Review: Zidoo Z9X

Discussion in 'HDD Media player(RTD 1619DR)' started by Sledgehamma, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    At this moment there are two real choices:

    1. Realtek "SDR Rec.2020 Limited"

    This is commonly known as SDR.2020 and converts the HDR PQ gamma to SDR power gamma but leaves the colour space intact. This is very useful if you have a projector capable of BT.2020 in SDR - certainly JVCs do it, and I believe Epson and Sony.

    Black and white clip are perfectly set (64 & 940), pedestal is correct and obviously colours are effectively in "passthrough".

    The minimal downside of this mode is a resync between GUI and content as the GUI is in Rec.709 and the chroma banding as detailed by @Sledgehamma above, although it has to be said while that banding shows in blue on the S&M Vhroma Alignment pattern, it's not generally seen in real world footage.

    2. Dolby VS10 HDR to SDR

    So if you either have an SDR projector or an HDFury device to spoof an SDR EDID, you can use VS10 SDR mode.

    The big issue with this is what we used to call pedestal in the old analogue days - in other words, the level of the whole luma range is raised relative to black leading to an unacceptably grey and washed out image. Again similar to SDR.2020 above, black and white clip are technically correct relative to the raised black floor but the only way you'll get a respectable image is to calibrate black level in the projector and some may not have enough range to do that.

    Pedestal is one of the big issues in VS10 at the moment and once Zidoo have cracked that (possible with the help of Dolby) then VS10 conversion to either HDR or SDR will be incredible.

    (note that pedestal is also raised unacceptably in VS10 HDR but not as much as SDR. It is also raised in VS10 LLDV but in that case it is minimal and easy to calibrate out)

    Realtek HDR to SDR, in line with all these players, is pretty terrible with a crazy black clip at 90 (3%) and white clip at 765 (80%) and the colourspace conversion from Rec.2020 to Rec.709 is equally bad with nasty posterisation artifacts and colour irregularities. Not worth considering.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
    vadergr and leonkoum like this.
  2. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    Very good review indeed specifically for all the HDR modes, aspects and settings. Thanks a lot, keep up the good work!

    What I am missing a bit is the stability aspect of the player (not always easy reproducible) . I do see a difference there between Dune and Zidoo too with in this case the extra points going to Dune honestly.

    I can only agree on the problems with DVD/BD/3D-BD/UHD MENU processing as I compared Egreat, Zidoo and Dune on this. They all have problems with some occasionally and not always with the same sources. DVD Menu processing being the worst in general. Then it is good to own more than one brand. To mention an example recently I watched a BD with 2 versions on it "Theatrical Cut and Unrated Cut" with the Menu getting stuck so no selection was possible. Next I tried to play it using play without menu which resulted in playing a 3 hours making of the movie haha.
    Very strange old Zidoo models do a better job with some discs than the latest generation so there is clear still room for improvement there.

    For me Menu processing and stability are on the top of the problem list even above doing all those DV modes which is more development rather than bug fixing.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
  3. Vinny4K

    Vinny4K Active Member

    Great review as always. Was waiting for this one.
    Thanks Sledgehamma.
  4. Sledgehamma

    Sledgehamma Well-Known Member

    Yes, with setting VS10 the superior Dolby processing will be used instead of the inferior Realtek one.
    Please also note the current problem @Markswift2003 mentioned above.
    moal likes this.
  5. Joao Franco

    Joao Franco Member

    Great review
    So should I use VS10 processor mode instead of auto mode on my Panasonic Oled FZ800 that has only HDR?
    Is it the best compromise?
    Will the HDR be closest to the original disc?
    That's what I realized from the review.
    Is that correct?
    In this mode all menus are in HDR
  6. Sledgehamma

