Discussion:
PAL LD Playback on HongKong Pioneer DVL-919 ?
(too old to reply)
Geeji
2005-11-20 16:56:55 UTC
Permalink
I have bought on eBay.co.uk, based on an erroneous "PAL+NTSC"
description, a DVL-919 coming from Hong Kong (Region 3), which plays
region 1 NTSC DVDs and Region 2 PAL DVDs, but only NTSC LD.
It hangs up when attempting to play a PAL LD.

Does anybody know if there is a way to add PAL LD playback capabilities
to this player (as available on the DVL-919E) ?
May be by replacing some component with a DVL-919E component, but which
one ?

Thanks for any help
JJ
Torsten
2005-11-21 08:54:46 UTC
Permalink
Some time ago I made an inquiry of a local Pioneer service here in
Germany on the same matter and they told me that at least one PCB would
have to be changed. They estimated the costs with at least $600.

If there's a cheaper way, I'd be interested to know, since for me the
HongKong 919 model has the better design and a nice remote.
Nico de Vries
2005-11-22 14:37:52 UTC
Permalink
Hi Group,

The German Pioneer Service is right. To play back PAL LD you need a whole
new LD video board (the one standing upright at the right side of the
player, and also the LD mechnanism controller chip on the main board needs
to be changed. When you've done that you're still not finished: the
connectors on the PAL/NTSC LD-video board are different and in different
positions than on the NTSC-only version, so the backpanel needs to be
changed or reworked as well. If you change the backpanel with an original
Pioneer one you end up with two large holes where the SCART connectors
should be and you need to remove one pair of analog outputs or drill extra
holes. Then, two resistors on the keyboardprocessorboard in the frontpanel
need changing. Finally, you lose the component video output for DVD.

In short: don't do it and shop around for a true PAL/NTSC combo which should
either be a DVL-909 or a DVL-919E, NOT a DVL-919. All DVL-919's are
NTSC-only on LD; all DVL-9x9 models are PAL/NTSC on DVD. DVL-9's, DVL-700's,
and DVL-90's are completely NTSC-only, both on DVD and LD.
The difference between a PAL/NTSC DVL-909 and DVL-919E is very minor: the
909 has a 20 bit audio-DAC, whereas the 919 is 24 bit; and the 919E has DTS
digital out on DVD as standard (the DVL-909 hasn't).

If you like the design of the Hong Kong DVL-919, it should be possible to
exchange the front and bonnet with a DVL-919E.

Another, very simple solution to your situation may be this: buy a PAL-only
LD player. With some luck they can be found in Europe at very low prices as
everybody wants a NTSC/PAL machine.
Hope this helps a bit.

Nico de Vries
Post by Torsten
Some time ago I made an inquiry of a local Pioneer service here in
Germany on the same matter and they told me that at least one PCB would
have to be changed. They estimated the costs with at least $600.
If there's a cheaper way, I'd be interested to know, since for me the
HongKong 919 model has the better design and a nice remote.
Geeji
2005-11-23 05:37:21 UTC
Permalink
Thanks a lot Nico, that's very clear : unless you work in a Pioneer
repair shop, it is not worth it :-(.
Too bad there are not that many used DVL-919E on sale : since it is the
last and most elaborate Pioneer player, I suppose owners who cannot
replace them by better tend to keep them as long as they don't get rid
of their LD collection...

BTW, I am a bit curious : your answer is so detailed, you must have done
it at least once yourself, right ?

