Also jumping on the code-free MALATA DVD-N996 bandwagon

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jan 2, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Had an eye-opening experience on New Year's Eve.
    I went to my friend's home where he demonstrated
    the new Malata DVD Player
    I don't know what I was more impressed over....
    It was either the fact that he had tons of PAL discs
    like Southpark Seasons 1-4 complete and the
    black & white March of the Wooden Soldiers
    (far better than the shoddy U.S. colorized version).
    Or it was the fact that this player is loaded with
    features from Progressive scan to Region Free playback
    to PAL to NTSC converter.
    I just bought a Panasonic RP91 about two
    months ago and had it modified to play all regions
    as well as having Macrovision disabled.
    Now, I see a player that has PAL to NTSC conversion
    so I can order PAL discs from overseas.
    It's kind of sad that we have to resort to this
    kind of purchasing in order to get some great titles
    that are only available out of Europe, Japan and
    Australia. These include: Buffy TV Series
    (in a gorgeous boxed set that must be seen), The
    complete E.R. TV Series as well as Farscape
    and Dark Angel.
    I sat and watched all these discs play without a
    glitch on the Malata N996 player. In addition,
    it was wild to be able to manually scale down the
    ratio to compensate for overscan or other ratio
    problems.
    I just ordered mine and will have it shipped in
    about two weeks.
    Look forward to hearing from owners of this player.
     
  2. Michael St. Clair

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    Just remember that PAL has speedup.
    I never buy a PAL disc if an NTSC one is available or forthcoming. Some of our friends in England even always buy the R1 NTSC when it is available, as they feel it is closer to the director's intent.
    That said, I have a couple of players that can play PAL on NTSC sets, and I do buy certain discs that I can't get in NTSC.
    I have nothing against PAL as a video format. I just don't like my films sped up when I can avoid it.
    Edit: Buffy and Farscape are both sped up in R2. The Buffy Season 1 set comes out here on the 15th.
     
  3. Paul E. Fox II

    Paul E. Fox II Second Unit

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    Ron,
    Would you consider the Malata to be an "RP91 Killer" as far as DVD players go? I'm really thinking about getting one of these as I'd like the OPTION of getting stuff from different regions. I hope to be reading a full review of your when it gets a good workout!
    Also, if you don't mind, could you let us in on where you're getting the player? I used to have a link, but I seem to remember reading something about that particular company getting out of the Malata game.
     
  4. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

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    Paul, glad to see that you are still with us. How's the home coming?

    What is meant by PAL DVD's being sped up?
     
  5. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  6. Michael St. Clair

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  7. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  8. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    A question for you guys with PAL discs, where are you ordering them from and are they comparable in price to Region 1 discs here?

    Thanks, Patrick
     
  9. Ron Eastman

    Ron Eastman Second Unit

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    Sorry to post off-topic but since Ron mentioned that he has done it, how do you disable Macrovision on a player? Is this something I could do myself? I was looking into buying a Macrovision defeater but if I can have it done to my player I'd be happier. Any link or private e-mail on the subject is welcome. (Oh, I have a Toshiba SD-2200 if it helps.)
    Also, how is the Mediamatics Pantera 2 NDV8501B2 Chip? Does this have the chroma bug? How comparable is the picture to the RP-91 that everyone is raving about? Sorry for all the questions but I am very intrigued. [​IMG]
     
  10. Michael St. Clair

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    Let's all try to not be so sensitive.
    And if anybody intepreted me as being condescending, I assure you that was not my intent at all.
    Parade raining? There is lots of great stuff in R2 that will not head this way soon, if ever. I continue to recommend R2 PAL players...and that we all buy titles as informed consumers.
    Anyhow, sheesh, I buy all of my R2 PAL discs at http://www.blackstar.co.uk/
    I highly recommend them.
     
  11. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    I'll second the Blackstar recommendation, they've done good by me over the last 2 years.
    Also Amazon.co.uk has been timely on some releases that Blackstar was out of stock on.
    I've also ordered a few discs from Region 4 Australia. They are PAL as well, but because of the exchange rate right now they tend to be much cheaper than their Region 2 counterparts.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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    PatrickM,

    I was in Vancouver over the holidays. Much to my surprise, I found some HK PAL DVDs in Chinatown (check the sticker..has PAL written on it). There were located in a store within a mall that also houses the Floata Restaurant on the second floor. There are at least three other Chinatown dealers that sell DVDs...not sure if they all sell PAL DVDs.

    Dave
     
  13. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    David,

    Thanks for the info. There's even one in Eaton Centre/Metrotown and a smaller mall near where I live. HK ones are easy to get here in Vancouver. Its the European ones I was wondering about but thanks again.

    Patrick
     
  14. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    Another good thing about this player is it will output progressive RGsB.
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
     
  15. Mike H

    Mike H Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the N996. It's a nice DVD player, but it is not my only dvd player. I have an unmodified RP-91(Bios 236) that servers as my Region 1 dvd player. They are both hooked up to my Mitsu 55807. Both have been calibrated with Avia but the set has not been ISFed.

