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Malata and beyond: discussing Region-Free DVD player options [PART 5]

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Malata and beyond: discussing Region-Free DVD player options [PART 5]

Old 10-30-02, 01:53 AM
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I know that the debate rages on all the time but I am looking for some feedback on what player to get. I have the 520 on order but it won't ship for a couple of weeks. What is the best one to go with, the Malata 520, 3600 or the JVC 500. I don't currently have any DVD-A discs or any DVD-R discs. What is the least trouble free player for both PAL and NTSC discs. I am looking for one that can be used as a primary player on a Sony Wega tv using componet cables. I do have Star Wars and plan on getting AOTC. What sounds like the best overall bet for my needs. Yes I know every player has tradeoffs but what one would be the least trouble? Thanks!
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Old 10-30-02, 12:20 PM
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Originally posted by raptor3076
What is the least trouble free player for both PAL and NTSC discs. I am looking for one that can be used as a primary player on a Sony Wega tv using componet cables.
raptor-

You should be careful about choosing a Mediamatics-based player as your primary player, especially with an interlaced TV.

Why? Read my last post in this thread.

I'm not 100% sure about the results with the Sony sets. Does yours have anamorphic squeeze? If so, it may possibly limit the combing problems that you're bound to experience sooner or later when using a Mediamatics player in interlaced mode.

If anyone's interested, I've written a non-technical Mediamatics FAQ which should shed some light on the issues that come up so often.
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Old 10-30-02, 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by paranoized
raptor-

You should be careful about choosing a Mediamatics-based player as your primary player, especially with an interlaced TV.

Why? Read my last post in this thread.

I'm not 100% sure about the results with the Sony sets. Does yours have anamorphic squeeze? If so, it may possibly limit the combing problems that you're bound to experience sooner or later when using a Mediamatics player in interlaced mode.

If anyone's interested, I've written a non-technical Mediamatics FAQ which should shed some light on the issues that come up so often.
I'd love to read up. I am actually using this player as my primary player for my Sony Wega with anamorphic squeeze. I've had no problems with it thus far. What should I know?
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Old 10-30-02, 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by paranoized
raptor-

You should be careful about choosing a Mediamatics-based player as your primary player, especially with an interlaced TV.

Why? Read my last post in this thread.

I'm not 100% sure about the results with the Sony sets. Does yours have anamorphic squeeze? If so, it may possibly limit the combing problems that you're bound to experience sooner or later when using a Mediamatics player in interlaced mode.

If anyone's interested, I've written a non-technical Mediamatics FAQ which should shed some light on the issues that come up so often.
i'm interested - i'm using this on a 32" Toshiba tv (interlaced) until I get my widescreen tv next year.
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Old 10-30-02, 01:31 PM
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Originally posted by digitalfreaknyc
I'd love to read up. I am actually using this player as my primary player for my Sony Wega with anamorphic squeeze. I've had no problems with it thus far. What should I know?
digital-

It's good to hear that you haven't had any problems. If you're interested in doing a little experiment, try this:

1. Turn off the anamorphic squeeze on your Sony.
2. Set your Malata filter to "still."
3. Test a PAL DVD that's known to comb a lot in interlaced mode. R2 Family Guy is good to try, or Sleepless disc 2, BBC Dracula... or pretty much any PAL "made for TV" DVD.

Look for combing (breakup of the image into horizontal bars). Once you find a scene with combing, switch your TV's anamorphic squeeze back on and watch the scene again.

I look forward to hearing your results.
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Old 10-30-02, 01:56 PM
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OOOH...hold on.

I know exactly what you're talking about.

Example: I put in my first PAL disc (Jaws 3...don't laugh) and i watched the trailer and saw EXACTLY what you're talking about. However, if i leave it in "movie" mode...i never have a problem at all.

So I don't see what's wrong. I always leave the anamorphic squeeze on (when it's anamorphic) and leave the filter on movie.
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Old 10-30-02, 02:28 PM
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Digitalfreaknyc,

What player do you have? It sounds like the JVC from you saying "movie" mode. How do you turn on the "movie" mode? I have the anamorphic squeeze on my tv also. Another question does the JVC 500 do the player generated black bars on the left and right for 4x3 if you leave the player in 16x9 mode like the Malata or not. My current player does not do this, it leaves that up to your tv, so I just leave the dvd player in 16x9 mode all the time and turn on the anamorphic squeeze for enhanced titles.
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Old 10-30-02, 03:16 PM
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I have the malata 520. You just go into the setup. I have forgotten which section you go into but it's not hard to figure out. There are 4 settings. Just keep it on movie.

