Summary: It worked, but display didn't
Review: After reading not-so-good reviews on most dvd/vcr combos on this and other external sites, I decided to try my luck with the Apex 3800. My luck was not so good with this model, as I found when I hooked it up to our tv. The front LED display did not display anything--no clock or counter display, making us believe at first that the machine was not powered at all. After figuring out that the machine was working but dysfunctionally, we put in a DVD to try it out. Every 10 minutes or so, a loud popping sound would come out out of our tv speakers. This never happened before we had the machine. This may have been just a faulty machine..but I'm returning this one and looking for other brands that are out there.
Summary: Very poor service and support department
Review: Do not count on support or replacement. My remote control unit quit working after the first month. The remote control unit is necessary to access any features but basic play using buttons on the front of the player. I have been waiting for 3 months for a replacement remote control and am told month after month that they are on backorder. Service told me that there are no numbers to enter on another multi-purpose remote unit that you can buy(or enter on your cable box remote) and only the remote control from Apex will work with the ADV-3800. Apex refuses to accept return of the entire unit for replacement. The 90 day warranty has long since expired and I remain without full use of the unit, apparently indefinitely. I will not buy anything else from Apex Digital, Inc. since they they do not provide acceptable sevice and support to their customers.
Summary: Whining vcr leads to total implosion in under 30 days
Review: Have an apex dvd-only unit and picked up the 3800 when my old vcr died after 4 years. I was expecting the same solid performance as the dvd player - nope! It died after whining its way through about a half dozen tapes for my kids. I still have "Spirited Away" stuck in the unit. Fortunately I purchased an additional warranty from S34r5 and can return the unit to them. The power supply must have died - no lights, no noise just silence. The whole stereo is plugged into a surge surpressor and we have had no storms.
Summary: Good Buy, But Not Perfect
Review: Hey, for the price its great! Easy to set up, works like a charm. Quality and features are excellent at the price.
A few annoyances:
1. Even though it has dual audio outs, only one set seems to work with the VCR (I haven't tried the DVD yet), meaning I can't run audio out to my TV and my tuner at the same time.
2. The remote control looks and feels cheap. Small buttons, dense layout.
3. My universal remote doesn't know about Apex equipment, and so I have to use two remotes.
Summary: Something big for little? APEX WINS AGAIN!
Review: I am actually a seasoned engineer, but the mysterious flashing "12:00" timer settings still confuse me. I know what I want - simply a great product at a great price. This APEX ADV-3800 combo unit does not disappoint. It has a plehtora of modern output feeds including optical audio, digital audio, S-Video and of course component video. With its progressive scan output capability (480p) it is very nice to couple it up with a monitor that can handle that progressive output (newer HDTVs etc) On my 56" HDTV, this little puppy (which I paid $110) shined like the mid-day sun at the OK Corral. The setup was simple, straightforward and user-friendly. I like the styling and lines of this unit. It doesn't look like the original VHS/DVD combo boxes which looked more like 1975 NASA 8-TRACK DUAL-DECK COPIERS. It has a nice silver streamlined profile. I found the video output to be very good and the audio to be much improved over the ealier Apex AD-660 (which I am replacing and moving into the kid's playroom)
Bottom-line, if you want it all - Ability to play CDs, MP3s, VCDs, EVEN JPGs! and DVDs in progressive scan mode for a great price and nice package, look no further than this unit. Apex all the way!
Smile, it is movie-time!
Summary: nice little machine
Review: I am not a "techie" type person, but I found this player easy to set up (though the instructions could be better). It works very well, and I'm really enjoying using it. The only complaint I have is that the video records only SP and SLP, no inbetween. The quality of the playback on SLP is a little grainy. This was a great buy for me and I recommend it!
Summary: Even the just out of box player doesn't work.
Review: I bought one and returned to Amazon because it didn't recognize any disc(DVD,VCD, CD, etc.) after its arrival. The VCR worked and gave me blur and noisy pictures.The manufacturing quality is realy bad. Maybe that's just a bad luck on me but I don't dare to buy APEX stuff again.
Summary: The product and the company are highly flawed
Review: I bought the Apex ADV-3800 from Amazon because it seemed like a great price. I had no problems with it at first. Then, a malfunction started. I no longer got video output from the DVD player. I could still view cable channels and VHS tapes fine. But when I switched to DVD mode, the screen would go black; there wasn't even the generic-blue DVD screen. If I inserted a DVD and pressed the buttons in the right order, I could get the DVD to play. However, I only heard the audio (which came through flawlessly); the screen was still black.
I tried calling Apex's customer service number (both the California area code and the toll-free). They were busy every single time. Except for once. The one time that it wasn't busy, I was on hold for over 3 hours before I gave up waiting. (In that time, I went from #17 to #3 in the queue, according to the recorded voice.) I also posted my problem on their website. They promised a reply within 24 hours but none came after 5 days of waiting.
I even called one of the companies listed on the Apex website as a licensed repair company. The company told me that they also have great difficulties with Apex, especially in getting hold of them on the phone.
Spend your money on a product supported by a company that will actually help you if anything goes wrong. Avoid Apex. I'd give them zero stars if I could.
Summary: Great item at a great price
Review: I bought the APEX ADV-3800 from Sears for $99. Great price. The DVD player played everything I fed to it including DVDs made in China and VCDs made in India (PAL format). It even played DVDs I recorded in +RW but haven't finalized the disk. The remote is fairly easy to operate. The picture quality is pretty good. Can't comment on the progressive scan or 5.1 sound as I don't have supporting systems for those.
The hook up was as simple as it can get. I hooked up the unit to a DVD recorder and then to TV. The whole setup worked very nicely.
If it doesn't break in 90 days as somebody suggested, I think it's a great unit.
Review: I bought this as a gift for my grandson, and it failed on the first attmpt to use it - swallowed a VHS tape and would neither play nor eject it. The design concept is good, but quality control seems to be non-existent. Back to Sears it goes, and shame on them for carrying the line.