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Philips DVP642 - Region FREE & DivX Player (727-killer?)

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Philips DVP642 - Region FREE & DivX Player (727-killer?)

Old 05-02-04, 03:16 PM
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Philips DVP642 - Region FREE & DivX Player (727-killer?)

A search of the Philips 642 proved to be fruitless since it falls beneath the parameters of word count...so my apologies if this is deja vu.

I've owned this player for a couple of weeks now and for me, it's a workhorse. First of all, it is a DivX-certified player. Plays Divx, xvid, avi, mpeg (1,2,4).

There is a firmware upgrade at Philips website. Once installed (a little tricky...the f/u defaults the player to another player, so the picture comes out scolling vertically - although difficult, switch to the correct player version and all will be right).

The remote hack to enable region-free playback works and is the following:

1. Turn on the player.
2. Open the tray.
3. Press the following sequence on the remote:
7 8 9 OK 0
4. The number 0 will appear on the lower left side of your screen.
5. Your player is now region free! Put in a DVD and enjoy!

I've tested this player with City of God (R2/PAL - UK) and it plays flawlessly.

Also, there was a problem with the Philips 727 (which I also own), where on Disney dvds like the Lion King, the multi-angle icon is displayed at the beginning and ending credits of the film. This could not be removed.

This is no longer a problem with the 642.

The 642 is sold at Target for $69.99 (90 day return period, no restocking fee). It is also sold at CompUSA (restock fee) and Bestbuy.com (free shipping) for the same price.
Old 05-02-04, 03:35 PM
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how is the pal to ntsc conversion on the 642 compare to the 727? i heard good pal to ntsc conversion on the 727.

does the 642 play copy vcd in black and white or color?
i have the philip q35 and when i play a copy vcd, it plays it in black and white. so i kind of worry regarding the quality of philips dvd player.
Old 05-04-04, 05:41 PM
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Do subtitle files work with divx movies?
Old 05-04-04, 06:27 PM
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Yeah please post - I might have to get this player as a backup!

Jeremy
Old 05-05-04, 12:40 AM
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Just a note. Found this on DVDRHelp.com:

IF YOU ARE ABOUT TO UPGRADE THE FIRMWARE FROM VERSION 0113 (January 13th) TO VERSION 0409 (April 09th), YOU NEED TO BE AWARE THAT ONCE YOU FLASH THE PLAYER WITH THE NEW FIRMWARE, IT WILL SET THE PLAYER TO PAL (instead of NTSC) BY DEFAULT - THUS CREATING BLACK AND WHITE JUMPY SCREENS.

TO FIX THIS:
1. Turn on your player.
2. With your remote, press Menu (System)
3. Press arrow down twice. (Highlighted 'Video')
4. Press OK. (Highlighted 'TV Standard')
5. Press RIGHT ARROW (Highlighted 'Multi')
6. Press DOWN ARROW ONCE (Highlighted 'NTSC')
7. Press OK. (Window will ask if you can see.)
8. Press OK to confirm.

PROBLEM SOLVED.

NEXT PROBLEM WITH FIRMWARE UPGRADE: SINCE IT WOULD SET YOUR PLAYER TO PAL BY DEFAULT, IT ALSO SETS YOUR PLAYER TO ONLY READ REGION 2 DVDS (as opposed to REGION 1). TO FIX THIS, READ THE 'REGION HACK DVP 642'.
Old 05-05-04, 01:11 PM
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I'm starting to get interested in the 642 now Any drawbacks that anyone can see between 642 vs 747? Sounds like it does the PAL > NTSC ok, as long as everything else is on the up and up, I may be stopping at Target soon
Old 05-05-04, 01:18 PM
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I hear that it has a noisy drive motor, and that it makes irritating noises when playing divx movies. Also, the picture quality isn't as good as the 727.
Old 05-05-04, 03:18 PM
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I've tried DVIX movies with both SSA and SRT subtitle files and the machine didn't recognize either of them. It does make a "chrirping" noise when playing DIVX, but you have to listen for it and I didn't find it distracting at all . It's much better than the Polaroid DVD player that plays (supposedly) DIVX movies. Haven't had any freeze up problems on this one like with the Polaroid.
Old 05-05-04, 08:41 PM
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The PAL-->NTSC Conversion on the 642 looks like it has problems--every PAL disc I tried was zoomed in and stretched in 16:9 mode--cutting off the top and bottom. Looked to be the same for 4:3 or 16:9 source material.

I don't see these problems on my 727.

