Need a good RegionFree/PAL to NTSC player...

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Have a friend at work looking to play PAL DVDs on his NTSC
    television.

    I own a Malata DVD player that does this, but have not shopped
    for such a player in years.

    What is currently one of the more reliable Region Free players
    that converts PAL to NTSC?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    I've been very happy with my Cyberhome CH-DVD 300. ($30 - $40)There is a remote/menu option to change region coding. It will convert to NTSC at that point. I haven't tried it but a non-commercial DVD (self recorded) might not need the region hack at all since you can select TV output system in setup. It also plays plain mpeg files (not authored in DVD format, just copied to a disk) but you can't navigate them, only play and pause and "next track" which goes to the next mpeg file.
     
  3. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    The Oppo upconverting players have a region-free hack. I just got a 970 (but as my HD set is still in transit, haven't hooked it up yet)
     
  4. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    the buzz being created by the Oppo 970HD is unbelievable... for $149 it seems a no-brainer.
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Feisal,

    I see Two players.

    The Oppo DV-970HD you suggested at $149 and the OPDV971H for $199

    Any major difference between the two?
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Never mind. After doing research I found out that the 971H
    has the better processing chip.

    Now I am considering buying this player.

    Question....

    A review on the 970HD suggests this...


    What does this mean? My friend I have quite a few PAL discs.
     
  7. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    Ron,

    I hooked my 970 to my Sony 32" CRT and, after performing the region hack (which worked flawlessly), ran my few PAL discs. They play back well. The 2:2 cadence seems to be a problem with older R2 PAL video sources (old TV shows, etc.). But the movies I tried out look great. I haven't gotten my Samsung HLS5087 yet, but it's supposed to look tremendous in hi-def.

    The big difference between the two is the 971 has a Faroudja interlacer that has problems with DLP sets; the Faroudja chip causes bad macroblocking. Some say you can mask it with good calibration; others say that it doesn't work. The 970 is good for those with DLP, those who like the USB port in the front (for memory sticks and the like) and those who have external scalers-- apparently the 971 doesn't output to 480i like the 970 and 480i is what works best with the scalers (so I've heard). If it's a CRT set or a non-DLP source, I wouldn't see why you wouldn't go with the 971.
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Mark,

    I just bought a new DLP television that has HDMI input. It is
    due to arrive any day now.

    I have quite a few PAL discs, but they are mostly stuff out of
    England, such as the Laurel & Hardy Boxed set.

    I'd rather spend less money and get the 970 if it will play PAL
    discs without any problem.

    Also, a quick glance at the 971 and I'm not sure if it has a
    normal HDMI output. It looked more like DVI -- but it was a
    quick glance and I could be wrong.

    I'm only going to use the 970 from time to time to play
    regional material and PAL discs. If you think the cheaper 970 will
    perform fine with both on my DLP through HDMI (which I hope
    will upconvert), then I'll be a happy camper.

    Thanks!
     
  9. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    Ron,

    I'm not sure to be honest. I am getting a Samsung HLS5087 -- hopefully this week if TVA delivers it in time -- and upconverting it through HDMI as well. The four PAL movies I put through it looked fine, but it's only on my old CRT set through S-Video. I read one report from AVS where they guy said British TV shows looked terrible, but they were from the '60s and may have been poorly mastered.

    The 970 uses an HDMI cable (included), while the 971 has a DVI port. But Oppo includes both a DVI cable and an HDMI/DVI cable with the 971, so either way, you're set.

    I'd take a shot at the 970. If you're not happy with it, Oppo has a 30-day return policy. You need to buy from them directly though.

    www.oppodigital.com

    Good luck and congrats on the new TV!
     
  10. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    According to our local Oppo rep, the 971H is the video machine - the 970 is more of a universal - DVDA/SACD player - and the specs bear this out; 970 has MediaTek deinterlacing while the 971 uses a Faroudja.
     
  11. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    Feisal,

    The catch is that the Faroudja interlacer in the 971 causes bad macroblocking in most DLP sets. The MediaTek all-in-one interlacer isn't as smooth, but is supposed to work well. You're right about the specs and about DVDA/SACD, though. I don't have much use for those, unfortunately.
     
  12. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    OK, I didn't keep up on the macroblocking issues on the 971H

    One note about SACD - it decodes and outputs that on the 5.1 ch analog as usual, but also apparently it can convert SACD to PCM and output that on the HDMI; some people have connected it to a Panasonic XR55 with good results due to the lack of a DAC in the Panny (it does PCM->PWM)
     
  13. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I'm hearing the 970 might be better for CRT displays.

    The reason being, 1080i output (which is common on most CRTs as a native output) is not Faroudja's speciality (progressive output is) and the 970 does have a bit of a sharper image.

    I have the 971 (and a CRT RPTV) and will be comparing the 970 when it arrives this week. In addition, on some CRTs 480p component is the way to go and the 970 is better in this regard.
     
  14. Steven Brent

    Steven Brent Extra

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    In Kazakstan, the store will usually "multi-zone" any DVD player you buy by popping a magic disc in. Don't know if that is possible where you're friend lives--I would suppose that things are not quite so advanced in the States.

    Steve
     
  15. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    does he charge you for the service?
     
  16. Steven Brent

    Steven Brent Extra

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    Usually "multi-zoning" is included in the price. If you bring in a player that you didn't buy from the store, it costs 10-25 USD.

    Steve

     
  17. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    videohelp.com *shh*
     

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