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Arcam DV88 - The Story Continues :

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Matt Horne, Mar 6, 2001.

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  1. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Where to start.. I have owned the DV88 for about 3/4 weeks now and whilst it has amazing audio and video quality I am frankly becoming unimpressed with the flaky software and pain in the arse remote.

    Currently my firmware is at 1.3 and it seems that there will not be a new sofwtare release for at least the next 6-8 weeks whilst it is tested.

    My current problems include :

    1. Unable to stop the disc on menu screens, you have to be playing a feature on the disc for stop to work.
    2. The remote seems to use parity bits which makes all universal remotes useless you have the Pronto/Rc5000
    3. The remote commands do not always work in a feature i.e Whilst watching Snatch the pause/stop commmands get the "hand symbol", the only way round it is to use the skip chapter buttons, which seems to reset the software.
    4. A variety of music Cd's are not recognized by the player.
    5. The player has frozen a couple of times whilst playing DVD's/CD's and required the machine to be turned off/or the disc ejected before normal play could be resumed.
    6. By far the biggest problem is the annoying "feature" of dropping sound on DTS/DD soundtracks at random points through DVD's. I have heard of at least one other person who has dropouts at repeatable points through particular films, whereas I find them to be unrepeatable by rewind/replay. I was happy to wait for the new software as I was only getting one or two dropouts in films (and not all DVD's) but after watching X-Men last night and having to put up with dropouts every 15/20 mins I am not at all happy.

    Now before anyone jumps on me.. I would like to say that without these problems the machine is a great bit of kit for the following reasons :

    Multi Region out of the box.
    Extremely smooth layer change (Not sure if I have noticed one yet)
    Amazing Souns on Both Movie and Music tracks.
    Stunning Video

    So currently I am considering whether or not to wait for the new software or to cut my losses return the player and buy something else. Maybe I am too impatient but these problems should not be expected on a £900 player and were not present on my £400 Pioneer.

    So does anyone have any experience with the following players which are on my short list of possible players :

    Pioneer 939A
    Sony 9000
    Toshiba 900E

    I look forward to your comments.


    Cheers

    Matt
     
  2. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Matt,

    The drop-out issue is not software related as far as I am aware. A hardware mod is required.

    Your dealer may be able to do it for you or it might have to go back to Arcam. Contact Arcam customer service to confirm this.

    Gordon

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  3. icequake2000

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    So is this problem only with a hand full of dv88 players or is this a problem wide spread because i have not noticed this problem on my player or heard anything from anywhere else.
     
  4. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Just to update.. Gordon I have spoken with Arcam yesterday who confirmed that a fix (in Software) should be in the next release and that they have been in conference with the chip manufacturer. My dealer knows nothing, though at least to their defense Arcam does not seem to have publicised any info to the dealers, but then again I think they are having a hard time working out whats wrong.

    Iceman, well so far I have only spoekn with one other user (from this board - Carlos) who has had the same problems and has since returned the player after dropouts on a variety of discs which always occurred in the same place. Mine however seem to be random though I suffered throughout the X-Men
    so I will investigate further to see if I can get these replicated in the same spots.

    I do not know how further widespread this is and I would happy to hear its only related to a few players. Iceman what firmware version are you running ??

    Cheers

    Matt
     
  5. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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  6. Alan Westy

    Alan Westy
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    Matt,

    I agree with you, There should not be these sort of quality issues on a £900 player. I too am still experiencing some of the problems you mention although I have now got it to work with my pronto and do not seem to get the "hand" signal as often as before. Still using DD only because of the problems with DTS. Will probably keep it because of the quality of the picture though.

    Alan
     
  7. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Alan..

    How did you get the codes into the Pronto?
    Was it a prebuilt CCF or did you read them in?

    I am very close to buying the pronto (I have found once for a good price) what are you r opinions on it ?

    Cheers

    Matt
     
  8. Alan Westy

    Alan Westy
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    Matt,

    I did get two third party ccf's and then used these to alias to my own design panels, I have in fact got the Pronto to learn DV88 codes that were not on the other ccf's Seems to work without any hiccups.

