The DVD Wayback Machine
VU meters? Well, why not? The left meter monitors volume output while the one on the right displays the video bit rate. Both are cool, somewhat useless features that somehow seem ideally suited to the front of this machine. In the middle of the front panel, above the slide-out disc drawer, is a built-in 4-in-1 memory card reader (SD, Smart Media, MMC, and Memory Stick - but no Compact Flash) that lets you view stored digital photos directly on your TV's screen. The front panel also sports a USB port for direct camera hookup.
Another unusual aspect of the player is the built-in infrared (IR) headphone emitter on the left-hand side of the front panel. Unfortunately, the available information doesn't specify which IR headphones are compatible with the machine.
In addition to a wireless infrared remote control, the YAHOO! MetroRetro DVD Player includes progressive-scan video outputs, Widescreen (16:9) and Normal (4:3) viewable aspect ratios, parental control, smooth motion, high-speed scan, and slow advance, as well as Dolby Digital and DTS surround decoders. The player is compatible with a variety of disc types: DVD, DVD-R/W, CD, CD-R/W, MP3, JPEG, Kodak Picture CD, and DivX5, DivX4, DivX3, and DivX VOD video content.
The dimensions of the YAHOO! MetroRetro DVD Player are 15.4" wide x 9.8" deep x 2.75" high. The rounded chassis and slightly narrower than normal width (15.4" vs. the more typical 17") mean that this component will have to be on the top of your equipment stack, sit on its own shelf, or reside on top of the television (the place where the designers most likely intended it to go). The top-of-the-telly location will certainly make it easier to access the card reader and USB port.
What consumers will see in having the YAHOO! brand name on their player is beyond the scope of my imagination. Perhaps the player will "search" for chapters or tracks faster. Most likely, it's just a way for the manufacturer to grab some attention in a crowded marketplace. Whatever the reason, the uniquely styled player is available now for $129.95. Beach parties, bell bottom pants, and leisure suits are optional.