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Attention Malata N996 owners! [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum


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Matt Stevens
11-01-02, 12:54 PM
Moderators, please allow this thread to be independent of the normal thread. This issue is important and needs to be resolved.

Anyone with the newer November 2001 firmware, have you encountered any problems playing subtitles from Hong Kong Legends titles?

Specificaly, do they now flash by twice as fast as before? How about on your original Firmware N996 owners?

Since upgrading the firmware in my N996 any subtitles from HKL are now way too fast to read at times and the latest and worst offender is THE KILLER. I am now 100% positive it's the player and not the DVD, since the subtitles play fine on my DVDrom and on numerous non-Malata players.

Strangely, subtitles on non-HKL titles play normally. (examples: Sony's Shiri, Princess Mononoke, Time & Tide).

I have talked with Malata Canada and this is the first they have heard of the problem. Can all you N996 owners check your subtitles on HKL dvd's, THE KILLER in particular? POLICE STORY PROJECT A are a problem, but not as severe. The R0 SHAOLIN SOCCER is also a big time offender.

They should NOT flash by so fast that you have a hard time reading them. On my DVD Rom drive, they are up and readable and never too fast.

Please post results here. You can also email me at [email protected]

axolotls return
11-01-02, 01:39 PM
The only offender that I can remember is Legend of Poo. I watched the Killer a few days ago and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary except I hate the subtitles (style).

I asked in the other forum if there was a newer flash past 11/2001. I guess not -but that's what I have and it came from the factory that way (i.e. I did not flash it myself)-.

I've also seen Shaolin Soccer many times and have not noticed a problem.

Matt: What other stand-alone players do you have besides the Malata and JVC?

Josh Z
11-01-02, 02:38 PM
Matt, have you tried switching the Subpicture setting from "Always" to "Never" for those discs?

Matt Stevens
11-01-02, 03:28 PM
All subtitle (subpicture) settings have been used and the result is always the same. I also own a Toshiba SD-1600 and tried friends' Apex's, sampo's and a JVC.

It's very strange. This player did not do this until the newer firmware and it only does it with HKL titles. :eek:

axolotls return
11-01-02, 04:29 PM
Did you try to flash back to the older firmware?

Matt Stevens
11-01-02, 07:44 PM
My unit will require me to open it up and take out a soldering iron. Needless to say, I don't want to do that. :( But I likely will.

(did I spell "soldering" right?) :)

11-01-02, 10:02 PM
I tried all the Bruce Lee HKL releases and R0 Shaolin Soccer and didn't notice that problem. I have the 11/2001 version of the N996.

axolotls return
11-01-02, 11:48 PM
yep. soldering. just replaced my the tip to my soldering iron yesterday. what a coincidence :D

11-02-02, 01:20 PM
Hey Matt,

I have a 996 with the original firmware. My HKL Game of Death plays the Dutch subtitles at a normal speed.

Matt Stevens
11-02-02, 05:50 PM
Thanks to all for the responses. So far it's hard to tell what is causing the increase in speed. :(

11-03-02, 01:54 AM
I watched The Killer on my 996 (Nov 01 firmware) a couple weeks ago and the subtitles seemed a little fast during a few instances, but that was probably going with the flow of the conversation... nothing too bad.

Of course this was before my 996 blew up last week. :(

11-03-02, 09:05 AM
I always thought that it went with the conversation flow - the duration of how long it took the character to say the line. But I'll give my HKL DVD's a go - a great reason (not like I needed any) to watch Once Upon a Time in China III

11-03-02, 09:28 AM
I watched my HKL version of the Killer and the subs seemed fine to me...

11-03-02, 10:03 AM

I have two 996's......

One with old firmware and one with the new....

A test of Chapter 8 of the HKL new disc of THE KILERS, I found the subtitles to run at the same rate.

As they do in fact appear to run fast, they do seem in sync with the original dialogue.


Matt Stevens
11-03-02, 11:12 AM
Very strange. The subtitles run much faster on my Malata than on my DVDrom or the other players I tried. On the Malata, some of the subtitles from THE KILLER were up for less than 1/2 a second. There is something very wrong going on here. :(

11-04-02, 04:53 PM
I got my Malata a month before the new firmware came out so no problems with HKL subtitles. However I noticed that the picture quality is substantially reduced on my 38" HDTV. It doesn't matter whether the movie is anamorphic or not, it loses its sharpness and becomes slightly blurry compared to my regular TV. Is this an issue with the player setting or the HDTV? Do you guys experience the same problem too?

Matt Stevens
11-04-02, 09:27 PM
That's very odd. Malatas 480p picture quality is right up there with the best players. Are you hooked up via Component cables and in Progressive Mode? Is you sharpness turned down near zero? It should be. I've seen the Malata N996 on both the Loewe and RCA 38 inch sets and it looks great.

Matt Stevens
11-04-02, 09:33 PM
As they do in fact appear to run fast, they do seem in sync with the original dialogue. On my N996, there is something wrong with the subtitles. Many of the subtitles are on screen for under 10 frames. That's just a fraction of a second! Yet on my DVDrom drive, those very same subtitles will be up for nearly 2 seconds, which is enough time to read them twice. And on the DVDrom drive they are in perfect sync with the picture. But this is not on all subtitled DVD's! Just certain titles from HKL. Talk about head scratch inducing.

11-04-02, 10:30 PM
Yes I'm hooked up with Monster component cables and in progressive mode. My sharpness is set at about 10%. My TV is in fact an RCA 38"

My Once Upon a Time in China 1, 2 HKL and DOA Tartan look slightly blurry on the HDTV but razor sharp and clear on my 8 year old 27" TV. Non-anamorphic HK DVDs (any Universe, Panorama, and old Mei Ah titles) look even blurrier even before zoomed in to fit the screen.

11-05-02, 01:56 AM
I've had several problems w/subtitles going to fast on my N996 (11/01 firmware). I know some or most of this has to do with the non US sub specs, but sometimes I wonder if it's the Malata... Specifically some of the french TRUFFUAT titles and L'Appartament have been super fast. I found that when the first person has spoken there'd be about a half a second delay before the subs appear. So on some tight/rapid conversations with multiple peope, you'll get a few subs that merely *FLASH* by... It's rather annoying, but seems to be only with R2 PAL dvd's as I've not had a problem with any of my R3 Korean/HK discs.

Also I have the HKL Iron Monkey dvd and don't remember any problems with the subs, but I'll double check.

Ted Todorov
11-06-02, 02:26 PM
My Matata 996 is from the first batch, so I precume I have the old firmware. I've noticed nothing unusual with the subs on 3 HKL titles (police Story, Police Assassins, Body Weapon).

I did notice fast subs on MK2's Vivement Dimanche (Truffaut R2-France), but not on other MK2 titles. Go figure.

I am having one BIG problem: Mina Tannenbaum (R2 France) will not play AT ALL -- the load fails, I never even get to the menu. However, the DVD seems to be fine -- it plays on my Mac's DVD ROM drive as well as on my neighbors' Dell... Any suggestions are most welcome.

On a related subject, I would love to get a Region free DVD player that

1) Sports a SCART RGB video out.
2) Allows you to turn off forced subtitles.
3) (optional) has a decent remote.

No PAL to NTSC conversion is needed.


Matt Stevens
11-06-02, 04:53 PM
I've come to the conclusion that it's a Malata issue, coupled with the original Mediamatics chip, which is less than stellar with subs.

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