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Anyone have the Sony DVP-NS999ES Yet? - Page 18  

post #511 of 689

I have to agree with you that the player IMHO is very good but not THAT good and it definitely suffers from being over enhanced.

I have just received the service manual and when I get time I will see if there is anything that can be "tweaked".

post #512 of 689
i've been lurking here for some time and have enjoyed the discussions. i am hoping some of you can help me out.

i have a sony dvp-ns999es. i use the interlaced component outputs into a sony wega tv.

when using video essentials, some of the rectangles in the color pattern bleed into each other. more precisely, some of the color rectangles seem "off" by a bit on one edge, like when one color is printed slightly off center in a color newspaper picture. on the test materials and on movie dvds, however, images look fine - crisp with no "off position" color.

with the godfather ii dvd, however, i noticed a red shadow to one side of the white subtitles (not the ones in the film, but the ones that appear when you set subtitles on). the film image was fine throughout. (the player's set-up allows you to move the offending red over slightly, but that messes up the picture, which is fine.)

on the blow out (de palma) dvd, which is not a great print to begin with, some scenes appear smudged. close up, i can see that there is nothing wrong with those images, but far back, it looks as if the colors are not meshing together and so the image appears smudged and hazy. this film uses a lot of deep red and blue, sometimes fine stripes near other colors, so i wonder if it's related to the above or just how certain scenes were done.

i have not tried out these two dvd titles on my older dvd player (sony dvp7700), but with that player i did not have the same problem with the video essentials dvd. i hope that someone can help me better set up my dvd player and tv.

as mentioned before in the thread, blacks are very deep with the ns999es, sometimes to the point where detail in dark areas (like a dark suit) is lost. the gamma adjustments in set-up helps fix this. i have seen mention of adjusting the black level on/off - can someone explain how this works or helps?

to add to the shimmer discussion in this thread, on my set-up it is faintly noticeable on the blinds scene in ET, and only when the camera moves. shimmer is noticeable on cary grant's stripped shirt in to catch a thief. one bad case i've seen is on the 400 blows, near the start of the last chapter, on a house that the boys march past.
post #513 of 689
well, tonight i saw the 999 do its bad thing.

the first thing i did tonight, after work, was hook up a small onkyo 5.1 audio system that arrived today. until then, the 999 had been sitting beside the tv and the 7700 was still in with the receiver and vhs machine. since it was time to rewire, i decided to pull the 7700 and put the 999 into the system (we have an incredibly small room - believe me!)

the dvd that showed the problems was "Wolf" starring Jack Nicholson. if you haven't seen it, the credit sequence features a car driving through a snowstorm on a country road at night. at some point, suddenly one of the credits (maybe "production designer") started getting the interlace artifacts: wiggling of the thin serifs on the text. from dmunsil's post, i knew that the player was slipping into what he called "video mode."

but the real kicker was the first shot in Nichol's office, where he stands in front of a wall full of venetian blinds. this was what has been described on this thread as "the shimmer," which is really some sort of interlace artifact gone mad. it was pretty terrible. i switched over to the "memory" setting and set the progressive 1 mode all the way over to "film" (it is an 8 or 10 step scale running from film on one end to video on the other, and the default is centered between the two). replaying this scene with the new setting was just as bad.

the back of the 999 has a switch that can be set to "progressive," "interlaced, "or switchable." if you use the switchable setting, you change the mode from a sub-menu, and you must put the player in stop mode to enter this menu. during test viewings, i'd been switching between progressive and interlaced on the fly, which only blacks the picture out for a second and doesn't stop the dvd. therefore, the player was installed on its shelf and i didn't feel like getting back there to switch to "switchable mode." i'm pretty sure that this venetian blind problem will pretty much go away in interlace mode.

in sum, the 999 provides the discriminating viewer with opportunities for irritation and disappointment. it does make pretty pictures though. i have no interest in claiming that it's the greatest. but i'll be keeping it and, at some future time, i'll be looking at a possible alternative. the 3800 certainly sounds interesting, but it just seems to be gettng free of bugs too.

