Denon A1. Chroma bug fix?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Jules, Feb 2, 2003.

  1. Jules

    Jules
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    I've just got bought a brand new A1 today for a very reasonable price at Practical hifi. The guy upgraded it with a CD to pal progressive and MR.
    But, reading on another forum there appears to be different upgrades around, and one of them fixes the chroma bug!

    Now I don't know which version I've got, but I'd really like to know if my player has the chroma bug, and if so, how to fix it.

    Can anyone help?

    I've been able to get a display fo the current firmware which is:
    -FRV 6100
    -ESS 625P
    -PANEL 6091

    havn't the foggiest idea what it means though..
     
  2. YellowCows

    YellowCows
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    Jules,

    It depends on when the unit was made. Earlier models than August 2002 build supposedly still have the chroma bug, which is fixable by firmware update. Let us know your buid date (first three digits of the A1's serial No. - beginning with '2' for 2002, 2nd & 3rd digits indicate month of manufacture).

    It appears your unit has the older Denon Digital Link, not the 4C-approved version, or Denon LiNK SE, as the MR firmware numbers are from the original (July date) firmware. This is pre-'SE'. This doesn't really make a difference unless you have an A1SR amp and a few DVD-Audio discs.

    But, let me emphasise, before you 'update' anything, first run a few of the standard chroma bug tests using the known problematic discs, such as Toy Story (chapters 3 & 4), the Fifth Element etc. (or just look out for streaks on saturated reds and blues on any of your DVD's). Remember, the 'chroma bug' as it is known relates to Film material, and as I have said, there is a fix for it if your A1 exhibits it. On Video-based material (i.e. footage shot on video camera, or computer graphics recorded on video tape, not film camera to film) such as the 'Warning' legal blurb or the behind-the-scenes featurettes on DVD supplements, any such 'streaking' or chroma-bug-like effects are not the chroma bug, are not fixable, and are present on every DVD player there is, so don't worry about it.

    If you don't find any problems, then you don't need to install any firmware. The chroma bug fix won't actually improve the picture quality on a machine that doesn't exhibit the problem in the first place.

    In case you don't already know, here's a link to assist you:

    Definitive 'Chroma Bug' information from 'Secrets'

    Cheers,

    Moory
     
  3. Jules

    Jules
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    Thanks for your help Moory.

    My units serial number starts 206, so I presume it pre-dates the chroma bug fix.

    I'm really not bothered about the denon se link, cos I'll just use the analogue feed for DVD Audio which I think is just as good.

    Will fixing the chroma bug disable the MR and Pal progressive ability?
    Its not really that obvious that my machine has the chroma bug, (my previous Pioneer 737 had it badly), but I think its there.

    If I'm mistaken and it doesn't have the chroma bug, will trying to fix it cause any damage?
    If not, how do I get hold of the update with abc instructions so I don't break it.

    Sorry for asking so many questions.
     
  4. YellowCows

    YellowCows
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    My pleasure. Any Time:hiya:
    No, but you'll have to re-install the MR firmware again after installing the chroma bug fix.
    Not to my knowledge, as long as you do it right, and make sure you re-install the MR firmware afterwards. The CB fix was actually released by Denon USA, and it's for the DVD-9000 (US A1), it will install fine on UK machines, but for full PAL functionality, you'll need the MR firmware (which was written for UK and European units by Hayden Labs). Hence the need to re-install it.

    I have a theory, however, that your machine may start to skip and freeze more afterwards. It's just a theory, and I don't have access to more than one machine to prove it. The reasoning behind the theory is that I only experienced these glitches after the chroma bug fix was installed. Denon have pinned the blame for freezing/skipping/lockups/audio dropout issues on faulty laser pickups and not firmware, so I may be wrong. This is why I insist that you shouldn't mess with your machine unless you're sure it's got the bug.

    Here You Go:

    Chroma Bug Fix Firmware

    DVD-A1 MR/Pal P Firmware (Original version - for pre-'SE' units)

    The Chroma bug patch is 2 files in ISO format - you'll need to burn them onto 2 separate discs. The upgrade process is in 2 parts - Disc one writes to the ESS (the video DAC), and disc two writes to the Panel.

    Burn the MR software to a third disc, to be installed after the fix is complete. For safety, when burining the discs, use good quality CDR's and close(finalise) the discs after writing.

