On a whim, I decided I needed a new DVD player. It's not like I don't have DVD players, but the one I had in my living room had one disadvantage: it was old enough that it wouldn't play any DVDs that I burned. It's simply old enough that it wasn't an issue. Eric Haines had mentioned that he had bought these uber-cheap Cyberhome DVD players for fun ($30 at Circuit City) but I decided that while I was at it, I should get something that could play DivX/MP4 disks (I'm addicted to the new Doctor Who episodes that I've been snarfing from isohunt and my usual method of hooking my laptop up was painful and frequently crashes).
A bit of research suggested that the Philips DVP 642 would be a good one. And so far I must admit, it seems great. $70 from Target. Plays everything I have. DVD. VCD. SVCD. NTSC. PAL. And with a simple code from the web, apparently all regions as well.
I plopped in a DVD with four episodes of Doctor Who in it. Worked perfectly. A CD-R with two episodes. Worked fine. My Episode IV CD. Looks beautful.
It could all go to pieces tomorrow, but so far, it seems great and is a good bargain.