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Old 6th March 2005, 00:07   #1  |  Link
Jefferson Ryan
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Philips DVP642 / DVP630 - The three firmware files explained

Hi,

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

Itīs 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 canīt 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 donīt know for sure, but we will need to take that letter in consideration for now on when trying to understand the DVP642 quirks.

The full reasoning for this was published in the last week in my site, but in Brazilian Portuguese. My English is not enough to explain everything here, sorry.

If you understand Portuguese:
http://ryan.com.br/prod_dvp642.htm#27022005

[]'s
Jefferson Ryan
http://ryan.com.br

Last edited by Jefferson Ryan; 6th March 2005 at 02:32.
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Old 6th March 2005, 02:22   #2  |  Link
fewtch
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Finally, the secret emerges! Thanks much for that info, it finally clears things up.
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Old 7th March 2005, 00:05   #3  |  Link
Jefferson Ryan
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Just to expand:

In
Ver0531 642/78 01 M 4

"01" were allways present in all firmwares, DVP630 or DVP642. Never changed for me.

"4" Is the default region of the player. Even if you apply the Region Hack and modify the player region, the firmware screen will show the factory default. Itīs stored in the EEPROM and itīs due this that every time you reflash your player you need to reapply the Region Hack.
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Old 7th March 2005, 03:45   #4  |  Link
Jefferson Ryan
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I compared two CPU boards of each "M" and "S" versions (four players in total) and found the following:

Board "S"
4Mbit RAM:Elpida EDS6416AHTA (S6416AHTA-6B-E)
Servo Driver: AMTEK AM5868S
Flash:MX26LV800BTC-55
Vibratto: ES6698F G254 and ESS ES6603S
HC374

Board "M"
4Mbit RAM:SAMSUNG K4S64132H-75 (641632H-TC75)
Servo Driver: AMTEK AM5868S
Flash:MX26LV800BTC-55
Vibratto: ES6698F F164 (or F074) and ESS ES6603S
HC374

As you can see, the only differences are in the RAM used and in that number in the main chip. I compared all the major chips in the boards. I donīt believe that a difference in a simple chip as a RAM could cause a firmware revision, so whatīs the difference between the G254 and the F074/F164 Vibratto II CPUs?

Iīm also suspecting of a possible difference in the loaders, because there IS a difference in the noise in some units, but Iīm not sure.

--Edit: I edited the Vibratto chips that I marked incorrectly, sorry!

Last edited by Jefferson Ryan; 7th March 2005 at 06:58.
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Old 7th March 2005, 07:00   #5  |  Link
fewtch
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jefferson Ryan
As you can see, the only differences are in the RAM used and in that number in the main chip. I compared all the major chips in the boards. I donīt believe that a difference in a simple chip as a RAM could cause a firmware revision, so whatīs the difference between the G254 and the F074/F164 Vibratto II CPUs?
I looked at the product brief here for the ESS6698 chipset, but it doesn't go into enough detail. There's a tech support link at that URL, maybe they could explain (I didn't bother to try it).
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Old 7th March 2005, 10:13   #6  |  Link
Jefferson Ryan
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Quote:
Originally posted by fewtch
I looked at the product brief here for the ESS6698 chipset, but it doesn't go into enough detail. There's a tech support link at that URL, maybe they could explain (I didn't bother to try it).
I donīt think that they will bother to answer any question from me about this.
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Old 7th March 2005, 10:33   #7  |  Link
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OK, I decided to try it... here's what I sent to them:
Quote:

Hello,

I own a Philips DVP642-37 DVD player containing the ESS6698-F chipset, and am trying to determine the difference between mine and others of the same model. Can you tell me the technical differences between the following revisions?:

* ES6698F G254
* ES6698F F074/F164

Is there anything significantly different between these chips that could affect the process of upgrading firmware for the Philips DVP642 player?

Email response preferred (if you have the time) -- thanks very much.
I'll post any (potential) response in this thread. Chances are probably better with them than Philips, anyway.

Last edited by fewtch; 7th March 2005 at 10:38.
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Old 7th March 2005, 12:56   #8  |  Link
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Thanks for posting such detailed information JR.

I've just added a link to your thread from my own Std-Def: ESS chip-set based - Player Information thread.


