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One more time -- PAL playback (NTSC TV)

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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 ArtC



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Posted July 23 2007 - 04:06 AM

I'm still on a quest for the ultimate multi-standard DVD player.

I live in the States and have an NTSC TV (40" Sony Bravia LCD).

For the last year, I've been using a Toshiba SD-3990 DVD player. It plays everything I've put in it, and the PAL playback quality is quite good. The only complaint I have is that it periodically drops frames from the video. If I rewind and play the same segment again, it plays smoothly, but, overall, it will usually display this sort of "jerky" movement anywhere from 6-12 times over the course of a typical movie. Not the end of the world but mildly annoying.

Just last week, I sprung for an Oppo DV-981HD. I had previously tried the DV-970HD but found that it was still dropping frames when playing PAL videos. Tech support told me they thought the 981 -- with the 2:2 pulldown for PAL playback -- would cure this problem.

Unfortunately, it hasn't. I'm still dropping frames, and it actually seems more frequent than on the Toshiba unit.

To make matters worse, the Oppo is much worse at rendering diagonal lines than the Toshiba -- the Oppo introduces noticeable jaggies where the Toshiba displays a relatively smooth line. (This is all for PAL playback; the Oppo, of course, excels at NTSC playback). I couldn't believe my eyes at first, but I've seen the same problem on three different discs, and I can't believe that a $60 Toshiba (which, according to the user manual, isn't even supposed to play PAL discs!) can render diagonal lines better than a machine that's universally-acclaimed for its videophile appeal.

So once again I ask: Is there anyone else on this forum who watches PAL video on an NTSC TV? If so, what do you watch it on, and do you suffer from either of these problems (dropped frames or increased jaggies)?


#2 of 5 viperdream26



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Posted July 23 2007 - 06:42 AM

Both in controlled PAL-testing & with regular PAL movie discs, the OPPO 981 does a GREAT job. I have had a completely opposite experience to you. The 981's motion is smooth, the edges are smooth, & image might as well be a NTSC disc!


#3 of 5 JohnRice


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Posted July 23 2007 - 11:32 AM

I don't know about the dropped frames (are these burned discs?) but the jagged lines can be the result of many things, such as sharpening settings on the monitor, on the DVD player or the output resolution of the DVD player in the case of the Oppo. I will be receiving a used 971H from a gracious friend some time soon and am anxious to see how the PAL performance is myself.

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#4 of 5 KevinJ


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Posted July 23 2007 - 12:46 PM

I've never had a problem w/dropped frames on my OppoDV970HD.....I watched the PAL dvd from the Hawkwind Space Ritual set and it played perfectly btw.

#5 of 5 ArtC



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Posted July 24 2007 - 03:41 AM

It looks like my problem was the "Video Mode". It's set to "Video1" by default but needs to be "Video2" for PAL playback. Much nicer now. I haven't had a chance to watch an entire PAL movie since I made the change, but the bits I have watched seem a lot clearer and smoother.