Malata N996 or N960 as a Primary Player...OK?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MikeM, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    I have been looking into more and more non R1 DVDs out there, and after doing a few searches, it appears that the Malata N996 seems to be the region-free player of choice here.

    However, are people using this player as a primary player? If so, what sort of picture quality can I expect from this player.

    I currently have a Toshiba SD-5109, so will I see a noticeable difference in picture quality with the Malata N996?

    Or head to head in the interlaced mode, is there really any difference at all between the Malata N996 and N960? I'd like to know how it compares to my Toshiba SD-5109's interlaced output.

    Just looking for any feedback from some Malata owners, thanks!
     
  2. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    After reading some of the progressive shootouts here , I'm wondering how the Malata will hold up on anime, which is my primary objective in a region free player. I'm not looking for a lot of interlace artifacts or a softer picture, so input from anyone who is familiar with this machine would be appreciated. This will be used with a progressive widescreen TV.
     
  3. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    The anime I've watched on the Malata N996 in progressive mode looks quite good if you use the proper filter (Camera 1). With other filters anime will tend to comb or have jaggies. I don't know exactly why animation requires a separate filter. The filters are found in the setup menu under Expert.
    The Still filter works best for PAL source material. Otherwise the Smart filter covers the waterfront. I still have no idea what the Camera 2 filter does.
    I've been using the Malata as my primary player for reviewing ever since my Sony crapped out with the dreaded C:13 syndrome. The Malata tends to run a bit hot, though, so I just picked up a Panasonic RP56 to try to reduce the workload on it. But I watch a LOT of DVDs (4-5 hours per weekday and pretty much all day on the weekends when I'm in the house, and 410 reviews thus far on dOc, though Brother Ulmer is trying hard to catch me) so you may not need that precaution, depending on your usage levels.
    I dearly love the Malata's ability to remove overscan completely as well as to move and resize the picture at will. Full frame disc of a widescreen movie? No problem! Really, pretty much anything looks great on this player if it's flagged right.
    That brings us to the one issue with the Malata N996 in progressive use: it relies exclusively on flagging. Thus, if you have something that's improperly flagged (I just had one from Criterion, Ballad of a Soldier, that I think fits that bill), you'll get a lot of combing. Depends on your toleration for combing; mine is pretty low.
    Those who have One For All remotes with upgrade capability (like the Producer 8), please be aware that One For All now has the codes for the Malata N996 and you can contact them for the free upgrade. They had my Malata remote for about six weeks getting the codes, so now you can benefit from my deprivation. [​IMG]
     
  4. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    It's that combing issue that has me worried with the amount of anime I watch - I have little tolerance for it. I see there is a region free mod for the 5109 for $60 (DIY) which may also be an option, at least short term. The Skyworth (oops) still seems to have the best decoder, but finding them domestically is impossible, and they don't do PAL>NTSC or scale.
     
  5. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    Hi Jeff, thanks for the info!

    I'm wondering if the N960 would be a better option for people who are only using the interlaced mode. I would really like some input on the interlaced mode if you have any info on the picture quality, etc.

    As for the 5109, I didn't even know there was a region free DIY kit available. That would be fine for Japanese discs, since they're NTSC, but I'm assuming for PAL>NTSC, I'd need that special converter built into units like the Malata.
     
  6. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Yeah, the 5109 isn't going to do PAL. What's nice about the Malata is that, unlike the Skyworth, it converts PAL to NTSC, and does it well. The Skyworth will output PAL, but not convert it.
     
  7. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    Anyone thinking about getting the Malata N996 should hold off making any kind of decision for a couple weeks. This model has been discontinued. Its replacement, model DVP-520, is due out the second half of May. Same features and price per NBTElectronics.com, but hopefully it will have a few improvements to bring it closer to perfection. It supposedly has a new slimline case.

    Having said that, I've been using an N996 as my main player since September, having replaced a Pioneer Elite DV-37. I don't however use the progressive mode, instead running it through an Iscan Pro to do the processing.

    The Malata is not perfect, but it will handle all the DVD regions, and plays both PAL and NTSC DVDs extremely well overall.

    My biggest fear is the heat it generates, and I have in fact modified both my units (I use one in the bedroom) with some heatsinks and aluminum screening, and run a small fan behind the one in my main theater to keep it cool (it now produces--to the touch--no more heat than any other player I've tried). Before these modifications, and when running in progressive mode until I got the Iscan, they would both overheat and give me disc error messages and eventually shut down completely. I was all set to return the first unit until I found that both my units did the same thing, and figured that rather than ship anything back to Canada, I'd try to solve the heat problem on my own.

    All the more reason to wait for the replacement model.
     
  8. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    According to NBT, their assumption is that the 520 (which I have on order) is just a repack of the 996 in a new case, with the upgradability standard. It would be nice if there were other improvements too.
     
  9. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    The distributor is telling me that the 996 and 520 are identical inside. Whether that's 100% true or not I won't know until I get a unit in my hands (hmmm...perhaps I should re-phrase that?!)
     
  10. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    If they are *identical* units internally, and the 520 has a slimmer case, wouldn't that mean that the new model would be even more prone to problems associated with overheating? Hmmm....
     
  11. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    I think it's best not to jump to conclusions until we have some verified facts.
     
  12. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    Johnny, very true. I'll keep my finger's crossed.
     

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