    My overall impression of the pronto is, it is superb, to my knowledge it is the only learning remote which is versatile enough to enable you to put away all your other remotes. Takes a lot of time to program properly and is a never ending process as new ways of using it become apparent with use.

    Alan
     
  9. WILDCAT

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    I dont know what all the fuss is about, mine is working. So ok 1 or 2 glitchs Ive seen but for christ sake the player is awsum man..

    the software upgrades are aparantly free?
    there support has been very keen to sort this...try bloody SONY!! no chance!!

    Rome was not built in a day
    good one arcam!

     
  10. CARLOS

    CARLOS
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    1 or 2 glitches too many ?
    Awsome so`s a ferrari but you wouldn`t buy one if it kept stopping every ten miles.

    Carl
     
  11. WILDCAT

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    If I was cruisin in a Ferrari man, I would stop every ten miles to ditch the last chick..

    is the dv88 multi region?
    my dealer was not to sure and arcams mouth is shut!

    If so whats the fix

    ta!
     
  12. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Yes it is, I can't remember the sequence, but if you search my posts you should find it.
     
  13. Editor HCC

    Editor HCC
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    Off the top of my head it's 1,1,1,1 on the remote followed by 13 to make the player auto-detect.
    For the record, our DV-88 doesn't display any of the drop-out problems mentioned. It's a fabulous machine. Hate the remote control though...
     
  14. WILDCAT

    WILDCAT
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    CHEERS!

    any one know of a macrovision disable for the samsung 807 ???

    region hack working ok!

    its the wifes.......honest
     
  15. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Matt Horne:
    You should get a software upgrade quickly!

    The player we have at work is on ver. 1.6, with 1.7 on the way soon. We are lucky because the local Arcam rep leaves all his new gear with us, so we can see it first!

    Will post when we get v 1.7.

    Rick


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  16. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Hey...

    To the Editor.. could you tell me which firmware your player has.. as I am on 1.3 at the mo.


    Cheers

    Matt
     
  17. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Hey Retro... As far as Arcam is concerned 1.4 is the latest offical release and my dealer does not really know all that much. I guess you are lucky to keep getting the interim updates.


    Any chance you could loan me a copy to update the machine and see if it makes any difference ?? [​IMG]


    Cheers

    Matt
     
  18. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Ian .. Did you get the update from your dealer or did they send you a disc ?


    Matt
     
  19. IanW

    IanW
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    I have just recently received an upgrade from Arcam, it was 1.4.

    As for the machine, it is a tough one really:

    Do you expect to have this many problems with a £900 DVD player. . . . NO! (However, I have been lucky and not had too many problems, although the remote not working during certain R1 films is anoying)

    Is the machine any good as a CD / DVD player. . . OH YES!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Even with the grumbles, this is a supurb machine. [​IMG]

    Ian.
     
  20. ReTrO

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    We've only got one copy of each version, the old ones also get chucked, no reason to keep them.

    If you want to upgarde the software you will have to give the shop a ring and then bring the player in.

    I wouldn't be suprised if we got Beta versions also, though we have never suffered from any of the symtoms that have cropped up on this forum.

    Rick

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  21. WILDCAT

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    seems like the your dealer is the man to see for the upgrade.

    Arcam said they are very close to a release and this version will work on most known problems people have reported, I know my other player suffers wish bloody samsung were on the ball as well ! [​IMG]

    nice one chaps!!
     
  22. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    For everyone's info:

    DV88 software Ver. 1.7 will be available in approx 1 week. We will have a copy, so if you are local then you can ring and drop in for an upgrade.

    Rick

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  23. IanW

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    Matt,

    I got my upgrade directly from Arcam, my dealer is very helpful, but I thought I would go direct. Have to say that Arcam were very helpful.

    By the way has anyone else had problems with the new DIDO CD??? This really munches the machine, you have to power off / on to get it to accept another CD. [​IMG]

    Still have to say though excellent player. Watched Braveheart (R2) over the weekend [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] I do like the DV88 [​IMG]

    Ian.
     
