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HELP! Philips 727 vs. Toshiba 3900

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HELP! Philips 727 vs. Toshiba 3900

Old 09-09-03, 01:15 AM
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HELP! Philips 727 vs. Toshiba 3900

I have just about decided which region-free player to ask my girlfriend to get me for my birthday (I've been using my computer so far due to unemployment) and now need the help of you good folks to make my decision regarding the Toshiba 3900 or the Philips 727.

From my assessment of these two models, here are the pros and cons and best prices:

Toshiba SD-3900
Pros: great picture quality; will play MOST non-region 1 discs, including PAL; correct PAL-to-NTSC conversion
Cons: "hack" enabled by remote control for each disc (varies and might be annoying) and will not play some non-R1 discs (e.g. R2 "Bend It Like Beckham")
Price: $79.84 with free shipping (Amazon.com)

Philips 727
Pros: great picture quality; will reportedly play ALL non-region 1 discs, including PAL; correct PAL-to-NTSC conversion; region changing enabled for all discs via remote one time (barring RCE discs requiring changes)
Cons: Insufficient information; ten bucks more than the Toshiba
Price: $89.99 with free shipping (Amazon.com)

As far as I can tell, these two players are comparable in features. The only differences between them are 1) the method used to enable region-free capabilities and 2) the Philips' ability to play discs that the Toshiba can't play. I really can't see any cons to the Philips except for the lack of information on it. Everyone has raved about the Toshiba (in its own dedicated thread), but several people have returned theirs in order to purchase the Philips.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm turning 34 on September 26 and my girlfriend has been bugging me for days to make up my mind about the player. I had made up my mind until yesterday (get the Toshiba), but now I'm faced with the Philips possibly being the better option. Her opinion? Get the Philips because it'll play stuff she wants to buy (like the R2 "Bend It Like Beckham").
Old 09-09-03, 01:15 AM
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For the record, I considered the following players also, but they have been eliminated:
  • Cyberhome 500 - ruled it out because some people have complained about the picture quality and cheapness of it.
  • Lite-On LVD-2001 - ruled it out because it's too new and more expensive than other comparable players.
  • Malata DAV-3600 - ruled it out because it's quite a bit more expensive (even without the decoder and speakers) and we don't currently have a widescreen set (the Mediamatics chip issue).
Old 09-09-03, 01:47 AM
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I have the 724. I'm hoping the 727 is greatly improved. Altho the 724 does do all regions, it handles layer changes badly on some R1 dvds.
Old 09-09-03, 05:20 AM
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For what it's worth, I had the Toshiba... great picture, great product, good job on most region not 1 discs, but won't do them all. I know from personal experience. And it will NOT do Bend it Like Beckham!
After skimming all forums here and elsewhere,
- http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=157727 -
I opted for the Philips on the basis that Region switching is manual, hopefully more reliable. I understand it does one disc that the 3900 w0n't, so I'm hopeful.

Another plus on the Philips, is that it reportedly has the resume feature (5 disc resume) that the Tosh sorely needs, IMHO. On paper, at least, the Philips is the way to go.

When I get it, I'll report back.

BTW, right now the Philips is only $5 more than the Tosh at Amazon. It'scurrently a best seller, it's brand new and had grreat reports.

Here's hoping.

Last edited by jblackie; 09-09-03 at 08:44 AM.
Old 09-09-03, 09:39 AM
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I have the Philips (I think mine is the 426, not the 427) and have had no problem with any R2, R0 or R4 discs that I've put into it.

Easy remote control hack, handles anamorphic PAL on 4:3 set and it doesn't have the flaky compatibility that seems to plague the Toshiba.

There is no Macrovision hack, though I assume you don't need that, as there isn't one for the Tosh, either.

Have you tried any brick-n-mortar stores for Philips decks? I bought mine at a Meijer store a few months back for $70 (it was on sale and they also had a special $10-off coupon for the holiday weekend on all purchases over $70, so I saved about $20 on it). You might luck into a decent price.

