undocumented feature I found that is not listed anywhere in the manual. It is also an MP3 player! If all your MP3s are in the root directory, it will only display a numerical listing of all the files which is not much help. However, if you have your MP3s in subdirectories, the screen will show the subdirectory names (in short filename format) and then show a numerical list of all files within that subdirectory. I have not had the time to find out all the MP3 bitrates it will play. I do know it will play 128k and will NOT play 32k or lower. (I have a lot of Old Time Radio shows in 32k bitrate and was disappointed when it wouldn't play them).

I am sure there are a lot of other neat features I forgot to mention or haven't discovered yet. If anyone has any specific questions about the features, I will be happy to check it for you. Also, don't forget about the SVCD, please contact me as soon as possible if you can send me a disc(s) in this format.

EG Marshall

-- EG Marshall (, May 20, 2000


Well if i am remembering correct a previous model or the one you mentioned of the hitachi dvd player can play highrate vcds (2500), but i do not know if it can play anything higher. i spoke with a guy in England who has one, and if its not the same player forgive me, but was then a previous model, and i dont see why the would change the specs that much

-- Doug (, May 21, 2000.


You in S.A.? I am not too far from you (Austin). What hardware do you used to make VCD? There are so many options to make SVCD that it's quite easy to do one for yourself.

-- lnguyen (, May 21, 2000.

Why did you decide to buy the Hitachi DV-P505U DVD? Why not buy a Raite 715 or Pioneer 525 for $229?

I'm just curious what features the Hitachi had that you needed.

Thanks for the reply in advance.

-- Michael S. Gilmore (, May 22, 2000.


Was just in Austin a couple of days ago :) I was in SA for a business trip / vacation. I love that whole area. Comp USA in Houston had a great deal when I drove through, 100 Imation CD-R spindle pack for $49.99 and a $20.00 rebate. Thats .29 a piece! Wish I had bought a bunch of them but didn't have the time to stop.

My captures are done with the Dazzle Parallel port version and I the use the panasonic encoder. I have Adaptec Deluxe 4.0 to burn VCDs and am limited to the standard 1150 bitrate. I would very much like to try Nero but need Adaptec installed for other things. I just found out Nero has a boot manager available that says it can now co-exist with Adaptec. Anybody know about it? Also, does SVCD need to be burned as seperate audio and video files? I thought it was just a higher bitrate mpeg1 that is converted to .dat by the burner prog. There is a SVCD creation guide at that seems to say you need to demux the file before burning.

I'll send you a seperate email and maybe next time I get to Austin we can meet somewhere.


I bought the Hitachi because it was brand new and there were no specs available on either the net or from the Hitachi 800 number. I was desperately trying to find a dual laser player that would do CD-R VCDs and this was the first one I found. I know the Raite has most of the same features but I have heard that it's playback is not the best. The Pioneer wasn't available and isn't an MP3 player either, if I remember correctly. True, it was a bit more expensive but I'm sure once they start hitting the shelves the price will come down some (remember, this unit isn't really available on the market yet. I just got lucky and found it by accident).

Another thing I wanted to add about it is that it does have a built in Dolby Digital (AC3) 5.1 decoder with output jacks, so you do not have to have a seperate piece of equipment. I don't think the Raite or Pioneer have that. Because of all the audio output settings, it can be a bit confusing to get it set-up at first, but after using it for awhile I am really liking it. So far I have found it to be a great player for both DVDs and VCDs on either CD-R or CD-RW.

I still haven't been able to check its SVCD playing ability. However, the manual says it is VCD 1.1 and VCD 2.0 compatible. What exactly is VCD 2.0 and does this include SVCD?

EG Marshall

-- EG Marshall (, May 23, 2000.

Made my first SVCD (1400 bitrate, 52 minutes) today and it played great in this DVD player. I will be trying a full 2600 bitrate next and don't expect any problems. I can now highly recommend this player to everyone needing great DVD, VCD and SVCD playback (MP3 playback as an added free bonus!).

-- EG Marshall (, May 26, 2000.

Does it play VCD's produced by NERO? I'm looking for a DVD player that has this capability. I was thinking of Pioneer 525, but I heard it doesn't recognize VCDs burnt with NERO...

Or is there any other player that has this feature?

P.S. Hmm.... Mp3 player, huh? First major brand DVD player I heard...

-- Bora Lee (, June 21, 2000.

I don't know about Nero VCDs as I use Adaptec. I don't have any reason to believe it wouldn't play them as it has passed every other test.

Another update: I made a 2600 bitrate SVCD and the Hitachi handled it with no problem.

One thing I have noticed that I don't like is that the unit gets very hot on top and the discs are very warm too when I remove them. I wonder if this is from having a Dual Laser pickup? No ill effects to the discs have been noticed.

-- EG Marshall (, June 21, 2000.

But as other posts suggest that you can't assume anything when it comes to play homemade VCDs on DVD machines. They seem to say that Pioneer 525 is the best machine to play VCDs provided they're made with Adaptec, not Nero. I have hundreads of homemade VCDs mostly burnt with Nero, and I don't want to buy a code-free DVD player only to find out that it won't play most of my VCDs. I am looking for an exact answer...


-- Bora Lee (, June 22, 2000.

I thank you for think page, I have been debating the Hitachi to cheaper models, IE: Apex.. here in Canada the DV-505u sells for 450.00 + 15% for taxes with a 30.00 mail in rebate. You ppl have just convinced me to buy the Hitachi... it seems the price justifies the quality...Thanks will be in on Monday the 18th of December, a Christmas gift for my Family...Merry Christmas to All and to All a good night.....God Bless

-- Aarf (, December 16, 2000.

Hey all, I've been trying SVCDs on my Hitachi Player, and I've wasted a few discs already. I have the DV-P250, it supports DVD, CDR, CDRW, and VCD. I've tried MP3 CDs, but they dont' work. Now, I know this was out way before yours, but I've heard it can handle SVCDs.....doesn't seem to work though. I've taken High Quality (640x480) DivX AVI's and encoded them to SVCD with TMpeg Encoder. Settings: Rate: Constant Image Quality thing set @ 100 with max bitrate 2520. (I think this might be why it doesn't seem to be working). Motion Search Accuracy: Normal

SVCD Burnt with Nero @ 2x with MPEGAV Directories.

The discs I have tried like this don't work, just a quick did you encode your MPEG2 file? Because I would like to try to get SVCDs working on my player....I think they do anyways ;P but yeah, I'm gonna try a few more things.

Thanks All!


-- Kaos (, April 07, 2001.

Wow, been a long time since I was back in this thread. :-)

Kaos, all I can assume is that since it is a different model, it won't play them. One of the clues is that you said yours (DV-P250) doesn't play MP3 discs. The DV-P505 does play them. So I think you may be out of luck with SVCDs also. I create my SVCDs with I-Author which creates .cif files that are burned with Adaptec.

Since this thread has been revived, I will add some updates now that I have had the unit for nearly a full year.

First, I mentioned in one of the posts that the unit seemed to get a little hot. Well, after 2 months it was getting hot enough that I was concerned. I called the store and they exchanged it, no hassles at all. The new unit works perfectly (8 or 9 months now).

As I said in the review, it plays everything I have thrown at it (with the exception of mini-dvd and low bitrate MP3s). SVCDs made from both MPG2 and MPG1 files (yes, you CAN make MPG1 SVCD) play fine.

I've been very happy with it and recommend it without hesitation.

-- EG Marshall (, April 08, 2001.

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-- EG Marshall (, June 10, 2001.

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