Not until recently did I have a problem viewing a so-called region free dvd disc. It is a current release within the last year but comes from Britain. My library bought it at my request and the fact that it showed all regions.
When I checked it out for myself, my older Sony DVDP NS5765P displayed it's 'incorrect region' error.
I was able to use by DVD recorder in the computer to play it using the Power DVD program software.
I have looked at several threads and soiurces here on videohelp and elsewhere on what the currext state of region-free players is. I have not been in the market for some years and I have scant ability to do things like change the firmware on equipment or get special programmable remotes.
The most recent thread I saw on this was from six months ago.
If I went into a store like Best Buy today or when new things arrive for the fall in a couple months,
what would last (technology- wise) for region free and blu ray play of commercial dvd's for the future.
My library is starting to get a bit of bluray stock. But for cost is it too early to be concerned with bluray content yet? Also is my older Sony Trinitron in danger of becoming a victim of media changes?
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Region free DVD players are quite rare these days.....and there only a handful of Zone Free Blu Ray players. If it is Blu Ray you are switching to....stick to discs from your side of the pond.
You CANNOT walk into any store in the USA/Canada and honestly expect a salesperson to
1) truly know what 'region free" even means.
2) give you honest tips about it.
We talk about this subject of region free all the time.
Sony and Samsung players of all kinds usually CANNOT ever be made region free. If you live in Australia, then you have a small chance. If you don't live in Australia, forget it. So your Sony's results are quite expected. By the way, assuming your disc is truly all regions, the REAL issue with the Sony is it can't play PAL video. Many players produce misleading error messages rather than say "The disc is indeed region free, but I don't like PAL at all so I'm not going to play it anyway".
Philips still makes a few DVD players in the USA/Canada that can be made region free. Their DVD players can convert between PAL and NTSC so they could play your DVD. It's very difficult to find BluRay players in the USA/Canada that are region free even if just for DVD. BestBuy used to sell a refurbished Insignia BD player for $50 that could be made region free if you installed some older firmware on it. Otherwise, if you must have region free BD rather than just region free DVD, you can buy Oppo, but they cost a fortune and they have to be modified. Philips makes a few BD players that can be made region free, but unfortunately they do not convert between PAL and NTSC, which means if your TV can't handle a PAL input signal (VERY likely in your case), you can't watch any PAL video on it.
Your fears about your TV itself seem unfounded. Do keep in mind that Hollywood doesn't want you to buy or play DVDs or BluRays from other parts of the world for various reasons and Sony and Samsung are 2 manufacturers who are the happiest to comply with their wishes to deny you region free players. Some years ago it was almost impossible to find anything that Philips sold in North America that couldn't be made region free (this was prior to BluRay) but now I'd say that even good old Philips makes quite a few players for North America that cannot be unlocked at all for region free play. Philips has to officially deny making any such players to avoid the wrath of Hollywood. If you ever get a region free player, do NOT ever update the firmware on it or you will very likely lose the region free ability. When Hollywood figure out that some player has slipped through the cracks, they lean on the manufacturer to produce a new firmware that takes away region free capability.
I suggest trying to find a cheap Philips DVD player that we have recent reports on it for it being able to be made region free still.
Last edited by jman98; 3rd Jun 2013 at 14:35. Reason: clarification
I have a $40 Seiki if you want it. Does PAL-NTSC conversion in addition to region free.
Only issue is it uses nearest-neighbour chroma upsampling.
What's hard to figure out is why any dvd supplier (in this case a theater) would send to US in Pal format is a mystery. I backed it up to my computer drive no problem. My worry is that as a library acquisition they will have a lot of headache with it-- even though a low demand item.
When returning it I put a hand written note on it advising of the problem.
Why should they refuse to send PAL videos overseas?
There should be some gauge of success of playability from the buyer. And I suppose some check from professional media purchasers that product will be useable. If a thing is marked Region Free or Region Zero then it should be playable universally-- or that is likely the expectation. I have no way of knowing what goes on in purchasing for library collections. I just use the suggestion box.
Region Coding and Video Format(PAL, NTSC, SECAM) have NOTHING to do with each other.
A Region Free PAL video format DVD is NOT "universal" to anyone in America.
Region Free does NOT mean "universal".
And some DVD players in the US would only play Region 1 DVD's. They would reject Region 0/Region free DVD's. I think some early Sony players did this.
But, as jman98 and others have already mentioned, PAL playback in NTSC regions (USA, Canada, Japan, etc) is a separate, and more difficult (and confounding) issue.
Given that KBeee is talking about Sony, I'm not going to discount the possibility of anything. However, it could really be a case of RCE kicking in and an unlocked Sony DVD player set to region 0 mode in the player refusing to play a region 1 DVD and he doesn't remember the problem correctly. The whole reason RCE was created was to specifically thwart some European people from playing those discs because a few models of various manufacturers could be set to region 2 or region 0 and nothing else and RCE defeated such players.