-Kyle

Last edited by kyle; 05-05-04 at 09:09 PM.
Old 05-05-04, 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by kyle
The PAL-->NTSC Conversion on the 642 looks like it has problems--every PAL disc I tried was zoomed in and stretched in 16:9 mode--cutting off the top and bottom. Looked to be the same for 4:3 or 16:9 source material.

I don't see these problems on my 727.
Check your video output settings, you might have it set to letterbox 16:9 instead of letterbox 4:3.

I hope that is what the problem is because I want to pick this player up for the divx, xvid, avi capabilities.
Old 05-07-04, 12:16 PM
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^ Can you follow up on this kyle? I want to pick this player up next week but if it doesnt do proper conversion I won't.
Old 05-07-04, 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by fnordboy
^ Can you follow up on this kyle? I want to pick this player up next week but if it doesnt do proper conversion I won't.
Me too, I'm interested!
Old 05-07-04, 04:42 PM
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I'm am also interested in this player, as I do not yet have a region-free player.
Old 05-07-04, 05:08 PM
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Does it play SA-CD and DVD-Audio's?
Old 05-07-04, 05:49 PM
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Nope.
Old 05-07-04, 08:54 PM
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The Pioneer 563 (?) will play SACD and DVD-A and convert PAL-NTSC.
Old 05-10-04, 09:18 PM
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I just bought this at Target and I'm pretty satisfied with it. I'm just glad that it's a multiregion player, and the divx feature is nice. I tested about five divx cds on it, and all played fine except for one. The picture was zoomed in to fill the entire screen, and the video skipped.

Does anyone know exactly what the firmware update does? I can't find any documentation on the features updated by it.
Old 05-11-04, 12:33 AM
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Picked up one last week. Region free works, DivX works (for some reason it letterboxes widescreen files to 4:3, so I have to zoom in on it).

However, Im less than impressed with a few things. First of all, the DVD player is slow to respond to the remote. Sometimes it doesnt respond at all. It seems like I cant go back any less than 40 seconds, which is really a pain when you just want to hear one line you just missed. Also for some reason when watching something with multiple angles, the multi-angle icon is constantly on, even if I stay with the same angle throughout feature. It also randomly skips...its not in the disc because it doesnt do it in the same place twice. It will not output closed captions, which is a pain for discs without subtitles.

Ill probably try out the firmware update, but Im seriously considering taking this back.
Old 05-15-04, 03:26 PM
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So how did the firmware upgrade work out?
Old 05-16-04, 12:15 AM
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I can not find this player anywhere yet. Two Targets had it on display but both were out of stock It is a nice looking player, I hope it performs the way I want it to. I have a few more stores to check out, and I have been told Target should have it in by mid week.

I am mainly only getting this for the divx capabilities, I already have 3 region frees plus two other non region free players. From what I have read though everything fixes itself after the firmware update, we will see though.
Old 05-16-04, 12:25 AM
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I picked one of these up last week from Walmart.com (the only place I could find it). I'm pretty satisfied, though it only plays about 70% of what I throw at it (mpg, avi, divx-wise), even after the firmware update. Still pretty cool, even with the limitations.
Old 05-16-04, 08:02 AM
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So to sum up ..... for DVDs only (no divx, etc.) does this machine match the 727 for all-region ease of use and PAL conversion? Has anyone had issues playing DVDs on this machine?
Old 05-16-04, 02:30 PM
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In case anybody's been on the lookout for this -- CompUSA has this listed in their Sunday flyer today (5/16) at 69.99, so they should have received new stock.
Old 05-16-04, 02:33 PM
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no issues for me; i had the 727 which was good, this is just as good to me; i couldn't tell any major differences comparing a r2 PAL disc on both machines in terms of video quality unless you really told me to pay very close attention, and even then it is only slight at the most (not sure if i was noticing differences because i was biased going in, that's how minor it is)

in fact, the 642 fixed one problem the 727 had on my tv; when i was using the 727 to play in progressive scan mode on my widescreen tv; the 727 would play video that was sqiggly on the very top edge of the screen (95% of the viewing area was unaffected, but it was still annoying) this is no longer the case on my 642

the remote on the 727 is universal and has a few more buttons, and it has a better menu system, but overall the 642 in my opinion is just as good

Last edited by UKingdom; 05-16-04 at 02:37 PM.
Old 05-16-04, 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by UKingdom
no issues for me; i had the 727 which was good, this is just as good to me....

Thanks, that's what I was hoping to hear. I was thinking of getting another 727 as a back -up when they suddenly seemed to disappear overnight, so I think I'll grab one of these while they're on sale for cheap.

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