Philips DVP642/37 Standalone DVD player firmware

vbimport

#1

I just got one of these players and I like it a lot, especially for its DivX, XviD, etc. playback capability.

With the firmware that this player shipped with (version 1109), Macrovision has been enabled. With the previous firmware which ended sometime around November '04 (version 0531), Macrovision was not enabled.

Now, some owners of these players were able to “downgrade” their original 1109 firmware to 0531 to get rid of the Macrovision; and others (like myself) were not able to. The reason for this was explained by “Jefferson Ryan” on the Doom9 forums:

Hi,

We were wondering for the last weeks why some guys can´t do a downgrade to the 0531 version and why the 1109 firmware has three files.

It´s because there are at least three different hardware configs of the DVPxx in the market.

In the firmware screen you can see a code like this:

Ver0531 642/78 01 M 4

The letter “M” is the hardware config. I counted three configs in the wild: “M”, “S” and “E”.

The “M” uses only the file dvpxx.rom (tested - I have one unit)

The “S” uses only the file dvpxxDV.rom (tested - I have one unit)

The “E” requires the file dvpxxEW.rom , not present in the 0531 firmware (not tested, but seems obvious)

So, you can´t downgrade because you do not have the file for your hardware. Maybe it was not Philips intent to block the downgrades. I think that some parts changed in the production line and so the firmware was changed acordingly. Philips puts the three files in the same ZIP to simplify the process to the users point of view. Each unit picks the right file based in information stored in the 512Bytes EEPROM (a little chip).

When the firmware loading process begins, the player displays the name of the picked file for a moment in the top left of the screen.

But what parts changed? What difference we can expect in the unit behaviour?
I don´t know for sure, but we will need to take that letter in consideration for now on when trying to understand the DVP642 quirks.

http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=91048

I have the “E” hardware and can not “downgrade” to 0531 firmware and apparently no firmware exists that I can “downgrade” to.

So that is the backstory in case anyone reading this is not familiar with the DVP642 firmware situation.

Now, I know that some people have modified existing firmware for certain devices such as PC-based Liteon CD burners and even made utilities for DIY patching, such as “OmniPatcher”. Is anything like this possible for the Philips DVP642 firmware, i.e. modify the existing current firmware to say, remove Macrovision and make it region-free? It is easy enough to make these players region-free with a code punched into the remote control but I haven’t heard of any similar thing for getting rid of the Macrovision, beyond being able to successfully “downgrade” the firmware.

I’m not sure if this is the right section of the forum for this post. It does deal with firmware, but not for a PC-based optical drive obviously.


#2

What’s the purpose of disabling Macrovision? you’d only need to do that if you’re trying to do an analog capture, which is pretty insane if you’ve already got access to the original DVD. WHy not copy it on a computer?


#3

I simply don’t want it there. Macrovision is ridiculous to the extreme. Also, for the time being, my TV is old and only has an RF input. Simply passing the signal through the VCR to make use of its internal RF modulator, triggers the Macrovision effects, which is completely unfair. Whether or not you are recording has nothing to do with it. It is triggered by the inability of the VCR’s automatic gain control circuitry to deal with the corrupt (Macrovision) signals. Perhaps in a properly designed anti-piracy scheme it would only work when you were trying to record; but don’t expect that from something as ignorant as Macrovision.

If I wanted to copy the movie I would run it through DVD-Shrink (or any other DeCSS application), deMacrovisoning and DeCSS’ing it in one fell swoop. If I rent a DVD, I don’t want to copy it (and I would never use a damnable VHS machine to do it with anyway); I just want to watch it. I don’t want to buy a new TV right now and I don’t want to buy a standalone RF modulator. I want to fix the problem at the source; that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

It’s odd that anyone would ask why you would want to make your player ignore corrupt signals on a DVD. Who wouldn’t want to?


#4

OK, that’s fair, but you should know that signal boosters cost like ten bucks and effectively nullify Macrovision. That’s what I used to have, before I got a projection setup.


#5

I’ve heard of some people having Macrovision show up when they hook the player to a projector. If there was a way to modify this firmware to remove the junk it would benefit a lot of people, not just people like me with old TV’s; and this particular player seems to be quite popular, due to its excellent playback of DivX, XviD, etc, cheap price and being readily available at Wal-Mart.

I know that people modify firmware all of the time. Does anyone who has done this (such as the author of OmniPatcher) have any comments about the feasibility of this?


#6

this dvd player is a dinosaur, it can’t play ogm or mkv… now only few of my movies are in avi format so this player become next to useless… a solution to this problems would be to hook my computer to projection tv using some kind of adapter.
it is such a featureless dvd player that even the cheapest dvd player is more packed with advanced zooming… time remain, over lapse etc…
divx are such low quality format that with fast internet connection, it become null to even bother with it anymore.


