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Yamakawa 365DivX - 1st impressions.

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Kane D Williams, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Kane D Williams

    Kane D Williams
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    Well it finally came!

    1st impressions are that it looks and feels much better than the pictures. It will never win any style or buld quality awards, but it is more solid and heavier than many budget players!

    The manual is in German, so it is frustrating trying to find out anything, but the remote is all labled in English and the language can be changed to English very easily. For those who want to alter the regional code here is the method:

    1.First switch on (there should be no Disc in the disk drive)
    2.Then once ‘no disc’ appears in the display press the direction keys in the following order: up, up, down, down, right, left
    3.The Special Menu will appear in which you can alter the region code (0, 1, 2, 3…)
    4.Press the Enter key to store the settings and leave the Menu.

    I first connected the 365 to my TV via composite to simply set the thing up rather than waste bulb life on my PJ! Using Any Given Sunday (R1) the picture looks astonishingly good! The weird thing is that the output from the 365 looks SOooo much better when the output is set to any of the 3 PAL outputs rather than as RAW NTSC, even though the movie was NTSC!!?? This is the same for the menus of the machine as well. I haven't tried S-Video, RGB or Component as I will only use this player with my Z2 via DVI.

    OK, DVI had me scared at first as I could not get a picture at all and thought the Cable Solutions 9m DVIU cable was not up to the job. However, when I changed the DVI setting on the 365 to 480p, the PJ managed to sync and I then toggled to 1080i followed by 720p output and all were displayed with no sparkles! The strange thing is that 480p shows the picture twice (I think) with a full colour pic sqashed up on the left and a blue version of the picture on the right? I will investingate and clarify this later. Still, I'm only interested in the 720p output anyway, so all is good I think. The only thing that concerns me is that when the Z2 says it is receiving a 720p signal, if I go to the menu of the 365, it still says 480p on the DVI output? I guess that as I have set 480p as the DVI res, this is the default only, but it will still let one toggle through the other resolutions? The DVI picture is very good BTW, but I'm not sure how much better than say component would be? BTW, scaling is also available via Component, but I don't know about HDCP issues? I believe it would not be an issue, but the DVI is HDCP compliant so who knows?

    Interestingly, I found that the red was less intense on my Z2 when it was set to RGB - (PC Digital) rather than RGB - (AV HDCP). For those who have been following Buns's endeavours, this may be the key to some of the red deficiency issues at high IRE's he's identified?

    I only seem to have 480p, 720p and 1080i choices for DVI, so I think I have an old firmware, as 576p is meant to be available (50Hz) and also 720p at both 50Hz and 60Hz? As the Z2 will only accept 60Hz 720p, this is probably not important to me, but will be to some. The manual also shows a page for custom settings for DVI, which will please all those folks with 1366x768 PJ's, but I have no idea if my firmware has that enabled or how to get into it. I will ask Yamakawa how to check which firmware etc I have.

    I can't really say much more yet, as I only had a little play! I will let you know more once I have watched some more material and played some more. If anyone has any specific questions, I will do my best to answer them.
     
  2. Kane D Williams

    Kane D Williams
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    I have ouput set as 720p now and it is working fine. I am getting a few sparklies though, but I can live with them. The player did freeze a few times (pic and audio) on T2 EE, but it never locked up, it regained motion each time, with the average freeze about half a second and the longest about 1.5 seconds! This has not happened on any other discs yet. BTW, even though I have it set to 720p, and 16:9 etc, some of the menues and intro's etc show as 4:3, but the features themselves are fine? The Dolby Digital disc I have (all there trailers) played in the correct aspect ratio also on my TV?
     
  3. LY2BIG

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    Kane,

    looks like you have done the homework before made your purchase.

    Here is my questions:

    1.Is the 365DivX a clone of some other model? Or it is on it's own?
    2.Is it flashable, and where the new firmwares can be found?
    3.Do you have an idea WHERE I could buy it in Europe?
    4.What made you to choose 365DivX against other similar models ?

    I am in search ( last 10 days) for a best value DVD player , which MUST have DivX+DIV out, and be <$500, and could find only 5 of them:
    -Momitsu V880 (Manowa)
    -Yamakava 365DivX
    -Bravo D1
    -Brainwave V880 ( clone of manowa)
    -Technosonic MP-101 DVI

    Anybody have more models to name?

    Rgds, Vic
     
  4. uczmeg

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    Hi LY2BIG,

    I'm still waiting for my 365Divix to arrive but can answer some of your questions.

