DVD Players: Error Correction Capabilities.

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Black Locust, Nov 30, 2003.

  1. Black Locust

    Black Locust Guest

    In article <20031130185259.794$>,
    "Scot Gardner" <> wrote:

    > Most stores don't have their demo DVD players hooked up to monitors
    > anymore, so getting a demonstration is not always easy. But circuit City
    > had a $75 Panasonic DVD-S25 hooked up to a demo TV, so I tried the disk
    > in that player. (This also seemed like a good potential-purchase choice,
    > because Panasonic players are reputed to be free of any chroma bugs.) I
    > directly accessed chapter 15 and waited for the player to begin having
    > fits as it encountered the damaged section, but it played right through
    > as though the damage didn't exist. There were a couple of very minor
    > occurrences of digital blocking, where two or three small, colored
    > squares popped up in single frames, but there was no interruption of the
    > sound.


    This is precisely why I use nothing but Panasonic players. They have the
    best read error correction imaginable. I've played some discs that
    looked like they were scraped with a knife with no problems at all. Some
    really bad discs might blotch into pixles for a few seconds, but unlike
    other players, a Panasonic always seems to be able to get back on track.
    Really, everyone should splash for a Panasonic S-35. They're just great
    players and very affordable.
    --
    BL
    Black Locust, Nov 30, 2003
    #1
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  2. Black Locust

    Scot Gardner Guest

    (If you have no interest in the topic of error correction, by all means,
    skip my rambling narrative which goes on and on below.)

    It's true: DVD players are not all the same. Furthermore, a player's
    ability to play a flawed disk, and hide all the errors, is not
    necessarily dependent upon its price.

    I personally discovered this fact when a badly damaged Netflix DVD
    refused to play, in a couple of places, on both of my Sony players. Up
    to this point, my two Sony players (550 and 360) had never given me any
    reason to complain. It is not clear to me just how this disk sustained
    its damage. The playback problems started to occur in chapter 15, where
    massive pixelation and digital blocking would occur. Then, both players
    would lock up for about 10 seconds and either jump back a chapter or
    jump forward a chapter. An entire 6 minute section of the first layer of
    the disk was unplayable. After this section, the disk played normally
    for another 2 minutes, successfully navigated the layer change, but 2
    minutes later, the player encountered the same damaged section of the
    disk and the playback problems occurred again for approximately 6
    minutes of the second layer.

    It looks like the disk was dropped face down on concrete where somebody
    stepped on it. But the pits are arranged in a concentric and orderly
    circular fashion. It's almost as though someone's laser playback
    assembly created the pits, around the outer third of the play surface,
    as the disk was spinning in the player.

    My first inclination was to send the disk back to Netflix and request a
    replacement, since I had not been able to watch all of the movie. But on
    the way to the post office, I had second thoughts about this, drove over
    to Circuit City, opened the defective disk return envelope and took the
    disk into the store. I wanted to see if there were any players that
    could play this disk.

    Most stores don't have their demo DVD players hooked up to monitors
    anymore, so getting a demonstration is not always easy. But circuit City
    had a $75 Panasonic DVD-S25 hooked up to a demo TV, so I tried the disk
    in that player. (This also seemed like a good potential-purchase choice,
    because Panasonic players are reputed to be free of any chroma bugs.) I
    directly accessed chapter 15 and waited for the player to begin having
    fits as it encountered the damaged section, but it played right through
    as though the damage didn't exist. There were a couple of very minor
    occurrences of digital blocking, where two or three small, colored
    squares popped up in single frames, but there was no interruption of the
    sound.

    Since the Panasonic DVD-S25 didn't have an S-video output, I asked if
    they had the feature-laden Panasonic DVD-S55. This player has an S-video
    connection, but Circuit City didn't have the player. I then called
    Magnolia Audio-Video (owned by Best Buy) and they had one, new-in-box
    Panasonic DVD-S55 in stock. This store was only two blocks from Circuit
    City, so I was there in 10 minutes. Sure enough, the Panasonic DVD-S55
    breezed through the damaged disk just as well as the DVD-S25 had done
    before it.

    Magnolia also had a close-out price on the Sony DVP-NC755 (which has
    SACD capability) so I played the defective disk in the floor model. The
    playback of this $300 list price player was even worse than
    my Sony players at home. The digital blocking began earlier, in chapter
    12, instead of chapter 13. The player locked up for over 10 seconds and
    I didn't wait to see if it would finally start playing again.

    (Incidentally, the Sony DVP-NC755 boasts that it has "Precision Drive 2
    System: Providing an improved mechanism for reading DVD discs that are
    in less than perfect condition, Precision Drive 2 improves over last
    years Precision Drive to further eliminate errors in playback due to
    imperfect, scratched or warped DVD discs.")

