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The Official Vintage Curtis Mathes site by Glenn Waters

Curtis Mathes, Vintage Electronics, Televisions, Stereos, Radios, VCR”s, Camcorders, Mathes Coolers and Fans, Made in the USA. Design

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The Curtis Mathes model CMD5000 DVD player.

Curtis Mathes stereo components.

The Curtis Mathes model CMD5000 DVD player.

Well, the results are in, research has been done, some surprises have been discovered...prepare for the review.

The Look

The player looks pretty nice. A little different than the standard black DVD players on the market. It has a dark grey shade on the front panel along with a bright blue flourescent light. The light will blink when it starts to read the disc or when the tray is opened. Probably my favorite feature which distinguishes this player from other DVD players. The buttons are big on the front and the eject and play buttons seem to be a bit misplaced. I think the buttons should have been different sizes rather than the same. The only buttons different are the navigating menu buttons. The nice thing about this player is that it can still be used if the remote is absent. The digital readout on the front panel is very useful and easy to read. It displays the time, chapter, title, type disc, whether it’s dts or DD5.1, vcd, svcd, mp3, or CD along with the usual animated disc rotating while in play

The video below is about a wonderful Curtis Mathes DVD Player.


This is one of the player’s strongest areas. MPEG1 and MPEG2 playback looks good. I have tested Pioneer, Apex, JVC, Sanyo, GE, RCA, Phillips, Sony, Memorex, and the picture on this player is downright incredible. I have it hooked up to 32' and pixels seem to rarely come even on XVCDs that were capture at a very low rate when I didn’t know as much about capturing (now the JVC is a darn good player as well). It gives the picture a very smooth clear look. Having several DVDs, I tested several and the DVDs looked good too. Almost as good as my trusty ProScan. I read one report where someone saw “jaggies”, but I didn’t see any and I’m pretty picky. You can either hook the player up though S-Video, component, or composite.


Another strong area. I have yet to hear this player hiccup or present a strange noise when playing XVCDs or DVDs like the JVC XV65 or the Sanyo DWM-370 did. XVCDs and DVDs sound good on my Yamaha DD/dts HomeTheater Receiver. Mp3 files sound good and the access time is faster than other players that I have used. It does not present the whole name of the mp3 files, but I guess one could live with that feature. You can also play the mp3 files though digital or analog. You have an option to play the audio through optical, coaxial, or RCA .


This is one key area that I am sure most people would be concerned with if they are into playing XVCDs. The performance is very smooth. The player is fast, not quite as fast as the Apex, but it’s fast. The chapter pauses are there, but it’s very tolerable (1 and half to 2 seconds at the most). The player has blazed though all of my XVCDs and DVDs without a problem or strange occurrence. The player seems to adapt very well to noncompliant XVCDs. Audio and Video does not go out of synch. The player is very quiet.


Well, this is where it gets very interesting. After taking apart an Apex, I was just dying to take apart this Curtis Mathes player. I was wondering why this player was doing such a good job—“What was inside this thing?” Well, Apex ain’t the only DVD player with a DVDROM. The Curtis Mathes has one as well. So, I attached the cables to my Hi-Val. It opened and closed, and it played. Then, I decided to push the fast forward button. The screen locked up. I unplugged it and it did the same thing again. Then, out of curiosity I decided to hook up the Apex DVDROM to the Curtis Mathis cables and IDE, and it worked without any flaws. I don’t know if didn’t like my Hi-Val player or that card underneath the DVDROM has something to do with the Apex working because the Curtis Mathes has a card under it too.