    All the players you mention (except the Technosonic, I've not heard of that) use the same chipset. In fact the V880s are both identical apart from the Brainwave being the European model and having a scart socket.

    The D1 is also based on the V880s I believe.

    The reason myself and Kane went with the 365 is that the V880s are rubbish. Don't get me wrong they produce stunning pictures, but they are unreliable and I've seen tougher paper bags!

    The 365 reportedly had a better build and that is backed up by Kane above.

    All of them have pretty good support for firmware updates so all the problems on them are disappearing.

    The problem with all of the above is they are a bugger to get in the UK. Germany seems the closest place, although the US and far east seem happier with taking credit cards. Still off eBay my 365 has worked out at £125 and that includes the £20 I had to pay Barclays for the transfer!

    There are a few reputable German sellers selling them on eBay, and most Germans speak good English and reply to emails fine.

    Have a look at this auction, the guy has 51 left, they are under £100 at todays rates (plus 16 euros for shipping).

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3067592950&category=11388

    Germans seems to hate PayPal so you will have to do a bank transfer, this will cost you £20.

    Still the picture you get from these sets through DVI is stunning, well beyond the price you are paying. Which is why we have build issues I guess!

    Cheers
    Marc
     
  5. Kane D Williams

    Kane D Williams
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    Seems like Marc has answered your questions, but if you have any specific ones please ask. I decided to go for the 365 as the email response from Yamakawa was very good. All firmware updates are available on their website (when it is not down).
     
  6. fred123go

    fred123go
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    Kane mate, i know i only gave a quick demo with my 656 but i would like to know how the pq compared between the two?was the 365 much better?
    cheers
    fred
     
  7. Kane D Williams

    Kane D Williams
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    Hi Fred

    I thought the colours and detail was very good with your player, but I did notice 'digital banding' like one would see on some plasmas in colour gradients (like the sky in Monsters Inc) that are not at all visible with the Yamakawa outputting 720p via DVI. It must also be noted that I am projecting an 8ft wide picture and yours was about 5-6ft. However, I have 'tweaked' a bit since you gave me the demo and I have the Z2 on low lamp mode etc. Without a A-B comparison, it is hard to say 100%, but I can say that I am more than happy and I would have also been happy with your player.
     
  8. SinisterRocket

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    Hi Kane,

    Just ordererd one of these to connect to a Z2. Can you advice on what cable to connect and where to get it.
     
  9. takisot

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    From where did you order the 365??
     
  10. SinisterRocket

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    Hi

    I used http://www.computeruniverse.net/

    It works out at 198euro including delivery. A bit pricey but I have a few German pals that say they are a good company to deal with.
     
  11. Dutch

    Dutch
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  12. rjg

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    Yep, just ordered a 7.5m DVI-D cable from Lindy, arrived a couple of days later. I can't say what the actual cable quality is like - the 365 is on order from computeruniverse.net, just got mail saying they *might* be getting them in on the 20th...

    I don't think it is too pricey - 32 euros of the 197 is shipping and insurance, so their price for the machine isn't too bad. They wanted a fax of my credit card (both sides) for 'security reasons'. I told them I wasn't going to do that (for 'security reasons' !) and they agreed to waive that requirement. At least I didn't end up paying a bank transfer fee like Kane did...
     
  13. clayts450

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    Just to point out there is a firmware upgrade available (in German) here - dunno what it does exactly, but it may be of interest to somebody :)
     
  14. monopole

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    http://www.yamakawa.de/Firmware/3xx/index_us.htm


    Features of the new firmware:

    * Progressive Scan now also available for PAL (50Hz) with the resolution 576p and 720
    * The Progressive Scan resolution 720p can now also be used as a reslolution for original DVDs through DVI / YPbPr, as long as MV-Test in the RegionCode menu is set to YES.
    * The directories and subdirectories on MP3 and JPEG CDs/DVDs are now displayed

    Haven't tried the new firmware, but the slow zooming on Animatrix (at the start of The Second Renaissance) doesn't judder like it it does on my laptop, so perhaps my player which arrived last week already has the updated firmware and is delivering 720p PAL at 50Hz? Haven't had much time to play yet.

    Picture quality is fantastic though. Much better than Powerdvd on the old PC.

    Interesting that the volume control on the remote has "+" on the left and "-" on the right... a hint of where it was designed perhaps...
     
