Dr. Damage asks: DVD questions

OK, two things. First, I didn't delve into issues of motion video and DVD playback in my Radeon 8500 vs. GF3 Ti 500 article, because 20 pages of 3D coverage was, honestly, enough. However, I am interested in DVD/motion video playback quality, and I'm shocked at how lousy the Radeon 8500's playback quality is. It's terrible┬Śmuch worse than the excellent original Radeon or, really, most any new video chip. I know there's been some discussion about this issue online. Anyone care to share any wisdom about why the 8500's motion video quality is so bad?

On a mostly unrelated note, I'm looking to buy a DVD player for our family for Christmas. I'm thinking I'd like to get one with the ability to play CD-ROMs full of MP3s, as well. Any recommendations or advice about what to look for/avoid?

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