    So, I bought the Panasonic DVD-S55 and I think that I will be very happy
    with it. Now, I'm hoping for some feedback in regard to DVD player error
    correction capabilities.

    Has anyone had an experience similar to mine? I would really like to
    hear from those who have found a damaged DVD that doesn't play on one
    mid-level player but plays on another mid-level player. Responses, such
    as "I've never had any trouble with my Toshiba SD-3950" really don't
    mean much, because, until last week I could have said the same thing
    about my two Sonys.

    And yes, I already know that an Apex will play ANYTHING.
    Scot Gardner, Nov 30, 2003
    #2
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  3. "Black Locust" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > This is precisely why I use nothing but Panasonic players. They have the
    > best read error correction imaginable. I've played some discs that
    > looked like they were scraped with a knife with no problems at all. Some
    > really bad discs might blotch into pixles for a few seconds, but unlike
    > other players, a Panasonic always seems to be able to get back on track.
    > Really, everyone should splash for a Panasonic S-35. They're just great
    > players and very affordable.


    I have a Panasonic DVD-S35K myself and I am very impressed with its
    error-correction abilities. I did manage to get disc skipping once (on
    Disney's TREASURE PLANET DVD) but then that pressing was so bad that when
    played on a Pioneer DVD-434 it literally locked up the player.

    --
    Raymond Chuang
    Sacramento, CA USA
    Raymond Chuang, Dec 1, 2003
    #3
  4. Black Locust

    Scot Gardner Guest

    "Black Locust" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    In article <20031130185259.794$>,
    "Scot Gardner" <> wrote:

    > Most stores don't have their demo DVD players hooked up to monitors
    > anymore, so getting a demonstration is not always easy. But circuit
    > City had a $75 Panasonic DVD-S25 hooked up to a demo TV, so I tried
    > the disk in that player. (This also seemed like a good
    > potential-purchase choice, because Panasonic players are reputed to
    > be free of any chroma bugs.)
    >
    > I directly accessed chapter 15 and waited for the player to begin
    > having fits as it encountered the damaged section, but it played
    > right through as though the damage didn't exist. There were a couple
    > of very minor occurrences of digital blocking, where two or three
    > small, colored squares popped up in single frames, but there was
    > no interruption of the sound.


    <<This is precisely why I use nothing but Panasonic players. They have
    the best read error correction imaginable. I've played some discs that
    looked like they were scraped with a knife with no problems at all. Some
    really bad discs might blotch into pixles for a few seconds, but unlike
    other players, a Panasonic always seems to be able to get back on track.
    Really, everyone should splash for a Panasonic S-35. They're just great
    players and very affordable. -- BL>>


    The Panasonic DVD-S35 is selling all over town for $99 and it seems to
    be a great player for the price. Besides exceptional error correction,
    another thing that Panasonic DVD players have is more fast-forward and
    slow-motion speeds than any other players that I have seen. Most players
    have 2 or 3 fast forward speeds and slow motion speeds, but Panasonic
    has 5. As far as I can tell, the fast forward speeds are
    3x-6x-12x-50x-200x. (Panasonic's 200x fast forward has to be the fastest
    available on any player.) I can't tell the 5 slow motion speeds exactly,
    but they appear to start at 2fps and go up to 12fps.

    My first experience with a Panasonic DVD player was negative.

    I bought a Panasonic DVD-A105 (same chassis as the 110 and 310) in July
    of 1998 and it failed after only 11 months. My personal Panasonic DVD
    player experience, combined with the unusually-high Panasonic DVD player
    failures reported by others, prevented me from buying or recommending
    Panasonic DVD players ever since. From what I have heard, repairs to the
    failed Panasonic laser assemblies cost over $90 and then these repaired
    units would fail again in a few months. Panasonic would only back its
    defective DVD players for the duration of the factory warranty -- even
    though the defective units should have been repaired under warranty for
    a much longer time.

    Fortunately, Costco gave me a refund of $350 for the defective Panasonic
    player, which I used to buy a Sony 550. Although the Sony 550 did have
    lip-sync problems, this defect was repaired free of charge by Sony, 11
    months after the purchase date, under the manufacturer's warranty. Now,
    my Sony 550 has accumulated 2567 DVD hours and my Sony 360 has
    accumulated 3205 DVD hours. (By the way, you have to look into the
    service menu to get these figures.) So, I can't complain about the
    durability of these Sony players. However, Sony error correction
    capabilities have come into question.

