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Movie Mayhem

Wondering how well the PS2's DVD playback shapes up? We took the opportunity to watch our copy of The Matrix again to bring you the news

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

It's true that a lot of people still don't own the capability to playback their own DVD movies, or rely on their PC's DVD-Rom drive to manage for them, but with the release of the PlayStation 2 gamers can become movie buffs overnight with the help of their trusty black box. We decided the best test of the PS2's DVD playback was to subject it to one of the most difficult DVDs there is, The Matrix. Many units, including ones from leading manufacturers still have trouble with the disc, so it seemed like the perfect choice. And of course it doesn't take much to get us to watch The Matrix, you know. First impressions were good; it loaded smoothly and the opening of the film was fine. Occasionally there was a slight drop in framerate, but it was almost imperceptible. However after a couple of stop-starts, and especially as the movie was tailing off, we could just about notice a slight inconsistency in the lip-sync between the soundtrack and the characters on screen. This was particularly noticeable as Neo was thrusting his rather unpleasant nemesis Agent Smith against the roof of the subway station. "My name.. is Neo" started out all right, but as Reeves' mouth started to shape the word "Neo" , there was a definite gap. Still, on the whole the playback of the world's most nefarious DVD proved a successful learning experience. The young lass whom I watched it with said she could notice nothing wrong and thought the picture quality was excellent. I, too, thought it was pretty good, despite the aforementioned framerate dodginess at one point. Being limited to Region 2 after having used my universal player for so long though would be impossible though, so I think I'll stick to a dedicated solution. Should the technology to unlock all of the other regions become available however, I will certainly have no qualms about recommending the machine to friends looking for an "all-in-one" solution.

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