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Panasonic DVD-S97 Firmware

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by David Mackenzie, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    Hey everyone,

    I bought the Panasonic S97 after it scored very highly on a DVD Benchmark site. The site claims that the original version of the player's firmware contained a lot of macroblocking issues, but now they are non existant:

    I'm using Component and I HAVE noticed these on my player, so I'm assuming that I have the older firmware version. So I called Panasonic UK and asked them how to check what firmware version I had and how I might upgrade it if it needs upgrading. And what a surprise... they didn't know anything about it and told me that I wasn't allowed to check what version of the firmware I have because only engineers are allowed to enter the service mode. The only way it can be sent back to them if there's a fault. Yeah, great attitude. "If it works at all, it'll do, forget about improving it" :mad:

    Then, I Googled around a bit and found comments like these:

    Great... thanks Panasonic UK... so, my question to everyone is, does anyone know how to check the firmware version to see if I can improve the picture quality a bit? It seems to be players manufactured after April that have the new firmware (in the US/Canada that is) but mine on the back says it was maunufactured September 2004.
     
  2. alefsin

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  3. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    Excellent, thanks very much for that. I'm just upgrading now to 540 to test it out, if it has any problems I'll go to 536.
     
  4. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    Wow... Panasonic UK really are useless - I was considering sending the player back because of the blocking. This has completely fixed it. Thanks so much!
     
  5. bigmacx

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    It might be too late to warn you. But you can't go backwards with the FW revisions. Once you go to 540 you're stuck with it (and its associated bugs) until they bring out a new release.

    Mac.
     
  6. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    Yeah, you're right - read that after I'd done it. Still, no problems for me so far. If I inevitably get stuttering on 720p PAL stuff and turning on the conversion to 60hz reduces the quality, I'll just send it back to Panasonic and cross my fingers :)
     
  7. Mark_a

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    Don't know for sure, but I imagine a firmware upgrade would get rid of any multi-region hack that might have been applied. Was your's multi-region before you did up upgrade? If so, is it still?

    Cheers

    Regards

    Mark
     
  8. alefsin

    alefsin
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    No need to worry about it. This firmware upgrade does not affect the multi-region.
     
  9. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    Yeah mine had the region feature corrected when I got it, and upgrading the firmware didn't break it.
     
  10. Mark_a

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    Good to know, thanks guys. Now all I have to do is see what firmware I've got.

    Regards

    Mark
     
  11. JDMP10

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    Hey guys im new to the site and I want to purchase a mid priced DVI or HDMI equipped DVD player with multi-region capability. Currently I own the Denonyou 1910 but it doesnt feel like any of there higher end models 2910 and above.

    The S97 seems to be the best equipped low to mid priced DVD player with DVI/HDMI output. I live in the US, if anyone knows a online retailer that sells the S97 with multi-region already enabled and who will ship to the US I would greatly appreciate it if you guys would let me know on that. If not I found a guy selling a US unit and he says its a pre April 2005 unit and from what he has heard, S97's built before April 2005 have the ability to play multi regions. Does anyone know if there is any truth to this or if not this then what is the real truth about this player and its multi region and PAL playback hidden capabilities and how would you unlock these features of the player? Thanks alot guys for taking the time to read my story.
     
  12. Mark_a

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    I think you'll find it's a discontinued model and is now all but sold out in the UK.

    Regards

    Mark
     
  13. stanleyntl

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    I moaned at Panny UK about axing the S97 - they have no plans to introduce another HDMI player - bonkers!!! :mad:
     
  14. SimonO

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    Can someone please tell me what's involved in converting this player to multi-region and a rough estimated cost..?
     
  15. Nic Rhodes

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    you have PM
     
  16. Fluffy-Bunny

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    Hey there,

    I have just purchased a S97, which I believe is / was made in Sept 2004, so I take it I will have to do some firmware updates.

    Do you have to upgrade in steps, ie first to V2.0, then to V2.5, then V4.0 etc, or can you just update your player to the latest firmware regardless of what is on your player by default?
     
  17. richardb70

    richardb70
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    Nope, you're fine upgrading to the very latest (541 or whatever). Note that there are two different versions of the latest firmware (the hardware recently changed) but you'll want 541.
     
  18. mray

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    One word of warning regarding firmware though. If you're happy with the player as it is, remember that once you upgrade the firmware you won't be able to go back to the previous version.