I believe MOST (if not all) Philips decks have a remote region hack, so you might not have to stick with the 427. The other poster is right, though, and some earlier model-numbered decks have some problems (I remember researching this on some hack site).

Good luck!
Old 09-09-03, 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by dlew308
I have the 724. I'm hoping the 727 is greatly improved. Altho the 724 does do all regions, it handles layer changes badly on some R1 dvds.
Thanks for the reply. My current Toshiba SD-2109 handles layer changes badly too. It pauses for at least a second on every disc. I would think that new players would handle layer changes better.

Originally posted by jblackie
For what it's worth, I had the Toshiba... great picture, great product, good job on most region not 1 discs, but won't do them all. I know from personal experience. And it will NOT do Bend it Like Beckham! After skimming all forums here and elsewhere, I opted for the Philips on the basis that Region switching is manual, hopefully more reliable. I understand it does one disc that the 3900 won't, so I'm hopeful.
Thanks for the input. Yeah, the Toshiba sounds like a winner--if only it played all discs. There's a short list of discs it won't play now (I've seen your posts about Bend It Like Beckham), but who knows for the future? I might have my new player for another four years. I checked here and the HTF forum you mentioned and the Philips 727 sounds like it tops the Toshiba from preliminary reports.

Originally posted by jblackie
Another plus on the Philips, is that it reportedly has the resume feature (5 disc resume) that the Tosh sorely needs, IMHO. On paper, at least, the Philips is the way to go.

When I get it, I'll report back.
Thanks. Any idea when you'll have it? I need to make a decision soon or my girlfriend will kill me. Oh, and regarding the resume, that missing feature on the Tosh doesn't bother me. I'd be more concerned with the lack of a "time remaining," but from what I've heard, that feature is missing on most new players.

Originally posted by jblackie
BTW, right now the Philips is only $5 more than the Tosh at Amazon. It'scurrently a best seller, it's brand new and had grreat reports.
Hmm... I'm showing $10 more at Amazon: $79.84 for the Toshiba and $89.99 for the Philips. Am I looking in the wrong place?

Originally posted by mythmaker18
I have the Philips (I think mine is the 426, not the 427) and have had no problem with any R2, R0 or R4 discs that I've put into it. Easy remote control hack, handles anamorphic PAL on 4:3 set and it doesn't have the flaky compatibility that seems to plague the Toshiba. There is no Macrovision hack, though I assume you don't need that, as there isn't one for the Tosh, either.
Thanks for the reply. You're right; I won't need a Macrovision hack. I'm most concerned with playing all non-region 1 discs. You have the "426, not the 427"? The one I'm looking at is the 727.

Originally posted by mythmaker18
Have you tried any brick-n-mortar stores for Philips decks? I bought mine at a Meijer store a few months back for $70 (it was on sale and they also had a special $10-off coupon for the holiday weekend on all purchases over $70, so I saved about $20 on it). You might luck into a decent price.
No, I haven't. My experience with electronics is that B&M's are overpriced. You got a good deal on it, so maybe I'll have to run around a little this evening and check. My girlfriend is footing the bill for my birthday, but I'd certainly want her to get the best price.

Originally posted by mythmaker18
I believe MOST (if not all) Philips decks have a remote region hack, so you might not have to stick with the 427. The other poster is right, though, and some earlier model-numbered decks have some problems (I remember researching this on some hack site).
According to the HTF thread referenced above, the 727 has an easy remote hack that essentially switches the player to either region 0 (free) or any other region. So if I have set it to region 0 and have a RCE disc that won't play, I can simply change it back to whatever region it needs. Very cool. I also like that you don't need to master some mystical sequence of button presses each time you want to play a disc (like the Toshiba) only to find out that a disc won't play no matter what you push. Sounds annoying on the Tosh and very frustrating if you buy one that simply won't play.

