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philips 963SA - outdated?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by richard plumb, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    Hi

    I have this and am generally very happy with it (I remember the prelaunch threads on here about it when PAL progressive was barely ratified).

    But with all the talk of DIVX playback, upscaling players etc, I wanted to take another look at it.

    Would some of the newer players out there have better playback? DivX is attractive to me - are these flexible? eg support selectable subtitles, different zoom levels etc.

    Upscaling isn't that important, as I'm feeding the component to an AE100 projector, which doesn't have HDMI.

    BTW, are there any players with dual outputs? eg component to my projector, VGA for my screen (currently feeding it svideo which still looks good - thanks pixel plus!)
     
  2. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    If your not worried about upscaling, which is a something or nothing imho, then stick with the 963. Great SD PS output simple as that. If you want something better i am tempted to say stick the SDI mod on it.
    For your reference i have recently owned Samsung 945/850 and continue to own a 963, Tosh 900, Pioneer 939, Tag32r. etc etc. Not one of these upscaling players PQ was anything like (at any res) as good as any of the above at plain jane 480p. Just mho of course.
    At the cheap seats end of the market i have found hdmi to be little more than a convenience accessory rather than the super-duper-go-faster-stripe hype that it seems to have garnished. On lesser models i have found the PQ improvements to be marginal at best, in the case of the Samsung range, i will concede that the hdmi output is "better" (crudely put) than component but that is simply because the component output is just not that good (again crudely put for the sake of time)
    I am not at all convinced, and this extends to some fairly expensive players 1K+ that the hdmi connection offers any real world improvement in sound quality whatsoever, in fact if asked for my opinion i would feel obliged to say that as of yet (in my limited experience of 4 or 5 hdmi players) the good old sp/dif toslink connection is still top of the table for audio

    Steven
     
  3. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    cheers Steve.

    One question regarding unprocessed Vs 480p. My projector (connected via component) is 480p. If I select 480p will the 963 convert my PAL DVDs to 480p? The AE100 isn't known for its scaling skills, so I'm wondering if its better left to the DVD player. I currently use unprocessed.

    I'm tempted to split the component to feed my TV too (philips 30pf9975). The picture via simple svideo is great (good scaler on the screen), so I wonder how much better it'd be via direct component?
     
  4. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    No, if memory serves correctly it will output 576p. Your projector will either up or down scale it to its own native resolution.
    If your projctor is native 480, i personally would stick to ntsc discs and from your 963 output either I or P nd see which offers the best PQ and stick with that. I would be inclined to think that your particular PJ would offer better results being fed 480p from your 963, but that is just an educated guestimate.
     
  5. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    My experience is just the same as Steves, I could have written the same note. Re SDI 963 is still betters ANYTHING I have seen from elsewhere at ANY price but I am due to take delivery of an ARCAM player soon :) The modern HDMI players lag a long way behind.
     
  6. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    I have to agree, I have had loads of players and an SDI modded Philips is the best picture available, however mine has given up the ghost tonight! :(

    To say I am gutted is an understatement.

    Nic, do you know what it is that goes on them when there is no power at all? I will test it all tomorrow anyway but if it is unrepairable I wont bother.
    What mpeg decoder is in the Arcam, I sold a DV89 cheap as well once I got the 963, should have kept it as a spare I guess.
     
  7. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    I believe it may be a common heat related failiure. I certainly recall at least several instances of these otherwise great machines falling over due to the same complaint.
     
  8. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Never had a problem with mine, but I bought a spare just in case though as this player has a rare combination of talents.
     
  9. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    I am going to order another now I think, I was hoping this would be my last SD disc player! :rolleyes:
     
  10. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    There are a lot of reports of 963SAs failing in the way you described just lately, mine included! I'd be very wary of buying one now, especially if I was going to go to the expense of getting it SDI modded.
     
  11. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    That is my worry Andy, it won't cost me anything for the SDI mod as I have the board all ready and it only takes 15 mins to take it out and solder it into a new machine, but as soon as I open it I loose my warranty.

    I would get another Panny RP82 if the sound wasn't so awful! :(

    Thats why I was interested what mpeg decoder the Arcam uses, nice reliable machine, not bad for film soundtracks and can be picked up at a fair price.
     
