Hi all. My first post here, and I have been searching, but I'm looking for some advice which I can't seem to find.
I recently bought my first NTSC LCD display (having moved from Europe): a Sony KDL-32S2000. I also bought the Sony DVPNS75H upscaling DVD player and a fairly basic Sony 5.1 AV amplifier and speakers. The image quality of the setup is fantastic. I've had a Trinitron TV for years, and thought the LCD would be hard pressed to compete, but after a little calibration (just black and white levels really, and colour by eye) and the DVD output fixed to 720P over HDMI, I was really impressed.
There was just one flaw: PAL. Most of my DVD collection is European PAL. I hadn't checked the DVD player, since almost all European players these days will convert NTSC to PAL, and I assumed it would be the same here. But no, the Sony simply can't touch it.
So, I started looking for an alternative. So far I've tried:
Philips DVP5960 - main problem, it couldn't get a proper ratio image on my TV, via the AV receiver and HDMI, no matter what I tweaked. Minor problems, PQ not so good and the player doesn't remember disk playing position after power off for even one disk (the Sony remembers 20 disks!). In short, a good but overly basic player. Returned it.
Samsung HD960 - I had high hopes for this player, and got a good price, but I'm deeply disappointed. The PQ is awful. The settings for contrast and brightness (on the actual DVD player) are impossible to set well. In order for black level to be set accurately, the player clips whites, and vice versa. I'm well versed in calibrating imaging devices, and I could only just get an acceptable signal. However, the biggest issue is the magenta and green blotching and general rendering of shadows. The Samsung shows awful, shifting, saturated noise in the shadows on all noise reduction settings on both the TV and player. I made a test NTSC disk with a few scenes and switched between the Sony and the Samsung and the Sony was light years ahead. I'm returning the the Samsung too.
In short, my Sony DVPNS75H is the perfect player for my setup, except that it won't play most of my DVD collection! Can anyone suggest a PAL compatible upscaling player of comparable quality?
What really annoying is that in Europe, the equivalent player, the Sony DVPNS76H, plays both PAL and NTSC. I'd almost get one, but it's 240v only. Why can't Sony just stick a PAL-NTSC converter in there?