Philips 963sa First Impressions

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by miniroll171, Feb 3, 2003.

  1. miniroll171

    miniroll171
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    Hi

    My 963sa arrived today from Robertsons. There seems to be a lot of talk about this DVD Player on this forum at the moment so I thought I would let you know what I think of it so far.

    I bought a Panasonic PT-AE100 projector a couple of weeks ago and although I was blown away by the huge picture I wanted to upgrade my old pioneer DV530 as it did not have component out for a better picture.

    After reading the posts on this forum I became aware of 'progressive scan' and the Philips 963sa that could do it in PAL.

    I wasn't sure how much difference prog scan would make but as the 963sa was within my budget I decided to give it a go.

    I connected the player up to the projector and put in my LOTR PAL DVD. I had switched the prog scan switch on the back of the player to 'on' and had the blue 'prog light' come on, on the front of the player.

    The picture however looked no clearer then normal! I checked the projector menu and it reported it as 525P, assuming this was converting the PAL signal to NTSC prog scan, I did the remote control prog scan hack and WOW...

    All I can say is I am totaly blown away! The projector reported 625P and the picture became ultra sharp! I just couldn't belive how much better it looked :D

    I havn't watched a film all the way through yet as I havn't got all the right length cables yet, so I can't have sound and picture together :rolleyes:

    I'll update this thread once I have watched a few films on it and let you know what I think.

    I do have one question, can I do the multi-region hack with the remote that comes with the player or do I need to get a 'one for all' remote?

    Neal
     
  2. JSW

    JSW
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    You need a one for all, Pronto or Palm to do the MR Hack.
     
  3. Mark P

    Mark P
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    mine arrrives tommorow (sounds very impressive miniroll)
    on the subject of the multi region hack (as quoted above) i have the PHILLIPS SBC RU880, eight device remote, i'm sure i read somewhere i could use this........am i correct?
     
  4. miniroll171

    miniroll171
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    Just encountered an odd problem!

    When I connect my projector AE100 to the DVD player through component or S-Video, the Digital Out (coax) cuts out!

    The picture is fine, and if I pull out the S-Video or component cable then the sound comes back on!

    Is this some kind of earth fault on the shield between the devices? Might it make a difference if I used an optical cable?

    I've been through all the menus on the DVD player but can't see an option that might be causing this problem.

    My equipment is Panasonic PT-AE100 projector, Philips 963sa DVD player and Marantz SR4200

    The Digital Out does still work if I connect the DVD player to my televison with a scart lead! but this is no good as I want to watch films on the projector!

    Any Ideas?

    Thanks
    Neal
     
  5. Ekko Star

    Ekko Star
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  6. Donnacha

    Donnacha
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    Miniroll,

    where are you based? I would love to see a demo of this DVd player in action with the Panny PJ. I have one myself and run it from a laptop - I would love to see how the Philips compares as I am very interested in getting one. I realise I've just invited myself or your welcome to come 'round mine.

    PM me if you are interested, if not then I fully understand.

    Many thanks

    Donnacha
     
  7. miniroll171

    miniroll171
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    Donnacha

    I live near Maidstone in Kent so a bit to far away for a demo! I'll let you know a bit more about how good it is when I get this problem with the sound sorted out.

    I'm gonna go into to town an get an optical cable to see if that cures it.

    Neal
     
  8. miniroll171

    miniroll171
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    Well I've sorted out the sound problem. It would seem, from my limited electronics knowledge to be some kind of earth fault between the Projector - DVD Player - Amp

    By using an optical cable between the amp and dvd player it works fine.

    As I said earlier if I use a coaxial cable the sound cuts out when the power lead is put into the projector, even if the projector is switched off!

    It worked fine on my old dvd player with a coaxial cable, but that players power cable was only a 2 pin type, so no earth

    I don't know if one of my units is faulty or whether this is common problem, but if anyone else is thinking of getting a simular setup, it might be something to think about.

    Neal
     
  9. Donnacha

    Donnacha
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    Miniroll,

    thanks - shame, but I look forward to your updates and on-going review. Glad you have the sound sorted.
     