post #514 of 689
As an aside, the video/audio "expert" who I bought my equipment from came over and hooked up my denon 1802 (will be a 3803 when it arrives) to my 50" Panasonic plasma also hooked up the Sony 9000ES he sold me and the Panasonic CP72 I bought at CC. He originally told me the 9000ES even though a discounted demo unit has the best picture on the market and if I disagreed after trying it at home, he'd take it back. Well, the next day I asked him what he thought of the Panny compared to the Sony as I couldn't tell the difference. He said the Panny slightly edged out the Sony. By the way, the Panasonic CP72 was $220 after rebate compared to $800 for a used 9000ES. Even if the build quality on the panasonic is terrible compared to the Sony and the panny only has a 1 year warranty, I'd buy a new one every year for 4 more years and spend the same as the one Sony, only I'd get upgraded technology and a new toy EVERY YEAR! Seems like that is the way I'm gonna go!


p.s. he said the Sony had 2 different tests he ran that showed artifacts where the Panasonic didn't.
post #515 of 689
Originally posted by Fulmitz
I'd buy a new one every year for 4 more years and spend the same as the one Sony, only I'd get upgraded technology and a new toy EVERY YEAR! Seems like that is the way I'm gonna go!

hi Fulmnitz. your points and your strategy sound good. but it truly seems, particularly given the examples of some newly introduced dvd players, that "upgraded technology" is not necessarily better.

post #516 of 689
On my way to the plane.

I am very confused by the enormous range of differing reviews of this unit.

As it contains virtually no analog circuitry, its signal performance only depends upon the software. This does not change from unit to unit (unless there has been an update). THEREFORE all units, unless broken, should perform virtually identical, its the nature of digital technology!

I am currently feeding a Sony VPL-VW11HT (component) and have run the 999 in both interlace and progressive modes using the VPL to line double or not and to do the 3/2 pull-down or not. At NO time does the unit not out perform my Sony 7000 and very rarely does it produce any compression artifacts except on very difficult scenes. It certainly produces less artifacts than the 7000. Inspite of the 999s' over enhancement.

My concern here is that different displays maybe causing problems. It has been my experience that many progressive CRT's and Plasmas do not have very good line doublers and some of the 3/2 pull-down algorithms are rather poor. Relying therefore on your monitor as a tool to condem the 999 MAY NOT be valid, in-spite of the fact that it LOOKED GOOD with the OTHER player. A small change in the bandwidth or level of a video signal can cause some displays to "falter"! Care must also be taken as some monitors have "problems" when setup is incorrectly applied. This problem alone can cause a display to look VERY different on what you think is the same signal, as the monitor now needs to be re-calibrated to take account of the issue.

post #517 of 689

It sounds as if you have a luminance/chrominance delay problem, in that the color signal is delayed relative to the luminance signal. This problem can occur if your component leads are not "timed". Unless you have access to a reflectometer, the best you can do is to ensure that all three leads are the same physical length.

If your leads are all identical, length, make etc. then there is an adjustment for this in the manual video setting menu in the 999.

post #518 of 689
I'm fairly new to this DB.
Sure glad i found you guy's!{Ladies & Gentlemen}

Getting a Real Education on DVD eqmt "before" i buy!!

Have been taping fot 8 years w/Mits.u-69 SVHS.Decided to replace or upgrade to DVD or DVD recorder.Went ahead and bought JVC 9911 SVHS machine.This baby got here 3 days after ordering.It even makes 18 year old tapes look better.

My brother bought a JVC DVD changer last year,he took it back.

When do you folks think the big boys will get it right w/DVD?
I think dvd has been around long enough{4 yrs?} that issues like chroma bugs & artifacts should have been solved by now.
To top that off their talking about Blue Laser DVD equipment being released soon.

Now i have the bug in that w/all this great info i'll probably jump into the dvd fire sooner 6mnths than later 1 year.

Good board

post #519 of 689
For those of you that are running your 999's audio through a receiver/amplifier, are you using the 999's DACs and outputting an analog signal for audio (not multichannel SACD)? Or are you using the digital out and letting your receiver's DACs do the processing?