If I have to keep my current DVL-909E, I have an other related question
: mine is an early model which does NOT supports DTS; apparently a
firmware upgrade is not enough for those early models. Would you know
what hardware change is needed ?
Post by Nico de Vries
Hi Group,
The German Pioneer Service is right. To play back PAL LD you need a whole
new LD video board (the one standing upright at the right side of the
player, and also the LD mechnanism controller chip on the main board needs
to be changed. When you've done that you're still not finished: the
connectors on the PAL/NTSC LD-video board are different and in different
positions than on the NTSC-only version, so the backpanel needs to be
changed or reworked as well. If you change the backpanel with an original
Pioneer one you end up with two large holes where the SCART connectors
should be and you need to remove one pair of analog outputs or drill extra
holes. Then, two resistors on the keyboardprocessorboard in the frontpanel
need changing. Finally, you lose the component video output for DVD.
In short: don't do it and shop around for a true PAL/NTSC combo which should
either be a DVL-909 or a DVL-919E, NOT a DVL-919. All DVL-919's are
NTSC-only on LD; all DVL-9x9 models are PAL/NTSC on DVD. DVL-9's, DVL-700's,
and DVL-90's are completely NTSC-only, both on DVD and LD.
The difference between a PAL/NTSC DVL-909 and DVL-919E is very minor: the
909 has a 20 bit audio-DAC, whereas the 919 is 24 bit; and the 919E has DTS
digital out on DVD as standard (the DVL-909 hasn't).
If you like the design of the Hong Kong DVL-919, it should be possible to
exchange the front and bonnet with a DVL-919E.
Another, very simple solution to your situation may be this: buy a PAL-only
LD player. With some luck they can be found in Europe at very low prices as
everybody wants a NTSC/PAL machine.
Hope this helps a bit.
Nico de Vries
Post by Torsten
Some time ago I made an inquiry of a local Pioneer service here in
Germany on the same matter and they told me that at least one PCB would
have to be changed. They estimated the costs with at least $600.
If there's a cheaper way, I'd be interested to know, since for me the
HongKong 919 model has the better design and a nice remote.
Torsten
2005-11-23 19:53:14 UTC
Permalink
Hi Geeji, there used to be a simple hardware patch. You had to replace
two resistors to enable DTS output (but only for LDs, not for DVDs).
The PCB design of these early 909's were the same as the Elite model
DVL-91 I think, so applying the patch makes your player think as if it
was a DVL-91. The downside is, that the patch at the same time disables
the PAL functions of the player, with the consequence that you cannot
play PAL discs anymore. A solution would be to build a little
switch-board, which contains both sets of resistors and which you can
use to either enable DTS for NTSC-LDs or to play PAL-LDs. This works as
the firmware only checks the resistor values at power-up. By the way:
there are no PAL-LDs out with DTS soundtrack (I think due to technical
reasons - the bandwidth is too limited to support the higher number of
scanlines of PAL, plus DTS), so there is no point why not applying this
patch. By the way, you can find the how-to with solder positions and
resistor values here: http:// www . megavision . de
/pioneer_codefree_images.htm

Hope I recalled everything correctly - feel free to comment.

Cheers, Torsten
Nico de Vries
2005-11-23 21:31:04 UTC
Permalink
Torsten,

the reason that there are no PAL DTS LD's is another. NTSC LD's have both an
analog stereo track and a digital one. When DTS came about, they replaced
the digital track with the DTS data, retaining the analog tracks for
compatibility reasons for those not having DTS playback capability. In
theory you could even have DTS, analog mono and Dolby Digital (AC-3) on one
LD, but that was, AFAIK never done.

With PAL you either have analog or digital audio, not both. This comes from
the fact that the PAL analog audio occupies about the same frequency
spectrum on the the disc as the digital audio does, not from the higher
number of scan lines. Technically it would be possible to make PAL DTS LD's
but they would only be of use to those with a DTS decoder and a player with
digital out. All other PAL player owners would end up with in effect an
unplayable disc.

Another reason may have been the rather small PAL market: not enough discs
with a DTS soundtrack would have been sold, but this is a surmise on my
side.

One other point though. If I understand your reply correctly, you are under
the impression that a DVL-909 without the DTS-out mod wil not output DTS
from NTSC DTS LD's. However, it does, like any other NTSC LD player with
digital out, without modification. The DTS-out mod is only to enable digital
output from DTS DVD's (both PAL and NTSC ones).

