They make portable DVD players, yes, but do they play SACD, Ogg Vorbis and Divx? Nope…but this one does, and more! This is the world’s first ever portable player capable of SACD playback. It’s deceptively simple – start with a Pioneer 578a, find a way to power it from batteries, add an audio amplifier for headphones, and stick on a small car LCD screen, right? Well, yeah, pretty much – except there are some “issues”, including charging and battery monitoring.
This is what’s under the cover of a stock 578. There’s some room in there, which I’ll need! This unit is based on the popular Mediatek chip, meaning hacked firmware is available from various sources to enable Divx, OGG, etc.
First step was to figure out how to power it. I fired it up and started measuring the power supply output and found, among other voltages, 3.3v, 12v, 22v, 27v. Well this is a problem. I could either place the Lithium Polymer batteries in series to get about 33v and then use voltage regs. This would be preferable, except in traditional FastMHz style, things had to be obtained from the junk box. The alternate solution is a small inverter for powering laptops from vehicles, and this is the way I chose since I happened to have one!
Next I had to tear the front panel off so I could add a small audio amplifier which I ripped out of an old set of computer speakers. This provided volume control and a headphone jack.
This is the functional unit. LiPo batteries can be seen in lower right, inverter is seen on the left between power supply and disc tray. End of audio amp can be seen in bottom left. Charging jack is placed into existing hole in back of unit just to the left of the motherboard.
The completed unit, with a 5″ LCD monitor for watching movies and navigating menus of DVD-Audios and OGG filled DVD-Rs. The monitor can be turned off for 4+ hours of playback via headphones. A 3 hour movie can be watched. A LiPo battery monitor from www.battsignal.com is used to alert you when the LiPos are dead. This is important to prevent battery damage. Another benefit over existing portable DVD players, other than SACD, is much higher quality audio chips.
Complete list of formats playable and features:
SACD, standard CD
OGG Vorbis, MP3 & WMA
DivX AVIs on DVD and CD
4+ hour playback of audio only
Equalizer, Bass Management
DVD FBI warnings skipping
192khz, 24bit DAC <–Pure quality!!