Harman Kardon comes up with a winner

Harman Kardon claims that its new DVD-30 actually does DVD Audio properly. Well, I’ve just completed a review of it and, I have to agree, it does. And does it well.

Harman Kardon DVD 30 Yep, finally Denon has some competition. The DVD-30 offers proper time alignment for multichannel DVD-Audio material, and full bass management. It goes one step beyond this by offering 60, 70 … 120 hertz crossovers for the ‘small’ speakers. Your choice.

Video performance is marvellous as well. Composite video of course. S-Video of course. But it has both component and RGB video outputs as well (the latter via SCART). And the component video can be set for either interlaced or progressive scan output, for both PAL and NTSC. I grabbed some video-sourced PAL discs and tried them out in progressive mode and it works like a dream. But then so does the NTSC de-interlacing.

What else is there? Good, accurate transport controls. Quiet operation. Support for all disc types except SACD.

It isn’t perfect of course. It is very slow to start DVDs (15 seconds best case) and it doesn’t have a buffer to eliminate layer changes (although at less than half a second, its pause on the change is less than most). And some people might be confused by the lack of internal 5.1 channel Dolby Digital or DTS decoders. You have to plug it in to a home theatre receiver for those.

But I don’t mind. For $AUS999 it’s the only DVD Audio player to get. I’m buying the review unit.

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