DVDs, PS2, Xbox

So I have a PS2 and an Xbox, but no DVD player.

We use the PS2 as the DVD player, but I recognize that it’s a pretty crappy one. For example, we watch normal TV at volume ~12, while any DVD through the PS2 requires the volume to be at least 25.

But I have to buy a $30 pack to make the Xbox a DVD player. However, I am tired of not having a remote for the PS2, which is also $30.

Can anyone compare the DVD performance of the PS2 vs. the Xbox? (BTW, we use S-Video, but that’s all-- no special component or anything else.)

Can’t personally compare it to PS2, but I have heard the Xbox’s DVD playback is superior. I know that on my HDTV w/ component video, movies look unbe-freakin-lievable. Better than my 3-year-old Toshiba DVD player…
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory looks sooooo wacky!

Well, I’ve got both an PS2 and an Xbox (w/ DVD remote) sitting behind me on the floor so I’d be happy to give it a whirl and see which is better but for two things:

  1. I’m no huge audio/videophile. You’d have to tell me what kinds of things to be looking for beyond simple quantitative judgements like “This one’s louder!”

  2. The TV they’re both hooked up to was manufactured in 1985. Video is not going to be easy to compare on either (audio will be fine, it’s going to a seperate surround system).

So are there any things in particular I should check for? I can tell you off the top of my head that the Xbox does a couple of things (A-B repeat and magnification) I don’t think the PS2 does, but that I also don’t find much personal use for those features.

The deciding factor for me was that I’ve only got one optical cable to connect a system to my surround system with. Since the Xbox uses 5.1 in regular games as well, it made sense to leave the Xbox hooked up for the full surround and watch the movies on it too.

Wow, Kevin. You just unintentionally answered my question of the day, which is, “Is the volume on PS2 DVD playback really quiet?” Apparently so! Thanks.

Oh, one other thing to consider as cost goes is that if somewhere down the line you get a surround system of your own, you’ll need to buy another adapter for the Xbox to output to through an optical cable while the PS2 as the port already on the back of the machine.

I’m no huge audiophile either.

Let me put it another way.

I’m going to spend $30 to upgrade my DVD abilities. That’s either the PS2 remote, or the Xbox DVD/remote.

For a non-audio-video-whatever-phile on a 1998 25 inch screen with no fancy anything other than S-Video, is it better to use the Xbox for DVD playback?

Definitely the Xbox. The PS2’s DVD capabilities are best characterized as “bottom of the barrel”.


You can get an Apex 1200 DVD player at Circuit City for a mere $60. And it’s going to be much better than either the X-Box or PS2.

And it even works as an MP3 CD player as well.

No, it’s not a great DVD player. But it’s really not bad–and the image and audio are better than either the XBox or PS2. Got my Dad one for his birthday, and he’s very happy with it.


Can you quantify ‘much better’ in a way that will convince my wife that a new toy is necessary?

That’s the problem I run into. People tell me that such-and-such is a better component, but I can’t really tell what’s different and they have a hard time telling me also without resorting to jargon.


Nope, alas, I’m lucky enough to have a wife who doesn’t try to hold reign over our spending, so I haven’t had to deal with that issue in many years. She’s also of the “Why spend $30 for something mediocre if you can get something good for $60?” mindset.

God, I love her. :-)

Thinking back to past relationships with more controlling souls (or soulless, in the case of this particular ex :twisted: ), though, I’d probably just go out and get the $60 player and a copy of her absolute favorite movie on DVD to use to demo the difference. Forgiveness is easier to seek than permission. <grin>

Well, chances are, if you don’t know the jargon, you probably won’t appreciate the difference anyway. In those cases, it’s an aficianado trying to push enthusiast hardware on you when you probably DON’T need it.

Occasionally, though, it’s just hard to quantify. Tivo sounds like a glorified video recorder when you read or describe the specs. Use one for a month, though, and you’ll see it turns TV from an evil, mind-sucking timewaster into a useful entertainment device.

In the case of a DVD player, you’ll get a sharper picture with fewer playback glitches, particularly in films with fast pans, etc. And faster reaction to the remote. Doesn’t sound all that important, but the difference is well worth a mere $30 to me.

i posted this on the old boards, but if you get the remote, it comes with a DVD update disc that will fix the PS2 too quiet problem, but it turns of your optical output. it also resolves playback with certain discs. it is 2 megs in size and is stored on the memory card. the remote also adds certain functionality hidden when using the controller as a remote.

A friend of mine is a Sony sales rep,and according to him the PS2 DVD is the same unit that’s in their higher end models.The more expensive models just have additional features.

That either bodes poorly for Sony’s high-end models, or it means that “features” is a very broad descriptor. :P

  • Alan

Following up on this, some of my workmates tell me there’s a setting in the DVD playback menu that lets you increase the output volume. So there appears to be a solution that doesn’t require you buy the DVD remote, although I haven’t gotten home to confirm it yet. More to come…

Best thing about that $60 Apex DVD player (Just got my mom one) is that it also will search on a CDRW for .jpg images and play them as a slideshow. So, now when I take pictures with the digicam, I don’t have to lure the family into the computer room to look at them. Much more social experience.

The DVD drive in the PS2 may be the same as in Sony’s dedicated players. But the playback circuity most definitely isn’t. I have a Sony DVD player, and the image quality and “video glitch rate” is MUCH better on the dedicated DVD player. The PS2 reminds me of software DVD players on the PC two years ago.

I posted this before, but people don’t seem to care about objective results.


The video output is below par for a DVD player, and if you factor in that it plays games, it’s still a poor DVD player. Now with that said, even a poor DVD player blows away VHS and laserdisc. The video output requires a special cable with a fancy connector on one end and the audio video cables on the other. I used the Sony PS2 brand for both the S-Video and Component cables. The component cable uses the inferior RCA connectors.

Out of the 23 DVD players tested, only two were considered “poor”. The Apex model, and the PS2.

Before beginning, we will say that with the exception of two DVD players, they all look pretty good! They are all an improvement over VHS, DSS, and even laserdisc, which was the top dog for a long time. The players we looked at range from a mere $179 up to $14,500.

I’ve been saying for a long, long time that the PS2 was a crappy DVD player. Then I stumbled on this article about a year ago.

So does anyone use their Xbox as a DVD player, then?

Can anyone compare (wumpus’ site doesn’t directly) the DVD player of the Xbox and the PS2?