This is a quick, non-exhaustive review of the Momitsu BDP-899. I just tried mine today. It is NOT going to be the answer for everyone, but some will find it useful. It's being marketed as the only currently available all region DVD/BluRay player. Please note that I have no BluRay discs at this time from regions B and C so I cannot test this function.
(below updated from original post now that PAL->NTSC working)
Bottom line - It is a converting player, but it's quite tricky to get that working or at least it was for me.
It's fairly easy to set up. I had to set the audio to Bitstream Legacy via SPDIF (optical) because my receiver does not understand HD audio and also has no HDMI inputs. This audio worked fine for my test.
Default language appears to be Japanese. When you power it on, do:
setup, right, down, down, down, right, enter
to change the language to English.
The player does NOT switch between 4:3 and 16:9 depending on the source. You pick one and change the aspect ratio on your TV if you need/want to. I picked 16:9, but my TV seemed to correctly display 4:3 video from the player when I changed the TV setting to 4:3 display.
It fails to show video for all PAL videos I tried. If your TV can accept a PAL signal, you should be OK here. My Samsung HDTV cannot. I know that some people refuse to believe that there are HDTVs that can't accept NTSC and PAL signals, but they do exist in the North American market.
Tested: (updated from original post now that PAL->NTSC working)
NTSC DVD region 3 - No problems for playback. Region 0 setting worked.
SVCD NTSC - played fine, but no ability to switch to secondary audio track.
SCVD PAL - played, but quality was poor. No ability to display any subtitles (this disc has 4 selectable subtitles).
PAL DVD region 0 - played fine.
PAL DVD regions 2 and 5 - played fine.
VCD PAL - played fine.
VCD NTSC - played fine, allowed switching between left and right channels. Correctly played a homemade VCD and correctly moved to the next "chapter" (actually they are "entry points" on VCD) in my test.
BluRay - all region disc played fine. I only have one BluRay title as this is my first player.
Divx - Used the Divx Test disc. Some played, many did not. Supported packed bitstream though, which surprised me.
I am not a big Divx guy, but I'd expect some playback issues with PAL type resolutions and frame rates if your TV doesn't support PAL natively. (Update - too lazy to check as Divx isn't a big deal for me, but that statement was written prior to my getting PAL->NTSC working. PALish Divx may be OK now.)
DTS-ES and DTS 96/24 playback on DVD were fine.
Boots quickly. I was surprised and impressed.
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This is indeed bad news if the player doesn't have a PAL to NTSC converter. It is listed as having one on
http://www.hkflix.com/hardware/xq/asp/pid.176/qx/details.htm if you look under "Universal Features"
and http://www.xpcgear.com/momitsu-bdp-899-sony-blu-ray-dvd-stand-alone-player-1080p-up-co...-usb-host.html if you look under "TV system".
Furthermore, another guy has tested and confirmed that it does play PAL discs fine.
http://www.avmaniacs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40966&page=2 the fourth post down from Ian Jane.
Now it is possible that he has a tv that can play PAL and NTSC and doesn't know it, but it seems unlikley. Have you tried to see if there is a setting inside of the Momitsu to output as either NTSC, PAL or Multi. I think that there should be some kind of a setting like this. Maybe the player is set to Multi as default which would output PAL as PAL and NTSC as NTSC. I'm crossing my fingers, because not having PAL conversion is a deal-breaker for me. Please let us know.
The only TV output settings I see are
That's it. No multi.
My player chokes on every single PAL video I throw at it. I know for a fact that my Samsung cannot display PAL video. In fact its manual says so. So I am highly skeptical that it has a converter. However, I will check again later tonight or tomorrow when I have more time.
Unless I missed something, the xpcgear.com page simply says that it supports NTSC/PAL TV systems and makes no claim to have a converter. It's only on the HKFlix page that it claims to have an NTSC/PAL converter.
It's impossible to tell from the avmaniacs post whether that guy played PAL on a TV capable of displaying PAL or not.
