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like to get a region free dvd player, newbie here, please help!


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#1 of 12 VincentY

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Posted February 20 2003 - 04:05 AM

hi, i'm a long time 2 ch audiophile finally putting together my first home theater system (it took soooo long). i purchased: sony 60xbr800, have already a 1-yr old sony 700P dvd player, tivo, time warner 3100HD high def cable box, B&K 505, Rockets speakers, and various power conditioning devices/surge protectors (ExactPower/Brickwall).

i've been enjoying (for only around 1 month) some Kurosawa dvds (Red Beard), some Criterion dvds, some Hong Kong/China dvds (Not One Less, and some silly HK slapstick dvds which i do NOT like).

more and more, i've noticed that if i really would like to watch dvds of all types, most notably Avalon, the Polish language film made by the Japanese anime director, it only comes in non-region 1.

i don't know anything about region free dvds, and even less about which etailer to get it from. May i please ask for advice? so many people seem to have them and are enjoying dvds from everywhere.

i'm a little fussy about quality, so a very poor quality one won't do. but progressive is not the most important feature since i have a good tv and it has a good internal deinterlacer, so feeding my tv with an interlaced (non progressive) signal frequently results in a superior picture than using the often poor deinterlacer in many cheap progressive dvd players. of course, if there is a progressive region free dvd player that is very good, then i'll have to option to use it as progressive OR interlaced depending on whether the dvd's own deinterlacer is better or my tv's own deinterlacer is better.

i'm not interested in spending $1000 for this region free player. i hear that you can spend much less and be perfectly pleased with the results. i don't even know who the reliable etailers are for this type of thing.

any advice would be appreciated. many thanks.

#2 of 12 Jeff Kleist

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Posted February 20 2003 - 05:06 AM

Malata N520, it's available through HKFlix. Totally tweakable, x-y scaling and all kinds of other good stuff

Avalon does come in a non-anamorphic Region 0 version that has the same DD 5.1 track as the Japanese disc. There's also a Korean version with DTS, but I don't know about the exact region coding/specs on it.

#3 of 12 VincentY

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Posted February 20 2003 - 06:49 AM

thanks for the recommendation. is the malata N520 of high quality? or of minimal quality? does it get connected to my tv via component or s-video or composite connections?

do you guys feel that there are superior units out there? i know many foreign dvds are of inferior quality, but then again, there are many that are of fine quality. don't really want a piece of hardware that is of low quality and regret it and have to buy yet another, higher quality, region free dvd player. so, i'm trying to get a good enough quality unit ( i know "good enough" is so very relative) so i won't regret owning a lousy piece of hardware.

what are some other options?

many thanks!

#4 of 12 Jeff Kleist

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Posted February 20 2003 - 07:11 AM

It uses the best video chip out there. This is the high-end of PAL-NTSC converting players.

There's a JVC deck with the same chip, but it lacks scaling

the deck features all of the connections listed

#5 of 12 VincentY

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Posted February 20 2003 - 07:17 AM

jeff,

may i please ask you what x-y settings are?

i've visited the hkflix site. i guess the next model up with the vga output is not important for me, since i'm using it with my sony tv.

thanks for your info. looking forward to finding out what x-y settings mean.

#6 of 12 VincentK

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Posted February 20 2003 - 07:23 AM

or if you're not comfortable with the Malata, you might want to check out the JVC XV-600/2. I have the 602 which uses the same chip as the Malata although it has fixed scaling instead of Malata's X-Y. The PAL conversion is excellent.

#7 of 12 VincentY

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Posted February 20 2003 - 07:48 AM

if the malata 520 appears to be superior in terms of having x-y scaling, i suppose there is no reason to consider the jvc 600 or 602, is that correct?

i'm a little confused since if the malata is so great, then there is no reason to consider these other brands/models?

#8 of 12 Jeff Kleist

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Posted February 20 2003 - 08:06 AM

x-y scaling means that you can virtually eliminate overscan on your picture, and the occasional PAL disc that looks a little wonkey after conversion, you can fix geometry issues. It's a tweaker thing

#9 of 12 VincentY

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Posted February 20 2003 - 05:12 PM

if the malata 520 appears to be superior in terms of having x-y scaling, i suppose there is no reason to consider the jvc 600 or 602, is that correct?

i'm a little confused since if the malata is so great, then there is no reason to consider these other brands/models?

Just when I'm all set for the malata 520 (from a recommendation due to the superior build quality over the jaton), someone informed me that the jvc 600 is superior is several ways:

- Better build quality, lower failure rate.
- easier to service the jvc (more reliable service) compared with the malata should something goes wrong. People say they don't know what to do should the malata goes wrong.
- the downside is that the jvc 600 does NOT have xy scaling, which could be a sad situation/disaster if you really don't want to miss any portion of a dvd that has been overscanned. I would consider the xy scaling pretty important, do you? (I'm new at this so my thinking that it is important may not be correct, please tell me about how important this is from your informed experience)

also, in terms of dvd-a:

I'm interested in the dvd-a aspect (but NOT if I have to compromise on the video quality of my region free dvd video player). The question about the jvc 600's dvd-a performance is this: how is this output to my receiver/pre-processer? Via the usual 6 RCA outputs? Or via a digital output only? This is CRUCIAL for proper dvd-A performance as it impacts the bass management of the dvd-A very very much. You cannot set the bass management properly if the jvc 600 does not have built-in bass management. If the output FOR DVD-A is via digital coax (this is extremely rare due to US copy protection for dvd-A), then there is no issue since the receiver/pre-processor can do the bass management. Usually, however, for dvd-A, the output is via 6 RCA analog outs (the 5 channels plus the subwoofer channel), then the receiver/pre-processor has NO bass management whatsoever, and is forced to just SIMPLY accept the input from the dvd-A player AS IS, and then if the bass management capabilities is poor from the jvc 600, we're in trouble as the resulting sound quality is not good.

ugh!

#10 of 12 Jeff Kleist

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Posted February 21 2003 - 04:48 AM

Quote:
Better build quality, lower failure rate.


True

Quote:
- easier to service the jvc (more reliable service) compared with the malata should something goes wrong. People say they don't know what to do should the malata goes wrong


Malata has a service facility in Canada

#11 of 12 Ted Todorov

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Posted February 21 2003 - 06:45 AM

Vincent,

Since I see you live in New York you might want to check out Kim's Video on St. Marks place -- they have a large selection of region 2,3,4 DVDs and they sell Malata DVD players as well.

Keep in mind though, that you can usually get the DVDs on-line at better prices, and it pays to research non-R1 DVDs before buying for info on quality, English subs, which of possibly many versions is best, etc.

Ted
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#12 of 12 Tom Vet

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Posted February 27 2003 - 03:06 AM

Vincent the Malata is originally made in mainline China, it has cooling problems that's why some have suggested JVC/JVC doesn't have any colling problems that I have heard of. You got a 4 to 1 chance you get one without the cooling problem and 6 to 1 chance your player will be in canada *longer* than your place.





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