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Malata and beyond: discussing Region-Free DVD player options [PART 4]

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Malata and beyond: discussing Region-Free DVD player options [PART 4]

Old 10-04-02, 04:13 PM
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Do members who own the Malata find that they use the x-y scaling frequently, or is this just a nice to have feature?

I have no frame of reference with PAL to NTSC, so sorry is this is a dumb question.
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Old 10-04-02, 04:45 PM
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I use the X-Y; but more so the zoom all the time. I like to get rid of the overscan (i.e. more picture by zooming out).

Strange that one movie I just watched (Trauma?) had to be zoomed in because the edges were curling in.

Gotta have it.
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Old 10-04-02, 10:14 PM
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Which region-free player should I get?

I'm looking at the Malata 520 or a modded Panasonic RP-62/82. I'm mostly going to be watching R1 DVD's, so quality R1 playback is a must. I also have a HDTV so I need a Progressive Scan player. I have a collection of 20-25 R3 (NTSC) discs so PAL playback isn't crucial for me. Which of these two should I get?

I'm familiar with Panasonic and love their build quality, but they're about $100 more then the Malata. I've never used a Malata player, but I'm weary of a brand that I don't know. I bought a Sampo non-PS player in May and it already died on me. And this player will be my primary player for the next year and more.

Thank you guys so much.
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Old 10-04-02, 10:34 PM
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You could always buy a modded JVC. I recently purchased 1 from www.hkflix.com and it seems like a really good player. It is almost the same as the Malata with a price tag just a little more: 320.00.
It has progressive scan and also plays DVD-Audio if you want that. I have no region 2 or beyond discs nor any PAL discs yet but from what I gather this player is really good for them, just like the Malata. The main reason I chose this player is that it is made by JVC which is a very good brand.
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Old 10-05-02, 04:35 AM
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I've had a Malata N996 for about a year now and it has treated me great. The only real issue that people have with it is that crummy remote control. True, the remote is subpar, but honestly I believe that the Malata is the best DVD player for the money, because of all of its capabilities.

Also, although you don't have many PAL DVD's, the PAL to NTSC conversion is flawless, so it really opens the doors for new DVDs.
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Old 10-05-02, 06:10 PM
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Re: Which region-free player should I get?

Originally posted by Civic2oo1
I'm familiar with Panasonic and love their build quality,
???

That's one of the oddest statements I've ever heard! Panasonics have a lot going for them, but build quality has never been one of their strong points. Most Panasonic DVD players weigh less than their own power cords.
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Old 10-05-02, 06:10 PM
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ChrisHicks,
Thanks for your comments on the JVC. Can you share some more details about performance of video/audio on your new unit?

As background, is this a second unit for your home or the primary (if so what is it replacing?). How was the shipping/delivery process and the condition of the unit when it arrived? Would you buy from hkfilx again?

Admin - thanks for starting one thread.

TIA!
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Old 10-07-02, 10:08 AM
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I have only had my player for a few days. I was originally going to use this as a secondary player but after I tried out a few discs it has been upgraded to my primary player. It replaced my Pioneer DVL-919. HKflix was great. I ordered the player on Sat(9/30) and recieved it on Thurs(10/3). I have just recently purchased a few movies from them, so yes I would definately use them again.
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Old 10-07-02, 12:34 PM
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Thanks ChrisHicks for the background! v. much appreciated!
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Old 10-08-02, 02:51 PM
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I got my JVCXVS500 from www.electronicsdirect.com for $265 shipped (free shipping). This thing RULES! I couldnt be happier with it, best electronics purchase I've made. Picture quality is amazing!
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Old 10-09-02, 02:09 PM
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Information wanted: RE: the JVC sv-sa600/602, available from HKflix. It seems to be a newer JVC unit that is also capable of playing anamorphic PAL discs.

How does it compare in playing anamorphic PAL dvds to the Malata, and what are advantages/ trade-offs with either unit? I'm not really concerned about being able to play DVD audio.

ChrisHicks mentioned this player above, but no information about how good it plays anamorphic PAL dvds.

I'm trying to decide between that unit and the Malata. Both are sold by HKflix, and that's probably where I'll buy it.

Many thanks in advance for anyone who can offer some information (maybe the HKflix guy on these boards), or lead me to a website that might discuss both units.
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Old 10-09-02, 05:36 PM
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I'd also love to see that question answered, as I am looking into buying a region-free DVD player but am torn over whether or not I should get the JVC or Malata one.
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Old 10-11-02, 02:46 AM
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I have the JVC and it plays anamorphic PAL flawlessly. The only thing I don't have is the X-Y scaling. Plus, the new modded JVCs can be set to region 0 now so there's no more manually changing regions (previous JVCs required manual changing of regions).

