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How is the Sampo code-free DVD player? (1 Viewer)

Tom-G

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I'm contemplating purchasing either the Malata or Sampo code-free DVD player to replace my less-than-stellar Apex player. The search function is down, so I apologize if there are existing threads.
Which one is better or is it a wash? Where is the cheapest place to purchase them?
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Matt_Stevens

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Tom, if you want the exact same thing as an APEX, buy the Sampo.
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If you want a player that can match the more expensive Sony & Panasonic high ends, then adding region free, PAL conversion and scaling ability, there is only one choice.
I have tried them all and the MALATA wins the race by a margin so large, well, it's almost funny.
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Tom-G

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Matt, thank you for the information! The Apex player is so awful, I can't wait to replace it with a better player. Where did you purchase the Malata DVD player? I found them on www.220-electronics.com and they seem a little pricey.
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Tom-G

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Matt, how much do they charge for shipping? Again, thank you so much for the information! You've been very helpful.
 

Page

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Shipping is FREE from AVDeals. (Good prices and good customer service IMHO.)
 

Rich Allen

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Is the Malata code free or can you change the code? Some of the new enhanced regioned coded disks won't play on a code free machine. Also, does it have the macrovision disabled, or can you turn it off?
Thanks
BTW, what problems have you had with your Apex? I've got one and had very few problems. I don't use it a huge amount but it gets it's use.
 

Tom-G

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Rich,
The Apex is the biggest piece of junk I have ever purchased. Let me just list my complaints:
  • The picture is always bad - usually very dark no matter what connection I'm using, e.g. S-video;
  • it has trouble playing MANY dual-layered discs - sometimes it simply freezes up and I have to shut the player completely off;
  • Some discs are played in 16x9 mode (I don't have a widescreen TV) and the result is a stretched out picture.
I know there are some I'm missing but that is what comes to mind. It's very frustrating. I purchased the player to have the ability to watch non-Region 1 discs. Because they don't play properly, I've had to get rid of all of them except for Eyes Wide Shut. Somehow, that one plays fine, thank goodness!
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Andy Dursin

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I can't vouch for the Apex and I'm sure the Malata is every bit as good as promised, but if you are looking for an inexpensive machine that does everything except 16:9 PAL conversion for 4:3 ntsc sets, the Sampo is a good bet.
I've owned a 620 that plays flawlessly, has multi-region support and disables Macrovision. I've played all kinds of new titles, dual-layer discs, etc. and have not had any problems at all.
Now, some of the older Sampo machines were VERY hit-and-miss, but I suspect the currently available 611s (which you can get for less than half of the Malata's cost) have the drives that actually work in them.
If cash isn't a problem, I'd go with the Malata since everyone loves it so much. Heck, I'll probably get myself one of them as well!
But the Sampo isn't as bad as the Apex, and I find the picture quality just fine as well.
Just my two cents..
 

Page

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You can buy the Malata as a code-free player or for a lesser price you can buy a Malata that allows you to manually change regions.
So far from what I've read there haven't been any problems playing enchanced region-coded DVDs. (I use my Malata as a 2nd player to play non-region 1 discs.)
Macrovision is not disabled on the machine. (At this point they don't sell the machine configured this way.)
 

Matt_Stevens

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The Region 0 Malata senses the region code of the DVD, so it can play anything. No RCE title will stop playing.
The only thing the Malata cannot do is disable Macrovision, which I don't care about.
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Ted Todorov

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But the Sampo isn't as bad as the Apex, and I find the picture quality just fine as well.
As a Sampo 620 owner, who now has a Malata, I feel qualified to say that there is a HUGE difference in the Sampo vs. Malata picture quality. It is especially evident on PAL disks (I watch them in their native format on a multi-standard TV). On the Sampo they had a really cheesy, video like look to them. On the Malata, the picture from PAL DVDs can be nothing short of amazing, better than anything else I have seen.
Ted
 

Tom-G

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If I purchased the Malata DVD player, would I be able to use that as my only player, or would it behoov me to keep the Panasonic player as my primary and use the Malata for non-region 1?
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As for the bad rap about the characters--hey, I've seen space operas that put their emphasis on human personalities and relationships. They're called "Star Trek" movies. Give me transparent underwater cities and vast hollow senatorial spheres any day. --Roger Ebert on The Phantom Menace
 

Ted Todorov

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I kept my Toshiba. The Malata does generate a lot of heat, so I figure it will last longer if I use it only when I have to -- R2 stuff & non-anamophic R1.
Ted
 

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