Regards,

Nico de Vries
Post by Torsten
Hi Geeji, there used to be a simple hardware patch. You had to replace
two resistors to enable DTS output (but only for LDs, not for DVDs).
The PCB design of these early 909's were the same as the Elite model
DVL-91 I think, so applying the patch makes your player think as if it
was a DVL-91. The downside is, that the patch at the same time disables
the PAL functions of the player, with the consequence that you cannot
play PAL discs anymore. A solution would be to build a little
switch-board, which contains both sets of resistors and which you can
use to either enable DTS for NTSC-LDs or to play PAL-LDs. This works as
there are no PAL-LDs out with DTS soundtrack (I think due to technical
reasons - the bandwidth is too limited to support the higher number of
scanlines of PAL, plus DTS), so there is no point why not applying this
patch. By the way, you can find the how-to with solder positions and
resistor values here: http:// www . megavision . de
/pioneer_codefree_images.htm
Hope I recalled everything correctly - feel free to comment.
Cheers, Torsten
Joshua Zyber
2005-11-23 23:21:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nico de Vries
the reason that there are no PAL DTS LD's is another.
Except for this one:

http://japanld.free.fr/laserdisc.php?id=25319
Torsten
2005-11-24 10:00:03 UTC
Permalink
Hi Joshua,

with which player can I play this disc? I have an X9 (thanks to
Nicolas:-), but this one does only play NTSC and Muse. Are the PAL/NTSC
combos (e.g. DVL-9x9E and CLD-D925) able to play it?

Thanks.
Nico de Vries
2005-11-25 11:05:43 UTC
Permalink
Hi Group,

Did not know about this one. In PAL terms, this is LD walhalla. Any
PAL-capable LD player with a digital output can play this disc.

Sound will only be obtained from a DTS decoder/amplifier connected to
digital out of the player; the analog outputs of the player will give noise.
This is the same as wih any NTSC LD player and NTSC DTS LDs.

Picture will be 4:3 letterboxed on any standard PAL display through the
normal composite or S-video outputs of the player. A PALplus capable display
device will display a 16:9 picture with enhanced horizontal resolution.

Regards

Nico de Vries
Post by Torsten
Hi Joshua,
with which player can I play this disc? I have an X9 (thanks to
Nicolas:-), but this one does only play NTSC and Muse. Are the PAL/NTSC
combos (e.g. DVL-9x9E and CLD-D925) able to play it?
Thanks.
Nico de Vries
2005-11-23 21:07:13 UTC
Permalink
Dear Geeji,

The reason I can give you a detailed answer is that I own all DVL-909/DVL-91
service mauals and in the past needed some detailed info regarding the
differences regarding the various models. This stemmed from the fact that my
boss imported American DVL-909's for the simple reason they were black in
stead of champagne, but did not (and still cannot) play PAL LD's. This is
same problem you addressed.

Torsten is right about the DTS out modification. Beware however that this
only works on late production DVL-909's.

If you need more help on DTS out on the DVL-909, just post.

Regards,

Nico de Vries
Post by Geeji
Thanks a lot Nico, that's very clear : unless you work in a Pioneer
repair shop, it is not worth it :-(.
Too bad there are not that many used DVL-919E on sale : since it is the
last and most elaborate Pioneer player, I suppose owners who cannot
replace them by better tend to keep them as long as they don't get rid
of their LD collection...
BTW, I am a bit curious : your answer is so detailed, you must have done
it at least once yourself, right ?
If I have to keep my current DVL-909E, I have an other related question
: mine is an early model which does NOT supports DTS; apparently a
firmware upgrade is not enough for those early models. Would you know
what hardware change is needed ?
Geeji
2005-11-24 07:22:10 UTC
Permalink
Thanks a lot Torsten and Nico, that's very helpful.
I went to http://www.megavision.de/pioneer_codefree_images.htm, but
since my German is not too good, I want to summarize what I think you
and they said :
1) this modification is to enable DTS output on PAL and NTSC DVDs
2) doing that, you loose the ability of playing back NTSC LDs and DVDs
on a PAL-only TV (but it works if your monitor accepts both PAL and
NTSC); which appears equivalent to forcing the video output switch at
the back of the DVL909E to "auto"
3) You completely loose playback of PAL LDs (www.megavision.de)
4) you don't need this modification to playback NTSC DTS LDs (Nico) as
long as you use the digital output (coax or optical) and there are no
PAL DTS LDs
5) it may not work on early DVL-909s (how to recognize them ? does the
modification break them, or is it just ineffective ?)

