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PLEASE HELP : All-Codes DVD Players...


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#1 of 32 OFFLINE   Oliver Besner

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Posted May 22 2003 - 10:45 PM

Can anyone recommend a top of the line model or a good place to buy one?

I need something with a built in converter that can playback encoded discs from any region but one that won't strecth Pal 16:9 widescreen when playing on NTSC formatted TV's.

I dont know where to find one and I dont want to get ripped off since Im not sure what constitues as a quality player or what the prices generally range in regards to these all-region systems.

Any help or advice would really be appreciated.

Thanks a lot!

#2 of 32 OFFLINE   Oliver Besner

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Posted May 23 2003 - 02:16 AM

UP.

#3 of 32 OFFLINE   Dmitry

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Posted May 23 2003 - 03:15 AM

My friend recently purchased this JVC's XV-S500BK player and is happy with it's performance. I don't know about the PAL 16:9 thing, besides my friend has a 16:9 TV, but overall he's quite happy.
My DVDs

#4 of 32 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted May 23 2003 - 07:30 AM

Go for the JVC-600. The 500 has a non-removable ZOOM icon, in case you zoom for a non-anamorphic WS disc... Also has DVD-audio. The PAL-NTSC conversion is Excellent! However, the JVC's ARE nototious for having a so-so video mode. Film source DVDs look amazing however. Email me if you want a good dealer. I got mine last week and am VERY happy.

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#5 of 32 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted May 23 2003 - 07:49 AM

Do you need 480i output? That makes a difference also. If you only need 480p output, then the JVC's probably a good choice. 480i output is a bit iffy due to the quirky when the all-in-one Mediamatics chip works. OTOH, there really aren't many competitors that don't have such quirks or others. Posted Image

I would suggest the Philips 963sa as a "top of the line model", but there are enough issues w/ it that one should really approach it w/ much caution, especially since it costs more than the others. For one thing, it only does the PAL->NTSC conversion in 480p mode. FWIW, I am leaning towards getting one myself...

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#6 of 32 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted May 23 2003 - 07:53 AM

Good point, Man... Forgot to ask/mention that. The JVC's derive their interlaced output from the progressive signal. if you ARE going 480P, you'll be fine with the JVC...

BTW Man, The PAL-NTSC conversion looks awesome. Buffy S6 looks almost as good as virtually any well authored NTSC R1 disc and WAY better than many.

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#7 of 32 OFFLINE   Oliver Besner

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Posted May 23 2003 - 08:47 AM

Wow, thanks a lot but now you guys lost me... heh, I dont know what any of this stuff means...

I know that I would like to play DVD's from all different regions and I would like to experience the highest quality audio/video with whatever system I am going to go with...

Aside from that, I'm not really sure what all this technical, 480p output stuff means?

I would be using this DVD player on one of 2 tv's, a regular 36" and a 65" digital widescreen projection which is set up with surround and has all the extras..

I want to get the maximum quality out of these and I am planning on replacing the 36" with a digital flat screen as well so I'd like something that will be efficient and something that won't affect the aspect ratios when playing back foreign region discs onto an NTSC setting...

Most of all, I want something which will be effective and not cause any complications or problems.

I don't know too much on this subject, normally I would go to Future Shop and get advice from somebody in the video department however that's obviously not possible with what I am looking for.

If you guys could give me a basic run-down of what would seem best suiting to my needs and what this 480p stuff means, as well as what Id be looking at regarding prices, it'd be extremely helpfull as I dont really no where else to turn...

Thanks so much for all your insight!!!

Oliver.

#8 of 32 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted May 23 2003 - 09:24 AM

480p is just short for NTSC progressive scan video, which is actually EDTV, not technically NTSC. Posted Image

Anyway, what you're asking for doesn't exist. :wink: But if you're willing to give it a try, I suggest going w/ the Philips 963sa and applying the region-free hack using a One-for-All remote. That's probably your best bet right now for best all-around PQ for everything you asked assuming your TV of choice will have decent zoom mode for non-anamorphic DVDs. There are some quality control issues w/ the Philips plus a few quirks like:

1. Angle icon stays on screen for DVDs that use multi-angle feature. This is rare enough me thinks, but who knows. Tomorrow Never Dies: SE is one such case.

2. On many HDTVs, the image is shifted up maybe 5%.

3. Picture zoom doesn't work properly for pillar box mode, but if your TV has good zoom mode, then this won't matter much, except when dealing w/ subtitles.

4. Remote sensor is not well designed/placed to receive signal at off-axis. Some people open up the player to reseat it for better performance.

5. Some decoder/receivers have problem tracking the digital audio signal when doing chapter skipping, menu navigation, etc.

6. SACD playback has its quirks, if you need bass management, but then again, what can you really expect for the $400 price? Posted Image

So there are issues a-plenty w/ the Philips. Posted Image

Something you should consider is going w/ 2 players to suit all your needs. Many people in your boat do that, especially if they have large DVD collections and/or want both DVD-A and SACD support. FWIW, I plan to do that myself.