I'm wondering how good the 999's DACs are. Right now, I'm using the digital out and running the signal through my Denon 3802's DACs. Just based on specs, the 999 has a 192kHz/24-bit audio D/A converter versus the Denon's 96kHz/24-bit D/A converter, so the Sony should sound better assuming the cables are the same.

I haven't had the time to try out the 999's DACs and compare it to the Denon's. I figure it's also easier for me to let the Denon do the processing, as it detects automatically the type of signal (DTS, DD) coming in. How well in your experience does the 999 process DTS and DD signals?

Watched LOTR last night, using progressive and Cinema 2, and PQ was excellent. No artifacts spotted, though I admit I was only trying to spot if there were any occasionally...too engrossed in the movie!
post #520 of 689
Originally posted by sonusfaber
For those of you that are running your 999's audio through a receiver/amplifier, are you using the 999's DACs and outputting an analog signal for audio (not multichannerl SACD)? Or are you using the digital out and letting your receiver's DACs do the processing?

Watched LOTR last night, using progressive and Cinema 2,...
hi sonus... can't help you with the audio much, being more of a video guy. i'm using the analog outs, since whatever is in the sony has got to be better than the surround system i'm using.

as for the cinema 2 setting, i'm not quite liking it. i think it's doing a little too much crunching of the lower range of the gammas. however, i'd like to find out exactly what it is doing, so i can emulate it with the memory setting (which has the useful a/v alignment paramter), except make a slight gamma adjustment.

post #521 of 689
Sonus, I'm using the 5.1 outs to listen to SACD. I also listen to my DTS disks that way. My Sony 777ES is no slouch in audio. There is no way to compare the SACD sound but I can with the DTS CDs. The 999 is a noticable improvment. I even notice the regular CDs sounding better since hooking up my 999. A very good audio player IMO.

Digione, I agree about each members setup being at least somewhat responsible for the varying responces we are getting. Also, cables are a touchy subject and I'm going to be very careful about any upgrading I do.

Bigentry, I agree the 999 isn't perfect but I've seen the 3800 and other than the glitches I think it is anywhere from too close to call to the Sony having a slight edge. Possibly from the black enhancement. The fact is, possibly in your setup the 3800 is better. I think Digione has a very good point about displays.
post #522 of 689
Regarding displays and setup, I whole heartedly agree. I'll confess that I only learned a few months ago that each DVD player's output was different enough that you have to calibrate your display for each different DVD player. I had assumed that the DVD players would be very, very close and that the display was the primary thing that needed calibration.

For each DVD player I have evaluated, I've calibrated my display using VE on that DVD player. For the record, my display is a Sony KP-61S30. It has a line doubler built in, and 3-2 pulldown which can be turned on or off. It's native scan frequency is equivalent to 480P or 960i. So, when you present a 480P signal to the display, it passes it straight through with no line doubling (and of course no 3-2).

I've done the vast majority of my comparisons using the progressive component inputs, but I've done a little looking at the interlaced S-Video and interlaced progressive as well.

While I can't do a side by side comparison with the 3800, I do remember it being better overall. Black level seemed better (if you can believe that, as it is pretty good on the 999). Color saturation was a little higher, and contrast seemed better. The "3D" look of objects was more apparent with the 3800.

All this being said, the 999 has a really nice picture. However, it's not quite as good as the 3800, and the "text jumping" bug is *really* irritating. Try the opening of Dogma or Pulp Fiction (Collector's Edition) to see what I mean.

post #523 of 689
Originally posted by editor
hi Fulmnitz. your points and your strategy sound good. but it truly seems, particularly given the examples of some newly introduced dvd players, that "upgraded technology" is not necessarily better.

