Regent DVD Player

This small DVD player was manufactured in January 2005.

I am pretty sure it was a cheap DVD player even when new.  The Regent brand is not a prestigious brand and the top load mechanism, basic controls with just composite video out (Or S-Video out) make it a very basic DVD player.



No HDMI output.  According to Wikipedia HDMI started to appear on consumer TV’s in 2004, so it was already common, but might have been a bit early for it to appear on low end models.


On the base of the unit are several labels, one of them states “Apparatus Claims of US Patent Nos  6,631603 ..”  (And three other patents).  All four patents are assigned to Macrovision and relate to a method to prevent a video recording by VCR while still be viewable on a TV.


Opening the unit up and the layout is very modular

A conventional power supply board (With step-down transformer and bridge rectifier) housing the control buttons (that go straight to a connector) on the left. The main board on the right covered with a metal RF shield that also doubles as a heatsink for two ic’s.  The read head sled and DVD motor is in the centre attached to the upper part.  The composite video connectors have their own mini PCB as do the status LEDs.

This is the DVD motor drive and read head (Front and Back)  I was a little surprised that the read sled is driven via a standard motor with gearing gogs rather than directly by a stepper motor, again another indication this was a cheap model.

This is the main PCB The large chip ESS Vibratto II is a single chip DVD solution, surrounded by some RAM and Flash memory.  The second ESS chip (6603) is the RF amplifier connected to the DVD read head.  The large die is a 0.13μm digital die, I chose to look at some of the peripheral chips to take die photos of.


In the top left of the board is the Amtek AM5868S which is a multi-channel motor driver for the DVD spindle and the read sled positioning motors.



Here is the die photo.  It’s 3.10 x 2.58mm built with a two level metal Bipolar process

The four repeated blocks are very obvious (4x spindle driver and 4x sled driver discussed in the datasheet).



Also on the board is an Audio DAC designed by Taiwanese company Princeton Technology Corp (PTC) the PT8211 (Datasheet).  This is a classic Binary Weighted R/2R DAC



Here is the block diagram from the datasheet And here is the (1.86 x 1.33 mm) die
You can clearly see from left to right the digital latch circuit, the resistor network in the centre next to the binary weighted elements of each channel. In the application notes the analog signal from the left and right channels go to an op amp, buffering the output.


On the board is a TI RC4558 a dual general purpose op-amp ideal for voltage follower applications.



I decapped the chip and here is the small (1.4mm x 1.13mm) op-amp high resolution die photo.
Its a simple circuit and quite interesting to look at. One unusual feature, I have now looked at lots of Texas Instruments die and this is the first one I have seen that does not feature the TI logo.

If you are a regular reader, you have probably noticed the frequency of posting has dropped, the nice summer weather is here at last which is causing distractions 🙂 so I will not be posting quite as frequently (I will try and put up at least 2 articles per month over the next couple of months.)



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