_Man_

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#9 of 32 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted May 23 2003 - 09:31 AM

Oliver, Don't worry...
Start with this...

http://www.hometheat....e-10-2000.html
Man, any other links to easily explainable yet concise interlace/progressive comparisons, etc...???

Dave

#10 of 32 OFFLINE   Oliver Besner

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Posted May 23 2003 - 09:32 AM

Hmmm thanks for that info... I no longer think I'll be investing in an all-codes player. Would I be able to purchase a PAL player and have it playback on NTSC televisions without any problems? If so, I just might do that...

Thanks again for the info!

#11 of 32 OFFLINE   Martin Jiang

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Posted May 23 2003 - 10:20 AM

I am surprised that no one have mentioned Malata so far, that is the one you need, for the best PAL-NTSC conversion ans stepless zoom. Also all region

#12 of 32 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted May 23 2003 - 10:34 AM

Hold, the phone, guys, MAN...

I finally watched some VIDEO based material on the new 600 and while I've been BLOWN away watching BUFFY R2 convereted to NTSC...BUT, the Video mode in 480P is pretty awful. Now, I already have a JVC-70, and that's been acknowledged to have a so-so video mode, but it was livable. The 600 looks fine if there isn't any fast movement or fast pans, then LOOKOUT! It becomes a jittery, juddery digital looking mess, as if the image was "pulsing, or breathing." MUCH worse than the 70, I A/B'd it to make sure on the same system, same input by switching the component cables. Actually looks WAY better in 480i with my Mits. doing the de-interlacing, line doubling. (And Mits. BTW, is NOT known for having the best line-doubler...!) So, I'm wondring what's up...? I did a little searching and came acroos a thread on the 500, stating to leave the player in SMART mode, (similar to my old 70...) I thought that the 600 was essentially the same as the 500, except for the addition of DVD-Audio and the removeable ZOOM icon. Well, here's the catch, there are only 3 Modes on the 600, FILM, VIDEO and AUTO unlike the 5 modes on the 70. If the 500 has a SMART mode, then it is not the same as the 600.
I had heard rumors that the 600 had a newer Mediamatics chip, and I posted lots of threads asking for any differences between the 70 and 600 in VIDEO mode and didn't get any real answers other than they both have inferior VIDEO modes to say, a Panny Rp-82. While I was expecting this, the newer video mode is headache inducing to say the least whenever there is quick movement.

So, what's the skinny? It seems as if they were trying to minimize the dreaded "jaggies" in Video mode by applying some odd processing or something and indeed on a static or barely moving image, the pic. looks decent and LESS jaggy than the 70, but then.... ACK!
The best analogy is when VIDEO material is treated to look like FILM, like, stuttery....
Could this have happened somehow by applying the ICOS chip mod. to make it region Free..? Or is this just a different chip from the 70?

Any opinions, guys...? Did I just get a BUM unit? FILM mode is perfect, actually looks SHARPER than the it does on the 70. Not a bad thing I guess...

And the quest goes on...

Hey Oliver, I was considering a MALATA, but got spooked by all the quality control issue complaints...


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#13 of 32 OFFLINE   Oliver Besner

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Posted May 23 2003 - 10:54 AM

Thanks.. so what exactly is this Malata? It has an internal converter? What quality issues spooked you Dave? Could you elaborate on this system Martin...

Thanks again!

#14 of 32 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted May 23 2003 - 11:03 AM

Hey Oliver,

I read alot of threads in the AVSForum.com, many people stated that their Malata's overheated, shut-down, seemed VERY cheaply made etc...

I went with the JVC 'cos I have had GREAT luck over the yrs. with their stuff.

As an augmentation, I've been throwing VIDEO sourced stuff at the new 600 all afternoon. When stuff was shot on VIDEO, it looks ok. Actually a bit like film, like closer to a 24fr. per sec. rate... (odd, yes... The 70 did NOT do this.)
But stuff shot on FILM, edited and mastered on VIDEO like ALOT of DVD docs. Music video comps. (U2, etc...) Look REAL bad.

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#15 of 32 OFFLINE   Oliver Besner

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Posted May 23 2003 - 02:29 PM

Thanks so much for your help Dave..

I found a JVC 500 on Ebay for a reasonable cost but you mentioned Id be better going with the 600 model. Based on everything so far, is that still your best advice? Would I be better of with the JVC or Philips? Would you be able to recommend any dealers or provide me with some links to check it out?

Again, I really appreciate all the help and insight, Thanks so much!

Oliver.

#16 of 32 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted May 24 2003 - 12:00 AM

Hmmm... That's the first I heard about the video mode problem w/ the JVC 600. OTOH, maybe nobody's cared too much about it, especially since the JVC's have always been known to have mediocre video mode deinterlacing. Maybe JVC altered their video mode on the newer players, and that's what you're seeing. OR maybe it's not actually kicking into video mode at all for some reason since that's what it sounds like.