    I'm certainly not going to become a Panasonic evangelist, but I can say
    that if this new $129 (I know, I paid too much) Panasonic DVD-S55 craps
    out after 11 months, it will be a lot easier for me to deal with than
    the failure of my other Panasonic player which cost $350 -- 5 years ago.
    Scot Gardner, Dec 1, 2003
    #4
  5. Black Locust

    Kimani Guest

    "Scot Gardner" <> wrote in message
    news:20031130185259.794$...
    > (If you have no interest in the topic of error correction, by all means,
    > skip my rambling narrative which goes on and on below.)
    >
    > It's true: DVD players are not all the same. Furthermore, a player's
    > ability to play a flawed disk, and hide all the errors, is not
    > necessarily dependent upon its price.
    >
    > I personally discovered this fact when a badly damaged Netflix DVD
    > refused to play, in a couple of places, on both of my Sony players. Up
    > to this point, my two Sony players (550 and 360) had never given me any
    > reason to complain. It is not clear to me just how this disk sustained
    > its damage. The playback problems started to occur in chapter 15, where
    > massive pixelation and digital blocking would occur. Then, both players
    > would lock up for about 10 seconds and either jump back a chapter or
    > jump forward a chapter. An entire 6 minute section of the first layer of
    > the disk was unplayable. After this section, the disk played normally
    > for another 2 minutes, successfully navigated the layer change, but 2
    > minutes later, the player encountered the same damaged section of the
    > disk and the playback problems occurred again for approximately 6
    > minutes of the second layer.
    >
    >


    I have a Panasonic DVD-RV31 that's about 2 or 3 years old. Played everything
    until I got 1 Netflix DVD which was so scratched it couldn't play the last
    chapter.
    Kimani, Dec 1, 2003
    #5
  6. Black Locust

    Shawn Guest

    Scot Gardner wrote:

    > And yes, I already know that an Apex will play ANYTHING.


    I read that my Apex AD-600 won't play certain disks like T2:U.E., but I
    never tried it out. I only bought the player at the time for its region-free
    capability.
    Shawn, Dec 1, 2003
    #6
  7. Black Locust

    Scot Gardner Guest

    "Shawn" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Scot Gardner wrote:
    >
    > > And yes, I already know that an Apex will play ANYTHING.

    >
    > I read that my Apex AD-600 won't play certain disks like T2:U.E.,
    > but I never tried it out. I only bought the player at the time for its
    > region-free capability.


    Of course I was exagerating. The original Apex had problems with
    seamless branching (mine couldn't play _The Abyss_) and certain other
    advanced-feature disks, such as _The Matrix_. However, later model Apex
    players generally can plow through damaged disks with very few problems.

    The Apex AD-600 "secret" menu instructions were one of the
    most-requested items on this newsgroup in early 2000:

    Start from "Power Off"

    "Power On" with no DVD loaded

    wait for "no disc"

    press "setup"

    Press "step"

    press "I<<"

    press ">>I"

    Service menu comes up with...

    Version
    Region ID (change this setting to desired region)
    CSS
    Macrovision (turn this off if you want to tape a DVD)
    Automute
    Dither

    Press "return" to save changes and leave service menu.

    (You should not be here) - This message is at the bottom.
    Scot Gardner, Dec 1, 2003
    #7
  8. Black Locust

    Scot Gardner Guest

    "Kimani" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I have a Panasonic DVD-RV31 that's about 2 or 3 years old. Played
    > everything until I got 1 Netflix DVD which was so scratched it
    > couldn't play the last chapter.


    Don't you hate that?

    This reminds me of the trouble I used to have with cable TV. I would set
    the VCR to record a movie in the middle of the night. Later, I would
    rewind the tape and play the movie only to find that the cable had gone
    off (again!!) before the end of the movie. It got so bad that I would
    rewind the tape for about 10 minutes of the movie and check to see if
    the end of the movie was actually there. Sometimes it wasn't.

    So far, DirecTV has not had this problem and I no longer have cable.
    Scot Gardner, Dec 1, 2003
    #8
  9. Black Locust

    Black Locust Guest

    In article <20031201000139.306$>,
    "Scot Gardner" <> wrote:

    > The Panasonic DVD-S35 is selling all over town for $99 and it seems to
    > be a great player for the price. Besides exceptional error correction,
    > another thing that Panasonic DVD players have is more fast-forward and
    > slow-motion speeds than any other players that I have seen. Most players
    > have 2 or 3 fast forward speeds and slow motion speeds, but Panasonic
    > has 5. As far as I can tell, the fast forward speeds are
    > 3x-6x-12x-50x-200x. (Panasonic's 200x fast forward has to be the fastest
    > available on any player.) I can't tell the 5 slow motion speeds exactly,
    > but they appear to start at 2fps and go up to 12fps.


    I actually tested out the performance of my S35's fast forward functions
    once. I managed to fast forward through a 2 hour movie in about 33
    seconds. Pretty damn impressive.