Cheers
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Old 8th March 2005, 19:07   #9  |  Link
Jefferson Ryan
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Today, someone at the Philips_DVP642 Yahoo Group answered my message about this topic (that I posted there):

I discovered the difference between the xx and the xxDV versions at
least. I flashed the xxDV version to my xx player (by renaming the
file) and the firmware acted properly EXCEPT for the loader. The
loader code is different between the two, apparently. Now no discs are
readable (and the loader makes strange attempts at seeking).

So basically I killed my unit, but hopefully this will at least
enhance the understanding of this player.


As I suspected, the difference seems to be in the loader!

If this is true, the player is not really dead. Itīs possible to fix this by swapping loaders with a model "S" model and reflashing.

[]īs
Jefferson Ryan
http://ryan.com.br
Philips DVP642 Brazilian Portuguese Review at
http://ryan.com.br/prod_dvp642.htm


Last edited by Jefferson Ryan; 9th March 2005 at 13:36.
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Old 8th March 2005, 21:13   #10  |  Link
fewtch
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jefferson Ryan
Today, someone at the Philips_DVP642 Yahoo Group answered my message about this topic (that I posted there):

I discovered the difference between the xx and the xxDV versions at
least. I flashed the xxDV version to my xx player (by renaming the
file) and the firmware acted properly EXCEPT for the loader. The
loader code is different between the two, apparently. Now no discs are
readable (and the loader makes strange attempts at seeking).

So basically I killed my unit, but hopefully this will at least
enhance the understanding of this player.
OUCH... I don't think it was worth it...
Quote:

As I suspected, the difference seems to be in the loader!

If this is true, the player is not really dead. Itīs possible to fix this by swapping loaders with a model "S" model an reflashing.
How can one go about swapping a loader (and what exactly is a loader anyway, is it a ROM chip?).

P.S. I received this irritating response from ESS today (you were right):
Quote:
If you are experiencing difficulties with using your player, please
contact the original manufacturer or marketer of the hardware directly
for the assistance. ESS does not supply end-user support services to the general public. Rather, ESS works with the OEM manufacturers to ensure that they have the required software solutions for their respective products.
Regards,
ESS Tech Support
I was annoyed, and answered like this:

Quote:
Hello,

I was requesting technical details on your ES6698 chipset, not help with my DVD player. I'm sorry your company doesn't employ competent people who know about your products.

Cheers,
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Old 8th March 2005, 23:52   #11  |  Link
Jefferson Ryan
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Quote:
Originally posted by fewtch
[B]OUCH... I don't think it was worth it...
It depends on your point of view

I risked my own players several times doing tests for my Brazilian review of the DVP642 and trying to discover the role of the three files.
I'm not rich and here in Brazil a DVP642 costs at least US$100, if bought in the black market. In the "official" market, costs US$170

BUT... I'm very curious and the pleasure to obtain this kind of info worths the risk

Nevertheless, I would never rename the firmware files, because I was almost sure that would kill the player. As I said, I'm not rich

Quote:
How can one go about swapping a loader (and what exactly is a loader anyway, is it a ROM chip?).
"Loader" is, in the dvd player jargon, the same as "drive", in the computer jargon. So, swap the loaders is a matter of loose some screws and exchange a couple of cables

Quote:
P.S. I received this iritating response from ESS today (you were right):
Yeah. I was sure that I would receive this kind of answer or no answer at all.

Excuse me for my bad English.

[]īs
Jefferson Ryan
http://ryan.com.br
Philips DVP642 Brazilian Portuguese Review at
http://ryan.com.br/prod_dvp642.htm
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Old 9th March 2005, 14:14   #12  |  Link
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Quote:
Nevertheless, I would never rename the firmware files, because I was almost sure that would kill the player.
There something else I might try, but not sure how the player would end.

Latest FW for DVP642: 1109 (2004)
Latest FW for DVP630: 0112 (2005)

Both contain the same .ROM filenames... I don't plan on renaming anything... Only burning a DVP630 Upgrade disc and trying it in my DVP642. Is it obvious that I will screw things up trying this?
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Old 9th March 2005, 14:23   #13  |  Link
Jefferson Ryan
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Quote:
Originally posted by drf666
There something else I might try, but not sure how the player would end.