And the Malata DOES generate the black bars on the side. My toshiba never did this. Again...not a big deal for everything else this player does.
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Old 10-30-02, 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by digitalfreaknyc

Example: I put in my first PAL disc (Jaws 3...don't laugh) and i watched the trailer and saw EXACTLY what you're talking about. However, if i leave it in "movie" mode...i never have a problem at all.

So I don't see what's wrong. I always leave the anamorphic squeeze on (when it's anamorphic) and leave the filter on movie.
You always leave it in "movie" even for film-sourced PAL DVDs? That's interesting because I think you could only get away with that on a progressive scan set. Do you ever see a "shimmering" effect with PAL where edges and lines are quickly moving back and forth?

The real problem occurs when you have an interlaced TV and a PAL DVD that

a.) shimmers with "smart" filter, and
b.) combs with the "still" filter

This is the biggest issue regarding Mediamatics players, and it will be addressed in the FAQ.
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Old 10-30-02, 03:22 PM
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Originally posted by paranoized
You always leave it in "movie" even for film-sourced PAL DVDs? That's interesting because I think you could only get away with that on a progressive scan set. Do you ever see a "shimmering" effect with PAL where edges and lines are quickly moving back and forth?

The real problem occurs when you have an interlaced TV and a PAL DVD that

a.) shimmers with "smart" filter, and
b.) combs with the "still" filter

This is the biggest issue regarding Mediamatics players, and it will be addressed in the FAQ.
Nope...always leave it on movie and have no problems. I watched all of Jaws 3 and it looked great...as far as conversion is concerned. No shimmering...nothing. Like i said...if i put it on still, I see the combing that you were talking about. I just switched it off. I don't understand what the problem is if you just use the movie filter.
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Old 10-30-02, 03:50 PM
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Originally posted by digitalfreaknyc
Nope...always leave it on movie and have no problems. I watched all of Jaws 3 and it looked great...as far as conversion is concerned. No shimmering...nothing. Like i said...if i put it on still, I see the combing that you were talking about. I just switched it off. I don't understand what the problem is if you just use the movie filter.
That's very interesting, thanks. Did you ever try any PAL discs with the anamorphic squeeze shut off and using the S-video or composite connection instead of component?
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Old 10-30-02, 04:41 PM
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Originally posted by paranoized
That's very interesting, thanks. Did you ever try any PAL discs with the anamorphic squeeze shut off and using the S-video or composite connection instead of component?
Nope, I actually haven't. I never really had a need to and it's such a pain to move things around with my system that I leave it as is. I'm too afraid of my huge and heavy Wega falling on me and pinning me to my carpet.

But I will say that the combing was VERY VERY noticeable when I put in that disc the first time. I got really nervous that THIS was the PAL--->NTSC conversion. But then I remembered those filters, switched it to movie...and voila! No more problems.

Me loves me Malata...cept my DVD-r's would like to strike.
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Old 10-30-02, 05:45 PM
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Anyone know if the JVC 500 generates the bars on the left and right sides for 4x3 and non anamorphic movies on a Wega if you set the dvd player for 16x9?
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Old 10-30-02, 07:30 PM
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Sony Wega

digitalfreaknyc & raptor3076 -
What model Wegas are you guys using and do they accept 480p?

digitalfreaknyc, I'm assuming you've been using your Malata in progressive scan from the very beginning, right?
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Old 10-30-02, 10:06 PM
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I need Malata Canad's PHONE NUMBER. I lost it. I tried searching but it just keeps coming up qwith nothing. I know it's somewhere in the threads, but I've spent 30 minutes looking and have to stop.

Thanks
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Old 10-31-02, 03:23 PM
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Ouch!

