I just bought a pioneer DVR-520h-S at 9$ working perfectly Unfortunately it's Region Locked 2 PAL but all my DVDs are NTSC region 1:
I found on the site that there is a Region free CD firmware, but the link is dead and I can't find it anywhere else on net
Can anyone help me with this, or upload the CD again. I will be forever grateful
Thank you in advance
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Can't help you with the region hack, but want to offer you two thoughts as a long-term (since 2005) owner of many Pioneer recorders.
1. While you picked up an excellent bargain ($9 for fully functional 520 is amazing), you need to know that over the years nearly all the various Pioneer hacks, firmwares and modifications eventually got consolidated into the one PioneerFAQ enthusiast website. That website went offline a couple years ago as costs escalated and donations dropped due to waning interest in dvd recorders in the age of streaming. When the site died, it took most of the worlds library of Pioneer hacks and software with it, the result being all the little tidbits one might need for an old Pioneer recorder are now extremely difficult to come by (since most of the links you'll find today link back to the dead site).
2. Even if you do find the region hack, it is not now (and never was) a good idea to use a Pioneer 520 recorder as your primary dvd player. The 520 had a PC-based optical drive that hasn't been available since 2004, and that drive was not known for its reliability if used as a player. Depending how much use this 520 has seen in the past, you could get as little as 50 or as much as 1000 full dvd plays out of it before it dies. Enjoy it while it lasts, just be aware it may not last as long as you would like. The 520 was one of the top three most popular dvd recorders in every country it was sold in, but dvd drive durability was not a strong point.
I just now checked my copy of the 520 service manual for region 2 and region 3 models, on the off chance there might be an "official" way to set region 0 or 1 using just the standard service remote and service disc. But found nothing on the topic. The only authorized changes one can make with the Pioneer service tools is to set trivial model/feature variations for different neighboring countries: the region is hardware locked to the territory of sale. So the region mod firmware that was floating around out there seems to have been a totally unofficial hack.
You might try searching the UK-centric AVForums site, or posting your question to their dedicated region hack thread- perhaps a local Pioneer 520 owner who still has the hack would b willing to share it with you:
A few UK sites offer to sell the 520 region hack on disc, if you really want it badly enough to pay for it (example here). But it seems silly to go to the trouble when a new factory-region-free budget disc player can be had for little money (with the added bonus of much improved HDMI video connection for modern HDTV)s. If you can't locate the region hack, you might be best off selling the 520 to a Pioneer recorder enthusiast for much more than the $9 you paid (fully functional classic DVD/HDD recorders still have a small but passionate cult following willing to pay for them). Use the proceeds to buy a new player that doesn't require hacking.