Hopefully they won't make the newer model worse than the old, and the replacement is only if the CP72 breaks. No chroma bug and great video. The extra money could also be spent on a dedicated SACD player. Just a thought.

post #524 of 689
Quote: No chroma bug and great video

Reply: Yes, there is no Chroma bug, but the image is not "great." After reading the Secrets reviews I went with the RP-91, and then the RP-82. But the truth is that I was never really that happy with either Panasonic machine no matter how many rave reviews they received. So I ended up giving my RP-91 to my daughter, moved my RP82 to the bedroom and now do all my serious viewing on the Sony 999ES via a Seleco 200DM and Stewart 120" Firehawk screen. For an early Christmas present my wife surprised me with Krell audio components, which really showcase the Sony's sound capabilities. I guess what I'm trying to say is that in the end it is empirical testing that really matters. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and, more often than not, you DO get what you pay for. Try closing a door on a Neon, and then do the same with a BMW. :)
post #525 of 689

Sound like you have some nice stuff.
But does the post mean you find the Secrets review methodology empirical, or perhaps you don’t?


post #526 of 689
Originally posted by sonusfaber
For those of you that are running your 999's audio through a receiver/amplifier, are you using the 999's DACs and outputting an analog signal for audio (not multichannel SACD)? Or are you using the digital out and letting your receiver's DACs do the processing?

Hi Sonusfaber. (and everyone else). I have been out of town and just tonight catching up on my favorite thread. Lots of great discussions and I am happy to see new and knowledgeble folks joining the fray.

I have spent a fair amount of time evaluating the analog outs for music (999ES decoding CD and movies) vs. letting my Sony DA555ES AV receiver do the work.

I expected, as my receiver was old (I think about 2 years) and less expensive than the 999ES, the 999 would sound superior. It does.

I find music-wise on CD the soundstaging is wonderful and the detail is fantastic. I also find the bass tighter. For SACD's, it is pretty fantastic. I have not listened to any other SACD players on my system, but I still cannot get over how much SACD is a great step up over CD.

For movies, I find the sound quality also much better. I hear a better sound field for movies, better sound from the rears (though not distracting), and better bass.

If your receiver allows easy toggle between 5.1 input and digital, you can AB compare very easily.

I would guess, if you have a newer and more expensive receiver/controller, you may find it will decode better than the 999ES, but in my case my receiver is becoming the weakest link. I think everyone will have to make their own evaluation based on their own receiver/controller as they all very (alot) in sonic quality.
post #527 of 689
Originally posted by videonut
For an early Christmas present my wife surprised me with Krell audio components, which really showcase the Sony's sound capabilities.
I just wanted to give kudos to your wife. You must have a great wife and great communication. Not many wives would dare buy a component for their husband. But it souds like she felt comfortable enough to buy one and knew which one to get! You sound blessed in marriage and blessed in AV!!

And Happy Hollidays to everyone!!! May you all find SACD's in your stockings instead of coal...
post #528 of 689
As my 30 day return period comes to an end, I've made the decision to keep the 999.

Since my last post I've been playing way too many DVDs and Cd's, much to the annoyance of my wife :mad: .

Either my eyes are getting use to this player, or it appears to be working better then it did when it first arrived. The shimmer is still there, and I will be contacting Sony to complain about that. But the video quality is of late not that far away from my expectations (after playing with the settings - more to do). I could nit pick some details, but it's not worth going to that extreme.

I've had several people over to supplement my wife's viewings, asking them their opinions while going through sections of 3 DVDs: LOTR; ET; and To Catch A Thief, stating I was evaluating the viewing quality of three vintages of movie recording technologies. This was a screening test for me about the shimmer, without telling them what to look for. LOTR was the baseline, without shimmer. No one noticed the shimmer but me, so there was no need to enlighten them with this obsession I will now carry with me.

The other factor that has greatly influenced my decision is the audio quality. To me, the replay of both SACD's and CD's is excellent. And I've come to respect how much good audio benefits the viewing of DVD's. Diana Krall in Paris was the clincher for this DVD, CD, SACD player.

Bob- Interlace just does not work for me with any tweeks. It has to be progressive.
post #529 of 689
I understand your feelings about the interlace, FMTRVT. I also use the P-scan mode. The difference is slight but it was there and since I'm not bothered much by the shimmer I stayed with it.

I just wanted everyone to know that the 999 is capable of a very good picture in interlace. That way there was an alternative if you just couldn't live with the shimmer. Of course the results will vary with each owners preferences and TVs.

A friend of mine just got his 999 and he has a Toshiba TV. The interlace picture just didn't look nearly as good in P-scan on his set. In all fairness we didn't have a lot of time to play with it but it wasn't as impressive as it was on my Sony.

