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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a search for threads on this player and ran into a few very long ones. I tried to read them as much as I could, but they were filled with much confusing and often contradictory information. I apologize for starting a new thread, but this seems to be the best way to go about getting my questions answered. So if some kind soul has the time to answer some of these that would be much appreciated.


I am looking for a new high-quality region-free player. I've been using a Malata 996 for a while now and love a lot of things about it, but since getting my digital projector the picture quality is disappointing me in comparison to my dedicated region 1 machine (Denon 1600). I don't expect to find something to replace my Denon 1600, but I would like to find something that narrows the gap a little. NTSC playback on the Malata is especially weak, though it seems to do better with PAL. My projector will accept both types of signals, so I'm looking for something with good picture quality on both progressive NTSC and progressive PAL. I'm hoping that may be the Philips 963sa. Here are my questions regarding the US version of this player:


1) Is the 963sa region-selectable, or does the hack default to an All-Region setting that might be disrupted by RCE-encoded discs?


2) Is the region hack entered via the remote, or would I need to have the hardware modified?


3) I've heard about a "green stripe" problem. Does this affect all units, or just some? Is this related to the 1080i scaling firmware upgrade (which I have no interest in and do not plan to use)?


4) How is the picture quality in both progressive NTSC and progressive PAL?


Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Anyone?
 

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1) Is the 963sa region-selectable, or does the hack default to an All-Region setting that might be disrupted by RCE-encoded discs?


Yes, it comes with all-code in HK. Remote hackable if your country is stricter.


2) Is the region hack entered via the remote, or would I need to have the hardware modified?


Remote hackable.


3) I've heard about a "green stripe" problem. Does this affect all units, or just some? Is this related to the 1080i scaling firmware upgrade (which I have no interest in and do not plan to use)?


Yes, virtually all units. But new productions should have this rectified before put on the shelf for sale. The 1080i hack just accelerated the death of the inductor in question.


4) How is the picture quality in both progressive NTSC and progressive PAL?


In a word, stunning. Everything you could expect from the Faroudja 2310 chip.


:)
 

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i have this player and i am pleased, having come from home theater but also used to great sound based on my analog rig. given what you've read you know that this player gives superb video performance (that's a consensus of users i've read comments from, using both progressive and interelaced sources), and that the firmwares and hacks available have proven to be quite useful to a cross section of enthusiasts in pursuit of excellence. for example, i would say that not everyone seems bothered with the green stripe using the 1080i firmware hack, and others that did used the minor surgery workaround. and as you know some swear the output isn't really 1080i while others with equipment to verify assure them that it's geniune. i tend to believe the latter.


i would say you have some recognition of the limitations of the player already, based on the postings - it's not a universal machine and from what i can gather universal machines absolutely render tradeoffs of their own since they don't excel in either genre. as for the philips, i find it great from both video and sacd hi-rez perspectives and good for redbook play. inmy mind that's saying a lot in and of itself. but some dedicated tweakings make it even better with your regular cds, which was just as important in my case since i have no intention of building a huge sacd library.


BTW, you can buy this one over at tweeter w/ good money back guarantee so giving it a try (in its stock form) is a no brainer. but since your needs perhaps are specific based on your hardware, you may want to consider machines that carry multiple scan rates (or your chosen one) natively and excel with the interfaces you may require. since i have this player and have been surprised with its performance, despite the heady claims of its ad copy, it is well worth the attention.
 

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I would add that the remote hacks (for region-free AND PAL progressive) require a RC6-capable remote, not the one that comes w/ the player. OTOH, it's easy enough to get such a remote since just about any One-for-All remote will do -- including the OEM-ed ones from RatShack -- or a Palm PDA running OmniRemote or a Pronto.


RE: the "green stripe" problem, certainly seems like all units have it although most people seem to not notice it (before applying the 1080i hack). I only barely notice it on a very few occasions (beyond AVIA test patterns). But if you watch lots of B&W movies, then you're more likely to notice it on a regular basis. Seems easily fixable, but one would hope that new units won't have this problem now.


RE: the PQ, I expect it will be quite close to the Denon 1600, when the green stripes are not noticeable (or are fixed), although I've never seen that unit in action. There seems to be a bit of chroma delay that's mostly fixed via player setup -- at least on 2 units I've tried. Also, the 4x3 pillarbox mode does not maintain perfect AR as it seems to stretch the image a tad, so that's something to keep in mind.


_Man_
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, everyone.


The green stripe problem does concern me, though I can't know how much until I see for myself. I don't intend to apply the 1080i hack, however I do have a large screen (6 feet wide) so any video flaws tend to be readily apparent.


I am not technically inclined, so modifying the hardware myself is something I'd rather avoid.


Is there any confirmation that newer units are supposed to have this fixed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by gialitt
BTW, you can buy this one over at tweeter w/ good money back guarantee so giving it a try (in its stock form) is a no brainer.
I called my local Tweeter. The chain does carry the model, but the local stores would have to order one, and the price is $499. I could do at least $150 less than that by shopping online.


So does anyone else have any opinions to chip in about how bad the green stripe problem is, or whether it has been fixed on newer models (and if so, how to tell)?


Thanks.
 

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Goodaye Josh


The Green stripes there is a mod for the repair of

check this thread
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&pagenumber=1


also in australia the mod is done free of charge as philips have a world wide warranty so I would check that out with your retailer as this should be done free if you having trouble send an email off to philips and you will find they will agree to the mod


also check this thread last Page
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&pagenumber=9

The green stripes were eliminated but on NTSC material there’s a horizontal grey line at the bottom of the picture, this line is not visible on PAL.


Personally I think the player performs extremely well only Problem is horizontal grey line at the bottom of the picture when running 1080i NTSC


In standard unprocessed picture is near perfect


also in australia the player is modded to play all regions as we all like to get dvds which are not available in parent country

cheers

aveaniceone day that is
 

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Josh,


I recently had one in my system for a couple of months and the picture was amazing.......however I notice the banding in the grey areas of the picture and I couldnt take it. I called Phillips for a fix and they sent me the same firware which was already in, from there they said they'd look into it and call me back. I ended up taking it back and buying a 2900 which is amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by longshanksdvd
I recently had one in my system for a couple of months and the picture was amazing.......however I notice the banding in the grey areas of the picture and I couldnt take it. I called Phillips for a fix and they sent me the same firware which was already in, from there they said they'd look into it and call me back. I ended up taking it back and buying a 2900 which is amazing.
Is that the Denon 2900 you're referring to? Can it be made region free?


I was kind of hoping for something less expensive than that, though.
 
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