The search function is.... often disappointing

Moving off the board to search, is this what you want?
MALATA CANADA
4161 Sladeview Cres Unit 18-19
Mississauga, ON L5L 5R3
[email protected]
Phone: (905) 608-0335
Fax: (905) 608-0088
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Old 10-31-02, 03:38 PM
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Re: Sony Wega

Originally posted by paranoized
digitalfreaknyc & raptor3076 -
What model Wegas are you guys using and do they accept 480p?

digitalfreaknyc, I'm assuming you've been using your Malata in progressive scan from the very beginning, right?
I'm using the 36" without PIP. I'm not sure of the model number offhand.

And as for progressive scan...i thought that was always limited to 16x9 screens. If it's outputting progressive scan, I didn't put it to that. I honestly have no idea. I would assume it's interlaced.
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Old 11-01-02, 12:15 PM
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Just so you guys know, I checked out the JVC XV-S500 at Best Buy today and they are now capable of playing the Fade subtitles on THE PHANTOM MENACE. ATTACK OF THE CLONS apparently has the same type of subtitls.
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Old 11-02-02, 01:18 AM
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paranoized,

Just wanted to let you know that i ordered my first R2 movie and i saw everything that you were talking about. The other two movies that i had were R4. Not only did i notice no PAL speed up for either title but neither exhibited the problems that you mentioned. However, here we go with the R2 disc and it had all the problems you mentioned. Is there a reason for this? Is there not a speed up with R4? It doesn't make much sense. Why does the player have a problem with R2 but not R4? If this is the case...i think i'll just stick with R4.
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Old 11-02-02, 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by digitalfreaknyc
paranoized,

Just wanted to let you know that i ordered my first R2 movie and i saw everything that you were talking about. The other two movies that i had were R4. Not only did i notice no PAL speed up for either title but neither exhibited the problems that you mentioned. However, here we go with the R2 disc and it had all the problems you mentioned. Is there a reason for this? Is there not a speed up with R4? It doesn't make much sense. Why does the player have a problem with R2 but not R4? If this is the case...i think i'll just stick with R4.
This is an intriguing situation you have. It would be helpful if you could list the discs you have and the problems with each one, and the results you get when changing the filter on your Malata.

First of all, the region code is irrelevant. The shimmering and combing problems are a matter of PAL->NTSC conversion combined with the unusual way the Mediamatics creates an interlaced image. My Mediamatics document will address this in more detail.

You *can* get lucky and get a PAL disc that looks perfect on an interlaced TV, which must be what happened with your R4 discs.

PAL speedup is a fact of life. All film-sourced material when transferred to PAL will play faster than the original film or its NTSC equivalent. Sometimes the speedup is obvious and other times it isn't -- it depends on the content. I'd wager you just didn't notice the speedup on the R4 disc, either because it was a film you aren't too familiar with or because the content didn't give any obvious indications of the speedup.
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Old 11-03-02, 02:57 AM
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This is an intriguing situation you have. It would be helpful if you could list the discs you have and the problems with each one, and the results you get when changing the filter on your Malata.
OK. Only 3 thus far:

American Psycho R2
Frantic R4
Jaws 3 R4

Frantic and Jaws 3 have zero problems. Just watched Jaws 3 again today. No problems that aren't associated with the original transfer. Again...don't notice a speedup on either title either. Oddly enough, i'm more familiar with these movies than my R2 title. Been watching both since i was little and know both soundtracks by heart. No pitch difference.
Watched them in movie mode. no problems. If i switched to still, i do get the combing you were talking about. So i leave it on movie.

American Psycho. Put it in and noticed IMMEDIATELY that there is a speed up and a weird almost blinking problem. It's not a shimmering...it's just weird. I don't know how to describe it. The widescreen band is almost blinkingly moving (if that makes any sense). Same with any writing on the screen. If i switch to still or smart, i get the shimmering you were talking about. VERY weird. Movie is the lesser of the evils. So i guess i'm holding onto my R1 copy. I only got this one for the extras anyway.


SIDE NOTE: I got Attack of the Clones on Friday. The player has NO PROBLEMS generating the subtitles on the disc!!! YEAH!!!!
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Old 11-03-02, 01:03 PM
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Dear Paranoized:

I spent the last two and a half hours reading the info many have left on this topic however I would like to hear your opinion regarding something else.....

I am planning to buy the JVC 500 model (not the Malata) ONLY for the purpose of playing PAL R2 discs. 99% of the titles that I will be buying are from France and Scandinavia. Now, some of the forum members recommend Malata other go with the JVC. What is the existing info regarding French discs and the PAL/NTSC convertion?......anything I should be aware of?

