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Momitsu V880

Background | Delivery | Pictures | Initial Impressions

Initial Impressions

The V880 player has two high resolution terminals:  a single component output and a DVI terminal.  The first phase of the test was testing the Component output.

The player's component output was routed to an Inday RGB-4X component video switcher which feeds a Michael TLV professionally calibrated Toshiba TW65x81 set.  Audio output is sourced from the DVD player coaxial terminal into a DD5.1/DTS audio/video receiver.

Prior to use, I had to configure the DVD player. This was done via the onscreen menu.

momitsu_setup_menu_screen.jpg (33299 bytes)

Pressing the SetUp button on the remote brings up a relatively simple set up screen.   It is organized into three groups:  Audio, Video, and Initial Settings.

Audio Settings selections are Analog/DPCM and Encoded Digital. I set it to Encoded Digital.

Video Settings allows one to match the selected player output with the TV's input. I selected DVD player component output at resolution 1080i to send to the TV's component input.

Initial Settings provides access to Display Language, VCD PBC, as well as the TV Type.   I chose 16:9 for the widescreen set.

Now that the preliminaries are complete, on to the fun part.  I conducted the same tests I've done with the other players with my selection of test DVDs that include the Matrix, Fifth Element, Titan AE, Gladiator, MI2, Stargate, Seven, Six Days and Seven Nights, Lost in Space, and a few others.

DVD Images via Component- The deinterlacer exhibited no combing in a number of scenes in select DVDs that suffer badly from such.   The 1080i pictures from the Momitsu are smooth and free of troublesome artifacts  even for non-anamorphic DVDs.  The colors are clean and true.  I didn't have to adjust anything on the TV video controls. 

The deinterlacer's performance was proven repeatedly by showing no signs of combing or stairstepping in a number of problematic scenes in Six Days, Seven Nights; Star Trek, the Insurrection; World is Not Enough, and Lost in Space.

Since the player can also output in 480p and 720p, I thought I try those also.  The 480P image was noticeably softer.  The 720p setting just didn't synch with the TV.  I knew that but thought it was worth a try and again to confirm that the TV is not 720p-friendly.

Before the test, I "refreshed" my memory by playing the same DVDs in the other players (Skyworth, Toshiba, and Hivizone HTPC).  I watched just enough from each to give me a frame of reference in assessing the image I'd see with the Momitsu.

After watching a number of test DVDs on it, I assess its image quality to be between the highly rated Skyworth 1050P and my top performing HTPC.

DVD Images via DVI- The V880 produces a nice image on a CRT system (analog). The image on a digital projector, however, is a very different and eye-opening story.

In testing the V880's digital output, I used a 2001 model MP-3100 DLP digital projector. Since the V880 is still set for component out, I had to reconfigure it to activate the DVI output terminal. To do this, I connected the composite video out from theV880 to the composite input of the DLP projector. I then initiated an autosynch on the projector to sense the composite connection. When it recognized it, the V880 splash screen appears. I then went to the SetUp menu. Going into Video Settings, I disabled Component Output which was set to 1080i. I then selected DVI out. I chose "768 DVI 60Hz" from the menu of available DVI settings.

The MP-3100 is an XGA resolution projector spec'ed as HDTV compatible. In reality, however, an XGA projector cannot display a 1080i signal in its native high-definition format since the display device needs to be able to produce 1080 discrete lines of signal information. An XGA device can only display 768 lines. Therein lies the limitation. Hence, a digital XGA projector will usually render the 1080i signal in 540 progressive lines. The result is a picture that looks better than standard definition TV, but not as good as true HDTV.

Despite the "limitation", the image produced is still very very good ... superb.  The difference between analog (component out) versus digital (DVI) is immediately clear and obvious. The digital output is amazingly sharper and crisper. The image also is a bit brighter which helps highlight the sharp contrasts between colors and texture. Unfortunately as with other digital projectors, one cannot achieve a good enough black level on this projector even with brightness set to 0. But overall, image quality is excellent. And of course, there are no crt-common problems such as moire, jaggies, chroma delay, or even ghosting. The image is excellent which made watching DVDs very enjoyable.