  24. scissor

    scissor
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    To help keep the thread near the top.
    Is there a DV88 hack to dissable macrovision ?
     
  25. Guest

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    I just got my DV-88 at the weekend and am amazed by the picture and sound. Didn't expect the picture to be a huge improvement on my Pioneer 626 but it definitely is.

    A few observations :

    - My software version is 1.6
    - No problems with sound dropout so far though I've not tried dts for a full movie
    - Haven't updated my Pronto CCF yet so cannot say if it works
    - Yes, remote commands don't always work.
    - layer change almost impossible to detect
    - Transport is extremely fast when searching for chapters and CD tracks. Instant in fact !
    - HDCD's sound stunning

    I've found that if you start making extensive use of trick play (step/frame advance etc.) then the player can get upset and then lock up. I found that you can hold the stop button down for about 3 seconds to stop the player when it jams. Has only happened once so far.

    What really annoys me with the remote operation is that for ages I didn't think my numeric keypad buttons worked. Didn't realise you had to press "OK" after typing track nunbers in !

    Any opinions on whether MP3's really do sound that bad or whether the DV-88 doesn't do a great job of playing them back ? I'm sure they sound better on my laptop connected to the amp...

    DF
     
  26. Guest

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    IanW I think (hope I'm not imagining !) I've seen two different versions of the dido album around, one with black cover and one with light grey. Which one do you have ?

     
  27. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Thanks for the comments.. I will look for the new release 1.7.. and then I'll let you know how I get on..

    BTW If I have not mentioned.. the worst case of the dropouts is from X Men DD Soundtrack.. it drops throughout the movie.


    Matt
     
  28. IanW

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    DF,

    I have got the light grey DIDO disk.

    You mention about HDCD, where on earth do you get HDCD disk from, I have been looking everywhere for one of these (to really try out the music side (CD already supurb [​IMG] but ready to be blown away by HDCD))????? [​IMG]

    By the way, has anyone noticed the problem with leaving a film paused for two long??? When you press play the film stutters before continuing properly [​IMG]

    Ian.
     
  29. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Hey Ian.. I have 2 HDCD discs which I got from cdnow.com :

    Warren G and the High fidelity soundtrack.. honestly I cannot say I really notice much if any difference..

    One other thing I have found a DV88 FAQ on the web which links back to this topic.. I'll post the link tomorrow as I have it bookmarked at work. But it did mention a service screen on the player which gives you region code access change and a internal test + a version screen for the firmaware and the drive itself.. heres how to get to it :

    Hit the following on the remote when it is at the DVD splash screen -
    stop, setup 4,7,9,2

    They mention that choosing the auto option on the region pick does not seem to work.. I have not tested it either way.

    To further the topic I watched Reg 1 Erin Brock the other night and again had dropouts all the way through.. strangely enough on Reg 2 discs I seem to not have this problem but region 2 discs will not let me pause/stop when the film is playing unless I skip forward/ back a chapter.

    I have been using code 13 for the region so I am going back to explicitly choosing the region I want to see if it makes any difference. As before I cannot get the dropouts to repeat.. so it may be a time based problem.. ie once the film has been running for a while it starts to dropout ??

    I'll let you all know how I get on!

    Cheers

    Matt
     
  30. Guest

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    Matt,

    Are you sure your High Fidelity soundtrack is HDCD ? Mine isn't (grrr...)

    IanW,

    The HDCD's I've got are :

    Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
    Natelie Merchant - Ophelia
    Dire Straits - Best of

    The Natelie Merchant disc probably sounds the best, but the sound is so clear I can hear microphone distortion on her vocals on a few tracks, which is annoying !!

    I've only got a copy of the Dido album - my neighbour threw it at me after Christmas and to be honest I didn't know much about it. So I just burned a CD-R but have never really listened to it.

    I'll give it a try but the CD-R might make a difference.

    P.S. I seem to have quite new firmware in my DV-88 (1.6). I remember seeing one in a shop a month or two back and it had a horrible blocky splash screen. I'm sure mine is better (but still not great).
     

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