    EDIT: I see someone's already mentioned it. That's what I get for jumping to the second page!!!
     
  19. richardb70

    richardb70
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    Quite agree! But I'm very happy with 541, it has to be said. Be aware that the firmware upgrade will reset your player's settings to the factory defaults.
     
  20. mray

    mray
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    Same here. 541 is definitely better than 540.
     
  21. Fluffy-Bunny

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    Hey there guys,

    I have downloaded the 536 firmware, but wanted to quiz a few people first.
    I have a few questions I wondered if people wouldn't mind answering...

    1.)Can someone confirm what the above poster said about resetting to factory defaults...?
    Does that mean you lose multi-region?

    2.)I'm a bit apprehencive about the kind of data im burning, according to the documentation supplied with the firmware the instructions are:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    "1.) Rename the expanded file as "DVDPUPDT.FRM" (if it is not already named so)

    2.) Burn the file to the CD-R disc by using normal data mode. (The burning method to CD-R disc is not image data writing but normal data writing.)"

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Whats all that about using normal data mode...?
    I use Nero, how does that burn data? Do I just burn it as an ISO disk?
    Do I have to finalise it?

    3.) Are there 2 "builds" of the S97? I was only skim reading over on the AVSForum, but I thought I read someone state that the "April 2005" machine was different in some fashion, mentioning firmware number 360 and 361...

    Here: "I believe the 362/541 firmware is supposed to fix PAL support only..."
    Who should download the 362 firmware range?

    If someone can please answer these queries I would be eternally grateful, as im not going to do anything until I get a response of some people who know more about this than me!

    Cheers.
     
  22. Fluffy-Bunny

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    Anyone...? :rolleyes:
     
  23. alefsin

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    Fluffy-Bunny, no need to worry. Upgrading the firmware does not change the region settings (mine was region-free, is region-free). To burn the CD (actually, I used a CD-RW), just make a very normal data CD (i.e. ISO) and put the firmware file in the root. And yes, there are two series of s97. Again, no need to worry. The DVD-player checks the new firmware version before applying it and if it is not the right version for your device, it won't simply accept it. Btw, the new 541 firmware supports both the new and the old series of S97; so if you have an old one, it will upgrade it to 541 and if it is a new one, it will be upgraded to 362 (or 361?). Personally, I liked 541 much more than 536 and would recommend it.
     
  24. Fluffy-Bunny

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    Cheers for the reply alefsin!

    I have successfully updated to 536 after some nervous moments!
    The player was displaying all this gumpf for about 5 minutes, then the screen went black and nothing and I thought "uh oh", but then it came back and said update complete and "good" on the LCD display!

    What advantages does 541 have over 536? I'm pretty happy with 536 as its improved the image by a fair bit when in progressive mode, I have not calibrated the player yet either.
     
  25. Fluffy-Bunny

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    Does anyone know if these updates are still going to be produced, or will they just "stop" at some point?

    Also, does anyone have any settings for display calibration?
     
  26. holyeagle

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    How can I check which version of firmware my S97 is using at the moment? and where can I download the latest 'magical' 5.41 and how to upgrade? Could someone shed some lights?
    Thanks!
     
  27. Fluffy-Bunny

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    Of course, I can tell you as I did mine last night!

    To show what firmware you have press:

    "Pause" (on the unit itself)
    "7" (on the controller)
    "Open" (on the unit itself)

    It should then display the firmware info on the LCD display on the DVD facia.

    Check here for the firmware downloads...
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=501352&page=1&pp=30

    Actually making the firmware disk is easy peasy, I did mine for the first time last night. You just burn the .FRM file onto a blank CD-R (using Nero or other) as you would any other data file (you do not need to finalise the disk or anything), bung it in the drive, and away you go.
    Obviously you must not touch the player whilst its updating the firmware.

    All in all the firmware update should take about 5 minutes, don't worry if the player looks dead at one point its all normal, it should come back to life and state that the update has been a success, you will then be prompted to eject the disk, don't do so before! :lesson:
     
  28. holyeagle

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    Thanks very much Fluffy_Bunny! I'll give a go with it!
    BTW, do you really think that S97 via HDMI will outperform a very decent Pioneer 656 via component pq wise?
     
  29. TopMeTom

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    What are the benefits from 536 to 541 via component?
     

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