For what it's worth, dmunsil said Secrets is testing a high end, mega dollar DVD player based on the RP91 and it has a very lousy deinterlacer in it. If you think the Sony disapoints, how would you like to spend several times that money and have even worse results?

The bottom line, once again, is that the 999 does get a good picture. (barring glitches) It can be so good it can surprise you.

One reason I 've been trying to kind of convince owners not to give up on the 999 is because it sometimes takes awile to realize what a great audio player it is. And it has all kinds of tweaks for both audio and video. You can realy customize what you see and hear. Again, if you get one where the shimmer isn't bad (most people won't even notice because it's only us that is aware of it) you can be very happy with the 999. Merry Christmas everyone!!!
post #530 of 689
bob, will you email me off-list? my address is

post #531 of 689
I think it is only fair to point out that the DVP-S7000 is also capable of a very good picture in interlace mode (the only mode it has of course). The "Secrets" guys thought that it was still the best interlaced player below $2500 when they last reviewed it (it does not have the chroma bug).

I was thinking of upgrading my 7000 to the 999ES. The "use interlace mode" suggestions have convinced me not to.
post #532 of 689
Originally posted by ADGrant
I think it is only fair to point out that the DVP-S7000 is also capable of a very good picture in interlace mode (the only mode it has of course). The "Secrets" guys thought that it was still the best interlaced player below $2500 when they last reviewed it (it does not have the chroma bug).

I was thinking of upgrading my 7000 to the 999ES. The "use interlace mode" suggestions have convinced me not to.
i think what isn't being discussed much is what people mean by "good pictures." for example, some folks seem to like very sharp images that leap off the screen at them whereas others prefer softer images. what i want is pretty much to reproduce the movie theater experience, and what i'm realizing is that, often, film in a theater doesn't look that great. the other evening i was switching the 999ES between interlace and progressive mode and realizing that in many ways, the interlace mode simulates that so-so theatrical experience. the 999ES's progressive mode makes far prettier pictures than its interlaced mode.

post #533 of 689
ADGrant, when I mention to use the interlace mode that is only if the user would be bothered by the shimmer glitch we spoke of. In reality it's not that bad for most of us and we use the P-scan mode anyway. I find the picture to be very good either way, with a slight preference to P-scan.

Remember the picture is 480P, that's as good as any DVD player can get. Some say something about 500+ lines but I think that all the players are that too. That's why I mentioned the tweaks you have available with the 999. They really let you customize the picture as well as the audio.

I also own the S-7000. My daughter is using it. Though the picture is good, it is not as good as my 999. I actually get to see it every month or so.
post #534 of 689
The 999ES may be better than the 7000 in interlace mode, I have not done an A-B comparison, However the "Secrets" guys did imply that the 7000 is a better interlaced DVD player that the 9000ES in interlaced mode.

In any event, the 7000 does not suffer from the chroma bug unlike every other high end DVD player Sony has produced including the 999ES. I have mine hooked up to a 60" Grand Wega II (native mode 768P). It looks good enough that I see no need to replace it until Sony produce another true eference quality DVD player. I don't consider it acceptable that the 999ES has defects a $200 Panasonic does not suffer from.

I am not going to buy the panny though. The last two times I have chosen Panasonic over Sony for a video product, a VCR and 21" monitor about 5 years ago, I have been disappointed. Both the VCR and computer monitor were replaced with Sonys and I also have a Trinitron Wega in my bedroom. I was considering the 999ES after I upgraded my TV to the GWII, reading the"Secrets" material has convinced me to hold on to my money
post #535 of 689
Hello everyone--

Just wanted to give you all a status update with my DVD player search.

I've written to Sony support as suggested by members of this forum. Have not heard from them as far as a reply.

I had to return the 999 because my 14 days was up and I just wasn't sold. I do still have fond memories of the player though from both a basic video standpoint (glitches notwithstanding) and esp. from the audio standpoint.

