Toshiba SD 3900 - Does the PAL->NTSC conversion live up to the hype?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Nick Graham, Jun 1, 2003.

  1. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    I'm in the market for a region free player, and was gonna jump on a Cyberhome 500 from New Egg. However, I am now hearing good things about the new Toshiba SD 3900, which (if I am to belive what I read) does excellent PAL->NTSC conversion and is region free (though you have to enter a code EACH TIME you put in a non R1 DVD...that's no biggie though). Anybody have one of these players? I'd much rather go with a brand name if it has good PAL->NTSC conversion....
     
  2. Ronn.W

    Ronn.W Second Unit

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    I've got both players, the SD 3900 is higher quality all around, and for only about $20 more I don't see why you wouldn't want one over the CH 500. I like the CH 500, but then I bought it at $50, and so I didn't mind putting up with some of its' 'excentricities' like:

    -Non stabilized color output
    -Inability to play some Anchor Bay DVDs
    -Defaulting to subtitles on for all Vista Series DVDs
    -Slow response to remote commands
    -Stuttered playback immediately following having paused it.

    On the 3900 you do not have to put a code in every time, there is no code. You do have to 'trick' the player into playing it though, which while different on each DVD, pressing the menu button then 1 then play usually works. (You're just telling it to play title 1 on the DVD) Then of course you have to get rid of the 'wrong region' message, which is as easy as just pressing display twice.

    Both do the PAL>NTSC very well, I wouldn't say the 3900 was better than the CH 500 in that regard. It's just everything else about the 2 players that makes them different.
     
  3. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    Thanks Ronn...I am probably gonna pick one up at Target this weekend!

    Do you know if it has the chroma bug? For a $100 player it's not gonna make much of a difference for me, but I was curious.
     
  4. Daryl Stovall

    Daryl Stovall Second Unit

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    Ron, have you experienced any PAL speed-up with the 3900?
    I've gone through a few region free dvd players & with the exception of one (the Sampo, Which crapped out on me), all seem to have a PAL speed-up problem, including the Cyberhome 500 (most noticably with the region 2 buffy collections)
     
  5. Ronn.W

    Ronn.W Second Unit

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    I don't know, PAL speedup is something that I honestly don't notice.
     
  6. Jon_p_s

    Jon_p_s Stunt Coordinator

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    Just wondering, does the toshiba sd-2900 also have this feature or is this strictly with the sd-3900?
     
  7. Marty Lockstead

    Marty Lockstead Second Unit

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    Nick,
    Have you had a chance to pick up the Toshiba SD-3900, and try it out yet? I myself just bought a Cyberhome CH-500, but the picture screws up when I try using the component connection, S-video works fine though. One of the main reasons I bought it was so I could watch other region disks in p-scan though, I'll problably sell it to a friend and try out the 3900.
     
  8. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    Nope, a bunch of unforeseen expenses has killed my toy money supply, and next week all the months bills pile in, so I won't likely get one for a bit.
     
  9. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Thanks very much, Nick for the heads up on the Tosh SD-3109. Because of this thread, I picked one up from Target tonight (like you, I was very wary of choosing a brand I'm entirely unfamiliar with). Plus, since it's from Target, I can try it out for 90 days and see if it fits the bill.

    I've had the same dvd player for the last 5-6? years...the Toshiba SD-3109. Quite a pleasant surprise to find that all I had to pay was under $100 for the SD-3900, vs. ~$400+ for the SD-3109.

    I quickly and easily set up the SD-3900 and was extremely delighted to find that I could now play my non-R1 PAL dvds (thanks Ronn for the hack - a couple of presses is easy enough to remove the lock).

    The picture quality seems outstanding. However, there is an issue that I'm not sure how to resolve. The player is set up to a 24" Sony Vega, using S-Video. I've played 2 discs so far - 24 Hour Party People (1.85:1) and l'appartement (1.66:1), both PAL discs.

    On my Vega (3:2), I watch both films in their OAR, so this means black bars. Instead of a flat, even line separating the black on top and bottom from the picture, the line is jagged (single shift/schism) near the middle.

    This is barely noticeable, but I do notice it occassionally. Anything I can do to straighten out this single jag?
     
  10. Rick P

    Rick P Supporting Actor

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    Comes from the PAL>NTSC conversion, nothing you can really do AFAIK.
     
  11. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the insight, Rick.

    So, to clarify - is this a problem for all PAL>NTSC conversion on any player, or do certain players exhibit this problem when converting and some don't?
     
  12. Chris Dugger

    Chris Dugger Supporting Actor

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    The Malata's do NOT have this artifact.

    And they are by far some of the best players out there for PAL 2 NTSC converstion.

    Dugger
     
  13. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    JVC's have the same chip as the Malata and the PAL-NTSC conversion looks great. Have to buy them from a "modified" site tho..

    D
     
  14. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    Unfortunately, I can't seem to get Wonder Woman vol 1 to play on the Toshiba 3900.

    I've tried all the hack that I could find:

    hit menu, 1, play

    hit top menu, 1, play

    hit top menu repeatedly....

    try the above over and over again [​IMG]


    With the first two options, the problem is that as soon as you hit 1 after menu/top menu, the no access icon comes up. It seems to be hacked already because I put in my other R2 discs and they play without having to redo the hack.

    Frustrating. I'm thinking about buying the CH300 from Radio Shake just to play this movie [​IMG]
     
  15. CraigL

    CraigL Screenwriter

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