Philips DVD963SA to be delivered this week from OneCall!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Pat S, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. Pat S

    Pat S Auditioning

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    I just ordered the new Philips DVD963SA from OneCall and it will be delivered by Wednesday or Thursday! $450 shipped to my door.

    It's my first Prog. player and SACD player, but I will do as good of a review as I can. I have a Mits. 55" HD (no lock in full) that I will do my reviewing on. My existing player is one of the first Panasonic DVD-A310s. It hasn't had any issues that many had, but I am hoping to see and hear a rather large difference.

    Sounds like they have 2 more in stock, but they are going fast.

    -Pat
     
  2. Grant H

    Grant H Cinematographer

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    Cool. You can still help out a lot of folks by telling them what happens in your Tv's "Full" mode by putting your TV in Full yourself and experimenting with the aspect ratio control and the 1.33x zoom, especially regarding non-anamorphic widescreen DVD's. So far it sounds like the player is right-o for 4:3 material. If they fixed the piller-box bug with WS material, I'd be onboard too. I hope you don't experience the weird vertical lines on the left edge some folks have been reporting though. That's just unacceptable. Hopefully it was fixed before the US players were made.
     
  3. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Cool!
    Can you also check to see if subtitles are display correctly when using 1.33x zoom on non-16x9 DVDs?
    And if you have R2 PAL discs and planned to use the remote hack, can you report on that also? [​IMG]
    I was tempted to just order it from OneCall also, but I think I'll wait for J&R instead since they are local. I just gave them a call and was told that they expect stock some time this month and still have the price listed in their system for just $400.
    Thanks!
    _Man_
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Pat,
    I look forward to your review. I am supremely confident that the picture quality from the '963SA will be on another strata relative to the 'A310. [​IMG]
    Man-Fai,
    Thanks for the info. from J&R. They took the '963SA off their web site, so I was wondering if they were still going to get it. Perhaps they took it off due to the delay and list of pre-orders growing out of control.
     
  5. Pat S

    Pat S Auditioning

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    I don't have any R2 or PAL disks at all. Just a lowly normal R1 NTSC user. [​IMG]
    I will test out the other things you guys have mentioned though. I have the Toy Story disks so I can check for Chroma and such. Let me know what else you'd like me to test for.
    I didn't want to wait for J&R to finally get some stock and then raise their price saying that the MSRP is higher than they thought. Not saying they will, just didn't want to chance it.
    Now I just need to get some SACDs. Any suggestions?
    -Pat
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Pat said:

     
  7. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    If you really want to, maybe you can get OneCall to pricematch J&R, if J&R starts listing it at $400 again. OR maybe even your credit card company will do it.

    For myself, I'd rather get it locally, if the price is comparable. It's just much easier, if problems arise, although J&R's return policy isn't so good for in-store purchases for whatever reason.

    _Man_
     
  8. Claire Panke

    Claire Panke Second Unit

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    I'm dying to get this player, because of its PAL>NTSC conversion.

    Mr. Wong, while it may be easy for you to get the 963 "locally", it may be some time before the rest of us can run down to the local electronics emporium and pick it up. None of my local (Indianapolis) electronics dealers, not Sears, Ovation, BB, CC HH Gregg - nobody locally - knew anything aobut this player or if they would carry it.

    Some folks were ordering the Philips 963 before Xmas from Holland pre-hacked for all region/PALp. Philips distribution and supply in US is rather dodgy. I'm fully resigned to buying this mail order...from somewhere.
     
  9. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    When I talked to Philips, they anticipated the target for this product would be the "mid tier" retailers, like the Tweeter behemoth, Ultimate Electronics and/or the Good Guys.

    They have a player for the BB/CC market, the 763SA. I can't give you specifics on that, as it is a little farther than the 963SA from shipping. I was told at CES the 963SA was ready to ship now.

    Regards,
     
  10. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Pat,

    Thank you for the update. Can you post a review when you have a chance to use it?

    Thanks!
     
  11. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    FWIW, I read over at AVSForum that J&R is telling people who pre-ordered w/ them (and called today) that they will receive stock this weekend. For those who want it ASAP, you might want to call them up to place your order soon since supply seems limited right now. Not sure how reliable this info is though.

    _Man_
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    John, thanks for the info. I am eager to read reviews of the '963SA.
     
  13. Claire Panke

    Claire Panke Second Unit

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    Thanks John...I wonder if Tweeter in Chicago will handle this player.

    Philips products are not easy to find in Naptown. We go from Ovation and custom intallers to BB & CC. Nothing inbetween.
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Claire, it's possible that Tweeter will have the '963SA. They've had other Philips products in the past. They even recently had the SACD-1000 on close-out.
     
  15. Pat S

    Pat S Auditioning

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    OK, sorry it took so long to get back to you guys but I wanted to be sure on a few things.

    Overall, I think the player is really great. It is my first Progressive player and I am really seeing the benefits. I haven't been able to test the SACD performance yet, but I did pick up a few disks. The audio for DVDs through the digital coax seems better than my old player, but nothing magical. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to take advantage of the CD upsampling yet. Right now I can send a 96khz signal to my receiver, but my receiver locks it into full range stereo with no sub. I have small fronts, so this is a problem. Hopefully when I hook up the 6-channel audio connections I will be able to get more flexibility in the upsampling.