    Instructions are included in both files. Follow them to the tee. Don't forget, during all firmware upgrades to Denon players, NEVER use the remote control at all, and also don't use the 'Play' button to close the machine. After each disc is ejected, you must switch the player's power 'OFF' with the disc tray open, then 'On again to continue with the next disc. As an added safety measure, remember to 'Initialize' your machine after both the bug patch (after you've completed all the steps, with both discs installed)and MR firmware upgrade processes. Initialisation is done by pressing and holding 'Forward Skip', followed by 'Play', then 'Open/Close' buttons on the unit's fascia.

    Be very careful, any mistake will render the machine unusable, and you'd have to send it back for repair. I re-iterate, if you're happy with the pictures now, leave it alone!

    Hope it all works out!

    Moory
     
  5. Jules

    Jules
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    Again, thank you!

    I downloaded the files and burned them on to 3 CD-R's.
    My Burning software (Nero5) doesn't let me label the discs as stated in the 'readme' file. I can't use any punctuation or spaces.

    So, I burned them anyway and put the first disc in the A1.

    It said 'loading' for a few seconds, then stopped. (Don't worry it didn't break it). I thought it was supposed to spit the disc out afterwards automatically - well it didn't.

    So I panicked for a few seconds, opened the draw and abandoned the process.
    It still works as before.

    Apart from the disc label, I did everything as described.

    What should I do?
     
  6. Jules

    Jules
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    I tried inserting disc 1 again, but I just get the file menu that you'd get watching kodak digital stills and a folder labeled 'root' at the top. I daren't press enter on the remote either.

    Watched a few film scenes meanwhile, and I'm now certain I have the chroma bug.

    On another matter, the player gets quite warm and discs come out much hotter than on my old Pioneer 737. Is this normal?
    It also skipped a few times playing Fifth Element (R1).

    I'm getting a bit worried for the enormous layout I've just made.
     
  7. YellowCows

    YellowCows
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    Ok,

    First of all, don't worry. If the machine still works, then you haven't done any damage to it yet.

    Seems strange that the discs don't load as they should. The firmware writing process should read 'LOADING, 'WRITING', then 'COMPLETE', upon which the disc tray ejects. There could be several reasons for the mishap:

    - The discs weren't burned properly. The contents of Disc 1 (ESS Disc) of the CB fix are: 2 Files named 'D9KNWCHP.CFW' & 'DVD9000.ROM'. Disc 2 (PANEL Disc) contains 1 file titled 'DVD9000P.ROM'. The Multiregion patch disc should have the following files:
    D38hnchp.cfw
    D38hnvdn.cfw
    D9knwchp.cfw
    Dvd9000.rom
    readme.txt

    - The discs were inserted in the wrong order. Unlikely, as I'm sure you followed the instructions, but it can happen! Make sure you label the discs (with a pen - the 'Readme' file refers to the original discs sent out by denon USA to DVD-9000 customers) Disc 1 'ESS', Disc 2 'PANEL' & 'MR/PAL P' for easy reference.

    - The upgrade disc was inserted after a DVD disc. Make sure you start the process 'fresh', meaning that you should remove any discs in the machine, switch it off (Power button, not remote) with the disc tray open, place disc 1 in the tray, switch it On, then close it with the Open/Close button, and the process should begin automatically, then eject the disc. As per the instructions, you switch the machine off again with the tray open, then place Disc 2 in, switch on, and so on. After disc 2 is ejected, switch 'Off' again, then On, then intialize the machine, then switch it off once more, then place the MR disc to install that again. Remember to swithch the Power off each time a disc is ejected, and intialize it again after you've switched it back 'On' following the MR patch.

    - You pressed 'Play' to close the machine. Again, NEVER press 'Play' to close the tray, ONLY 'Open/Close'.

    Check each of these potential errors, and check the discs, their contents, and label them with a CDR pen. Nero is a good burner, as is Easy CD, so the discs should be OK.

    It's also a good idea to leave a DVD running overnight on 'Title Repeat' to run the unit in. Don't worry about the heat. High-end Denons do run pretty hot. switching the front display OFF (using a Pure Direct mode, or the 'Dimmer' function) will help it run significantly cooler.

    As for the skipping, play the disc in your Pioneer to check if it isn't the disc itself. As I've said, try running the unit in overnight, then play it again, and if it still skips, you could have the dealer send it to Denon to have the laser pickup replaced, or as you say it's brand new, maybe you could get it replaced with a newer 'SE' model - these shouldn't have the freezing issues common on the 3800, and they are said to be CB free.

    Rest assured you've made a good investment. The A1 is an excellent piece of technology with unrivalled longevity, once the teething problems are ironed out. Try the process again, and you shouldn't have any more problems.