  12. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    The ARCAM uses the vadis chipset, 3 or 5 depending on moedel, one I have always had a soft spot for. I have seen few 963 fail, in fact the only ones I can think of are you two!! Three running here with never a glitch, I wish even my Tag was like that.

    and yes your 82 SDI does stink re audio quality!!
     
  13. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Well I have to say I kept reading reports of failing 963 units everywhere and thought that there must have been a bad batch, but now that has just packed up.

    What about the Denon 2900, a few people have said they have been really impressed with the SDI on them, you had any experience?
    I hate the 3910, I took two back thinking they were faulty as the sound was so bad, so if it is the same as that I wouldn't want to know.
     
  14. Spligsey

    Spligsey
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    I have a 963 that will not output a component signal via the RCA outputs, but, happily outputs it via the SCART link.


    Adz
     
  15. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Don't know about 2900 but the SDI 3910 was a turkey! I am loojing forward to my SDI Arcam though :)
     
  16. Chris Bellamy

    Chris Bellamy
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    My 963SDI blew its power supply (overheated) twice, but Henry at crtprojectors replaced it with a new machine that seems to run cooler: the original was always hand-hot at the back right on the top casing, even in standby. I think Henry modifies the PS heat sink on players he sells now. I'm happy to say that as always, the service from crtprojectors has been first class: they have never let me down, and I cant recommend them enough.

    Chris
     
  17. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    I agree 100% there, Henry is a star and has always looked after me well outside warranty periods etc.

    He has offered for me to go over and try a new psu in my machine even though I didn't buy the player from him, only the sdi board! Amazing service.
     
  18. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Gets my support and custom as well but never had any problems.
     
  19. Pottsy

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    Warm weather = posts like this.

    Henry gets my vote too! Did a good deal and replaced mine with the 3910 "turkey".

    Well, turkey gets my vote! Via an Iscan HD+ and 42PHD7 I get the same resolution, but slightly nicer colours (reds better on NTSC) and slightly clearer dark areas. Remote (Pronto) also now works anywhere, there's no layer change pause and I'm happy!

    Will someone pass me the cranberry?
     
  20. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    ;)
     
  21. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    I didn't have a problem with the 3910 picture it was the sound, it sounded really flat, mind you I was using a Meridian 598dp at the time which was awesome! Well for sound, the picture one of the worse dvd pictures I have seen, for a laugh we compared it with an Akura that was £22.99 at Makro, and there was not alot in it! :)
     
  22. Neil F Holland

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    Not wishing to stray :offtopic: here but this Philips 963 seems to have a number of fans. However I can't seem to find it for sale anywhere... Is it obsolete and do any retailers still have in stock? If gone, what is similar in terms of quality and price?

    (BTW what is the SDI modification referred to?)

    Thanks
    :clap:
     
  23. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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  24. Neil F Holland

    Neil F Holland
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    Thanks, do Henry's machines come guaranteed... I can't afford to write off £560 if one of the problems on this thread come to light...?
     
  25. binbag

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  26. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Neil
    Most humble apologies if i am preaching to the converted but you are aware that the SDI output is specific and compatible (most commonly here) with a few scalers? Without the mod the player can be bought for 1/4 of the price.

    Steven
     
  27. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    yeah the reason I posted the link was it had both the rec player for sale AND it had SDI stuff at the bottom.
     
  28. Neil F Holland

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    Thanks to both Steve and Nic...

    I was planning to purchase this player in conjunction with a Lumagen VisionHDP... will they work their magic stuff in harmony or bicker like aging spinsters?
     
  29. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Neil.

    Sky's the limit with scalers.
    However the image via SDI (upto 1080p i believe on the HDP) will knock your socks off.
    Serious serious image quality for £1500 or there abouts. If you have yet to see SDI via a decent scaler/PJ then i believe you will be thrilled, this is about as good as it gets at consumer level imho.
    You might need a hand or alot of time and a decent read up with the scaler however, i have yet to find one that is plug-n-play.
     
  30. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    SimonO has an SDI modded for sale in the classifieds at the mo, maybe worth having a search?
     

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