  15. nelius

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    Just read a comment in Kane D Williams first post where your say that using any of the PAL options gives you a better picture than using even raw NTSC even on an NTSC format disc. Did you notice any judder when you used this option? I got my player last Friday and tested this out and got serious judder from NTSC discs through PAL RGB. My TV is multi format (Sony 32 FX-60). I haven't got a PJ to test the DVI conenction on yet. I've also stumbled across a german forum for the Yamakawa DVD players : http://www.dvdboard.de/forum/forumdisplay.php?forumid=25

    There's a post there for the firmware of a Technosonic that works on the Yamakawa 365. The only downside seems to be that it replaces the Yamakawa logo with a standard DVD logo.

    Here's another link that let's you enter the brand of your DVD player and serial number and see it the latest firmware available : http://203.85.120.16/

    I done a trace route on this IP and the server seems to be in Hong Kong. Could be from Yamakawa or whoever owns them.

    As for the player itself, I'm loving it so far. Picture and sound are great through Scart RGB. Oly gripes so far would be the following:
    Selecting the video output can be done in 2 ways. 1)Go into the setup menu and select it. 2) Press the V-Mode button to cycle through the options. The first option is a bit of a pain to do each time you want to view different material and the second one can be a bit of a hit and miss because of the poor signal from the remote. The easiest way to remember how to switch between NTSC and PAL of the Scart for example, is to press the V-Mode button 3 times slowly. This is the same for Component via Scart and DVI. I was hoping to find an option in the player so it would autoselect NTSC and PAL but there is none. I wrote and email to Yamakawa support asking them if it would be possible to have a menu appear on screen when the V-Mode button is pressed and the user can scroll through the options and press enter to select one. Here was the reply from them:

    “This is not realy possible, since during various V-modes the display might not be able to display anything and then any kind of display could not be read anyhow.”

    I'm going to ask them if it's possible for the player to autodetect it instead. More girlfriend friendly :)

    Another gripe would be that there is no memory function when the player is put into standby mode. I find this useful if I'm watching a TV series on DVD and stop it in the middle to do something and come back later.

    As I already mentioned, the remote isn't the greatest. My previous DVD player was a Philips 711. Now the remote for this was tiny and akward to use, but it had good enough IR scope. The Yamakawa remote looks better but you need to make sure it's pointed directly at the DVD player for it to work.

    Build quality of the DVD player itself seems quite good. It's also heavier than my Philips player which cost almost 3 times the amount around 2-3 years ago. Saying that, when you press any of the buttons on the front, they make a bit of a strange sound. Hard to describe it. Plastic feel perhaps? Otherwise, it's asolid enough player. The display can be a little quirky at times. I was watching Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels R2 and the timer seconds had a slight pause at times and than caught up by displaying the next second for a shorter amount of time. This did not affect playback of the movie though. I had a problem playing Tron R1 on my Philips and it would start to freeze and stutter and skip. No problems on the Yamakawa. I tried out some seamless branching as well with Alien DC. No pauses, skips or aynthing. Played perfectly.

    Layer change is also good IMO. At a rough guess I would say it was less than half a second on X-Men 2. Barely noticeable. My Philips would give a good second.

    Only playback problem encountered so far was with 24 Season 1 R1. When I first play the disc, the menus don't appear properly and the music stutters and speeds up. Ejecting the DVD and putting it back in seems to remedy the problem.

    When all is said and done, I still think it's great value for money if you can get your hands on one. I bought mine from Amazon.de for €135. I live in Germany.

    Regards,
    Con
     
  16. uczmeg

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    Decided to remove.
     
  17. Kane D Williams

    Kane D Williams
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    Features of the new firmware:

    * Progressive Scan now also available for PAL (50Hz) with the resolution 576p and 720
    * The Progressive Scan resolution 720p can now also be used as a reslolution for original DVDs through DVI / YPbPr, as long as MV-Test in the RegionCode menu is set to YES.
    * The directories and subdirectories on MP3 and JPEG CDs/DVDs are now displayed

    Can someone explain the second feature? I thought that 720p was available on all versions of the firmware? I don't seem to have any problems outputting 720p from R1 or R2 discs via DVI, but I don't think I have MV-Test set to Yes? What is MV-Test anyway, is it Macrovision on/off?
     
  18. nelius

    nelius
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    Got a simple reply from Yamakawa to my request for auto-select between PAL and NTSC:

    "This might be an idea for future firmware improvements. Thanks"

    Let's wait and see. :)
     
  19. GothMogh

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    Guys,

    *Did any of you connect it using component cables yet? How did you do this, as I was under the impression the 365 only has a SCART out, so I assume it requires a breakout cable?

    * Can anyone confirm that it upscales through component?

