Multi-region PAL/NTSC small form factor inexpensive DVD player? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-22-2004, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Any recommendations for a small form factor inexpensive DVD player that does multi-region and PAL -> NTSC conversion?

I already have a Panasonic RP91 player and DMR-E30 recorder for my main TV, along with a cheapo multi-region Apex player.

However, I just got a 14" Toshiba TV (NTSC-only) for my home office and want a cheap multi-region DVD player that will fit on/top of it or maybe below it. The TV is 17" wide and the base is about 11" deep. I'm worried about putting a TV on top of the player though, because the weight would probably crush a cheap small DVD player. If the player sits on top of the TV, then it should be a lot smaller. The depth of the top of the TV is probably only about 6 inches or so I think, before it really starts sloping downward.

Any recommendations? The biggest asset would be good PAL->NTSC conversion. (The TV supports component and S-video, along with composite.)
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-22-2004, 02:05 PM
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I am looking for this exact kind of dvd player. I need PAL->NTSC conversion and component video out. I have an old player by AMW that works okay, but is missing some connections. Hopefully someone can recommend one.
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-22-2004, 07:05 PM
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Philips Q50 $130-150 w/ dcdi
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-23-2004, 07:16 AM
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mimason do you have this player? When I do a search for Philips Q50 I am only finding one that cost like $400.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-23-2004, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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So, the local Future shop has:

Malata DVP-393
Nova DV-D311
Daytek P871

AFAIK, all can be made multi-region, and at least some of them will do PAL->NTSC. The also have the Malata DVP-500P, but it isn't a small form factor machine.

However, it seems all aren't too great. (Has anyone here ever used the Daytek or Nova BTW?)

I'm wondering if I shouldn't just get a Panasonic S35 or something. It's not small form factor either but I suppose I could make it fit. It doesn't do multi-region and PAL conversion, but it does have DVD-RAM playback, which I also would like to have.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-23-2004, 11:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by kevin44
I am looking for this exact kind of dvd player. I need PAL->NTSC conversion and component video out. I have an old player by AMW that works okay, but is missing some connections. Hopefully someone can recommend one.
So I changed my mind again and got the el cheapo Nova DV-D311 instead of the Panasonic S35.

It's relatively cheaply made and the remote has a relatively poor layout, but I couldn't resist, since it was only CAD$49.99 (US$37.50). :eek: To my surprise, the video quality is actually OK and it seems to work fine (unless the discs are bad DVD-R). Reads JPEGs off CD-Rs too, among other things.

The Nova DV-D311 is a small form factor machine, about 3/4 the width of a normal machine, and half-height (ie. slimline in terms of height, as most are these days). However it probably should have been even smaller, given that there is no LED readout on the front. :( It's not a problem for me since when I use it I always have the TV on, but for those wanting to listen to CDs with the TV, it'd be a major pain.

It comes with composite, component, and S-video outputs, as well as analogue, coaxial digital, and optical digital audio outputs. To be honest, I'm running S-video right now instead of component, because there was a little bit of interference when I tried running component. S-video is very crisp. I think the component problem may be my cables, because I'm running $3 AV cables and I've had a similar problem with similar cables on other players until I upgraded to good quality shielded cables.

The weird part is that it's multi-region right out of the box, requiring no secret codes or anything. Indeed, it says all-region right on the box, which is strange for Canadian DVD players in mainstream stores (even when the machines are from China). It also does PAL->NTSC automatically, and with much better quality than my old Apex (which cost 10X as much.) No X-Y scaling though.

This player obviously isn't in the same league as my RP91 in terms of build or video quality, but nonetheless, I'm pleasantly surprised, esp. for $49.99.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-24-2004, 10:52 AM
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For that price I am willing to give it a try. Can I buy it online?
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-25-2004, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by kevin44
For that price I am willing to give it a try. Can I buy it online?
Actually, I ended up buying the Daytek P871 too.

The Nova worked fine with commercial pressed DVDs, but mediocrely with DVD-R media. Actually it works OK with top tier media, but wouldn't read cheaper media at all.

The Daytek reads cheap DVD-R that the Nova would not, and having the front display on the Daytek is a bonus. The menu and remote are better laid out too on the Daytek. (The remotes for both are not very good, but the Daytek one has a better layout, and looks a bit better too.)

Both players show JPEGs with thumbnails, but the interface is nicer on the Daytek.

The Nova was region free out of the box. The Daytek is region 1, but there is a code (check online) that allows you into the region setting menu. I just set mine to zero and it works great with my region 3 and 4 discs. The PAL->NTSC conversion seems the same on both machines (same chip?). The image quality on both is reasonably good overall for an inexpensive interlaced player.

The reason I avoided the Daytek initially was because it had no component output on the store demo unit, despite the fact that the description says component is included. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that mine did have component out (although I've only tried S-video thus far). The Daytek has coaxial digital only. The Nova has both coaxial digital and optical digital strangely enough, despite the Nova being priced so insanely low.

Both players are cheaply made, but for US$53 (CAD$70) for the Daytek, and US$38 (CAD$50) for the Nova, what do you expect...

Overall, I'd recommend the Daytek over the Nova, because of the navigation, and because of the better DVD-R support. I took the Nova back.

BTW, I also had a look at the Malata DVP-393. It's VERY small, roughly half the size of the other two players. Because of the size, it doesn't have a front display, and it is similarly cheaply made. The Malata remote sucks, with the bubble type buttons you see on computer drive remotes and the like. It's a very small remote too (intentionally I'd imagine - kinda looks cool), but the buttons are all laid out in a perfect grid pattern which makes it impossible to navigate without looking at it. At least with the Daytek you can feel your way around the remote (although it still sometimes does take a bit of hunt-and-pecking to use). The Malata also has component out by the way and it supposedly does PAL->NTSC fine too. I don't know the status of region free hacks for the Malata though, although I can say for sure that hacks for it do exist.

I bought the Nova and Daytek and checked out the Malata in-store. However, if you're in Canada, all three are available at Future Shop, with free shipping. In the US, I have no idea. :p
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-26-2004, 02:23 PM
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I emailed Future Shop and they won't ship to the US.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-26-2004, 04:31 PM
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QVC has em

http://www.qvc.com/asp/frameset.asp?...dvd&Submit4=Go

Never thought it would be this hard to choose a television
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post #11 of 14 Old 03-26-2004, 04:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mimason
Philips Q50 $130-150 w/ dcdi
Where are these selling for this little? Froogle couldn't find one for under $300.
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-26-2004, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by WanMan
Where are these selling for this little? Froogle couldn't find one for under $300.
Man, I've had enough PM regarding this that I better just post it.LOL. I assumed that the prices had come down on this one already. 6ave has'em for $200, but I get an employee discount through Philips.

I'm getting one delivered Monday for a fellow avs member and I'll have a few hours to try it out, but unfortunately I don't own any DVD's other than region 1 yet.
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post #13 of 14 Old 03-26-2004, 11:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, that's interesting. The Daytek P871 will play MP3 off DVD-R, and will play raw MPEGs off DVD-R too.

The machine doesn't deactivate Macrovision though. Oh well, can't have everything. ;)
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post #14 of 14 Old 03-28-2004, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm... I guess the Daytek P871 must be selling pretty well. They just jacked up the price by 43%.
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