Thanks for the input, folks. Anything else would be very much appreciated.
Old 09-09-03, 06:10 PM
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Looks like the Philips 727 went up $5 since my order.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...772970-4031832
Sorry. Mine has not shipped yet. Expected date is the 16th, DVDude!
Old 09-09-03, 09:25 PM
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Hmm... Thanks jblackie. The 726 is $79.99. But I guess it's probably better to get the 727 because it's a newer model.
Old 09-09-03, 11:23 PM
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Just bought the Philips 727 dvd player at Target today ($99.99). I can confirm that this particular dvd player can play Bend It Like Beckham (Region 2/PAL) dvd. Now it's time to return my Toshiba SD-3900 dvd player also at Target.....
Old 09-10-03, 01:57 AM
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Originally posted by Gilriz1827
Just bought the Philips 727 dvd player at Target today ($99.99). I can confirm that this particular dvd player can play Bend It Like Beckham (Region 2/PAL) dvd. Now it's time to return my Toshiba SD-3900 dvd player also at Target.....
Thanks for the reply here. So, now that you have the Philips, how does it compare with the Toshiba in terms of picture quality, menus, etc.? Is the remote control "hack" painless and will it stay on region free after entering the code one time?

Thanks.
Old 09-10-03, 06:28 AM
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BTW, if anyone is buying the Philips from Amazon and wants to share the love with me, please do. I've almost decided that's the one to get. Almost.

Likewise, if anyone is planning on purchasing it soon, I'll share the love too.
Old 09-10-03, 07:54 AM
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Looks like we need to start a new thread touting the benefits of this machine. (We won't have to give out lists of titles it won't play, apparently!)

Last edited by jblackie; 09-10-03 at 01:00 PM.
Old 09-10-03, 12:02 PM
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In my search for a low cost multi region dvd player, I came up with several brands that performed the function OOB.

1) Cyberhome CH500, that machine was slow to react to the commands and had a video problem on my screen.

2) Toshiba 3900, overall right now it is working fine but the repeated sequence to play other regions is a minor negative. I don't have any R2 discs so the isolated problem certain discs does not affect me yet.

There are several other big brand names that are supposed to do multi region but I am not sure about PAL > NTSC.

Here's a list, anyone can confirm...

Memorex MVD2028 - remote hackable region free, but pal>ntsc?
Memorex MVD2030 - remote hackable region free, but pal>ntsc?
Philips Q35AT - remote hackable region free + pal>ntsc
Philips 726 - remote hackable region free + pal>ntsc
Philips 727 - remote hackable region free + pal>ntsc
RCA DRC230N - remote hackable region free, but pal>ntsc?

If my Toshiba dies, I will probably try a Philips next.
Old 09-10-03, 02:07 PM
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I've gone through several code free players:

Malata (the old and new)

JVC (paid to have it hacked to play all regions)

Toshiba 3900

Philips 727

Out of all of them, I favor the JVC because it handles everything and has many options allowing you to change film modes, settings, etc. Very nice remote. It is also the most expensive--about two hundred bucks including the hack.

Second would be the Philips--Very good picture, handles everything so far, and the one time hack saves a ton of time. It has fewer options to "personalize" your settings, but overall not too bad. The remote is pretty good and at a hundred bucks (or less) it's a bargain.

I believe MOST (if not all) Philips decks have a remote region hack, so you might not have to stick with the 427.
Unfortunately, I haven't found this to be true on my Philips multi-disc DVD/SACD player. I haven't discovered a hack which will allow it to be region free. Yet. If anyone knows of one, please post it here.

Last edited by Franchot; 09-10-03 at 02:15 PM.
Old 09-10-03, 02:52 PM
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Originally posted by jblackie
Looks like we need to start a new thread touting the benefits of this machine. (We won't have to give out lists of titles it won't play, apparently!)
I agree. I'm 98% sure I'll be getting the Philips 727 now. A week ago, I was set on the Toshiba because it had its own thread. I barely knew about the Philips. I just knew that the Toshiba had two strikes against it in my book: won't play all titles and annoying remote hack.

Originally posted by mapson
In my search for a low cost multi region dvd player, I came up with several brands that performed the function OOB.

1) Cyberhome CH500, that machine was slow to react to the commands and had a video problem on my screen.

2) Toshiba 3900, overall right now it is working fine but the repeated sequence to play other regions is a minor negative. I don't have any R2 discs so the isolated problem certain discs does not affect me yet.