Take a look at walmart, k-mart , sears etc. Most of the lesser name brand blu players can be made region free. K-mart/Walmart sells a seiki player that will play everything. Most do, so your best bet would be just to take down names and model numbers and then do a check up to see what is what.
Now you did ask though for ones that will last-. I am sure the lesser machines are not the best and are not the best for the many options that other blu players might offer-- but if you do not spend much money and use it just for this type of purpose of playing other region discs you should be alright for a while
Sorry for the thread bump, but I just wanted to give a heads up the the latest Seiki blu/dvd player from June 2014, the SR4KP1 (u-vision 4k upconverting deck). Still has the "8520" hidden menu trick present.
The machine also still has analog jacks but only allows dvd to be played through them (trying a blu gives you a message of "analog limited connection".)
I can verify that it still does dvd all regions, still converts PAL to ntsc and vice versa and that it stil does all region blu ray as well.
Interesting part about this is that in the normal setup section it now allows you to change country codes as well. Though I cannot verify it, I am assuming this is present because certain blus from Japan that in addition to being region B also contained a check to make sure your machine was from Japan. So trying it on a US region free machine would result in you still not being able to play the disc. This country code switching may stop that from happening
Though I did not find it on their website. If you are in the US and go into any Sears store they have them for sale. I picked up two of them. It sells for about 100.00
I also take with me the "CD's" or DVD's with X-values and test them on the equipment before a pull up any money.
My last region free DVD player was Denon.
(Resurrected threat from 6-2013)
Last edited by DJ_ValBec; 30th Nov 2014 at 16:45.
If you're going to grave-rob, DJ_ValBec, at least have the decency to give us some new and factual information.
Yours is neither new nor factual. "High End" electronics stores account for less than 10% of US markets.
jman98's post is still correct: MANY/MOST electronics stores are populated with salespeople with no real (technological) product knowledge, let alone consulting expertise. In fact, most couldn't care less - they're there for the salary + commission + girl-watching. You might luck out by trying out demo models, but don't expect much help doing it.
At least mazinz had something new to update with.
I'm glad the thread was resurrected.
For minimal content playback of blu ray how about a dvd blu ray burner or dvd burner/bluray player. What's the best deal going from the expert users on videohelp? Any problems using one of the dvd burn/bluray play on a CRT?
My video on computer is just what's on the old board and plays VLC etc very well.
Using a CRT as your display will only be a problem if you use commercial Blu-Ray player software to play original commercial Blu-Ray discs. This combination requires HDCP compliant HDMI or DVI connections on both the video card and and the monitor. If you can get VLC to work with original commercial Blu-Ray discs, non-HDCP compliant connections won't be an issue. Note that not everyone can get VLC's experimental Blu-Ray decryption library to work or to work for every movie.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 2nd Dec 2014 at 21:05.
Thanks for the product links. My preference is for Pioneer for quiet operation.
But software to view bluray content still seems to be a problem. These are reported at NewEgg for various models and the purchaser feeling hosed for not receiving a full package of features.
I will look at stand alone players just to connect to the old 27 in Sony Trinatron and concentrate on upgrading a dvd burner to a Pioneer.
Any suggestions on which Pioneer to get? Videohelp has a slew of entries but no pricing and no feature lists for many of them (greyed out) which makes the list complete but not very useful.
PowerDVD 10 Ultra, PowerDirector 10, and Power2Go 7. However, PowerDVD can't be used to play commercial Blu-Ray discs unless all video connections are HDCP compliant. In addition, PowerDVD is supposed to be Cinavia compliant, so playing Blu-Ray rips is likely to be problematic too.
People complain about the lack of Blu-Ray player software with the OEM BD burners, but given the limitations of that software, I'm not sure all of those complaining about it would be happy with the software if they received it.
I 'm also looking for a cheap player , I'm from Spain . I tried to find information on these models, but I find nothing
Every region free BD player I've seen lets you choose the DVD and BD regions separately. You don't choose countries, you choose regions for DVD and zones for BD. You can change the region at any time you aren't playing a disc and go through whatever menu process exists on your player to change regions/zones. As I don't care for anime I don't have any of these problem discs to test so my guess is only a guess and I have no way to know if setting the DVD region for 2 and the BD zone for A will work on those Japanese anime BD discs or not. If you're not buying anime but other Japanese BD discs, I wouldn't expect you to have a problem. For example if you bought a BD of some Japanese drama film, I would be really surprised if they would go to the trouble to restrict playback beyond requiring you to be in zone A. Like I said earlier, there are licensing issues involved in these restrictions and anime has a world wide fan base with specific licensing required in various countries.