It's my primary player and has the best picture quality of any of the 10 players I have owned.

Jeff
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Old 10-11-02, 04:19 AM
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Are any of these new Malatas the New N996?

Just a glance at the Malata home page reveals all of these:

DVP-530
Super-Slim DVD Player with Built-in AC-3 Six-Channel Decoding Output (looks to be a 6.1 replacement for the 520)


DVP-550
55cm-High DVD Player Adopting HITACHI Loader and ESS6028 Progressive Scan Chip


DVP-560
Progressive-Scan DVD Player with Adopting 24-Bit and 192KHz High-Quality Audio DAC


DVP-566
DVD Player Adopting Design Method of Separate Decoding and Servo

Question: Does anyone know what chip(s) these players use? X-Y scaling isn't mentioned, nor is PAL/NTSC conversion. That 24/192 player looks like it might be a nice upgrade for my N996 if it behaves properly.

Also -- and this is OT: What receivers are people using with their Malatas? I want something small for the bedroom and am considering the NAD T72.
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Old 10-11-02, 01:12 PM
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Truffaut fan,
Thanks for the response on the JVC 600/602.
That sounds encouraging. As long as the picture is not distorted on viewing anamorphic PAL, I'm not that concerned about having the x-y scaling of the Malata.
I also like that you don't have to select the region (not a big deal, but nice).

Did you buy the JVC at HKflix for about $320, as in their recent email offer? If so, about how long did it take to arrive after placing the order? I'm also in California.
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Old 10-12-02, 02:56 PM
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Several points:

1. Malata is a MAJOR manufacturer in China. They also make half of Sony's DVD player lineup. If you take a look at the new Malata 3600 system we have, the speakers are identical to the ones used on a Sony Dream System. Malata is kind of the Samsung of China. They make everything from consumer electronics to medical diagnostic equipment. What I'm trying to say is that Malata is a major company, unlike Sampo, Apex, etc.

2. In regards to the new Malata players being released, here's the low down:

530: Same as 520 but with JPEG functionality
566: Same as 520 but no X-Y scaling
906: Portable player. No progressive scan, filters or X-Y scaling. No LCD screen. But will be very cheap.

In answer to "scrypt's" question, The 530 has 6 channel output. 5.1 is six channel. 6.1 would be seven channel. To take advantage of seven channel output, you need to use the optical or coax digital outs to a compatible receiver. I use a Sony 4ES.

3. dvd2001: In answer to your questions, the JVC 600/602 is the same machine as the JVC 500/502 except that it has an onboard multichannel decoder and DVD-Audio capability. If you don't care abbout DVD Audio, get the 500/502. ALL the DVD players we currently sell on HKFLIX are fully capable of correctly converting anamorphic PAL to NTSC in the correct aspect ratio. The JVCs don't have X-Y scaling. They do have the "Movie" filter which is similar to the Malata "Still" filter--useful for removing/eliminating shimmering effects on some PAL discs. Since the JVC and Malata use the same chipset, the picture quality and conversion are almost identical.

4. We are currently out of stock on 520s due to the ports strike on the West coast. We'll have more in by the end of the month. We do have Malata 3600 systems in-stock. These have all the features of the 520, in addition to a 6 channel amp, digital tuner and a satellite/subwoofer system. One nice feature of the 3600 is that it has a standby button. Unlike the 520.

If you order a 520 unit from us (when available) or a JVC, be sure you get free shipping. If you can't find the coupon somewhere, email me.

Regards,
Jeff ([email protected])
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Old 10-12-02, 06:00 PM
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Jeff: Thanks for the swift and specific answers. I just quoted your post on the Nerd-out Malata forum as well. (I gave you your props, of course.)

Two questions:

1. A friend at NBT Electronics told me the difference between the 520 and the 530 would be true DVD Audio. Is that really the case, or is jpeg-deciphering the only discernable difference? Do you know if the 530 has the 520's pixelation bug?

2. The Sony 4ES -- Haven't found that exact model as of yet. Is that really he full model name?

I was thinking of buying either the NAD T752 or Marantz SR5200, since I want music, too. Small speaker recommendations would be good as well -- something that goes works with music would be best. If I had the money, I'd buy the Linn Classik Movie system complete with Uniks.