Any correction on my (imperfect ?) understanding before I take my
soldering iron greatly appreciated... ;-).
Unfortunately, if (3) holds true, it will prevent me from doing this
modification : that would give the same end result as with a DVL-919
from HongKong, the one which started this whole thread :-(

Regards
Geeji
Post by Nico de Vries
Torsten is right about the DTS out modification. Beware however that this
only works on late production DVL-909's.
If you need more help on DTS out on the DVL-909, just post.
Regards,
Nico de Vries
Torsten
2005-11-24 10:36:53 UTC
Permalink
Geeji,

there is a solution for your problem (3): Desolder both resistors from
the PCB, then solder 4 appropriate cables onto the solder points where
the resistors were connected (so you don't solder the other set of
resistors directly onto the board). Build a little switchboard instead
and connect the cables to it. Doing so, you can select between the two
sets of resistors with a switch, which would enable most of the
DVL-919E features (which are missing on the DVL-909E). The only
question is where to place the switch board mechanically (I would place
it on the backside, but make sure I can still reach it).

Nico,

thanks for your correction. I was indeed under that (wrong) impression,
based on information which I mainly got from the source I mentioned and
partially from older (incorrect posts) of different newsgroups...
I own a DLV-909E and I'm interested in applying the patch, if this
would enable DTS for DVDs (already did the macrovision and region hack
- which works perfectly). Could you imagine to send the serivce manuals
for the different DVL-909 and 919 models you own (I would honour this
great favour)? Some time ago I ordered a CD with service manuals for
different Pioneer decks from Russia, but they only contained the US
versions of the DVL decks.

Further, are these "newer models" which you mentioned characterized by
a video board revision "C"? I got the information that rev. C is
required for certain DVL-909E mods.
Nico de Vries
2005-11-25 12:33:44 UTC
Permalink
Torsten,

Regarding which version of the DVL-909 will or will not accept the DVL-91
mod to achieve DVD DTS digital out is not dependent on the revision level
of the video board, but on the PD4833A chip on the DVD board (the one with
the
multiregion/macrovision hacks). Apparently there are at least three versions
of the chip around:
1. Early ones do not recognize a DTS audio stream;
2. Some seem to have a bug. These freeze on DTS DVD playback;
3. The last version recognizes a DTS DVD stream correctly and with this one
the mod works.
Pioneer in their wisdom did not relabel the chips during revisions and I do
not know of a way to reveal its revision level, so it's anybody's guess.
Hence the vague statement: early production (1997 and 1998) likely not,
later production (second half 1998, 1999 and later) most probably yes.

Regards

Nico de Vries
PS can you send me your real email adress?
Post by Torsten
Geeji,
there is a solution for your problem (3): Desolder both resistors from
the PCB, then solder 4 appropriate cables onto the solder points where
the resistors were connected (so you don't solder the other set of
resistors directly onto the board). Build a little switchboard instead
and connect the cables to it. Doing so, you can select between the two
sets of resistors with a switch, which would enable most of the
DVL-919E features (which are missing on the DVL-909E). The only
question is where to place the switch board mechanically (I would place
it on the backside, but make sure I can still reach it).
Nico,
thanks for your correction. I was indeed under that (wrong) impression,
based on information which I mainly got from the source I mentioned and
partially from older (incorrect posts) of different newsgroups...
I own a DLV-909E and I'm interested in applying the patch, if this
would enable DTS for DVDs (already did the macrovision and region hack
- which works perfectly). Could you imagine to send the serivce manuals
for the different DVL-909 and 919 models you own (I would honour this
great favour)? Some time ago I ordered a CD with service manuals for
different Pioneer decks from Russia, but they only contained the US
versions of the DVL decks.
Further, are these "newer models" which you mentioned characterized by
a video board revision "C"? I got the information that rev. C is
required for certain DVL-909E mods.
Nico de Vries
2005-11-25 11:21:24 UTC
Permalink
Geeji,