Currently I have a 36' SONY (trinitron) and am NOT planning to buy a 16/9 TV at least for tne next two years? Should I be concerned about experiencing any significant problems with such TV and a JVC500(especially the shimmering issues)? Or perhaprs you would recommed to me getting a MALATA?

I value your opinion A LOT since me and a friend of mine tested some of the options/issues you described with the VEGA TV and you were 100% correct/ Please, let me know what is your opinion in this specific case......

Thank you!
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Old 11-03-02, 03:55 PM
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I am planning to buy the JVC 500 model (not the Malata) ONLY for the purpose of playing PAL R2 discs. 99% of the titles that I will be buying are from France and Scandinavia. Now, some of the forum members recommend Malata other go with the JVC. What is the existing info regarding French discs and the PAL/NTSC convertion?......anything I should be aware of?
I would go with the JVC simply for the fact that it can play all discs, whereas the Malata can not. The Malata 520 can't play any of the European discs encoded in MPEG audio. So if you buy the French version of Umbrellas Of Cherbourg, you'll have no sound whatsoever. Also, some of the Malata's can't reproduce fading subtitles, whereas my JVC 500 plays them fine. This only affects a few titles (namely the two Star Wars discs and a few titles from Asia. The other reason I went with the JVC was the reports of random pixelization on the Malata, as well as the Malata losing its settings with power being off and a crummy remote. Having said all that, the Malata does have two advantages. The X/Y scaling feature is nice for some people, although it's not of any use to me. Also, the Malata's STILL filter is reportedly a little better than the JVC's FILM filter. The filters are useful to reduce shimmering on PAL discs.

After, about 6 months of following threads on this forum, I finally bought the JVC 500 a month ago and I couldn't more pleased with this player.

Jeff
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Old 11-03-02, 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by pro-bassoonist
Dear Paranoized:

I spent the last two and a half hours reading the info many have left on this topic however I would like to hear your opinion regarding something else.....

I am planning to buy the JVC 500 model (not the Malata) ONLY for the purpose of playing PAL R2 discs. 99% of the titles that I will be buying are from France and Scandinavia. Now, some of the forum members recommend Malata other go with the JVC. What is the existing info regarding French discs and the PAL/NTSC convertion?......anything I should be aware of?

Currently I have a 36' SONY (trinitron) and am NOT planning to buy a 16/9 TV at least for tne next two years? Should I be concerned about experiencing any significant problems with such TV and a JVC500(especially the shimmering issues)? Or perhaprs you would recommed to me getting a MALATA?

I value your opinion A LOT since me and a friend of mine tested some of the options/issues you described with the VEGA TV and you were 100% correct/ Please, let me know what is your opinion in this specific case......

Thank you!
pro-bassoonist,

Thanks for the kind words.

First of all, a PAL DVD is a PAL DVD no matter what country/region code it comes from.

Yes, you should be concerned about shimmering. Your TV is interlaced, so you will encounter shimmering on PAL DVDs sooner or later. Your results will vary from disc to disc:

For film-based PAL DVDs, some will look perfect but some will shimmer. Video-based or made for TV PAL material will definitely shimmer, 100% guaranteed. Film-based NTSC material will be fine, with rare instances of combing. Made for TV NTSC should be fine, but is more prone to occasional combing.

Results will be the same with either player. That's just a fact you'll have to accept if you want to use a Mediamatics player with an interlaced TV. I would not recommend a Malata over the JVC because the Malata will not be able to avoid the shimmering any more than the JVC.

This is not to deter you from buying either player. When it comes to PAL/NTSC conversion, Mediamatics players are the best machines for the job.
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Old 11-03-02, 05:14 PM
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Thank you for the info Paranoized. This further backs my decision leaning towards buying a JVC. How different is the picture when you convert from PAL/NTSC using a 16/9 TV? Does one offset the impact of the conversion by using a 16/9 TV?


Jeff.....you seem to be quite pleased with your JVC player. Are you using an interlaced TV or 16/9?
I am interested mostly in PAL dvds coming from France but not necesserely French movies....have you encountered some major issues?
If it is not a problem for you please comment on the actual convertion of a PAL disc using a JVC player.....how successful is it in YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE?

Thank's
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