June 3, 2006

Countdown to Father's Day

A couple of weeks ago, a PR firm representing my good friends (and recipients of a large portion of my paycheck) Best Buy contacted me and wanted to know if they could send me something to review. Father's Day is rapidly approaching and they wanted a dad to weigh in. While my response was, hopefully, articulate and representative of the kind of review I could write, I think it essentially amounted to well, duh. It was a no-brainer especially because it was a portable DVD player - the Insignia widescreen model to be exact - which they also wanted to let me keep.

Now, having said all that, I'd like you to know I'd be more than willing to tell you if the product sucked ass. Unlike most politicians and pimps, I'm not really all that influenced by money or free stuff. Not that other PR firms shouldn't try to buy me with free stuff. I don't want to give that impression. It's with pleasure, however, that I tell you this little thing is pretty darn cool.

The Insignia player itself resembles a small laptop. Pop the rechargable battery in, flip the screen open and start your favorite DVD and you're ready to go. It's simple, the quality of both the picture and sound are excellent and the features for both audio and video setup are pretty robust considering the size of the unit.

How am I using it? Well, if you've read me for any length of time, you know I've got a music room in the basement. Packed with guitars, amps, stereo equipment and 3,000+ CDs, I don't have a lot of room for any extra equipment. But I've always wanted a TV and DVD player down there, especially to watch all the live concert DVDs I've got. The Insignia turned out to be the perfect fit for my cramped space. Better, I used the audio cables provided and hooked it up to my eight (yes, eight) speaker stereo. The sound is excellent.

There are only two drawbacks. First, the player is slightly loud when spinning up a DVD or accessing the disc's menu. It's very quiet during playback so that's really no deal-breaker. Second, the volume is the old-school analog style, controlled by a dial on the unit itself and not the remote. If you hook it up to a stereo, this isn't a big deal but it could prove slightly annoying in other situations.

If you've got a movie-loving father in your life or simply have kids that need to be entertained in the car, there are a lot worse ways to spend a buck. Check out the Insignia and tell the folks at Best Buy that Rude Cactus sent you. They'll have no idea what that means but it'll be fun to see what happens, right?

Posted by Chris at June 3, 2006 11:20 AM

Wow. Just wow. How do I get these deals? But that's really cool. I think this may be a great present once the paychecks are "for real".

Posted by: alektra at June 3, 2006 12:06 PM

Hey we spend plenty of money at that place, how do we become Best Buy Bitches? LOL

We already own one of those thingies -I think everyone with a child over age 2 does. So, for you guys, it was just a matter of time. :)

Posted by: HR Mommy at June 3, 2006 12:46 PM

I've held out so far on the portable but I may have to cave in eventually. This sounds like a good one.

Posted by: ann adams at June 3, 2006 1:34 PM

Hey! Your wife gets offers to test out warming personal lubricants and you get a portable DVD player--imagine if you were to combine the two...lol. Hope you're having a great weekend.

Posted by: Jaycie at June 3, 2006 3:09 PM

cool. free stuff. product review. NICE

Posted by: Dolly at June 3, 2006 4:32 PM

I can't afford one, but I'm going to Best Buy just to see the looks on their faces when I say "Rude Cactus sent me".

Posted by: Sarah at June 3, 2006 5:13 PM

I think it would be more fun if they all go "Oh, Rude Cactus, eh? Yeah, sure, how about 10% off then?"

*points up* Jaycie makes a good point. Beth gets personal lubricant, Chris gets a portable DVD player. *Someone* may be feeling a little miffed. But if it's any consolation, we all heard that the spray-on lube was rather impractical.

Posted by: Gavin at June 3, 2006 5:25 PM

Wait a minute. First Metro and now you. What do I have to do to get free shit like that. Oh yeah, be a dad...hmmmm, ok never mind.

Posted by: Melissa at June 3, 2006 7:28 PM

Some people have all the luck.


Posted by: Allan at June 3, 2006 9:19 PM

I bought this for the hubs (not this exact model, but an Insignia) last year for fathers day....he LOVES it, the only drawback we've found so far is that the battery pack died. completley. It wont hold a charge. So I have to find another one. We've been plugging it into the cigarette lighter in the car....

Posted by: Lisa at June 4, 2006 8:50 AM

(ahem, to what is this world coming?)

alright, alright: I'm just jealous.

Posted by: s@bd at June 4, 2006 9:19 AM

I would also be willing to review products, specifically a large screen TV or a new Dodge Charger (preferably in black, but really, any color but teal or fuschia will do).

Hook a bitch up, Chris!

Posted by: Contrary at June 4, 2006 10:19 AM

I confess, I didn't know there were that many people who (can) spend $250 on a Father's Day gift. It looks pretty cool though.

Posted by: SMIT at June 4, 2006 10:26 PM

So jealous! :)

Posted by: Zandria at June 7, 2006 11:35 PM