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Malata PAL Anamorphic Adjustments (1 Viewer)

Andrew Johnston

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 5, 2001
Messages
3
One of the main reasons for my recent purchase of a Malata player was to get the ability to watch anamorphic PAL discs, and my first just arrived--the suberb French edition of IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. Anamorphic playback of PAL discs requires manual adjustment of the X axis, however, and while I was able to get a beautiful picture by eyeballing, I don't *entirely* trust my eyes. Has anyone figured out the exact X-axis numbers for the most common anamorphic aspect ratios (1.66:1, 1.85:1 and 2.35:1)? I'm mulling over the prospect of working out macros to automate the process, but at the very least I'd like to have the numbers on a post-it I can tape to my remote for handy reference. Thanks!
 

Fred Galpern

Agent
Joined
Jun 13, 1999
Messages
28
Maybe this is the answer I've been looking for. Is it common knowledge that Apex players don't play anamorphic PAL discs correctly? If so I need to scrap my Apex and get a Malata. Can anybody confirm that this is true? I haven't been able to watch RING yet because of this. Thanks.
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Fred Galpern
Art Director
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Ted Todorov

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Messages
3,705
Yes it is true. Apex & Sampo use the same chip for PAL to NTSC conversion as they do for anamorphic downconversion thus removing every fourth line from PAL disks, which means that geometry is always wrong.
The Malata is incomparably superior.
Ted
 

James Nguyen

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
295
Having been a former Sampo and Apex owner and replacing them with a Malata for PAL and multiregion duty, I can comfortably say to any Sampo/Apex owner that next to the Malata, either is just basically an expensive black paper weight.
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Any one living in an NTSC world who watches non R1 and PAL material is doing themselves a great favor by picking up a Malata. It's not my daily player (an RP91), but it's mighty close if it weren't for a couple niggling annoyances that I'm hoping firmware will resolve.
The french release of In The Mood For Love is *beautiful*, absolutely THE definitive release of that film, anywhere.
 

Julie K

Screenwriter
Joined
Dec 1, 2000
Messages
1,962
James, what are those annoyances? I've got a Sampo and know I should upgrade to the Malata, but I'm dragging my feet (as well as have to make repairs on my roof and car
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)
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My DVDs
"Some people think I'm over-prepared, paranoid...maybe even a little crazy. But they never met any pre-Cambrian life forms, did they?"
 

James Nguyen

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
295
My biggest complaints:
1) It has a hard power button. You can put it into a "sleep" mode with the remote control, but it doesn't work consistently. :P Basically, the sleep mode on the remote will work perfectly fine for weeks, then one day, it'll suddenly not, necessitating me using the hard power button to power down and back up....and voila, sleep suddenly works again!?
2) Audio dropouts....this is a bit more complex...some users, like myself get dropouts on audio in two typical scenarios: bouncing around from menu to menu when the one menu has background music but the next one doesn't will cause the sound from the previous menu to skip (much like old Discmans sounded when they skipped). The other common scenario is in movies with a DTS soundtrack will suddenly lose synch for a few seconds randomly. The second is typically fixable via some menu settings (more on that). Both issues however don't affect all users...it seems that it's a combination of DVD player and receiver that causes the problems...some users report no problems using one receiver, but then trying it on a different one and having these audio problems.
3) The menus suck. Outright suck. :P The various menu options are all fairly cryptically labelled, leading most users to just guess the meaning, click and pray they don't have to go back and undo something.
Issues #2 and #3 could be addressed in a firmware upgrade, so here's hoping they find a fix, particularly for #2. Unfortunately, my Yamaha receiver seems to be one of the ones that has the annoying audio issues....normal movie playback is fine, but the skipping audio in menus reeeeealy gets grating during long viewing sessions.
All in all though, I have no regrets about my purchase of the Malata, and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who has a passion for regional dvds and PAL material.
 

