I am in the US and am still kinda new to the whole "region free" thing. I have a PC that, thanks to VLC, can play my couple Doctor Who and Torchwood sets that I have in R2 PAL DVD, no problem. I'd still like to be able to play them on my TV. I'm pretty sure that the TV I have will read 50/25 FPS content just fine, as one of my PCs shows 50 Hz as a refresh rate available on it over HDMI (I'm not sure if the component input would be accept it though).
I figure that an HDMI DVD player would make the DVDs look the best, as long as it doesn't introduce the stuttering effect. I have Doctor Who S1 on R1 NTSC DVD as well as R2 PAL DVD, the R2 PAL DVDs look smoother and crisper to me, I'd like to have all Doctor Who at this quality level basically. As for the output resolution, I think an HDMI DVD player would do better at making the picture quality as good as possible than the TV I have.
I have heard of the Samsung DVD-C500, it seems inexpensive enough, and there are people on the hack pages that say the hack works. The major drawbacks I see are that people on Amazon seem to say the unit is very loud and has a tendency to break down. I don't watch stuff on disc all that often, especially DVD as I tend to rip those. I just like the idea of being able to play the DVD as a DVD sometimes and not have to fiddle with my computer to do so.
Anyone with any better options than the Samsung DVD-C500, let me know.
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what can be HACKED ..these days is few and far between
IF it truly can be hacked, then it might be your only choice is your price range
if it is noisy ? that is mainly a personal perception of that poster, you will have to live with that
i don't bother with hard ware hacks
just copy the dvd complete to the HDD on the PC and burn a NEW region free DVD
problem solved, no need to hack the hardware
I currently have a Sony BD player, it won't even attempt to play a region free, not-copy protected PAL format DVD I made using my computer. I know it's not the authoring app since I have used the same authoring app (DVDStyler) with success on this North American bought Sony BD player and other North American bought DVD players of various makes and models to make and play NTSC format DVDs.
If my player would play, or I knew of any players that would play region free PAL DVDs as well as region free/R1 NTSC DVDs, I'd definitely try to get a hold of one of them and make region free copies of R2 PAL DVDs.
I don't mind it being an older style DVD player, and as for the amount of noise, sometimes my BD player gets a little noisy.
Now, I once did have a portable DVD player that I don't remember the make of that would play a couple PAL DVDs I burned one time (didn't realize they were PAL format, they were bootleg concert DVDs, in my extremely noob days years ago with any digital video formats). The charger started acting up, I had a better player, so I tossed the unit. I wish I could find another like it...it'd probably be my best bet.
Yeah, I have good quality MP4 rips of the discs on an HDD, but there's just something about the idea of playing the physical disc.
US model DVD players which can be made region free with a simple remote code hack are scarce.
www.220-electronics.com and www.world-import.com sell several DVD players which have already been made region free. No hacking required. Their prices are not that bad.
Note that just because a player that they are selling is region free, that does not mean consumers can make the same player region free at home with a remote code hack. Their players may have modified hardware or custom firmware installed.
Philips players were easy to make region-free for DVD. I've also had good luck with inexpensive players from Walmart. Not name brand, lifespan uncertain. Check for hacks before you buy and keep your receipt. Let us know what you find.
Our current crop consists of a low-end Philips blu-ray player and a ten-year-old Oppo dvd. Both are region-free for DVD. The Philips is not region-free for blu-ray. The Oppo was not cheap.