Latest FW for DVP642: 1109 (2004)
Latest FW for DVP630: 0112 (2005)

Both contain the same .ROM filenames... I don't plan on renaming anything... Only burning a DVP630 Upgrade disc and trying it in my DVP642. Is it obvious that I will screw things up trying this?
No. The DVP630 and DVP642 are the same, with some minor differences in the default setup. For example, the DVP642 default is NTSC while DVP630 default is PAL.

[]īs
Jefferson Ryan
http://ryan.com.br
Philips DVP642 Brazilian Portuguese Review at
http://ryan.com.br/prod_dvp642.htm
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Old 14th March 2005, 17:13   #14  |  Link
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Does any body know if ESS-6698 supports JTAG ?

I got a "dormant" DVP-642. I found this player is very prone to fail during firmware update especially during writing phase. Last error message I got during flashing was "FAILED".
I am very sure Philips did not design the flashing procedure robust enough. Actually this was the second time I failed flashing this model. I have never failed doing it for other player like KISS and Samsung.

If somebody can pointing me please to DVP-642 schematic or ESS-6698 datasheet, I like to revive this player. I am very familiar with JTAG and been using it with plenty devices particularly sat receiver like sammy, fortecstar and other receivers. The flash rom MX26LV800BTC-55 is common to be found in sat receiver. I am very sure I got it in my jKeys.def file.

TIA, Bxwrapper
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Old 15th March 2005, 13:07   #15  |  Link
Jefferson Ryan
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Quote:
Originally posted by BxWrapper
[B]Does any body know if ESS-6698 supports JTAG ?
I have NO experience with JTAG, but as I understood reading some pages, the JTAG standard requires some dedicated pins (labeled like TRST*,TCK, TDI, TDO and TMS) but the Vibratto II Product Brief shows NO such pins.

So, I guess that Vibratto II has no support to JTAG, unfortunately.

Vibratto II Product Brief:
http://www.esstech.com/products/AVpl...efs/pb6698.pdf

[]īs
Jefferson Ryan
http://ryan.com.br
Philips DVP642 Brazilian Portuguese Review at
http://ryan.com.br/prod_dvp642.htm
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Old 16th March 2005, 02:56   #16  |  Link
BxWrapper
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Thanks Jeff,

It is pity that ESS makes full chipset datasheet not public.

Then I wonder how would Philips service center re-loaded the firmware to flash ROM. I do not believe they un-solder and solder it again since it requires too much work. I have yet to see an "in-situ" clamping socket for the flash ROM. I guess, there must be some service points on the PCB for re-writing the ROM. But the question is then which point and what interface are required. Hope in the future, this information will be unsurfaced and become public knowledge.
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Old 16th March 2005, 17:59   #17  |  Link
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According to that pdf, it says AAC is supported but for some reason, none of movies with AAC work on the DVP642. Is there a specific fimrware that I need to enable ACC playback? Also, if so,is it only AAC-LC or does it playback HE-AAC as well?
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Old 16th March 2005, 18:19   #18  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by acidsex
According to that pdf, it says AAC is supported but for some reason, none of movies with AAC work on the DVP642. Is there a specific fimrware that I need to enable ACC playback? Also, if so,is it only AAC-LC or does it playback HE-AAC as well?
As I've mentioned over on some other forum threads... If you Philips player owners want AAC support... you could do no worse than to bombard Philips with requests for it!

Thankfully Philips had the presence of mind to include .MP4 container support (with MP3 audio) so they should be able to offer AAC audio too.... unless there's a licensing issue preventing them from doing so!

And... full/correct decoding of AAC-HE audio is not included in this chip-sets design... You will be able to play AAC-HE but sadly not the SBR element.


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Old 16th March 2005, 18:30   #19  |  Link
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Yeah, I sent them an email not too long ago and they responded that they had no plans to include any AAC decoding for this player but would considerate it for future players.

Just found that pdf to be contradiciting that Philips said that AAC would not work on that chipset. Just wish I could find one of the Nero players somewhere here in the states.
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Old 16th March 2005, 18:51   #20  |  Link
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Hi acidsex,

Well it's clear the chip-set does support AAC decoding... which is nice! Maybe you (and others) could ask Philips to confirm why they have no plans to include AAC decoding in their current ESS Vibratto II chip-set player line-up?

In any event, the more "official" confirmations we get, the better!


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