Last thing: Since I already own an N996 and have had none of the problems with it reported on this board, I'll probably be picking up another Malata in the future. The 520 is available locally in NYC, but if you offer free shipping, I'll be taking you up on that when I pick up a new model. And don't be afraid to stock the new Xindak player, either, if they ever find an importer.

Last edited by scrypt; 10-12-02 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 10-12-02, 07:02 PM
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I already answered scrypt's question via email, but for the benefit of the board, no I do not think the 530 has true DVD Audio capability. It is supposed to be a $10 premium over the 520 and the only added functionality I've heard about is JPEG compatibility. We will continue to carry the 520 because I don't think the $10 premium is worth it for a feature few people will use.

Regards,
Jeff
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Old 10-12-02, 08:25 PM
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Just wanted to thank Jeff at HKflix for some great customer service yesterday. I emailed HKflix with questions like I posted above, and he cleared up my questions. Looks like he also posted that information in his last comments here.

I ended up ordering the JVC500, with free shipping, $269.95.

I already have the all-region player from TotalMovie, and that works fine for playing some R3 Hong Kong discs, but I wanted to move up a notch.
I guess I'll offer the TotalMovie one in the exchange forum in a few weeks, in case there's someone that wants a cheap all-region solution.
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Old 10-13-02, 12:12 AM
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Did you buy the JVC at HKflix for about $320, as in their recent email offer? If so, about how long did it take to arrive after placing the order? I'm also in California.
I got the 500 as I don't care about DVD audio. Since the Malata 520 can't play the MPEG audio format used on some European discs (like Umbrellas Of Cherbourg), the JVC models are one of the only ones that can play any disc in the world properly.

I can't say enough good things about this JVC player. Not only is the quality superb but the setup menus and the remote are both the best of any of the 10 players I've owned.

I got mine from HKflix about a month ago. It shipped from Miami, which would be 5-6 business days from California from UPS Ground. Jeff was superb in answering my questions via email. I highly recommend them.

Jeff
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Old 10-13-02, 04:19 PM
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Truffaut Fan (Jeff),
Thanks for the follow-up to my other question. As I mentioned in the more recent posts, I also ended up ordering the JVC500 after some email exhanges with Jeff at HKflix.
Thanks again for your help in this thread. I should have my player in about a week.

The first R2 dvd that I'm going to order will be the new UK release of John Carpenter's "They Live", which I think will be released in the next couple of weeks.
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Old 10-14-02, 04:27 AM
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Okay... This is kinda weird. I finally got THE GRADUATE on dvd and I new beforehand the disc was LETTERBOXED. I've got a Malata n996 and a Sony Wega 32" with 16x9 squeeze mode... So normally when I put a 16x9 enhanced disc in I have to trigger the "squeeze" mode for it to look correctly. Then when I put in a Letterboxed disc I switched the dvd player to output to a 4:3 TV (or the X-y scaling does the same thing). However, upon playing the GRADUATE dvd (which is NON 16x9) my Malata seemed to treat it as a 16x9 disc and when I used the "squeeze" I obtained the proper 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio... WEIRD!!! IS this have something to do with the flagging on the disc? I'm unfotunatly running interlaced and I know the Malata isn't the best at converting some dvd's (but they're usually video based)... Anybody have a clue about this?
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Old 10-14-02, 10:30 AM
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Is there a way to reset the settings on the Malata 520? I actually was messing around with some of the settings and I think i might have screwed some stuff up. I'd love to set it back to the factory presets.

Otherwise, I haven't had much time to deal with the malata.

I will say this. I don't like the fact that you can't change the audio to the PCM track or whatever you want to hear. That's something I didn't know before I purchased it.

It also is decoding the DTS signal when I only have a DD decoder set up. My last player (Toshiba) would just have silence when i put on the DTS track. No idea why this is happening. Is it true DTS??

There IS a problem with those little blocks of digital defects or something showing up. I only put in a couple of discs and watched a couple of minutes of each and it happened once or twice and now that i've researched it, it seem to be a problem with these players. Apparently it'll happen once or twice a movie.

Yeah...the remote sucks...and so does the fact that you have to turn the power off on the player itself.

So not much good to report yet...but i'll let you know when i have something!
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Old 10-14-02, 06:24 PM
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For 4:3 TV's with 16X9 squeeze, you need to set the Malata to 4:3 letterbox for NON-anamorphic dvds. It's a pain, but the price you pay for a player with so much scaling options.
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Old 10-14-02, 08:09 PM
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I'll buy the JVC player if I find out that either it displays HKL police story withouth the verticle squeeze, or if I can find a picture of Police Story being vertically squeezed and it ends up not looking too bad. Anybody care to help me?
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