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With so many DVD players on the market sporting the same old set-top box design, it's always nice when a company comes along and shakes things up a little bit. Samsung has done just that with the DVD-F1080, which boasts a sleek pod-like design that makes it look more like a games console than a DVD player.
It's the sort of deck you can imagine buying for the bedroom, as its light, compact frame means you can perch it on a bookshelf or squeeze it into a tight space - but with such a unique design you might be tempted to give it pride of place in the living room.
At the very front of the unit you'll find an ultra thin disc tray and a row of logos which turn out to be touch-sensitive buttons, which are a neat touch but they let out an annoying beep which can't be turned off. You might also find the lack of a front display panel to be an issue but there's a thorough onscreen display that tells you the current title and chapter numbers, elapsed time, selected audio track and subtitle language.
The deck's unusual shape has forced Samsung to leave out some potentially important connections, the most notable being a SCART output. However, there are HDMI, component and composite video outputs, and if you're hoping to hook it up to a hi-fi or AV receiver then the coaxial digital and analogue stereo audio outputs will be of great interest.
A USB port is usually a Samsung staple, but oddly you won't find one here, which means the only way to play your PC media library is to burn the files onto CD or DVD first. The unit is DivX certified and can handle files up to version 5 plus VOD content using the registration code in the setup menu, and it also plays other MPEG-4 AVI files, plus MP3, WMA and JPEGs.