What I Love Most About the Malata N996

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Zimmer, Nov 23, 2001.

  1. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Let me preface this with the comment that I had bought the Malata with the idea of using it almost exclusively for PAL-NTSC conversion of region 2 discs, essentially a backup machine. However, after playing with this, I'm leaning more towards making it my primary player.

    What prompted this change was when I put Apocalypse Now Redux into my trusty Sony. It was supposed to be 2:1, but the screen on my 16:9 set was nearly devoid of any black bars at all. I was a little peeved, then remembered the Malata's scaling function. I tossed it into the Malata, fully expecting to go back to the Sony.

    But when I used the scaling function, I ended up with sizable black bars and a good deal more picture on the sides. My overscan (set by the ISF tech) is really horrible, it seems. I've been losing a lot of picture to this foolish setting, but now I have a way to see the picture properly. Needless to say, the rest of the movie was watched in a closer approximation of the original format (it ticks me off that it's presented right in the trailer and P&S in the feature, but that's another thread) and I enjoyed it a good deal more.
     
  2. Bill Turetsky

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    Have you tried the Malata for CD's? Many CD's do not start playing until after a second or two.

    Or maybe yours has been upgraded. Do you happen to know where upgrades are otherwise available?
     
  3. Tony Aguila

    Tony Aguila Stunt Coordinator

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    I got my Malata about a week ago but the manufacture date on the label says April 17, 2001, so I'm assuming that this does not have the latest firmware update. It does have problems playing CDs, especially DTS CDs, which not only have the delay, but also sound terrible. However, in my case, this is not an issue since this is my secondary player, mainly for playing non-Region 1 DVDs.

    All of the known problems I've read about (e.g., the Star Wars Episode 1 subtitles glitch) are still there.

    But I too am curious about the latest upgrade, but AVDeals reported that the latest firmware is still plagued with problems. Since I'm fairly satisfied with it right now, I'm concerned that the latest upgrade might make things even worse.

    My biggest disappointment is that, in spite of reviews claiming that the Malata is free of the chroma bug, as far as I can tell, it's still there... very obvious when you're projecting onto a 100" screen.

    If anyone gets wind of where/how to get the firmware update please share... Someone told me that you can download the updater, burn it onto a CD-R and then load it onto the Malata. I'm assuming that you have to press certain key combinations to trigger the update.

    By the way, I still can't play MP3 CDs on it.
     
  4. Johnny Lerner

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    TA

    The upgrade process is simple. You just put it in (the burned CD) with the upgrade switch on back 'on.'

    You wait then till the screensaver changes to another screen. it's done - and you put switch back (to avoid wrong stuff going there)

    MP3's should work perfectly. But the CD delay is BAD BAD BAD BAD!!!!

    And NO ONE - not least the factory - has got the FOGGIEST IDEA how to fix it. Malata is a DEAD DUCK till they get that fixed!!!!

    And the UPGRADE fixing it PUBLISHED!!

    Malata hasn't even bothered to put up a website. And you can find no references to the Chinese factory - no matter how much you google!!

    I am REALLY SURPRISED consumers and dealers in US and Canada haven't SCREAMED!!!
     
  5. Tony Aguila

    Tony Aguila Stunt Coordinator

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    Johnny,

    Thanks for the info. The odd thing is, there is no switch on the back of my player, and there is a region 1 symbol on the back panel making me suspect that the region-free hack was done at the dealer, not the factory.

    But as I mentioned before, it works perfectly for what I need it for, which is to play non-Region 1 DVDs.

    The MP3 CDs I have tried so far were burned on a Mac using iTunes2 so that could be the source of the problem. Again, it's no biggie as far as I'm concerned.

    I would not recommend this unit to serve as anyone's sole or primary DVD player. One big plus, in my case, is that my projector automatically switches between PAL and NTSC, so the Malata does not even have to do the conversion and I get the advantage of the higher PAL resolution, at least on PAL discs.
     
  6. Johnny Lerner

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    TA

    Guess they took the switch off. that doesn't mean it can't be upgraded. Depends on what they left inside.

    Only way to know is to put in an upgrade and see what happens. (The switch thing was NOT necessary - and actually only a danger! - as you could put in garbage if you did not shut it off)

    Don't believe what regions are LISTED on players themselves. By the DVD Forum 'LAW' they have to be designated 'cosmetically' as some region - of course the DVDF expects they are also TECHNICALLY only that reason but fortunately the Chinses have bet on the 'free speech' side of things - great irony.
     
  7. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I'm puzzled by some of the comments above. Do people really use their DVD player as a CD player? I'd always thought that dedicated transports were the way to go. I guess I'd never even seriously considered trying the Malata to play CDs.
     
  8. Bill Turetsky

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    Well all of us can't afford having 2 units - so if the DVD player is supposed to do CD - then it SHOULD!!!
     
  9. Darren H

    Darren H Second Unit

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    Yeah, what Bill said. [​IMG] I hope to have a dedicated CD transport someday (the Linn CD12 sure would be nice), but until I can afford it, my DVD player will continue doing double duty.
    Since this seems to be the only active Malata thread, I would love to hear other reviews. I'm still using my trusty Toshiba 2107 that I bought four years ago, and am looking to upgrade to a region-free player. All road signs point to the Malata.
     

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