What player is best for watching PAL DVDs on NTSC TV?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Anh Pham, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. Anh Pham

    Anh Pham Auditioning

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    I just found this wonderful site yesterday (thanks to a convienent link at www.thedigitalbits.com) and I feel as if I was a poor, wandering soul who has been lost in the desert of misinformation only to have finally found The Promise Land!
    I've learned more about DVD here in my brief few hours than I have in the last nine months. And the people here aren't snotty and condescending (which is much appreciated by this newbie).
    Forgive me if my following question has already been posted elsewhere:
    What is the best DVD player I can buy which can play PAL format DVDs on an NTSC television AND allow me to watch DVDs from any of the six regions in the world?
     
  2. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    Malata N996 or its replacement, the 520. Do a search for Malata on this forum and you'll find plenty of support for the Malatas being the best. JVC also makes some players that use the same chipset and can be modified to play all regions, but fall a bit short of the Malatas because of the lack of X-Y scaling. I don't have the JVC model numbers in my head, but again do a search for JVC and you should be able to find more information. I also don't own a JVC and am only going off what I've read. I do own two Malata N996s and they are excellant for playing PAL discs on NTSC sets. The 520s supposedly have the same features and image quality as the N996s. Expect to pay from about $275 to $325 for these models.
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Anh, the Malata DVD-N996 is pretty darn good. Run a search on it. I haven't been folowing any threads about Malata's new player because I'm not in the market. I'm real pleased with my 996. Welcome to the forum! Best wishes!
     
  4. Tulli

    Tulli Stunt Coordinator

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    Do what you can to find a N996. It's replacement - the 520 - is definitely a step back:

    1. No power button on the remote (so that you can't save your feature settings like brightenss, contrast, zoom, etc.)

    2. No expert menu.

    3. The "pixelation bug" (bursts of pixels showing up here and there during watching).

    OTH, you might want to look for a modded JVC (same Mediamatics chip inside with same excelent PAL /NTSC conversion but no X-Y scaling).

    Regards.
     
  5. Mark_Sk

    Mark_Sk Auditioning

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    On the same subject, which is better, a Malata 996/520 (if can get 996) or other DVD player, a Standalone converter and my region free PAL player I alread own coming over from the UK (Pioneer 717) or a Samsun SV-5000W converter VCR and the Pioneer DVD player (which has Macrovision disabled so can be played through the VCR).

    What extra will I gain from using a DVD player dedicated to playing PAL as NTSC over a converter in either the VCR or standalone?

    I will be outputting to a Panny 47WX42 TV if this makes a difference.
     
  6. Anh Pham

    Anh Pham Auditioning

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    How bad is the "pixelation bug" on the Malata 520 compared to the N996?
     
  7. Phil Thron

    Phil Thron Second Unit

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    Ahn,

    I never had the 996, so I can't give you a comparison, but I recently got the 520 and am very happy with it, despite some quirks. Tulli above might have a better comparison perspective, but here's my take:

    The pixelization bug: I've seen this once, maybe twice thus far in several weeks of viewing. It's a bit jarring for a moment, but is gone so quickly that it didn't bother me too much. Obviously it's preferable to not have it, but it hasn't been a deal breaker for me.

    As for the power button, hmm, I thought...again, I didn't have one...but I thought that the remote on the 996 was also missing the option to turn off the power. Perhaps I'm confusing some information I gathered while researching this last month...

    As for the expert menu...that's correct, there is no specific menu for fine tuning at an advanced level, but again, I've heard from other users who had the 996 that most of the expert features have been incorporated into the regular regular menus. Not having used the other, I don't know what might be missing.

    I do wish you could save the individual settings, though, no doubt...

    However, all that said, I love this player. When playing a PAL disc you need to set Video Mode to Still, which is knowledge I gained from HTF and was quite glad about. The first disc I played was "Ring" and it fluttered a bit until I changed that setting and then all was smooth sailing (absolutely loved the movie...almost worth the price of the player for me to be able to see it and House With Windows That Laugh). Sound and picture are just fine, and it was a step up for me because I didn't have DTS until this player. It has so far correctly played everything I've given it, and I didn't notice any problems with the PAL to NTSC conversion at all. I haven't tweaked too many settings partly because we're moving very soon and I intend to do a full calibration of every component when we settle in, so I've been a bit lazy with extras.

    Anyway, I'm happy with this purchase, but your mileage may vary...
     
  8. Huzefa

    Huzefa Stunt Coordinator

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    Is the x-y scaling feature absolutely essential for watching dvd's on a WS HDTV? I'm thinking of getting the JVC S500 regionfree PAL/NTSC player, but the only thing holding me back is whether or not I'm going to use this x-y scaling feature or not. When would I use it and does the JVC offer anything that is close to this x-y scaling feature?
     
  9. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    The N996 has a soft power button on the remote that puts it in standby mode, then a hard button on the player that completely shuts it down.

    I've had a N996 for about a year and while I haven't used it a lot, I have been very pleased with its conversion of PAL discs.
     
  10. Tulli

    Tulli Stunt Coordinator

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    I think that the basic reason for x-y scaling is viewing non-anamorphic movies on HDTV sets that lock in full with the DVD player in progressive mode.
     
  11. Warner

    Warner Agent

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    x-y scaling can also be used to reduce overscan. Reportedly, it's normal for rptvs to have 6% to 10% overscan out of the box. Skilled tweaking of the convergence might reduce it to 5%, any lower and you start to have geometry and convergence problems. x-y scaling on the player makes adjusting overscan much easier and you could reduce it to almost 0%, if that's what you want.
     

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