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Malata N-996 vs. 900-R (1 Viewer)

Jeff_Merch

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
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5
Alright I know that the Malata N-996 features the Doby Digital Decoder, 5.1 Channel Output and Progessive Scan where the 900-R model does not.
Are there any other differences between the two models?
I would also like to know whether or not the N-996 is Macrovision Disabled. I know that the 900-R is advertised as being Macrovision Disabled and it boggles me that the N-996 is would not be. Isn't the N-996 the newer model of the two units?
Thanks.
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2001
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Location
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Real Name
Takayuki Kihara
N996 also has the DTS decoder and the x-y scaling capability.
Macrovision is not disabled on N996 but it's maybe due to the progressive signal it outputs.
It should also be noted that N996 is a progressive scan player which produces the image sometimes combing on certain titles. On some PAL discs (specifically Truffaut's "Jules and Jim" and "Shoot the Piano Player" French DVDs), the image excessively combs on "Still" filter and it has to be changed to "Smart," which instead produces excessive shimmering (or something like that) on my old interlaced TV (maybe progressive scan output doesn't suffer from this problem, but I don't know). I'm very much interested to know how 900R performs in terms of the PAL-NTSC conversion.
 

Chris Dugger

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 5, 1998
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665
Where can the MALATA be ordered these days???
Last I heard avdeals had stopped shipping due to firmware issues...
Dugger
 

Bleddyn Williams

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Jun 30, 1997
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Bleddyn Williams
TK-
The dilemma you describe with the Truffaut titles also applies to the UK release of Takashi Kitano's Brother. You have to choose between combing or shimmering for the feature.
I wonder if anyone with more indepth knowledge of the Malata has found a workaround. I've found that with the exception of Brother, all the PAL titles I've ordered play the feature flawlessly in STILL mode, but showing combing on the extras, suggesting perhaps that the feature and extras are encoded in a different way?
An interesting disc is the UK release "Royle Family - Season 1" where the first three episodes look different from the last three. The STILL filter works great with the first three, but combs on the next three - suggesting the two batches were perhaps encoded differently?
This combing vs. shimmering is an interesting issue, and I'm surprised there's not more talk about it.
Bleddyn
------------------
 

Ted Todorov

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Messages
3,705
Forgive the stupid question, but what exactly is combing?
I do have the Malata N-996, but I also have a 16:9 multistandard TV, so I watch everything natively and most PAL disks look nothing short of fantastic.
Unfortunately, I think that as good as the Malata or possible future solutions in PAL to NTSC conversion may be, if you want the real deal, multi-standard is the only way to go.
I seem to remember that Sampo made a 34" CRT based HDTV that was also multi-standard. It was lavishly praised in various HDTV forums, but I didn't consider it because it had no zoom feature for non-anamorphic material. However, with the Malata's superior zoom & scaling features that is no longer a problem.
For the person who asked, 220-electronics.com is still selling Malatas, but I'd suggest giving it a few more days to see if avdeals gets the fabled firmware upgrade.
Ted
 

Kevin McCorry

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 1, 2000
Messages
146
I wonder if the firmware issues have anything to do with
the following.
On The Phantom Menace R1, after the THX logo, the player stops with an "Error- Command Failed" message, and one then has to press play to go to the movie, and even then only the English language subtitle track is activated- and not the track that translates the alien lenguages.
On R2 Dr. Who- Caves of Androzani, the same "Error" message occurs when one tries to watch the original version of episode 1.
When R1 Superman II was being played, the entire front panel of the machine went dead and despite powering down and rebooting, it stayed dead and the machine can now only be operated by the remote control. AND now the machine reverts to Chinese menu language every time it's shut off and turned on.
As it is, I now only use the Malata for non-Region 1 discs.
I should hope that firmware upgrades are in the works and that they'll be made to the machines not at the consumer's expense.
 

John DeLuca

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 22, 1998
Messages
120
It's because of all these problems with the Malata that I think I'm going to order one of the new JVC DVD players that have the same Mediamatics chip that does the PAL conversion. They can also be modified to be region-free. I've been waiting for AV Deals to release the fix but they aren't updating their site. Supposedly, the JVC's do perfect PAL conversion like the Malata. I will probably order one today so when I get it, I will let everyone know how it is.
 

Keith Mickunas

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 15, 1998
Messages
2,041
The firmware fix was supposed to handle Phantom Menace and a few others. There's an update today at avdeals.com and it isn't good. The last firmware they got still had problems, and they've had a lot of trouble dealing with Malata. For now they are working on getting some other player to sell.
 

Jeff_Merch

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
5
Crap. I just read the grim update on the the Avdeals site about the availablity of the Malata and how they will "no longer be shipping this product" and how they are "presently testing a replacement unit which uses the same chipset".
Alright, does anyone know if the Malata 900-R has the same bugs as the N-996? My set up is pretty low-fi presently and I may be willing to sacrafice the extra features of the N-996 - if anything just to get the superior NTSC PAL conversion.
Also I'd like to read up more about this JVC DVD Player that John DeLuca mentioned in a previous post that uses the same Mediamatics chip. What is the model numer of this unit? (I wonder if the JVC is the before mentioned replacement unit.)
 

John DeLuca

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 22, 1998
Messages
120
Jeff, JVC has 2 models with the Mediamatics chip. Well, they might have more but the 2 I was looking at were the JVC XV-S65 and XV-SA75. The difference between the two are the SA75 plays DVD Audio discs and the S65 is just a DVD player. They supposedly don't do all of the scaling as the Malata but they do have some scaling capabilities and can be modified to be region-free.
 

Jeff_Merch

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
5
Thanks. Everyone has been very helpful. Just finished reading a well researched article on progressive scan as well:
Link Removed
which was also a great help.
Now all I really want to know is whether or not the 900-R has the bugs of the N-996.
How about it? Anybody out there with a 900-R have problems playing certain DVDs?
 

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