Sony DVP-9000ES Owners...(also resurrecting the "Service Bulletin" thread)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Rein, Jun 20, 2001.

  1. Chris Rein

    Chris Rein Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 18, 2000
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    A couple of questions here...
    1)I've done a search through the posts for the information about the proper types of CD-R's that will play in the 9000ES players, but I can't find it anywhere! I know it had model numbers for the CD's, and that's what I'm lookin' for. My SONY CDQ-74CN's are runnin' low, and noticed that Sony now has 80 min CD-R's out now. Any idea if those work too? Just wondering.
    2)While looking through the old posts, I came across something about a service bulletin #70? Sounds like I might benefit from it. I've got a 61" Sony HS10, and wonder if the fix would work. Any more insight on this service update?
    3)Has there been a firmware upgrade (not that anything is wrong)? Just trying to stay on top of things!
    I appreciate the help!
  2. Chris Rein

    Chris Rein Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 18, 2000
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    I know there still has to be a few 9000ES owners out there somewhere [​IMG] Any help would be great!
  3. Russell Low

    Russell Low Auditioning

    Nov 23, 2000
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    Hi Chris--I've had success with playing FujiFilm 700MB (80 min) CD-Rs in my 9000ES, and others have reported success with Sony 650MB CD-Rs. I remember reading that most any brand of CD-RW will work as well.
    I also remember reading about some kind of firmware update to the 9000ES that was posted here a couple of months ago or so by Robert A. Fowkes. I don't think you can get to that post (and the replies) any more, since (I think) the HTF has purged all of the older posts. [​IMG] I don't remember exactly what the nature of the update was, but I do know that Robert said the picture quality improved significantly after the update, so hopefully someone could enlighten us again.
    BTW, I've just gotten a new Sony Wega 36XBR400, and the picture quality via the 9000ES (progressive and anamorphic squeeze) is incredible. I can hardly imagine how it could look better!
  4. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

    Jul 3, 1997
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    I had the SONY modification done on my 9000ES and it definitely solved a slight vertical banding problem I was noticing on a large (110" diagonal) screen using my SONY VW10HT. Apparently two small components are added to the Green component circuitry in the form of a "notch filter" to filter out spurious signals from surrounding equipment and wires. In my opinion, the picture on the 9000ES went from excellent to *outstanding* after the no-cost modification.
    The defect was hardly noticible on my 45" Pioneer Elite RPM so I'm not quite sure where the "break even" point is for having the mod done. My feeling is that since the modification is painless, except for a couple of week's wait while your unit it in SONY's hands, it should be done. It is quite possible that the added components clear up some other parts of the picture that I don't have the equipment to measure. The fact that SONY does the modification (although getting them to admit to it is like pulling teeth)
    I just realized, from another member's comments, that my original message may no longer be available here on the HTF because of some software adjustments. Luckily, I saved a copy of the essential text, which follows for those interested:

    This message is intended for all owners of the SONY DVPS9000ES DVD/SACD player. There has been talk of a Service Bulletin that addresses the “Vertical Banding Problem” that appears as faint gray lines, noticeable mostly in white and other light backgrounds. My unit exhibited this characteristic and I was able to correct it by repositioning some of the cables in the back of the unit to eliminate the lines. The problem with this “solution” is that it apparently was only a workaround since every time I changed something in my rack (which occurs fairly often) the problem reappeared and I had to position the cables all over again.
    A while back word began to circulate that there was a Service Bulletin (Bulletin #70 dated January 5, 2001) that addressed this issue. In fact, someone on the web even went so far as to post the wording of the bulletin as follows:
    "Solder 1 microHenry Inductor and 33 pf Capacitor in series between GND and the signal of Component RCA pin-Jack Y terminal (green) J403 on VP-52 board, Side B. Note Solder L to GND on (GND side)"
    The wording seems to indicate addressing a problem that filters out unwanted signals (the vertical banding).
    I can now state, without reservation, that this fix is a real one and should be done by every DVPS9000ES owner who has ever noticed any banding. Actually, I would do this if I owned this product even if I never saw the problem because you never know when it crops up. The only exception to this would be, of course, if your unit already has the modification. Unfortunately, I don’t have any information on Serial Numbers affected (mine is 801085 purchased on 11/22/00) and I don’t know if you will get much help from Sony on this.
    The reason that I am so sure that this modification works is that I just got back my unit from the Sony Service Center today and the vertical banding is completely gone! The picture on the 9000ES was great to start with (especially when I was able to tweak out the banding) and now it is nothing short of phenomenal. While it’s impossible for me to run an A/B test I’ve looked at quite a few of my DVDs with white and light backgrounds and, from memory, the difference is significant. One track that I am very familiar with since I’ve played it over and over because of the great sound and presentation is the last piece from Fantasia 2000 – The Firebird. The backgrounds are now rock solid and the images are astounding. Another favorite from that Rhapsody in Blue, DVD (and constantly requested by my grandchildren), also has rock solid backgrounds throughout. That’s not opinion, but fact.
    In other words, yes, Virginia there is a DVPS9000ES service mod and it is the real deal!
    And now on to the particulars. Sony Customer Service is a rather odd group to work with. In the first place it is impossible to talk to a technician on the phone. You would have to live near a Service Center where they actually do the work to get any technical information. And not all service centers actually service the products. The one closest to me (in Paramus, NJ) is actually a depot. They send out all the repairs on DVD players to Bristol, PA (near Philadelphia) so be forewarned.
    Based on my experiences here are the steps I recommend that you take to initiate your Service Modification. It worked for me and it might save you a bit of aggravation.
    Step 1: Call The Sony Customer Information Center at 1-800-282-2848. Be prepared to wade through a series of telephone menus (and, perhaps wait for 30 minutes or more) before you finally get to talk to a “live” service rep. Once you give all the usual information, Serial Number, Dealer’s Name (I hope you used an authorized Sony Dealer), and Date of purchase (this one is kind of interesting since the 9000ES came out last fall and carries a 5 year warranty) the person on the phone will ask you what the problem is. You state you are getting vertical banding, etc. Whatever way you want to word it. The person on the phone will ask you if you did a number of steps (most of which have to do with repositioning cables, etc. etc.) Obviously you answer “Yes” and then you are referred to a Sony service center for additional help. The location of your nearest center can be obtained from the same phone number or from
    Don’t expect to be able to call the Service Center to talk to a live person. The purpose of the Service Center phone numbers is apparently to give you information about how to get there and other such information. I would guess that if they took live calls they would never get any work done.
    Getting back to the rest of Step #1 – the most important thing that the telephone person will give you, once you jump through all the “did you try this?” hoops is an EVENT NUMBER. Evidently, if you show up at a service center with such a number in tow it will show you are abiding by the rules or following Sony protocol. Incidentally, when I asked the telephone person at the Customer Information Center if she was aware of a Service Bulletin #70 she said she didn’t have that type of information. Some people on the web have commented that Sony denies the existence of any such Service Bulletin but I believe that these people are confusing not knowing about the bulletin with knowing there isn’t one. Obviously there IS one, since Sony did the modification and it works!
    Step 2: With unit (and “event number” and proof of purchase) in hand go to the nearest service center. For those of you who live quite a distance away from a Service Center I would imagine that there is some way to mail the package (they might tell you at the Customer Information Center). I didn’t have to deal with this because Paramus is only about 30 minutes from me and I prefer to act in person if possible. At the Service Center they will ask you a lot of the same questions and fill out a form and receipt for you. They then either will send the unit to a Service Center where work on the DVPS9000ES is actually done (no cost to you) or, if you’re lucky, will work on the unit there. I have a suspicion that not all Service Centers work on all items so this may vary from site to site. The clerk there will tell you that the repair will take about 10-12 business days. Point of information: The clerk in Paramus was a very nice fellow, but, like everyone else I talked to, did not have any knowledge of any service bulletin or mod for the 9000ES. Once again, I think this all has to do with a “need to know basis” scenario and no subversive effort on Sony’s part to be elusive. While I don’t understand why it would be a big deal to have a database available to these people for informational purposes, that’s the way Sony Service is set up at this time.
    Step 3: Once the repairs are done your unit will be mailed back to you (UPS, no cost to you – extremely well packed in molded foam). At least one other 9000ES owner told me the work was done at his local Service Center and he was able to pick it up in person, but this will probably not be the case at many sites (like mine.) For those interested, I delivered my unit to Sony on Monday 04/02/01 and it was returned to me on 04/25/01. When I hadn’t seen anything after 3 weeks (15 working days) I called 1-800-282-2848 and was told that there had been a back order on the required parts but that they reached the Service Center on 04/19 and the repair was progressing. All in all, the repair was made quickly after the parts arrived.
    So there you are. Relatively painless, once you know the terrain and definitely worth the modification. I was able to use my Toshiba 5109 during the 9000ES’s absence so I didn’t have to go cold turkey. And I’d like to add that when I had both units in my system previously, I noticed a slightly better overall picture on the 9000ES (minus the banding once tweaked) and much better sound. Plus the SACD is awesome as an audio option. And now, with both units back in my system the 9000ES blows away the 5109 visually – and I consider the 5109 to offer a very fine picture indeed. In fact, I wonder how the 9000ES with the modification installed would fare in any shootout of high-end DVD players. I’m thinking it moves up at least a couple of notches.
    I hope that this information is of some help to my fellow DVPS9000ES owners. If you have questions I’ll try to answer them as best as I can. Some things you might have to refer to Sony (if you can get through to anyone who knows the score.)

    (end of copied text)
    I once again pose the question that I did a while back,
    How many people out there had this mod done, and what is your impression?
    I hope some of this information helps.
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)

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