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Panasonic S97 owners please read

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by geeWcee, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. geeWcee

    geeWcee
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    Can any owners of the new Panasonic S97 (HDMI) player give their thoughts about macroblocking which may be present during playback? Is it that much of a problem, how noticable etc..
    Was going to order one, but this is the only thing that is holding me back now... :confused:
    I want to get a good HDMI DVD player to run with my plasma display.
     
  2. gstadt

    gstadt
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    Hi geeWcee

    I've had the s97 for about two weeks now. I'd never seen MB before and , to be honest, I'm still not sure if its what I'm seeing now - I see a certain amount of banding but I suspect that's more to do with the ED (rather than HD) display. On balance, the picture quality is so much better than the e55 I got originally and it seems to get better the more I watch, maybe the wine :) . It does cast a green tinge on certain DVD's (I watched King Arthur the other night and it definately had a greenish hue) but that makes it surreally cinematic more than anything else. Also, there's so much functionality and things to play with, if your like me and like to fine tune incessantly.

    In summary, I'm well pleased I bought it and it seemed the perfect balance between performance now and saving what I would have spent on a Denon/Arcam for Blu-ray/HDDVD in 18-24 months time.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. geeWcee

    geeWcee
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    cheers gstadt for the quick reply. Much appreciated.
    I think I will get my order in now today.
     
  4. tamthetim

    tamthetim
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    geeWcee

    I've been looking for a review of the SD97 for a while as I'm thinking about buying one also.

    Would be glad to hear how it performs with the PW7.

    Have you got an HDMI board yet?

    Cheers, Tam
     
  5. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    I don't have a S97 (would love one though) but, macroblocking is tiny squares that appear (usually green in my experience).
     
  6. geeWcee

    geeWcee
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    Tam, I ordered the S97 yesterday and then spent rest of day trying to get hold of a HDMI board. I have a mate who works for Panny UK and I have got all my panasonic kit thru him but he doesnt have any HDMI boards.Might be in after xmas...
    Anyone know of any stock anywhere? Alot of places wont sell the boards separately (understandable).
     
  7. rasb0

    rasb0
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    Have just bought my S97. Now waiting for my Tosh. 46WM48 to arrive :thumbsup:

    Just been informed it won't be til early next week :thumbsdow

    Will let you all know how they pair up. Did demo them together on Monday, Sound & Vision, Bolton and it was awesome. Hence the decision to buy.

    Is the supplied HDMi cable any good? Or should I buy another?

    Rick
     
  8. geeWcee

    geeWcee
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    Supplied HDMI cable wouldn't reach my Plasma so I have had to order specially anyway ;-(
     
  9. tamthetim

    tamthetim
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    geewcee..............heard the HDMi boards were lost in transit it October and hence the shortage...............I'll wait till Jan to buy the player and cable.

    rasb0.........i would always buy after market cables rather than the standard ones supplied...............should be around £50 to £70...plenty to choose from..AV sales do them.

    cheers, tam
     
  10. carlton

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    Lost in transit,thats a good one i think its more likely they are delayed
    as they were not true hdmi version 1.1 boards and now panny are doing something about it.
     
  11. lee31

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    I too have just bought the Tosh 46" DLP & Panny S97EBS

    I have read numerous forums re the S97EBS & its macroblocking problems but all US sites. As a precaution, I phoned Panasonic to ask them about it, they agreed that earlier models did have this problem but said benefit to us in the UK is that we're getting the player a long time after the yanks so any problems have been resolved including macroblocking. I also asked them about the HDMI lead supplied, they basically said that as the S97EBS is their FLAGSHIP DVD player, & they wouldnt have scrimped on the lead & dont see a reason for upgrading. If you think you need to upgrade, lmk as I know where you can get the QED leads for £42 delivered

    I should get DVD player (from sound & vision) tomorrow but Empire Direct have now informed me that TV might not be till next week but def b4 xmas so my excitement has dimmed for now
     
  12. geeWcee

    geeWcee
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    Havent got confirmation of delivery for my S97 yet.....
     
  13. p623

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    Hi I have an S97 and yes it does have the macroblocking problem as for Panasonic UK statement I do not believe a word of it (before I retired I had worked for many years at Panasonic) UK models are still showing the same firmware as the US models!

    PS it’s still a great player.

    Paul
     
  14. jason t

    jason t
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    paul what combination have you got ?? and how bad is the macroblocking ?
    i got rid of my old denon 2800 due to macroblocking,,drove me mad

    jason
     
  15. geeWcee

    geeWcee
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    Good cos mine just arrived this morning.....
     
  16. p623

    p623
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  17. jason t

    jason t
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    you really think a cure is around the corner !! i very much doubt it i had the same problem with my old denon 2800 and denon still have the problem with the 1910 .
    i would really like to buy this player to run with my 434 through hdmi but the thought of macrobloking makes me think i might as well stick with my dvd 25 for now :-(


    jason
     
  18. p623

    p623
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    I can understand your concern but I wasn't aware of any Denon "acknowledged" Macroblocking problem with the 2800, in the case of this Froudga- Pana- Denon problem the impetus is hopefully going to drive the fix
    Paul
     
  19. jason t

    jason t
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    it was never called macroblocking i think thats a fairly new name but the symptoms are the same !!

    jason
     
  20. t0by

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    Does anyone know if the alleged firmware upgrade for the S97 to fix the macroblocking problem is available yet? Or is it simply not coming?
     
  21. geeWcee

    geeWcee
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    KNowing how bad Panny is at customer support I vey much doubt it. They just expect you to buy the new models...
     
  22. t0by

    t0by
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    Ah! As if by magic, I just stumbled across this:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183968

    Long US thread here:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=501352&perpage=20&pagenumber=1

    Firmware here:

    http://home.comcast.net/~fway/Panasonic_DVD-S97_85E536_firmware_update.zip

    Significant commentary (not from me, from someone on the US thread):

    1. The pink/red/purple tint. FIXED
    If you bring up the grey scale, this is esily seen. The worst disk I saw this effect on is on the Moulin Rouge THX optimizer. On the grey scale screen, a strong tint of red with the old firmware. The new firmware ... GONE! I noticed this also on the AVIA disk and DVE disk but it was never as pronounced as on the THX optimizer. There might be a little red in the low IRE levels, but I have to confirm this. The AVIA and DVE patterns are clean, while the red in low IRE is only on the THX optimizer on the grey scale/black level screen.

    2. Macro-Blocking
    This was never a huge issue with my player/display combination, but I did see the artifact occationally. I think the first time I saw it where it became distracting was with Collateral Damage. The new firmware reduced the Macroblocking significantly. I really had to go looking for it to see it. I still have to verify that this is not a problem with the disk itself.

    Macro-Blocking is significantly reduced!

    3. Faster Menue Navigation
    With the old version, the menu navigation was a little slow. It's very fast now. I wasn't looking for this when I was testing last night, but a very nice bonus. Unfortunately, the 4:3 menu shrink issue (where the menue selections are not alligned correctly) is not corrected.

    4. User Settings
    This might be a benefit for those who don't read the manual ... but the firmware removed the step to save your user settings. I think this is a step backwards. Before, the player allowed you to save 2 individual settings, now there is only the system menu.

    I preferred the original user setting format.

    5. Sharpness
    Sharness/ringing is still present in 720p and more so in 1080i. I didn't play too much with the settings to see if I can reduce it, but it is there.

    Overall, this new Frimware is much ... much better than the original one.


    Toby
     

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