Anyway, I think the best thing to do might still be going w/ 2 players -- that seems to be what a lot of people do when they need a region-free player -- since no player w/ PAL->NTSC conversion has good PQ for everything until the Philips 963sa, which has its own quirks/problems as I said.

If PQ is your god and you don't care about SACD and don't want any known QC problems, you might want to stick w/ a hacked JVC and pair it w/ a Panny XP30 (or the like). Seems like Sharper Image still carries the XP30.

BTW, I wouldn't buy a player on eBay unless you're getting a good deal on a used one -- or something hard to find. Try www.220-electronics.com for some good prices on region-free players.

_Man_

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#17 of 32 OFFLINE   Oliver Besner

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Posted May 24 2003 - 12:31 AM

Thanks but if I purchase a seperate PAL encoded player, would it be able to output signals to an NTSC formatted television? I was under the impression that this wasnt possible...

#18 of 32 OFFLINE   Oliver Besner

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Posted May 24 2003 - 12:49 AM

Can you explain what PQ & QC & SACD mean? I read that intersting article Dave posted which helped a lot, but there was too much technical info to absorb at once so I'm still not really sure what you're telling me... It would honestly be much easier and cheaper for me to have one single dvd player that can playback PAL formatted discs, just because I would need to buy a new R1 NTSC player anyways (my current player is broken beyond repair and Ive been stuck using a PS2 for the past few months) and it would suck to have to dish out funds for 2 brand new DVD players at once...

In plain english... visually, what possible flaws would I experience in going with the JVC 600 model that Dave seems to think would work excellent?

#19 of 32 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted May 24 2003 - 02:46 AM

Hey Oliver!

Don't rush and buy just yet! Here's the scoop... QC... "Quality control"- Usually referring to a manufacturer's track record in regards to perfromance of a unit(s). PQ- Picture quality. SACD- 1 of the 2 relatively new (along with DVD-audio) high resolution CD audio formats. Requires new software.
I was up for hrs. last nite delving into the 600. The Good and the Bad...
The Good... If you wanna watch PAL DVDs on your American NTSC TV, this works EXCELLENTLY! NO complaints here, and I'm picky.
FILM mode on R1 American NTSC DVDs... Once again PEREFECT! Slightly better than my older JVC-70 and a TEENY bit less ringing with the image. Nice, tight, sharp looking. ANY sharper and the image would look TOO digital, and video-like.
The BAD... The (newer???) VIDEO mode at least on my specific unit is a DISASTER in 480P. It actually looks decent in 480i, which the older 70 did not. (WEIRD!)
There is what appears to be a slight, like 1 to 2 frame visual delay. NONE on the 70. So when there is a quick pan, like when a fast ship, car, credit goes by, there is an odd ,pulsing double image. It's pretty much useless. If you have a SONY camcorder with digital FX and the effect "FLASH", goint to 1 click will get a similar look, like a strobey, sort-of film-like look. I think it could be my unit. MAN is right, it's as if it's somehow NOT properly kicking into VIDEO mode. Interestingly if I force VIDEO mode on a properly FLAGGED for Film disc like "GLADIATOR", it still looks decent, film-like. On the 70, it looked NOTiCEABLY different which gave the 60 (Similar model) bad reviews in the prog. scan shootout. Perhaps they altered the VIDEO mode so when in AUTO, it would be less detectable when the player dropped into VIDEO mode. When watching a DVD which is Mastered and flagged for VIDEO mode, the result is terrible. Does not look like video anymore, it looks like stuttery 18 FPS Film, (If you ever shot Super-8 Film, that is 1 of the frame rates)
I whipped out my 70 last nite and did ALOT more A/B'ing of many DVDs. So I'm gonna wait a bit and then E-mail the company I got it from. IF it is something wrong with my specific unit, I will get an exchange. If it is simply the perfromance of the 600 as opposed to the 70, I'm dissaponted. Would rather have gottten a modified 70. But this would be odd as in all the user reviews for the 600, even the people that didn't like the VIDEO mode, NOBODY mentioned anything along these lines.
If it is an unfortunate but unavoidable side-effect somehow of the regional chip modidfication, I will just deal, and perhaps get a 2nd player like the XP30 for Video based DVDs. Man is correct, the 2 player method might currently be the only way to have all of what I want.


I'll keep posting as to my feedback!

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#20 of 32 OFFLINE   TanD

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Posted May 25 2003 - 01:06 AM

How about a denon 3800, it has supper video, audio and build quality, and it does NTSC to PAL or PAL to NTSC conversion, NTSC and PAL Progressive, and top notch DVD-A player with full bass management.

you can make it multiregion with a firmware available from the web. The unit was retail $1200, but last week i saw it in my local dealer and the price is drop below $700.