Anamorphic Video - With TV type set to 16:9, the V880 presents non-anamorphic DVDs in correct proportions but in a "zoomed out" letterboxed format.  By this I mean that the image has black bars on top, bottom, and both sides.  Hence, the image although not squished is much smaller than the actual TV screen.  One can "force" the image to zoom in by setting the TV Type in the SetUp menu from 16:9 to 4:3 Letterbox.   This however results in the annoying stretched look (see picture below).

nonanamorphic.jpg (24013 bytes)

Y/C Delay - The Avia test showed no Y/C delay with this player.

Chroma bug - I didn't see any but the Sigma specs actualy assert that this bug is not present with the EM8500 chip.

DVD Audio - Audio quality was very good.  Unlike a handful who have noticed lip synch problems, the player I have doesn't have this problem.

CD Audio and MP3s - I tried a number of audio CDs and MP3s and each was read and played flawlessly.  The onscreen navigation was intuitve and easy to use.

CD Digital Images  - Still images from a digital camera and MPEG files from a camcorder loaded just fine.

Front panel LEDs - The lights are bright but the display panel is small enough to be unobtrusive.  Unfortunately, there is no way to dim or turn them off via the remote or the front panel. 

Color - It seems that manufacturers these days have adopted the brushed aluminum finish as their standard.  I'm still hoping they return to the all black appearance that is more suitable for dark home theater use.

Remote - The remote has basic functions and sized to fit most hands comfortably.  The buttons although mushy are shaped and spaced enough for almost foolproof darkroom navigation. Remote response is good at roughly 12ft at a direct axis.  A few repeat clicks at times is necessary for the receiver to respond, but overall response is good.

Player Size - Just ever so slightly taller than the very small Skyworth 2750.   This DVD player is short and slim which helps conserve rack or shelf space in any home theater.

Build Quality - With the exception of the plastic remote and the DVD door, the chassis is solid and on par with most players in the price range. 

Secret Menu

Pushing on the remote control buttons Down, Up, Down, Up, Right, and Left in succession while the DVD player is on but not playing a DVD will reveal the "Secret Menu" screen.

momitsu_v880_special_menu.jpg (36019 bytes)

This screen displays the player Firmware version as well as the menu selection for Region Setting and for Enabling or Disabling Macrovision.

My player firmware is dated 15 May 2003.  Some owners have found that having firmware pre-dating this have lip synch problems.  So, if you have one that has an earlier version, you may want to contact your player source for assistance.

As for Region Setting and Macrovision, I selected setting 0 and Disabled, respectively.


The nondescript Momitsu V880 looks like your average DVD player.  Sitting on a shelf with other players, one might not even notice it.  Its streamlined size doesn't "scream" at you to get your attention.  The controls and display as well as the remote are basic and look uninspired.

But lurking behind the facade of that joe-average is the engine of one of the most sought after feature that video and HDTV enthusiasts have been waiting for:  a progressive player that not only breaks that 480p barrier but can actually produce resolutions in the HDTV range (720p and 1080i).

It may not have the fancy features like advanced zooms or slow motions but what it does offer is a great picture.   After using it for several weeks, I favorably compare it to the image similar or very close to my HTPC ... that says a lot since I prefer my HTPC over any standalone player I've seen to date.

Just like most DVDs these days, it also tries to be the all-in-one player for audio, video (home recordings), data, mp3s, and so on and for the most part succeeds in it.

In addition to its ability for HDTV resolution, one of its major strengths is its DVI-I interface.  Now that DVI is slowly being adopted by manufacturers into their designs, consumers will likely and should weigh it heavily in their display purchase decision.  In that vein, the Momitsu V880 is one of a handful of DVI capable devices that will allow one to take advantage and fully appreciate the best image on their TV sets.

The V880 produces a great image. The image produced from the component terminal is very good. But if you really want to appreciate the V880, you'd have to see the picture through its DVI output. Not to diminish the picture from component out because it is very good, but compared to the picture from the DVI terminal, the digital output is so much better. If you have a CRT based system, the V880 would be a good upgrade or replacement player. If you have a digital system with DVI input, a DVI-capable player such as the V880 is a must have.

So, for a great progressive multimedia player that is HDTV capable, has both component and DVI, region-free and can be Macrovision disabled, this player at only a little over $200 is a whale of a bargain.

Even before it hit the market, the Momitsu V880 was already on the must-have list for serious video/HDTV enthusiasts.  The high demand has caused its availability to be in short supply.  So, snatch one up when you can!

Thumbs up for the Momitsu V880.

The Momitsu V880 is available at


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