    Here are the details of my system in case you want to know:

    Mitsubishi WS-55809 55" 16x9 HDTV (red push attenuators installed for component signals, 64pt convergence done; does not lock in full)
    Marantz SR7000 Receiver
    Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 100 system
    Panasonic DVD-A310 interlaced player (my original DVD player)
    Philips DVD963SA (Manufactured in November 2002 with firmware version 7.10.0)

    Each component input was calibrated with Avia separately to achieve the best results for each DVD player. (The settings are very different by the way.)

    So anyway, onto the video performance which is what I spent most of my time on.

    First off, this player is extremely tweakable (if that is a word). There are tons of settings, and if not done correctly the player can look like crap. So after much changing and reading of others settings I finally settled on a setup that yields great performance. Here are my 963SA video settings:

    TV - 16:9
    Black Level - Pass Below Black
    Video Shift - 1 notch to the left
    Color Settings - N/A (only works on non-component signals)
    Personal Color - N/A (only works on non-component signals)
    Digital Crystal Clear
    Chroma Delay - 0
    Gamma - 0
    Sharpness - -1
    DCDi - Yes
    True Life - 0 (this setting really makes a difference)
    P-Scan Aspect Ratio - Off
    TV System - NTSC

    The default for the True Life setting was +3. This gave me terrible jaggies, flicker, meshing of colors, etc. Setting to its lowest setting of 0 made a huge difference.

    So first up, Chroma Upsampling Error (CUE) or Chroma Bug - Not apparent at all. I looked at the Toy Story (from the 3-disk set), Monsters Inc., and Moulin Rouge CUE tests that are mentioned in the Progressive Shootout tests. All tests passed with flying colors, no chroma bug present.

    Next, aspect ratio control - Not so good of news. Putting the player into 1:33 Pillar Box and then setting the Zoom to 1:33 only zooms within the pillar boxes. It does not zoom the entire picture. So for those with lock in full sets, this doesn't help you out. Sorry.

    After getting my settings right, I saw very smooth edges on all material. I spent a lot of time on the Star Wars EPII and Toy Story disks looking for color bleeding, jaggies, etc and really had nothing to complain about. EPII looks a little soft some times, but not sure if that is what is intended or not. Colors were very vibrant and full. Tonight I will try and look at more material like LOTR:EE, Matrix, Gladiator, etc.

    Sorry if this review isn't technical enough for some of you, I don't know about all the different tests and what to look for. If you have something that you would like tested, please let me know. So far I am very pleased. The picture looks great and I don't see anything that makes me hope it was better in any way.

    Thanks,
    -Pat
     
  16. Grant H

    Grant H Cinematographer

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    Hey, Pat.

    I asked in the AVS Forum as well, but I'm sure it would interest a lot of people.
    How does the player handle layer changes so far?

    And I've emailed Philips about the "Piller box glitch".
    I'd recommend anyone else interested in the player for its scaling abilities to do the same.
     
  17. Dan Wesnor

    Dan Wesnor Second Unit

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    I got mine today, and it required an adjustment to the chroma timing. Might want to check it with Avia.

    I feel sorry for the poor schmucks who are trying to watch this thing at the default settings, especially through S-Video. Out of the box, the color is terrible, artificial and cartoonish.

    Also, make sure you've flipped the switch on the back to turn on pro-scan output.
     
  18. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Pat, thanks for confirming that the '963SA does not show the chroma bug. That's good news, indeed. It's too bad, however, that one has to work so hard to get the picture quality right.
     
  19. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Dan and Pat (and whoever else),

    In AVS, someone posted that they seem to be able to get non-16x9 letterboxed image to look correct using normal mode w/ 1.33x zoom, instead of pillar box w/ 1.33x zoom. His TV locks into FULL mode, so this should be tried w/ the TV's FULL mode.

    Can you guys verify this?

    His findings have renewed my interest in this player.

    Thanks.

    _Man_
     
  20. Grant H

    Grant H Cinematographer

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    I emailed Philips yesterday about the pillar-box/non-anamorphic WS issue, and here's what they replied with today:
    Dear Mr. Grant Hilderbrandt,
    Thank you for your e-mail regarding your DVD963SA unit.
    We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you.
    For information on your queries please contact our Customer Care
    Center at 1-800-531-0039. There our customer service professionals
    will be happy to assist you.
    Please ensure that you have model and serial numbers available for
    quick and efficient service.
    If there is anything else we can assist you with, please do not
    hesitate to contact us at our web site which is www.philipsusa.com
    Thank you
    Sincerely,
    Joel Galloway
    PhilipsUSA, Customer Support
    Well, since I don't have the player, I obviously can't give them a serial number. They didn't read my email too carefully I guess. Sounds like I only matter if I've already purchased the player. Anyone who has it want to call the number and see if they care? Maybe Philips thinks the number of non-anamorphic WS titles isn't worth catering too. Sure would be nice though.
     

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