PAL playing alternative to Sony DVPNS75H - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-29-2006, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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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?

Thanks, Ben
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-29-2006, 10:29 AM
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Take a look at Yamaha players such as 550/5750/5751. They have PAL-to-NTSC conversion and are easy to make region free. A bit pricier than other makes though.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-29-2006, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethri View Post

Can anyone suggest a PAL compatible upscaling player of comparable quality?

All of the Oppo models can be made region-free, play PAL and do PAL->NTSC conversion: http://www.oppodigital.com/. The 971 and 981 handle a common PAL cadence which the 970 doesn't, so they may be a better choice.

-Bill
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-29-2006, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I was under the impression that the Oppo and Samsung models shared the same video processing chip set. Can I expect a better picture from the Oppo? Does anyone else have my negative experience with the Samsung?

Thanks for all the replies, Ben
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-30-2006, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethri View Post

I was under the impression that the Oppo and Samsung models shared the same video processing chip set. Can I expect a better picture from the Oppo? Does anyone else have my negative experience with the Samsung?

Thanks for all the replies, Ben

I don't know what's in the Samsung, or have any experience with it. It's not enough to use the same chips; the firmware has to use the chips properly. Oppo has been very responsive to customer feedback and provides frequent firmware updates.

-Bill
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-30-2006, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, thanks. I've returned the Samsung after another round of (hopeless!) calibration and placed an order for one of the Oppos. (I suspected I should have got one in the first place!!) Thanks again for the advice.

Ben
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-30-2006, 09:56 AM
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I would go with the LG LDA-731

QUOTE (myself from another thread)
alright, so I've been using a LG LDA530 for about a year and a half now and honestly it's been the most unbelievable DVD player I've ever used. It never ceases to amaze me. I use a lot of burnt DVDs. DVD+R's, DVD-R's, DVD+-RW's, etc... on top of that a lot of divx/xvid video discs AND the thing that amazes me most about this DVD player that is it accepts any REGION dvd I throw at it. It flawlessly plays PAL dvds too.

I have never burnt, borrowed, rented or bought a DVD this player couldn't play.

On top of all that being just a 480p player the PQ/SQ quality has always been great.

So, I decided I wanted to try the LG LDA731 (upconverting) player. I hooked it up with an Energy HDMI cable and this dvd player is everything the 530 was and more. I can see a difference (not HUGE... but a difference) with the upconversion... they streamlined the look of the player and some of the menu functions too...

So I guess my point is... LG really knows how to make a DVD player that literally plays everything...and also still has a great picture... and for under a $100 (canadian) you cant go wrong.
/QUOTE
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-25-2007, 03:47 PM
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my 731 i noticed the black is very grainy with hmdi to dvi ?

Yamaha HTR-8063
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-25-2007, 04:49 PM
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Generaly, pioneer players had been good in pal, pal to ntsc, so wait for new 400V , if u need 1080P
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-25-2007, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethri View Post

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

I can't speak to the other objections, except that the aspect ratio is perfect on my TV (using test patterns on DVE), but the 5960 does indeed remember play position on the last 5 disks, you just have to press 'play' at a precise time during the load process.

The Oppo 970, Sony, and Philips players use a Mediatek chipset. Sony's decision not to implement PAL is puzzling, but it is consistent with their position on region control (their players cannot be made region-free).

The Samsung uses a Zoran Vaddis chipset. - DR
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