I've since purchased and demoed the Denon 1600.. great "empirical" video, ie no glitches, but it definitely didn't have the vivid, 3-d video look of the Sony.. so I returned it and picked up the Denon 3800 instead. The video of the 3800 looks great and doesn't have the same glitch problems of the 999.. but I'd like to see them side-by-side because my memory wants to tell me that the 999 was better overall but that could just be me *wanting* to remember it as better. The audio of the 3800 is really good, just like the 999.. but once again, I need to really do A-C-B-C on them to tell for sure.

The whole SACD/DVD-A thing is sort of lurking out there.. I had decided on SACD, and I don't believe that there are universal players out there that can match up to a similarly priced unit that "specializes". The 3800 is DVD-A only.. which I'm not as big a fan of just from a political point of view, but in the end if I feel like the audio performance of the 3800 matches the 999 DVD-V wise, and the video is better, then I'll hang on to the 3800.

Otherwise, I may end up with the 999 after all! My wife is getting pretty tired of my constant indecision and consequent need for "further analysis" :-).

Good luck to you all--
post #536 of 689
Good luck on your decision, Laminator. The 3800 is a nice machine. One reason I didn't think it was as good audiowise as the 999 is because it's DVD-Audio and IMHO DVD-Audio isn't as good as SACD all things being equal (mix, systems etc.) Both were very good on regular CDs.

I can't remember if the 3800 had the tweakability videowise like the 999. I also felt the 999 was a little better in video (barring glitches) than the 3800 but to each his own. Again, good luck on your decision.
post #537 of 689
laminator i also have the same tv you do and i have the 3800. i tryed the 999es and in my eyees it was not even close to the 3800 in picture quality. the 3800 is more clear more sharp more color no chroma bug. and it can be twak also not as much as 999es but it can be. as for the 1600 it didnt match up to the 3800 either so i agree with you there. i am sure you will keep the 3800 it is the best imho.
post #538 of 689
I just got my 999es today. Here's my experience so far:

I have a Sony DVP-7700 so I wanted to compare both units (in interlace mode, since I use a Runco scaler/front projector setup at 720p).

The first disc I tried was Bandits (I just grabbed the first 1.85:1 disc I could find). The 999es couldn't read the disc. Since this was a duel sided disc (i.e. full screen on the other side), I tried that also - same thing. Disc works in the Sony 7700 no problem. Bad start.

I then tried Star Wars AOTC. There was an incredible amount of background noise/interference at certain times when the background was supposed to be solid black. I could see many horizontal gray lines akin to a bad reception on analog TV. It would disapear during the movie, but would consistently be there at the beginning (or the logos before the movie starts). It's NOT present with the S-video output though. Anyone else seen this?

I experienced a LOT of shimmer. It was driving me nuts. I then played AOTC in my 7700 to make sure it was not on the disc itself and it wasn't. Went back and forth a couple times. However, by the THIRD time I played it on the 999, the shimmer was gone and hasn't been back since. Makes me wonder if the unit was just 'cold'.

The color depth on the 999 is clearly superior. I'm seeing much more subtle color detail and overall it's much punchier. My 7700 is flat in comparison (then again, a 14bit DAC should be better than a 10 bit one...).

The 999 is MUCH slower than the 7700. By this I mean chapter navigating, DVD menu selection etc. Even the AOTC menu pauses for twice the amount of time when it recycles/starts over. I can live with this, but it is disapointing when you're used to immediate response when jumping around through a DVD.

I've done comparisons with a few DVDs now (going back and forth several times): Moulin Rouge, AOTC, High Crimes. I love the difference in colors. I love the remote. I'm not so worried about the shimmer problem (unless it comes back... :-)), but I am very troubled about the fact that it won't play my Bandits disc and the black noise with the component outputs.

Can anyone shed any light on this?

post #539 of 689
hi Ian. I also have a S7700 and a 999ES. My 999 is hooked, via component output, to a 34xbr800. I haven't seen the noisy blacks you described. I believe the player shouldn't be doing that.

post #540 of 689
Hi Ian, Ed here again. On second thought, is it possible that the black level on the interlaced output has something to do with what you're seeing? You don't mention the black level, being high. You might try switching to progressive mode and see whether the noise is still there, and also might try changing the blacl level of the interlaced output.

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