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Standalone DVD player Philips DVD-950

I own a standalone Philips DVD-950 so I publish this page to help other owners of this player and maybe other Philips ones.

I bought it in Europe (in France) in April 2000. I bought a Philips because I'm very happy with my Philips TV set. I choose this model because it was at this time the best one among Philips players and I was willing to bet for the future of DVD, and the future give me reason to trust Philips !

  1. Philips DVD-950 features
  2. Upgrading firmware
  3. Making region free
  4. Display current MPEG bit rates
  5. Changing P-code if necessary (DVD-950/955/956/957 only)

Any information I publish in this page (and in all this site) are just published to describe my own experience. If they are useful for you and you use them, then you are the unique responsible of any damage occurs by the use of information presented there. I am not responsible for any contents linked or referred to from my pages. Liability claims regarding damage caused by the use of any information provided, including any kind of information which is incomplete or incorrect, will therefore be rejected.

1. Philips DVD-950 features

The main features of this model are:

When you buy a Philips DVD player in Europe it doesn't read SVCD, but in other countries it does, particularly in China where it's mandatory due to government decision.

Picture and audio are perfect. So far, I've been able to play standard VCD (352x288), standard SVCD (480x576) and XSVCD (720x576 at 2.9Mbps).

To make my player SVCD compliant, I did update the firmware to 7.12 and I set the P-code 055. After the update, settings were Portuges so I had to change to French. Later I did update to 7.22 release with success and it didn't change any option in the settings.

Pascal wrote me that 7.22 release (without P-code 055) makes he DVD-950 compliant with SVCD and fast forward working. So I recommend to enter P-code 055 or 033 only if necessary.

2. Firmware updates

Download the latest release available:

Philips player model Firmware
DVD701/711/750/751/755/756
DVD865
DVD931/940/950/955/956/957/958
7.22
7.12
DVD700/710/718/720/725/730
DVD825
DVD930/935/960
9.28
9.25
More firmware at Philips Syndicate

To upgrade my DVD-950, I burnt a CD-R XA ISO9660 Mode 2 like described in the read-me from the 7.12 zip file and then I followed DVD-955 instructions:

  1. Turn on your DVD player and wait until its initialization completes.
    The display shows "no disc".

  2. Open the drawer and insert the CD-R disc containing the firmware.
    Press 'close'. Do not press 'play'.
    The firmware will load automatically. After 1 or 2 minutes the updating is complete.
    After completing, the drawer will open automatically.

  3. Remove the CD-R disc. Do not press 'close', but gently push the drawer.
    Wait until 'no disc' appears and press the power off button.

  4. Turn on the DVD player, the updating is completed.

Actually, I burnt a CD-RW with Easy CD Creator 4 so CD-RW can be used instead of CD-R for firmware upgrades.

I did update the firmware to 7.12 and it works perfectly. After the update, settings were Portuges (Brasil release I think) so I had to change back to French. It seems that image and colours were then better but I'm not sure. Then I set the P-code 055 and the player started reading SVCD and XSVCD (720x480,576). When the 7.22 has been released, I did the update, no parameters had been altered (language, audio, colour, any) by this update.

More on Philips firmware upgrade can be found at Jeroen Verhaar and Ian Court (Philips Syndicate) pages.

3. Making region free

I've been given a pretty good solution by Hervé (Mathos' World) from his DVD Player database.I also report a solution from DVD-VCD Spain which I didn't test because I don't have a RC6 remote and

722-to-620 solution

Thanks to Mathos' World who provided the solution and the firmware. The process is to downgrade the player to 6.20 software (impossible with the original 6.20, you must use a special one) then make the player free zone with the legacy 6.20 code and upgrade back to 7.22 firmware. It works so I'm very happy and now I will order DVDs from the US and Canada.

I personally started from my player with firmware 7.22:

  1. Download the special 7.22 to 6.20 firmware from 722a620.zip
  2. Prepare a CD with this software
  3. Downgrade your player to 6.20 using the usual upgrade process (the player's menus then appears in Spanish, don't pay attention)
  4. Enter the region free code 159 101 040 000 140:

    1. Power on the player with no disc
    2. On the remote, press Play, then 1, 5, 9
    3. The player displays several dash ( - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -)
    4. Then press 159 101 040 000 140, then Play
    5. The TV flashes a bleu screen for about 1 second

  5. You can test with a Zone 1 DVD (I did with Matrix)
  6. Prepare a CD with the 7.22 firmware and upgrade the player following the usual upgrade process
  7. Now your player is back to 7.22, in English language, with all menus reset (16:9, audio and so on) so you set the menus for your convenience

That's it! You can test again with Zone 1 and Zone 2 DVDs (I did with Matrix, zone 1 and zone 2 and Bridget Jones Diary zone 2).

RC6 remote solution

if you're the lucky owner of a RC6 remote, you can try the codes given by DVD-VCD (Spain):

Multizone code Firmware
RC6 222 222 005 255 7.12
RC6 222 222 005 255 9.25

4. Display current bit rates

It seems that this feature is active only with P-codes 055 and 033.

During DVD, VCD or SVCD playback, if you press OSD key (orange) for about 5 secondes, the bit rate vu-meter will appear to display audio, video and total bit rates in Mbps !

5. Changing P-code for SVCD compliance (DVD-950/955/956/957 only)

Since the 7.22 firmware release, SVCD compliant, and the publication of the 720-to-620 region free process, changing P-Code is now obsolete (I keep publishing these lines in any case someone need).

After updating the firmware if the player is still not reading correctly the SVCD or if you want to enable the MPEG vu-meter, you will have to change the P-code.

P-code 055 for Region 2 (PAL)

I finally choose the Spanish proposal 159 055 000 000 000 and it works for my French DVD-950:

  1. Power on the player with no disc
  2. On the remote, press Play, then 1, 5, 9
  3. The player displays several dash ( - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -)
  4. Then press 055 000 000 000, then Play
  5. The TV displays a bleu screen for about 1 second

Voilà ! My player now reads SVCD in Region 2 (PAL).

P-code 033 for Region 1 (NTSC)

Charlie lives in the U.S. and he's got a DVD-950 of June 2000, he reports to be successful with P-code 033 for Region 1 (this is consistent with Mayhem P-code page) so the proposal is 159 033 000 000 000:

  1. Power on the player with no disc
  2. On the remote, press Play, then 1, 5, 9
  3. The player displays several dash ( - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -)
  4. Then press 033 000 000 000, then Play
  5. The TV displays a bleu screen for about 1 second

Voilà ! Your player now reads SVCD in Region 1 (NTSC).

Consequences

Charlie reports that P-code 033 disables AC-3 output and Mayhem reports it disables S-Video output as well. The same problem has been reported for P-code 055.

Be careful, P-code setting with 159 sequence is counting for one region change which are limited (beyond player settings can't be changed). It seems that Philips players are limited to 8, 12 or 25 changes (I didn't retrieve exact number).

You can get rid of the limit using One4All remote with RC6 codes like proposed by Mayhem.

Spanish friends say P-code 055 works for DVD 950/955/956/957 and it's P-code 054 for DVD 750.

 


Appendices

Philips DVD related pages:

Other DVD player pages:

DVD firmware download:

Related Leon's Lab pages:

 

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Version of the document: 1.4EN
Created: March 5 - 2001
Updated: May 18 - 2001
Author: Leon