Sony DVP-FX980 DVD player
Manufacturer: Sony Part number: DVP-FX980
- CNET Editor rating: Not yet rated
- Average user rating: 2.5 stars out of 1 review
- Enjoy sharp, crisp video and images with the high-resolution Sony DVP-FX980 portable DVD player. The DVP-FX980 features a nine-inch screen for easy viewing plus up to 4-hour rechargeable battery. With the included car adaptor your DVD player is always ready to go no matter how long the trip.
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A Disappointing Downgrade From The FX-970
by 62mike on October 14, 2012
Pros: Screen 800 X 480. Touch controls work well.
Cons: Unusually high mechanical noise. Variably strange looking picture quality/color; see below. Battery life reduced from 6 to 4 hours.
Summary: At first i thought i'd gotten a lemon and took advantage of Amazon's no hassle exchange policy; the replacement had the same shortcomings. I've had an FX820 ...
Summary: At first i thought i'd gotten a lemon and took advantage of Amazon's no hassle exchange policy; the replacement had the same shortcomings. I've had an FX820 for years and now an FX970; they've raised the bar for portable players. From the 820 thru the 970 each new model improved upon the performance of the previous ones; the 980 seems a downgrade in many ways. I think the 970 is the best Sony has made and i recommend it over the 980 if you can still find one at a decent price.The newer FX97 is is identical to the FX980 except that the above noted mechanical noise problem has apparently been fixed. The 2 FX980's i tested were both noisy; 1 FX97 was not.
The resolution is still 800 X 480, it's lighter (than the 970) and the sound "enhancements" can be turned off for better sound quality with headphones. Touch controls work well.
Mechanical noise is very obtrusive; a knocking, rattling sound with most discs at most speeds; louder than the usual whirring / rushing sound you typically get with portables. The case seems to act as a sounding board magnifying all mechanical noises; this is the noisiest portable i've yet seen at any price. Sometimes removing the disc, turning it a bit and re-installing (maybe several tries) can give quieter operation. Interestingly, the 980 uses the same motor/spindle as the Sylvania SDVD-7015 selling for half the price, yet the Sylvania runs much quieter, no rattling.
If a bright, colorful picture is all you're looking for in a portable, skip this part. I've been impressed with the color fidelity and balance in previous Sony models; unusually good for portable DVD players. The 820 had one of the best displays i've seen for watching movies despite being hampered by low contrast ratio; the 970 improved the C.R. with little or no sacrifice of color quality. The only word for the 980 display is - strange - and variable. B&W pictures have a bluish tinge. Faces often have an unnatural, mottled look; as if luminance and chrominance information were getting mixed. Then there's a sort of pale bluish overlay that often shows up on highlights, textured dark areas like hair and wood grain, as well as slightly shadowed areas and in other unexpected places; as if parts of the scene were being lit by that bluish "night" light of movie convention. The rule for 980 software seems to be: when in doubt add some blue light. These defects almost vanish with evenly lit TV shows (Caroline in the City) while ruining some movies (3 Women: this actually looks better, colorwise, on the above Sylvania). Out of curiosity i connected the AV out to a decent quality CRT - type TV; the picture looks as good as with any ordinary component DVD player, none of the above weirdness.
The FX-980 seems a departure from earlier models; as if cost reduction rather than incremental improvement was the main objective. Little things: a too-short cord from the power adapter. No AV cable, just a mini phone plug to female RCA adapter; you supply the cable. The screen no longer swivels & folds for tablet operation.
Battery life reduced from 6 to 4 hours; i timed it at 3:20 with backilght set at 3, battery conditioned. The battery is integral; probably cost $$$ to have it replaced at a service-center.
All the controls are down on the deck instead of in a row under the screen as on previous Sony's. The controls are now all touch; the small 5-way pushbutton replaced by the more conventional U-D-R-L arrows with center button arrangement. They work quite well; there is a time sensitive, AGC like action that allows chapter skip buttons to double as << and >> and generally makes for more positive operation, once you get used to them. For watching in the dark without the remote i find the old under screen controls easier to use, tho this may just be a matter of touch-memorizing the new layout.
The remotes are still interchangeable for all functions common to earlier models; i use the smaller 820 remote for all. The power adapter however, isn't. The 980 uses 12 volts instead of 9.5 and the coaxial plug is non-standard.
The USB port works as well (or as badly) as on the 970. MP4 video still freezes for a couple of seconds occasionally, the >> and <<; functions sort of work, tho not at the same speeds as in DVD mode. Given the racket from the mechanism, movies on flashdrive have increased appeal... So far, i've only found one program - Handbrake - that generates 970/980 compatible MP4's ; others just give error messages. JPG files play with no problem.
As on the 970 the Zoom function still distorts the picture; not a true zoom. (Some players - Phillips - have a zoom that allows expansion of the letterboxed widescreen format to use the whole screen instead of a patch in the middle; too bad Sony didn't do likewise.) Also, you can't pan around the zoomed picture with the arrow buttons as on other players.
Side by side with the 970, the 980 sound seems slightly muddier, voices less intelligible on all sound settings, Even "dialog" which, though it still emphasizes voice frequencies doesn't give them the crispness that the 970 does. There are four sound functions plus off; toggle thru them to see which sounds best - the manual gives no explanation.
About that manual; more of a quick start guide, not much detail. It's a matter of pushing buttons, seeing if anything useful happens; Sony support isn't much help.
Briefly: TRY BEFORE YOU BUY with the FX980.
Updated on Aug 13, 2013
- Manufacturer: Sony
- Part number: DVP-FX980
- Description: Enjoy sharp, crisp video and images with the high-resolution Sony DVP-FX980 portable DVD player. The DVP-FX980 features a nine-inch screen for easy viewing plus up to 4-hour rechargeable battery. With the included car adaptor your DVD player is always ready to go no matter how long the trip.
- Component type DVD player
- Form factor Portable
- Dimensions (WxDxH) 9.3 in x 6.7 in x 1.7 in
- Weight 33.7 oz
- Enclosure color Black
- Media Type DVD+R ,
DVD+R DL ,
Video CD ,
Kodak Picture CD ,
DVD-R DL ,
- Media Format NTSC
- Media Load Type Top-load
- DVD Repeat Modes A-B repeat,
- Supported Digital Video Standards MPEG-4,
- Supported Digital Audio Standards MP3
- Parental lock Yes
- Additional features Screen saver ,
Video playback from USB devices ,
Digital audio playback from USB devices ,
Digital photo playback from USB devices
- Sound Output Mode Stereo
- Digital Audio Format Dolby Digital output
- Connector type 1 x Headphones ( Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm ),
1 x USB ( 4 pin USB Type A ),
1 x Composite video/audio output ( Mini-phone 3.5 mm 4-pole )
- Type Remote control - Infrared
- Included Accessories Car power adapter
- Cables Included A/V cable
- Power Device Power adapter - External
- Battery 1 x DVD player battery - Rechargeable - Lithium ion
- Included Qty 1
- Capacity 4 hour(s)
- Service & Support 1 year warranty
- Service & Support Details Limited warranty - Parts - 1 year,
Limited warranty - Labor - 90 days
Dimensions & Weight (Shipping)
- Width 11.1 in
- Depth 9.6 in
- Height 3.5 in