If my Toshiba dies, I will probably try a Philips next.
Thanks for posting. Once upon a time, I considered the Cyberhome because it is cheap. However, with the Toshiba and now the Philips being in the same price range, I'm glad I waited. As for the Toshiba, I have little patience and trying a myriad of button presses to find the right one would undoubtedly drive me up the wall.

Good to hear that you're leaning toward a Philips if and when you need a new player.

Originally posted by Franchot
I've gone through several code free players: Malata (the old and new), JVC (paid to have it hacked to play all regions), Toshiba 3900, Philips 727.

Out of all of them, I favor the JVC because it handles everything and has many options allowing you to change film modes, settings, etc. Very nice remote. It is also the most expensive--about two hundred bucks including the hack.

Second would be the Philips--Very good picture, handles everything so far, and the one time hack saves a ton of time. It has fewer options to "personalize" your settings, but overall not too bad. The remote is pretty good and at a hundred bucks (or less) it's a bargain.
Thanks for the input. I lean toward the Philips because it's less expensive than the modded players out there. I don't muck around with various settings anyway, so I doubt I'd use many of the extra features on a higher-end player. The remote on the Philips doesn't look the best, but it'll work. Nice to hear a confirmed report that the Philips has a "very good picture" and the hack does work as reported by others.

My decision is almost made! Thanks, guys! Keep posting for others and to put me over the edge.
Old 09-10-03, 02:53 PM
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Franchot-

Have you tried this place for hacks?

http://www.dvdrhelp.com/dvdhacks.php...er=philips+727

(add your own model in the search)
Old 09-10-03, 11:29 PM
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Originally posted by jblackie
Franchot-

Have you tried this place for hacks?

http://www.dvdrhelp.com/dvdhacks.php...er=philips+727

(add your own model in the search)
Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I have the Philips 795SA which is a five disc player. As soon as I try any "hack numbers" the player begins searching through the carosel (sp?) to play a disc. (Even if I press the number 9). My search continues, but I'll check back at that web site. Thanks again for the link.
Old 09-10-03, 11:50 PM
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Thanks for the input. I lean toward the Philips because it's less expensive than the modded players out there. I don't muck around with various settings anyway, so I doubt I'd use many of the extra features on a higher-end player. The remote on the Philips doesn't look the best, but it'll work. Nice to hear a confirmed report that the Philips has a "very good picture" and the hack does work as reported by others.
Let me clarify a few things about a "very good picture." I hooked up my modded JVC XV-N50 and played some material which has lots of lines and plaid patterns. The deinterlacer in the JVC is excellent. When the player is in AUTO mode it tries to read the flags on the DVDs as best it can and to give the best picture. In AUTO mode there were some instances of "stairstepping" and jagged lines on the plaids and lines on the DVD. When I switched the player to FILM mode all those instances of jagged lines were gone. This is what I would call an excellent picture.

Playing the same material on the Philips 727 produced some instances of "stairstepping" and jagged lines, however the Philips has only one mode (AUTO) so there is no other mode to switch to to get rid of the "jaggies." The picture was very good, but there were instances of jaggies on the screen.

The remote is very good on the Philips and very responsive. I had no problems with the Philips but the remote on the JVC is better. (Better lay out--different size buttons--glow in the dark buttons.) The Toshiba's I would rate as so-so. (The problem with the Toshiba player is that damn hack that has to be put in each time you use the player with a DVD that is not Region 1. It's not a horrible procedure--just annoying.)

For me, I didn't mind spending the extra hundred on the JVC because I wanted the best picture (for non-Region 1 DVDs) I could get in my main theater. (I've got a Pansonic RP-82 as my main player in that theater.)

I use the Philips in a secondary theater. I called it a bargain because for less than a hundred bucks it performs a lot better than almost all other hackable players.