Unfortunenately there is no easy way to recognize in advance whether the
DTS-out mod on the DVL-909 will work or not. The player will not be
permanently damaged. It can display an number of phenomena after the mod:
1. Normal playback of DTS DVD's but no output on digital out (which is what
you have now);
2. Playback of DTS DVD's freezes a soon sound is switched to a DTS audio
track;
3. Normal playback with DTS signal on digital out, which is the goal of the
mod.
Just try and see, you have nothing to lose and something to gain.

PAL LD playback will be lost in DVL-91 mode, but as proposed by Torsten,
this can be solved by using a switch enabling switching between original and
DVL-91 modes. You would use original for PAL LD playback and DVL-91 mode for
DVD DTS playback. The default video mode will be NTSC in the DVL-91 mode
with PAL output only during PAL DVD play. In DVL-91 mode the mode switch on
the back is ignored and output of PAL60 (MOD.PAL in Pioneer terms) is not
possible.

Hope this helps reaching a decision

Regards, Nico
Post by Geeji
Thanks a lot Torsten and Nico, that's very helpful.
I went to http://www.megavision.de/pioneer_codefree_images.htm, but
since my German is not too good, I want to summarize what I think you
1) this modification is to enable DTS output on PAL and NTSC DVDs
2) doing that, you loose the ability of playing back NTSC LDs and DVDs
on a PAL-only TV (but it works if your monitor accepts both PAL and
NTSC); which appears equivalent to forcing the video output switch at
the back of the DVL909E to "auto"
3) You completely loose playback of PAL LDs (www.megavision.de)
4) you don't need this modification to playback NTSC DTS LDs (Nico) as
long as you use the digital output (coax or optical) and there are no
PAL DTS LDs
5) it may not work on early DVL-909s (how to recognize them ? does the
modification break them, or is it just ineffective ?)
Any correction on my (imperfect ?) understanding before I take my
soldering iron greatly appreciated... ;-).
Unfortunately, if (3) holds true, it will prevent me from doing this
modification : that would give the same end result as with a DVL-919
from HongKong, the one which started this whole thread :-(
Regards
Geeji
Post by Nico de Vries
Torsten is right about the DTS out modification. Beware however that this
only works on late production DVL-909's.
If you need more help on DTS out on the DVL-909, just post.
Regards,
Nico de Vries
Geeji
2005-11-30 05:52:31 UTC
Permalink
Thanks Nico and Thorsten for all those detailed informations.
Very helpful :-)
Torsten
2005-12-03 13:37:30 UTC
Permalink
Geeji,

I can confirm that the mod works as described. I applied it today, and
now have a DVL-91 which outputs the DTS stream from DVDs. For your
information, my player is a Europe-model "WR" with SCART-connectors,
built in August 1998. The firmware version is 1.418/8 but as Nico
pointed out, this has nothing to do with the ability to deliver DTS
from DVDs or not.

Nico,

thanks a lot for your help and detailed information. Very smart your
hint, that only ONE resistor needs to be patched on the european ("WR")
version of the player. This helped a lot applying the mod due to the
very small resistors and soldering points. Now I just have to find a
good trick to add the switch. I think I will develop a small custom
logic around the "FL dim" switch on the front in order to realize the
mod switch without losing its original function...

With kind regards, and best wishes for the upcoming XMAS season,
Torsten

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