#7

well actually…I couldnt agree with you more on one fact…most files such as anime etc are in ogm or mkv file…but those are not the videos format at all.
seriously go into something like virtual dub mod and open one of your mkv/ogm files itll then scan and seperate the audio files and video files into groups…
usually the main video codecs still being used are divx/xvid and the H.264…
then people take said video file and join it with the jap and eng and whatever other audio tracks they got…then they add the subtitle(srt) files and join them that way…nowadays that is the best way…I learned all that myself just because I was determined to watch my ogm/mkv files on my philips dvp642/37 player…what ya do is open the video in the virtual dub mod program…then go to streams…here you will see the seperate audio and subtitle streams…to make these ogm files compatible with the dvp 642 players isnt too hard …first while in streams see what format the audio is in… if its ogg vorbis or what not re encode it to mp3 or ac3 i believe works too…
however vorbis audio is not compatible so it must be re-encoded which only takes minutes…in order to re-encode the audio while in the streams area of
the virtual dub mod program simply highlight the audio file and then click demux button… then youll be able to re-encode the audio…once the audio is re-encoded simply open the video in virtual dub mod again go to streams delete all the streams then go to add, find new re-encoded audio…add it to the list…then go to file and save as…here youll get a menu…on the video portion at the very bottom select direct stream copy so you dont end up re-encoding the video being as it doesnt need re-encoding…and re-encoding video takes some time…so avoid that…then simply make a name to save it as
and select where to save it and a few minutes later you now have a compatible xvid or divx video which was once an ogm…or an mkv…either way this is one simple alternative to play those ogm/mkv files you got downloaded only to find they didnt work on the dvp642 players…note this will not work with H.264 format video tho, which is quickly becoming the standard as far as dual audio anime releases r concerned…however there r still plenty of anime releases out there in divx and xvid formats…same with movies rips etc…
but as i stated b4 ogm and mkv means jack really…all a mkv and ogm is…well is a container which holds all the data inside and allows almost dvd like functionality as far as dual audio and subtitle streams…the actual formats of the video and audio are various…so if you follow my basic instruction youll
be able to easily do this yourself…for virtualdubmod simple google it…as far as audio converters that make ogg vorbis into mp3… ill leave that to you…i found one on demonoid.com a while back…and trust me its almost always ogg vorbis audio too…if its not ogg itll be ac3…anyway…reason i went into that is someone said divx and xvid r dated yada yada…the dvp642 is a dinosaur…yada yada… which is false as it gets…cause in all honesty the only formats of video I seem to run into r divx and xvid…and the occasional H.264
codec which is growing to be the more popular format now…so now that i cleared up what ogm and mkv files r give it a shot…you prolly got alot of stuff you wanna watch on that player…so go for it…also bud if your tv has an s-video input you can do what i did get a video card for your pc that has
s-video out…ok then simply hook it up from pc to tv…then right click the good old mouse go to properties then settings…youll have a 1 and 2 for monitors…
click on the 2 and click extend my desktop onto this monitor…everything but video looks like crap on the tv trust me on that one…you may have to adjust the overlays etc…but video looks just like dvd on my tv …i use media player classic…and watch all my ogm and mkv files in this manner…hell i even got a remote control for my computer after doing this its sweet…now i can switch
subtitles and audio from my recliner and kick back and chill…when you do this open up media player classic click and drag media to its window then drag the media player all the way off to the right of the computer monitor screen…itll come onto the tv…from there simply maximize the player to full screen and enjoy…this is the affordable way to watch mkv.ogm files on tv at home without any video quality loss…also they sell an adapter at radio shack if your pc speakers didnt come with it… it is a plug that goes into the audio output of the pc where the speakers usually go…itll have the red and white audio plugs on it then…simply route those to your home stereo system…and you got surround sound…this is much more fun then having to re-encode
squat…honestly i havnt re-encoded anything since i bought this cheap $120
video card at walmart …its only a radeon 9550 256meg…with s-video out…
but it does the job more then good enough…when you try this dont let the windows text loking crappy turn ya off…most pc games and all video looks great doing this…in order for games to play on the tv youll have to make the tv monitor your primary monitor and simply play the game…some games i found dont work to well like this such as guild wars…but hey…games like x-men legends 2 and such work perfectly and look perfect too…have fun…


#8

What is this Virtual Dub Mode you are talking about in your post.

Is it in some special software ? Please explain. I am an Anime nut and have a few movies in the mkv/ogm file format and havent been able to watch them or convert them. I also have a batch of movies in DIVX format and no way to watch them. Thats why I was looking at this DVD player.