    Cheers

    Moory
     
  8. Sultan

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    YellowCows is right ... and wrong!

    The MR firmware works fine on the non-SE model. Just try it again.

    The SE-version still suffers from occasional freezing. I have this bug in approx. 1 out of 15 DVDs but I am quiet sure this is a firmware issue. I didn't see any freezing before I got the SE-upgrade!

    If you want MR then ***DON'T*** get the SE-upgrade yet. I am still looking for the bl@@dy SE-MR-firmware - since 11/2002! This really gets frustrating now!


    Cheers :suicide:
     
  9. vwgti16v

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    Hi m8.

    Totally off topic this but i was wondering how much did you get it for as i am after one myself. The best price i have quoted if £2000 with multiregion but i didn't enquire about pal progressive scan.
     
  10. Jules

    Jules
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    Thanks guys.

    It was marked as £2000, but I paid £1800 as an end of sale deal.
    This is very cheap for Practical Hifi who are normally more expensive than the rest. I don't normally mind that because they offer extended guarantees and good service.
    I think I might have got the last day of the sale deal when they were trying to beat their Jan sales targets. Lucky me!

    Moory, I really appreciate the time you've taken to help me with this. I'm going to check the files and reburn them if necessary.
    I'll let you know how I get on.
    If it fails again, I'll take the unit back and exchange for it a new one. (The Fifth element plays fine on my Pioneer)

    Jules
     
  11. Jules

    Jules
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    Oh Bleeping bleep! This is bad!

    Just reburnt the files successfully and inserted disc 1 in the
    DVDa1.
    It said 'writing' and ejected the disc as expected.

    I turned the machine off (with the draw open) then back on again ready for disc 2..... except, now the machines completely dead. Nothing works!!!

    To make matters worse, I stood up and my knee brushed against the draw and it began to suck in disc 2.
    Now the machine is dead with a disc stuck in it that's labeled "Chroma Firmware update Disc 2".

    So, If I take it back to the shop, they'll know I've fiddled with it.
    Short of taking the top off and extracting the disc manually,
    what can I do?
     
  12. Jules

    Jules
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    Phew! I got the disc out.
    I'm taking it back to the shop tomorrow and hope to replace it with a more recent version that doesn't have the chroma bug.

    I'm not bothered about Denon Link SE, (my upgraded A1SE amplifier needs another upgrade to accomodate it anyway)
    but I do want MR , pal progressive and Chroma bug free.

    Lets see how it goes.

    I've learned the hard way, so to anyone else who's reading this with interest, DON'T try the firmware upgrade yourself.
    At least mine's only 2 days old, so I doubt the dealer will argue.
     
  13. godzilla

    godzilla
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    I'm pretty glad I bought a later version from Discount TV as it came SE-equipped from the factory (although only a "207" build date, so SE must have been out a while in Japan) and Ben did the MR/Pal Prog/FBI skip firmware himself.
    Everything seems to work fine, there is no chroma bug, layer changes are virtually seamless, not encountered any freezing and I love being able to skip the FBI screen! (doesn't work on the R2 copyright warning though...)

    Just waiting to receive the component cables I ordered separately so I can finally enjoy prog scan!

    I posted my firmware numbers in another thread somewhere if anyone is interested.

    Denon Link SE is cool and saves buying 6 expensive phono cables and having to mess about with bass management (I believe), it's the main justification for buying the A1 over the 3800.
     
  14. Sultan

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    @godzilla

    Is "your" Discount TV the same as "h**p://www.discounttv.co.uk/"?
    Do they have a physical store or is it an online shop only?
    If physical, could you please give me the full address?


    THX,
    Sultan
     
  15. godzilla

    godzilla
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    Speak to Ben, he is the firmware loader:
    01282 864048

    Discount Electrical UK is a trading name of Roy Jowett Audio Visual,

    42-44 Albert Road,

    Colne,

    Lancashire

    BB8 0AD
     
  16. Sultan

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    Godzilla,

    WOW - fast reply! Thanks!

    But it's not this easy:
    First of all my spoken english really got bad...:( and furthermore I do not live in the UK (anymore) - So I can't just drop by and ask Ben for an upgrade.

    If my information is right he doesn't give away the firmware on CD or via email. So my only chance is to send my A1 to Ben... But I am not sure if I should take the risk on transport damages or loss.

    At the moment I don't see my machine running on MR-firmware :suicide: - and before anyone asks: No, all retailers in the city I live now do not hold a copy of my desired software :thumbsdow


    Cheers,
    Sultan
     

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