I have to following situation: We are currently on job duties in Germany. We brought our American TV, a Sony KDL-40W5100. We then bought a Blue Ray player in Germany, a Sony BDP S4200. We now have the problem that the American TV is not able to display German DVDs or Blue Rays. We can hear the audio, but for the picture it says "incompatible format". Apparently, this is a PAL / NTSC issue. I don't know why the problem occurs with European Blue Rays as well but it does (I am a little perturbed that such a TV set as the Sony KDL is not PAL cross-compatible).
At the same time our TV could display our American DVDs and Blue Rays, but the German player says that playback is prohibited due to region coding.
The result is that we can play neither American nor European DVDs or Blue Rays. The player would play back European discs, but our TV can't picture them. The TV could picture American discs, but the player won't play them.
We now have 2 fairly fancy paper weights / lawn ornaments.
Any suggestions besides going out and buying new hardware?
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Two issues here. Region Coding and PAL/NTSC
Most, if not all, US tvs can not display PAL video even if the disk is Region-free
A Sony player in Germany will be Region2/B so it will only play NTSC dvds if they are Region Free.
Now if you had a PAL tv and a ntsc player that would play ntsc region-free disks (and Region one)
To play German disks you do need a PAL tv ie, for you, bought in Germany.
hech54 is a US guy resident in Germany so he is best to guide you here.
Many Blu-Ray players can play mkv files from a USB thumb drive or hard drive, and since European HDTVs are usually capable of displaying video at "NTSC" frame rates and resolutions your player is likely to play them. You could try ripping the the American discs and copying the main movie to an MKV file with MakeMKV and play them as MKV files from a USB drive. If it works, that will remove the region coding issue. Start with DVDs, because you will need a Blu-Ray drive for your PC to rip the Blu-Ray discs.
The above may not work for your German discs because American TVs frequently refuse to display video with "PAL" frame rates and resolutions. Some Blu-Ray players can convert if there is an "NTSC" TV setting but a player made for Germany may not provide the option. In that case, you may be forced to connect a PC to your TV and play the MKV files using your PC.
does the bluray player have a pal to ntsc option??
I'm an American now living in Germany.
Buy a German PAL television and half of your battle will be completely over......leaving you with only the Region Code battle.
I don't "DO" Blu Ray so when I encounter a DVD region code issue, I just make a backup copy of the DVD(this removes the region code automatically) and enjoy my DVD on my German bought DVD player and my German bought TV.
ALSO....if you are going to spring for a new TV....go one size smaller than you hope to get......as long as if has a boatload of video inputs on the back. It's the smart thing to do in your situation.
Thank you all for the replies so far!
This suggests to me that what could solve the problem would be a new Blue Ray player that
1. is region-free
2. has optional PAL or NTSC output
Since players are a much cheaper than TVs, this would be the best solution.
Am I right?
Is there such a device?
Your NTSC TV still won't accept PAL signals, and region-free BR players are rare and expensive. Listen to Hech.
If you're willing to reencode all your discs, you can use a media player such as WD Live.
Amazon.de sells various Region free/Zone free BD/dvd players such as this one:-
Read the product notes carefully since although this is a Sony product it has been specially modified (Sony do not make zone free BD players)
DVD/Blu Ray players care about Region Codes/Zones on discs being fed into them.
Televisions care about NTSC/PAL signals fed into them.