    > My first experience with a Panasonic DVD player was negative.
    >
    > I bought a Panasonic DVD-A105 (same chassis as the 110 and 310) in July
    > of 1998 and it failed after only 11 months. My personal Panasonic DVD
    > player experience, combined with the unusually-high Panasonic DVD player
    > failures reported by others, prevented me from buying or recommending
    > Panasonic DVD players ever since. From what I have heard, repairs to the
    > failed Panasonic laser assemblies cost over $90 and then these repaired
    > units would fail again in a few months. Panasonic would only back its
    > defective DVD players for the duration of the factory warranty -- even
    > though the defective units should have been repaired under warranty for
    > a much longer time.


    I think you've just had bad luck. I used to own a 110 and it held up for
    roughly 4 years before it began to break down. And believe me, I used it
    quite heavily for those 4 years.

    > Fortunately, Costco gave me a refund of $350 for the defective Panasonic
    > player, which I used to buy a Sony 550. Although the Sony 550 did have
    > lip-sync problems, this defect was repaired free of charge by Sony, 11
    > months after the purchase date, under the manufacturer's warranty. Now,
    > my Sony 550 has accumulated 2567 DVD hours and my Sony 360 has
    > accumulated 3205 DVD hours. (By the way, you have to look into the
    > service menu to get these figures.) So, I can't complain about the
    > durability of these Sony players.


    Do you know if it's possible to see the total hours accumulated with a
    Panasonic DVD-S35? I haven't noticed anything of that nature on the
    setup menu for mine.

    > However, Sony error correction
    > capabilities have come into question.


    I haven't heard too many good things. The PS2 especially has horrid read
    error correction. Some friends of mine had so much trouble trying to
    play rented discs on them they eventually opted for a dedicated player
    instead.

    > I'm certainly not going to become a Panasonic evangelist, but I can say
    > that if this new $129 (I know, I paid too much) Panasonic DVD-S55 craps
    > out after 11 months, it will be a lot easier for me to deal with than
    > the failure of my other Panasonic player which cost $350 -- 5 years ago.


    I would be very surprised to see it fail after 11 months. My S35 is
    still going strong. Just keep it clean, off the floor and at room
    temperature and it should last a long time.

    BTW, be sure to turn on the dialogue enhancer on your S55. It's a nice
    little feature that helps prevent dialogue from being drowned out by
    music and sound effects.
    --
    BL
    Black Locust, Dec 2, 2003
    #9
  10. Black Locust

    Black Locust Guest

    In article <20031201094040.965$>,
    "Scot Gardner" <> wrote:

    > Don't you hate that?
    >
    > This reminds me of the trouble I used to have with cable TV. I would set
    > the VCR to record a movie in the middle of the night. Later, I would
    > rewind the tape and play the movie only to find that the cable had gone
    > off (again!!) before the end of the movie. It got so bad that I would
    > rewind the tape for about 10 minutes of the movie and check to see if
    > the end of the movie was actually there. Sometimes it wasn't.
    >
    > So far, DirecTV has not had this problem and I no longer have cable.


    Likewise. I switched over to DirecTV a little over a year ago and
    haven't looked back since. It's given me solid performance all year long
    with the only exceptions happening as a result of some bad snow storms.
    The cable out here is so atrocious that it would often go out every
    couple of hours. 80% of the channels would be covered in static and
    other interferances. I just couldn't take it anymore.
    --
    BL
    Black Locust, Dec 2, 2003
    #10
  11. Black Locust

    Scot Gardner Guest

    "Black Locust" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    In article <20031201000139.306$>,
    "Scot Gardner" <> wrote:

    <<I actually tested out the performance of my S35's fast forward
    functions once. I managed to fast forward through a 2 hour movie in
    about 33 seconds. Pretty damn impressive.>>

    At that rate, you covered a 7200 second movie in 33 seconds. That works
    out to APPROXIMATELY 218 times normal speed.

    <<Do you know if it's possible to see the total hours accumulated with a
    Panasonic DVD-S35? I haven't noticed anything of that nature on the
    setup menu for mine.>>

    If this information is available, it will be found in the service menu,
    which in most cases, requires a special code to be entered in the remote
    control. Then, you have to be able to figure out how to access the items
    you need without screwing up everything.

    Sony players display this information as follows:

    ### EMG. History ###

    Laser hours CD 6h
    DVD 2572h

    <<BTW, be sure to turn on the dialogue enhancer on your S55. It's a nice
    little feature that helps prevent dialogue from being drowned out by
    music and sound effects.>>

    Yeah, I tried that and it seems to be most effective on older monaural
    movies.
    Scot Gardner, Dec 2, 2003
    #11
  12. >This is precisely why I use nothing but Panasonic players. They have the
    >best read error correction imaginable.


    And this isn't unique with Panasonic DVD players. Their CD players, including
    their portable handhelds, have some fantastic defect correction. - Reinhart
    LASERandDVDfan, Dec 2, 2003
    #12
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