    * Any PQ comparisons between component and DVI?

    Thanks for all the info btw.

    Cheers,
    GothMogh
     
  20. SinisterRocket

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    Hi GothMogh,

    Still not even got a date for mine yet so cant coment on what its like yet ,think there is supply problems at the moment. My understanding is it can put component out via the scart, but guess you could email yamakawa for specific questions. I believ that kane and other forum members have been very happy with the quickness and quality of the responce from the support team.
     
  21. KraGorn

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    My guess would be that they have now implemented a Macrovision bypass on the component output .. AIUI with MV-protected source material a DVD player SHOULD downscale 720p to 480p when outputting analog signals. Before this it was presumably only outputting 720p via DVI, the '/ YPbPr' means that analog output is now also available.

    Alternatively the 'original DVDs' comment may be referring to HD material?


    SinisterRocket: I'm very interested in your experience with this supplier as I'm tempted myself, keen to know how you get on. :)
     
  22. SinisterRocket

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    Hi KraGorn

    Player arrived this morning, very good service so far.

    Worked out at £145 including delivery. Not able to test it out yet as my z2 does not arrive till the weekend. And i am still to order my cable from lindy, was not sure which dvi cable to get so will be a week or so before i can provide my 1st impression
     
  23. uczmeg

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    Mine just arrived too.

    Different source, and not the one I originally orderd.

    Will post findings if I ever get time to try it....

    Cheers
    Marc
     
  24. uczmeg

    uczmeg
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    Can someone tell me what the multi-region hack is for the 365Divix?

    Cheers
    Marc
     
  25. SinisterRocket

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    Hi,

    Region hack is up up down down right left. on the screen after machine starts with no disks.

    Mines has got a the new bios that gives 576p and 720p 50. just about to go try it on my friends HS10. will report back later :)
     
  26. KraGorn

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    Good to know, so that was 6-7 days from time of order? Seems good to me, thanks. :)
     
  27. uczmeg

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    OK, not tested it on the projector yet. Hopefully soon.

    But I am a little concerned.

    Right now it looks like it will output through DVI or through Scart, but not both at the same time. Turning on one switches off the other.

    The V880 would do both, so the DVD player would happily work on the TV with no messing when you weren't using the projector.

    I use the comparison as the firmware setup is almost identical to the V880 and at the heart of the machines the chipsets are the same.

    It also appears to be the same for the sound. Enabling Digital output turns off the sound through the scart.

    So it looks like I need to change the sound and the picture settings each time I switch display. Not a great hassle, but still a hassle and something that the wife just won't understand.

    I guess I'm going to need a DVD player for the TV for the babies DVDs and just use this for the projector....

    Someone tell me I'm missing something.

    Cheers
    Marc
     
  28. uczmeg

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    Thanks. Works a treat.
     
  29. uczmeg

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    Mine came with the 252N firmware which appears to be the latest on the site.

    Cheers
    Marc
     
  30. rjg

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    Mine just arrived today, and I'm not getting on too well !

    I've got a 7.5m Lindy DVI-D cable connected to an OPtoma H56 PJ.

    I plugged in a portable telly via the Scart so I could actually see the setup menu. The firmware is the latest 252N version, so it has the extra DVI modes.

    The first concern is that the casing of the player seems to 'float' (electrically that is !) so that I'm getting a tingle off it from time to time. Since it has a two-pin lead I suppose there's nothing to earth the case except maybe via the signal earths, so perhaps that will be solved by connecting it to something with a 'real' earth like the amp.

    The main convern though is that I'm having trouble getting anything over the DVI connection.

    I selected 576p/50hz in the menu, but that doesn't synch. Cycling through the output modes via the 'v-mode' button the PJ shows the following legends (I don't know what 'mode' means):

    1440x480 60Hz mode 48 (pic is just blue)
    1440x480 60Hz mode 77 (pic is green and posterized)
    1440x576 50Hz mode 57 or 98 (pic multicoloured and posterized)
    1280x720 60Hz mode 70 (pic is often fantastic, but the right half of the frame occupies the left half of the screen)
    1920x540 60Hz mode 77 (posterized)

    Occasionally I've got a good picture on 576p setting, but the PJ shows it as 60Hz, and in slow pans the stuttering is terrible.

    Sometimes I get a good picture on 1080i as well, again with the 60Hz stutter.

    Since I'm getting varying results I'm inclined to think that the cable might be the main problem, although the 50Hz output coming out at 60Hz is also annoying. This is so frustrating !

    Any ideas ?
     

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