  10. a_b

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    Since there seems to be a genuine interest in opinions about 963SA, I thought I would post mine. It seems to be the case here that many folks (including myself) have bought the machine based purely on reviews rather than careful auditioning. And how to resist – the spec looks sooo tempting. Well, I will say upfront that after having the player for 2 weeks I do not regret I bought it. But it does not hit the gold, imho. It has flaws. Here are some thoughts:

    Video via component
    First of all, I wanted to give “heads up” to those who, like myself, (still) owns Sony HS1 PJ. HS1 recognizes PAL-prog with no problem; it also keeps all the colour adjustment options active (hue, colour, contrast, brightness etc.). Progressive scan does work - “jaggies” has disappeared. However, I did not find this feature changing my viewing experience radically – I watch movies from ~4 m on 100” screen, and normally do not pay attention to jagged lines. The feature which annoys me is so-called “vertical banding”, and 963sa does nothing in this department for my set-up. I guess it is the PJ.

    Some people complained about colours – I found the colours O.K. (not great). I did not find it any better than my old Pioneer DV525. Yet, nothing to complain about – may be, I expected too much from the “new generation” DVD players.

    Video via RGB SCART on TV.

    Very good on my (old) CRT TV. Oddly, I had to reduce brightness on the player to the minimum value possible, but after that it is great. I do not watch DVDs on TV, so added this point for completeness.

    Lip synch
    Have not seen any problem yet (only watch R2)

    Image definition
    Good with True Life down to 0, grainy with any other True Life setting. In fact, I did not like any changes from 0 on the player, even gamma did not work well for me – I actually prefer to crank the brightness/contrast up on the PJ.

    Image processing
    Good. In fact, I discovered that this player reveals some (up to 1 sec) fragments I do not think I have seen before – I know, I know it is DCDi re-creating the missing pixels ! (only joking, but the first part of the sentence is actually true).

    DD and DTS digital out
    Good sound through my Denon AV amp. I have not tried the internal chips.

    CD replay
    Sensational for £350 DVD player! I think I have posted some thoughts in the other thread – I think it 90% matches £300-400 CD players. If I needed good CD player in this price range, I would seriously consider this Philips. I played many CDs with up-sampling to 192 kHz and “direct audio”, and I really liked the sound. This is the first DVD I liked for CD replay – and I was auditioning both Arcam DVDs for quite a while in the past.

    Build quality
    Not heavy metal but looks and feels solid. But here it has the major flaw – remote control does not work at all from any direction except directed straight to the player! It is not the RC unit which is at fault– I think, after experimenting, that the IR receiver (which I could not find) is obstructed by other parts inside the player, hence only directed signal can reach it. Hence, universal remotes do not cure the situation. So, I was thrown away to my old hi-fi days when I have to stand up, walk to the player and press the button. I can live with it, but why?

    This is it. My opinion about this player is that it justifies its price as £350 DVD player, and it is ahead of the race for PAL progressive (probably, will not be a news in few months). Imho, no way the picture quality can be compared with £1000+ DVD players – I personally found both Arcams way better, particularly DV27 which is rather sensational for DVD. 963SA is worth double its price though if you need a CD player in the same price range, which is a great achievement. It is clearly flawed in some departments, for me it is remote control and only O.K. colours.

    Ultimately, this is not the last player I will have. But I am glad I have it for now.

    Hope this review helps.:)
     
  11. oaklandraiders

    oaklandraiders
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    Yo

    Thanks for the comparison to the Arcams, as that is what I was wondering.

    John
     
  12. puddleduck

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    Sensational for £350 DVD player!

    Totally agree - the 963SA actually replaced my Marantz CD6000 OSE LE, and its much better - upsampling really works wonders.

    Not blown away by SACD yet, but the superb CD playback is a real bonus - tempted to pick up the 763SA (963SA's smaller brother) to use as a bedroom CD player....
     
  13. GPMCDERM

    GPMCDERM
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    I just got my 963 yesterday....tried out r1 AOTC and have to say I
    was blown away by the quality on a 6ft+ screen/AE100...I
    put on the r2 AOTC and it came up looking crap, so I done the
    Pal prog hack and it looks even better,626p on the AE100 really pleased with it.
    I'm off to get a One4all tomorrow as the hack turned off
    my multiregion...think I read that the One4All 7030 remote will
    do the trick for me.
    Tried out a load of films.....Ban Of Brothers(r2) really looked
    amazing....even better that Virgin had the wrong price on it,
    got it for 49euro....thats cheaper than the VHS!
     
  14. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Helps sell £1000+ DVD players :laugh:
    Excellent post though.
     

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