    Sledgehamma Well-Known Member

    I cant say whether its the best compromise or not. It depends on how much SDR content you are watching and how close you want to be to the creators intent.
    That said I like the VS10 processing very much and pretty much the only downside of the VS10 mode is that everything gets outputted as HDR. I really hope that Zidoo can implement a new mode that applies VS10 processing only to HDR and not SDR content. That would make the ideal mode for me.
    Joao Franco likes this.
  7. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    Yes an AUTO mode for VS10 would be very nice and frankly a too be expected choice.
    I would be surprised if that is not coming sooner or later.
    xskip likes this.
  8. Joao Franco

    Joao Franco Member

    I see little SDR content. But if you have a better image with VS10 turned on, I prefer it than in auto mode. For your review the image with the processor turned on will be better. If so I prefer to use VS10. I fully trust your opinion.
  9. Sledgehamma

    Sledgehamma Well-Known Member

    With little to no SDR content, then VS10 would be the best option.
  10. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    I definitely wouldn't say VS10 is better than Auto mode - it very much depends on the application and the number of variables are immense depending on your equipment and how you use it. To be fair, in most instances, Auto would be the way to go.

    I'm currently using a Vertex to allow the Zidoo to send a BT.2020 LLDV 1000nit signal to my projector which gives a very nice image for all my DV, HDR and SDR content.

    This thread isn't really the place to start discussing this, but there is a well established thread on AVS here:

    (Don't get carried away too much by the evangelism at the start of the thread!!)
  11. Joao Franco

    Joao Franco Member

    Well after some tests i notice better image with auto.
    In auto i need to put hdmi range in Auto too.
    If i put in 16-235 i have washed images.
    If i used VS10 with hdmi range in Auto i have washed colours too.
    So my best settings is hdmi range and hdr in auto.
    It´s the best for my Oled.
  12. skynet85

    skynet85 New Member

    In my setup putting Auto results with a too dark image on my LG OLED
  13. Whitfield

    Whitfield Active Member

  14. Bertrum

    Bertrum Member

    Yes, fantastic review there Sledgehamma.
    Thanks for your time and effort, and those that also gave a helping hand.

    I am very happy with my unit, however I am still using the Auto mode instead of Dolby VS10 as when using the VS10 mode the Blacks are grey and it feels there is an opaque layer over the picture (Maybe not as sharp)
    I don't know how to fix that as all other sources are perfect. (Any suggestion in this regard [getting black black with vs10] would be appreciated or do I hold off for the next FW update?)
    In Auto mode, the picture is a little dark and I get the banding as described in your review.
    I watch a range of files from std DVD, to 1080 and 4k MKVs
    All other settings are those as often described by Markswift, except for the 23Hz setting, that is also in auto.
    My TV is a NU8000 Samsung.
    Apart from that, so far so good, My movie wall is complete thanks to the posts on this forum. I still can't seem to transfer some tv shows that are classed as movies to the TV category but that is not a real worry.
    Also, as I have quite a few Music concerts, where would I get those scraped from?
  15. Netmask

    Netmask Well-Known Member

    Excellent review, one of the most thorough I've read for sometime. I look forward to a Review on the UHD 3000 in the future.
    Sledgehamma likes this.
  16. Sledgehamma

    Sledgehamma Well-Known Member

    I won’t do a review on the UHD3000 as it’s main focus is audio and that’s out of my depth.
    The only reason for me to do a review would be to check whether the improved PSU has an affect on the picture quality.

    DELUCAS Well-Known Member

    Thats what id like to know perhaps someone who has both can do a comparison if pic Quality does improve with Quality PSU .
  18. Good morning, sorry for the "light" question ......... How do I disable the remote control backlight? This is because, with each press, it corresponds to the switching on of the backlight and sometimes it is not needed ....... In fact the batteries are "stressed" Thanks in advance and good day to all, Andrea.
  19. Sledgehamma

    Sledgehamma Well-Known Member

    Just press the “light” button for several seconds and it will be disabled.
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    DELUCAS Well-Known Member

    Instructions on how to are on rear of remote .
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