Ted Todorov

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Messages
3,705
I am one of the ones who do NOT (at least so far) have any audio problems (Receiver -- Denon AVR 2800 (?? - can you tell I'm not the one of the ones posting pictures of my equipment on the internet when I'm never sure about the model numbers
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)
I will add a 4 though:
4) The single worst remote control I have ever had the displeasure to use...
Ted
 

James Nguyen

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
295
Ted, couldn't agree more...
but alas, I own a Pronto TSU2000 so, problem solved
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and yup, that unfortunately they can't fix with a firmware upgrade.
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Julie K

Screenwriter
Joined
Dec 1, 2000
Messages
1,962
Thanks James and Ted. Those things certainly sound annoying, but I think I will still get one. I've been avoiding anamorphic PAL discs and that just has to stop.
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My DVDs
"Some people think I'm over-prepared, paranoid...maybe even a little crazy. But they never met any pre-Cambrian life forms, did they?"
 

Ted Todorov

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Messages
3,705
Andrew,
We aren't ignoring your original question -- in my case I have a multi-standard 16:9 TV so I don't use the Malata's conversion.
Ted
 

James Nguyen

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
295
Julie--
Yes annoying, but the biggest offender is probably the audio issues--which for the most part are dependent on your receiver or pre/pro, so you may luck out there. Everything else is liveable given the featureset you get in return (XY axis scaling, region free, EXCELLENT PAL/NTSC conversion). Even with the audio bugs I suffer from, I still whole heartedly recommend the player to folks wanting to expand their library with discs from around the globe.
Andrew,
couldn't you go back to the default settings of the player and jot those down? you could then just eyeball your changes to the scale and then compare your new XY ratio to the defaults to see if you're in the right ballpark?
 

Mark Zimmer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
4,318
How exactly is the Malata good for anamorphic PAL if you have to manually adjust the size of the display? That strikes me as completely insane. Why can't it just display anamorphic by itself?
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"This movie has warped my fragile little mind."
 

Ted Todorov

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Messages
3,705
How exactly is the Malata good for anamorphic PAL if you have to manually adjust the size of the display? That strikes me as completely insane. Why can't it just display anamorphic by itself?
The Malata does display anamorphic by itself just fine.
Adjustments have to do with three things:
1) NON-anamorphic DVDs, which one would normally zoom in on the TV, but the Malata does a much better job: the picture looks better when zoomed by the Malata, the zoom can be finely calibrated for different aspect ratios, the picture can be minutely shifted to be able to see the subtitles, etc.
2) The zoom-out and other Malata adjustments can be used to counter common TV geometry problems such as overscan.
3) Some people with NTSC only TVs have reported that SLIGHT tweaks help make the PAL to NTSC conversion geometry %100 correct. However see 2) above – they may in fact be fixing geometry problems on their TVs that they never noticed on NTSC disks because they weren’t looking for them. I know that on my PAL/NTSC multistandard TV the PAL and NTSC geometry is different, but the service menu has only ONE set of settings for both. So, correcting NTSC problems can screw up PAL. The Malata allows you to fix these things individually. This sounds like work, but really takes only 2-3 seconds per disk.
Ted
 

Mark Zimmer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
4,318
Thanks, Ted, the statement
Anamorphic playback of PAL discs requires manual adjustment of the X axis, however
really threw me for a loop. Malata goes back onto the list of secondary players to consider!! I'm tired of not getting anamorphic picture out of my Apex. Does the Malata have component outputs?
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"This movie has warped my fragile little mind."
 

Mark_Wilson

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 27, 2000
Messages
1,798
I've had a Malata on order for some time. I recently canceled it an ordered a modified version of the JVC SA75. It uses the same Mediamatics chip as the Malata and is supposed to have just as good Pal->NTSC conversion as it. I'm kinda worried as I can't seem to find anyone with this same modified player. Anyone here have a mod'd JVC?
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2001
Messages
26
Location
Tokyo
Real Name
Takayuki Kihara
Mark_Wilson, where did you order the modded JVC? I've been looking for it all over the web but can't find any. I like my Malata but would like to have a better modded player (with better picture & sound quality, and a better remote).
BTW, the new firmware for Malata is supposed to come out today. I hope this fixes some problems that other people have (ie. DTS audio dropouts).
 

Mark_Wilson

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 27, 2000
Messages
1,798
Found it from a guy on AVSforum.com username CKNA.
Its probably not appropriate to post his email address here so message or email me and I'll send it to you.
 

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