Finally, note that the manual explicitly states that the player CANNOT play PAL format video on BluRay. So if any of you were hoping to buy BluRay region 2 discs with PAL extras, you are out of luck here for the extra features.
I can confirm that Creepshow region 2 is PAL
If you bought this player from HKflix you may have a case in returning the player if you can't get it to play a PAL disc since they specifically mention this feature on their site. Hopefully later you can figure something out though and get it to work.
Thanks but that doesn't help. I have plenty of region 2, 3, 4 and 5 PAL DVDs to test with. The issue here is that we don't know if the guy who played Creepshow specifically used PAL to NTSC conversion or just played a PAL DVD on a TV that could accept a PAL signal.
It might be worth noting that I only tested an HDMI connection to my TV. It's a pain to test component, although I can do so. I want to do more testing and I'll contact HKFlix about the issue if I can't resolve it. However, my experience does seem to indicate at this time that the player is not a converting player and the manual makes no claim that it is. You can download the manual at the HKFlix website if you wish and look yourself.
Originally Posted by jman98
Thanks for the review and please keep us posted on your findings.
UPDATE - It is a converting DVD player! But it was quite tricky to get that working.
I have a Samsung LCD HDTV. I live in the USA and my HDTV cannot display PAL signals. I have tested with a DVD player that can output PAL signals and it does not work. My TV's manual states that it cannot support PAL resolutions.
Here are the settings I had to do to get this player to work as a PAL->NTSC converting player. The default settings for video did NOT work for me. These settings may not work on your TV, but they might give you a starting point.
TV Type: NTSC (only other option is PAL - no MULTI/ANY mode)
TV Aspect: 16:9 (this means that EVERYTHING goes out in 16:9 so you'll have to change settings on your TV to 4:3 to see 4:3 video in 4:3 - or reset this player's output)
Resolution: 1080p. This was the killer that was keeping PAL->NTSC from working. The default value is HDMI Auto and that DID NOT WORK for me. My TV has screwy problems synchronizing properly with HDMI. I have to turn the input selector to the input device before that device fully comes up or my TV will never get the HDMI sync right. I've learned to live with this. Letting the player try to automatically figure out what signal to send out failed for me. My TV natively displays 1080p, so when I set this value to 1080p, it fixed my PAL->NTSC problem.
Color Space: xvYCC (default) seems to be OK for me, although you could change this and probably not effect PAL->NTSC.
Film Mode: Off (I don't think my TV will support this anyway)
Other settings in Setup have nothing to do with display and can be set as you wish.
This is great news. We now have a player that can handle any dvd or blu-ray for a very good price. My only remaining concern is Momitsu keeping up with firmware updates. Even some of the big name brands don't keep up with firmware updates as they should and people run into blu-ray's that won't play as a result. On the other hand, why worry so much when I could be enjoying movies that I couldn't before now.
Can you comment on dvd image quality of ntsc and pal discs versus some other player for example. A guy on another forum said that dvd picture quality was better than the Panasonic dmp bd35 which I found a little hard to believe.
But, if you agree with him as well then it would be great news for this player.
I have to say that I'm really probably not the best person to talk about picture quality. The only player I have that could be reasonably considered to be a high quality player is my Toshiba HD-A30 HD DVD player. I would say that the Momitsu compares favorably to it. I tested a PAL DVD and it upscaled and converted fine. The few NTSC DVDs I tried all looked fine to me. I didn't detect any issues with the picture on anything I've used so far.
I wish the player could simply be set into multi-region mode once for all, eliminating the dependency on having the remote-control forever handy and functioning.
Originally Posted by kinemax
Do note that all DVD players that can be made region free must be changed to region 1 to play some region 1 discs, so this player is no worse than any other player in terms of DVD access. I have forgotten what that "feature" is called, but it's a way that some region 1 discs are authored and they simply will refuse to play on region 0 players.
Originally Posted by jman98