Philips 963SA questions.....

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by dynamic turtle, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Mods, please don't move this to the dvd section - a lot of people in the hi-fi forum use this as a cd/sacd player.

    Hi all,

    Just a few technical questions on this player, the instruction manual is not very helpful!

    1) Is there any way of turning the display off? I was hoping the "sound-direct" mode would, but seems to only switch the video board off.

    2) Some of my settings seem to automatically turn themselves ON even though I've turned them OFF in the menu! Karaoke voice and the digital output especially! Why??

    3) I assume "sacd bypass" set to ON means sacd's ARE NOT converted to PCM?

    4) What does "non-linear squeeze" mean in the progressive options?

    5) There are two options in another PS menu - "auto" or "480P". What does the auto one do? (I want to keep it at 480P, as my PJ only displays 480p & 1080i)

    6) I thought the 963 could upsample all material to 1080i? I can't find that option anywhere....

    7) What does the "pass below black" setting do exactly?

    Overall, I'm very impressed with the RGB & S-video output of this player. I was led to believe the 963's analogue output was its weak link? Looks good to me.

    Re musicality, I'm not using the cd upsampling option (just to remind myself what plain-old 16-bit sounds like!) Sounds a bit brittle and harsh to me. I assume most of you use the 24/192 upsample option? does this make things sound smoother in your opinion?

    No operational faults to report yet. Looks like I got one of the very few non-lemons after all! :clap:

    Cheers,
    DT
     
  2. Timbo21

    Timbo21
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    DT,

    How does it compare soundwise, CD & SACD, to the 900?

    T.
     
  3. Godfather

    Godfather
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    You can't turn the display off, only dim it. To output 1080i you'll need to download some different 'test' firmware and burn it onto a CD. It's not as stable as the official firmware. 'Auto' means 480p for NTSC and 576p for PAL progressive scan.
     
  4. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Yeah, what is this feature??

    I have Depech Mode and it is on SACD, however the player going through the dac sounds better with RBCD than the player does with SACD through analogue. Can I tell the player to ignore SACD and play the RBCD version instead keeping the digital out alive?
     
  5. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Timbo, the deck hasn't really run-in yet, so it would be unfair to pass comment on the audio side at this time (sounds promising so far though).

    Strange thing, that component output. When I run a PAL dvd, it runs in 480p and looks stunning (even through a cheap PJ like mine), yet with NTSC material, it can look very washed-out and grey. I'm surprised, as the PJ ONLY outputs 480p! I assume the 963 is downscaling the 576p to 480p then?

    Bizarre re the depeche mode SACD. You must be using a very good dac! I can't complain about the sacd performance so far; sounds good to me. Maybe you have bass-mgmt bypass set to "NO"?

    ....or maybe your amp doesn't like high SACD frequencies? Most modern amps are designed to go way above 20khz (one of mine isn't but seems to cope nonetheless).
     
  6. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    576p is possible
     
  7. Timbo21

    Timbo21
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    The washed out thing on NTSC may be because I think NTSC uses a different black level to PAL - you will have to forgive me, but I'm not too clued up on this. I think many players will allow for this change, but some don't - I'm just going on what I've read in the pj basic calibration sticky. It's something to do with different black voltages (I think :confused: ), with PAL being 0 ire & NTSC being 7.5. So, you would have to recalibrate contrast & brightness for NTSC. If you have different memories for your settings this would be useful.

    However, someone like Nic may be able to elaborate, especially if I've got it wrong :nono: :suicide:
     
  8. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Interesting, didn't know about the voltage thing. I did try to adjust the PQ via the PJ without much success - it still looked well below par (was using R3 Zatoichi FWIW), especially compared to the stunning picture I got with RoTS R2 "out of the box".

    I'll do some more tinkering tonight.....

    DT
     
  9. Godfather

    Godfather
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    R3 Zatoichi isn't a particularly good transfer (I remember it being a bit washed out and soft too) whereas R2 R2 Return of the King is considered to be 'reference quality' by many, so that probably explains what you're seeing.
     
  10. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Yeah, I have tried it with some other discs and you're right - that zatoichi transfer is appaling.

    DT
     

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