    I've been wanting to order more DVDs from overseas but I've been busy with the sea of great Region 1 releases. My first overseas purchase was the movie Brother, region 3/NTSC. The review can be found in the Regional DVD section. I also purchased the Universe release of Bride with White hair(R0, not bootleg).

    The Malata zoomed better for Bride with White Hair because with my RP91 it zoomed the subtitles right off the screen. I have a feeling if my rp91 was region free it would do the same for Brother.

    As for cost, it seems the UK Region 2 releases are more expensive then the Region 4 releases. But region 2 has more releases as far as I know. The British Film Censors seem to cut some of the movies so you may want to check if the dvd has been cut. Almost all web reviews of region 2 dvds say whether they've been cut or not.

    Mike
     
  16. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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    Am I correct to assume that the latest firmware on the N996 is November 9, 2001 and that it still does not fix the DTS dropout issue with some receivers? Has Malata admitted that there is a DTS problem? Once purchased, can anyone update the firmware via a burned CDR?

    Just wondering whether I should wait for a N996 with the next firmware update? I would like to wait a month or two if possible (with all the holiday shopping bills and all).

    Thanks for any help on these questions.

    Dave
     
  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I still have not received my MALATA as
    of yet. I ordered it, but they will not ship
    until January 14th.
    Someone asked about a link to where I ordered
    it from. Well, in my top post, the link is right
    there in red. I'll repost it here....
    Malata DVD N966
    Ric P asked what type it was. It says Region 0. It
    also says it comes with the latest firmware. I was
    unaware of the DTS problems it has, and am a bit
    concerned over that. Perhaps it has been corrected
    in this new firmware. Hope someone has some knowledge
    of that.
    As far as being equal or better to the very popular
    Panasonic RP91, I cannot tell you. From what
    I have read, the Malata puts out a very
    impressive progressive picture. However, I would
    expect the Panasonic to be a better built more
    reliable player. You CAN have the Panasonic modified
    to play ALL REGIONS and DISABLE MACRO. This is
    something you can have done for $100 or by a kit you
    can buy.
    The reason I am not worrying about the Malata
    performance overall is because it is only going to
    be used to play PAL discs.
    I'd love to hear from more Malata owners,
    and find out if there are DTS problems or any other
    glitches I should be made aware of, as I can still
    cancel the order.
     
  18. Keith Smith

    Keith Smith Extra

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    Ron:

    The DTS dropout problem for the N996 was fixed by the November firmware upgrade that your new November built player will have. Now, the Malata is a robust DTS player, even handling DTS CDs flawlessly through my Denon 5700.

    I also have the RP-91 (unmodded) and bought the Malata to be able to watch PAL discs on my Pioneer Elite 710HD. I have liked the results so much that I am now up to having 76 PAL DVDs in my collection. I started with French pop music DVDs ordered from France (alapage.com) and have now ordered movies, operas and ballets from the UK, Italy and Australia, as well.

    I also now find myself rarely using my RP-91 for my R1 DVDs. The video quality of the two players is very similar, but the Malata has direct chapter entry and tells the time remaining.

    Keith Smith
     
  19. Brajesh Upadhyay

    Brajesh Upadhyay Supporting Actor

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    I have both the Malata N996 & Panny RP91. The RP91 produces a better picture; the N996's picture is quite good, but a bit on the soft side. It's deinterlacer (Mediamatics chip) isn't as good as the RP91's (Genesis chip), but it's still a good performer. Good reviews of both players here.
    What's special about the Malata is that it's regionfree, does perfect PAL->NTSC conversion (the 4% speedup isn't really bothersome) & has x-y scaling! This scaling feature works differently from the RP91's -- instead of auto-scaling non-anamorphic discs, you manually scale in x & y directions with 65536 zoom levels. This is a fantastic feature allowing you to downscale 1.78+ discs to reveal picture information lost to overscan, or upscale non-anamorphic & 4:3 discs.
    The only complaint I have with the Malata is its cryptic/confusing setup menu. I do know this: for NTSC DVDs, choose the "Smart" video filter for best results; for PAL DVDs, choose "Still". Other useful tips can be found @ the DVD Hardware section of avsforum. Re: the DTS problem, I never had it & mine's one of the earlier models.
    To me, the RP91 is still king when it comes to picture & sound quality, but for a wealth of useful features, the N996 can't be beat! The N996 is allowing me to enjoy in style "Jackie Brown" (R4), "Stargate" Director's Cut (R2) & other non-R1 DVDs.
     
  20. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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    Keith,
    I have heard from AVS Forum conflicting info on the DTS issue...whether or not the November 9, 2001 firmware update fixes it. I have heard that it only affects some receivers, particularly some of the older Denon models. There was a discussion on whether Malata Canada admits that there is a DTS problem with the N996.
    For those interested, http://www.nbtelectronics.com has it cheaper than AV Deals....CDN$399 (~US$250) plus shipping charges (free shipping within Canada [​IMG]). It also now comes in silver, too (also, black and gold).
    Dave
     

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