You'll have to make your decision based on what you can afford and what inconveniences you're willing to put up with.
Old 09-11-03, 12:00 AM
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What are the differences b/w the Philips 726 vs the 727? It appears the hack works for the 726 and it is available at BB.
Old 09-11-03, 02:38 AM
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Originally posted by Franchot
Let me clarify a few things about a "very good picture." ... The picture was very good, but there were instances of jaggies on the screen.
Thanks for the clarification. For me, I can put up with some jaggies. It's gotta be a step up from my 4-year-old Toshiba. Plus, I'm only watching on a 4:3 27" screen for now, so it sounds like I'll be fine with it.

Originally posted by Franchot
The remote is very good on the Philips and very responsive. I had no problems with the Philips but the remote on the JVC is better. (Better lay out--different size buttons--glow in the dark buttons.) The Toshiba's I would rate as so-so. (The problem with the Toshiba player is that damn hack that has to be put in each time you use the player with a DVD that is not Region 1. It's not a horrible procedure--just annoying.)
Yeah, I'd get annoyed by having to do that every time on the Toshiba. Glad to hear that the Philips remote is fairly good. I'm currently using a universal remote anyway; I don't even use the majority of the features available on my original Toshiba SD-2109 remote because I couldn't program them all in. Also, my universal remote has a light, but I never use it either.

Originally posted by Franchot
For me, I didn't mind spending the extra hundred on the JVC because I wanted the best picture (for non-Region 1 DVDs) I could get in my main theater. (I've got a Pansonic RP-82 as my main player in that theater.) You'll have to make your decision based on what you can afford and what inconveniences you're willing to put up with.
My main "theater" is so low budget that the Philips will fit in nicely. Plus, since my girlfriend is footing the bill, I'd rather ask for a less expensive but very good player. Thanks again!

Originally posted by badlieut
What are the differences b/w the Philips 726 vs the 727? It appears the hack works for the 726 and it is available at BB.
I was wondering that too. Generally, I like to get the most recent product model, but the 726 is ten bucks than the 727 cheaper on Amazon.
Old 09-11-03, 11:28 AM
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Originally posted by badlieut
What are the differences b/w the Philips 726 vs the 727? It appears the hack works for the 726 and it is available at BB.
From what I can determine they're pretty much the same player, if not the same player. Looking at the information and picture of the 726 and comparing it to the 727 which I own, I'd say it's the same player. They look the same and the stats are the same. Somebody in a different forum mentioned that the 726 is last year's model. Could be. Philips may have just released the same player this year without changing anything except the number. The hack works on "both" players, however.
Old 09-11-03, 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by Franchot
From what I can determine they're pretty much the same player, if not the same player. Looking at the information and picture of the 726 and comparing it to the 727 which I own, I'd say it's the same player. They look the same and the stats are the same. Somebody in a different forum mentioned that the 726 is last year's model. Could be. Philips may have just released the same player this year without changing anything except the number. The hack works on "both" players, however.
I downloaded the Philips product manuals for both players from Amazon. It looks as if one difference is the remote. The 727 remote has more buttons, including buttons for TV Volume and Open/Close. Apparently this new remote will also control your TV (their are codes for TVs in the 727 manual) in terms of simply changing channels and volume control. In addition, the onscreen menus look different (less like Windows XP).

That's about all I could find. There might be more, but I didn't want to go blind perusing the 52-page manual for each. I don't know if the additional remote features justify the extra $10 that Amazon wants for the 727, especially because I might simply use my existing universal remote for the new DVD player. However, it's generally best to go with a newer model.
Old 09-11-03, 03:20 PM
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I looked at the Philips website and it mentioned something about a 4x video upsampling on the 727, but not on the 726. The 726 does not have a fiber optic out, only coax--not sure on the 727.
Old 09-11-03, 05:21 PM
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Just an FYI, my girlfriend has a 724 so I tryed the hack on it last night. While it hacks the region (1+1+1+1+0) and will do PAL to NTSC conversion...it can not handle anamorphic widescreen PAL discs, it will play them fullscreen. Otherwise the hack seems to work perfectly. Not that I needed another region free player anyway.
Old 09-11-03, 09:52 PM
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Got the 727 delivered today and it is SWEET! Plays everything I've got, great picture, surround, picture controls, etc. It isthe one to get. And no mod needed. I love it.

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