The DVP 642 supports the following disc formats: CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW and DVD-RW although the manual doesn’t mention the –R and –RW types. There’s a reason behind this omission: DVD-R and DVD-RW were created by a consortium led by Pioneer while Phillips is one of the companies responsible for the development of DVD+R and DVD+RW technologies.
The player is DivX certified by DivX Networks. It underwent a hardware-compatibility and testing program by the DivX Team to ensure that its claim to support and play DivX video would meet a certain minimum quality and interoperability standards. It’s also compatible with the rival Xvid codec – another piece of information the manual doesn’t provide – although the DVP 642 doesn’t read files encoded in high resolutions.
The DVP 642 has a DTS digital out – which means you have to have a DTS ready receiver to execute the conversion of the sound signal. The player just reads and then sends the DTS signal out to be decoded by another device in your home theater setup. It can’t play DTS soundtracks on DivX files though.
Image wise the DVP 642 is a progressive scan DVD player. Progressive scan is the technology behind computer monitors. It actually doubles the vertical resolution of the image resulting in a noticeably sharper picture. This technology is vastly superior over traditional interlaced scan which handles analog television signals like those from TV stations, cable companies and VCRs. Interlaced scan displays the image on a screen by scanning each line of pixels in an alternate order while progressive scan does it by scanning them in a sequential order. Thus a flicker-free high resolution image is created delivering the best viewing. But beware: a progressive scan DVD player needs a progressive scan-ready TV. If you turn the progressive scan feature on while connected to a regular TV set it will display two similar images side-by-side.