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View Full Version : cheapest best Region free dvd player you have experience with???


smurr05
06-26-12, 03:46 PM
Looking for a region free dvd player and every single one I look at definately has its pros and cons. What do Y'all have and how good is it??? Looking for basically a plug and play type of player where you do not have to set up a bunch of things just to watch a foreign region 2, 3...etc disc. Just put it in and play regardless of PAL or NSTC-
Appreciate any and all advice and info as this will be first venture into this territory!

X
06-26-12, 09:53 PM
If it includes Blu-ray, I'd say a modded Oppo BDP-80 is the most convenient along with those other traits. That's an old model so you'd have to look for a newer one.

Other than that, a fairly cheap computer can do the job.

smurr05
06-27-12, 05:42 AM
Thanks but I have a 42 inch Plasma that I want to watch my DVD's on so I definately want a stand alone player. Anybody else have one that they are happy with? Also I just don't do blu-ray...No offense-

Nebiroth
06-27-12, 01:32 PM
The Oppos are great bits of kit, but very expensive.

Personally I'd recommend buying a pre-modded player, although these aren't anywhere near as easy to find in the USA as they are here in the UK. That's because the US has by far the largest and most comprehensive DVD catalogue - most people want region-freeness because they don't live in the USA but want region-1 discs. Also, I think that Americans (probably for the reason above) are less willing to look at 'foreign' discs. Chatting on various forums it's just a far less common practise than it is here, in the UK virtually any movie or TV buff will by default have a region-free player.

Anyway, I'd search around and try and find a store that sells pre-modded machines. Some players are very easy to switch and just require simple codes from the remote. Others require more, like very lengthy and complex codes that are best done with a dedicated remote. A few require tinkering with the hardware (though that's uncommon).

Make sure you get a player with HDMI. I'm guessing your TV is almost certain to be capable of handling foreign TV standards like PAL. Most TV's are now.

Obviously with a big TV an upscaling player is a bonus.

Personally speaking, I like Panasonic players.

X
06-27-12, 08:14 PM
Thanks but I have a 42 inch Plasma that I want to watch my DVD's on so I definately want a stand alone player. Anybody else have one that they are happy with? Also I just don't do blu-ray...No offense-There are tons of DVD-only players that can be easily made regionless. Take a look at Philips models.

bsmith
06-28-12, 06:22 AM
1.) You need to verify whether your TV supports PAL as well as NTSC. This is not an automatic in the US. Some makers do and some don't, some have before and no longer do now. By knowing this, it will help in determining whether you need a player that can support PAL -> NTSC conversion. It is best to not have to do a conversion if you can manage it.

2.) You want cheap, so Philips is the most likely brand for you, but there are others if you check around. The VideoHelp website should help in that it lists players that support multiple regions, and how to activate them.

3.) Another thing to determine is how they support multiple regions. For example, I picked up a Marantz that supports multiple regions awhile ago. The one thing i found out after the purchase was that it could only to the conversion between formats over component cables and not HDMI. Generally, the paths used for analog and digital outputs are different and use different chipsets. Many of the analog ones come with conversion capabilities but that is not always the case with the digital ones. In my case, i was fortunate to be able to support both outputs so it wasn't an issue.

Now I have an Oppo 83 blu-ray that is a one stop shop that handles all my needs. But they are more expensive.

Spiky
06-28-12, 11:31 AM
Thanks but I have a 42 inch Plasma that I want to watch my DVD's on so I definately want a stand alone player. Anybody else have one that they are happy with? Also I just don't do blu-ray...No offense-
Plasmas work great with computers, not sure what you meant. Although computers are certainly more of a pain than a standalone.
There are tons of DVD-only players that can be easily made regionless. Take a look at Philips models.
Philips has been very consistent over the years. They are probably the best bet for the OP's requirements.

mythmaker18
07-19-12, 01:08 PM
1.) You need to verify whether your TV supports PAL as well as NTSC. This is not an automatic in the US. Some makers do and some don't, some have before and no longer do now. By knowing this, it will help in determining whether you need a player that can support PAL -> NTSC conversion. It is best to not have to do a conversion if you can manage it.

2.) You want cheap, so Philips is the most likely brand for you, but there are others if you check around. The VideoHelp website should help in that it lists players that support multiple regions, and how to activate them.

The problem there is that all of Philips' DVD players that came on the market after the 3140/5140 models are no longer NTSC/PAL/MULTI-switchable. Probably to avoid customer service phone calls from idiots who set it to the wrong thing, all US players after this point are locked into NTSC format only. He'd still be able to play his other-region PAL discs on it, but they'd be forced into an NTSC conversion, whether he needed it or not.

The DVP-5140 is the last "good" Philips model that is NTSC/PAL/MULTI switchable (though some of the later models can be hacked to restore this functionality).

Also, if you're using HDMI, these later Philips players force down-conversion to NTSC/480 before upscaling the picture to 1080, meaning a (potentially) unwanted standards conversion and also, an unwanted screen-stretching to fit 4x3 content to 16x9 (I know this first-hand). The only way around that is to use a component connection.


Now I have an Oppo 83 blu-ray that is a one stop shop that handles all my needs. But they are more expensive.

If the original poster is totally unconcerned with quality, he can buy pretty much any Philips player from the DVP-5992 and earlier (later ones were outsourced to another company and may not be region-free).

If he's a little concerned about quality and has a PAL-compatible TV (Like a Sharp, Sony, Philips or Vizio), then he might do well to seek out one of those earlier Philips models (5140, etc) so he can set the player to MULTI.

All these Philips units can be had for around $50 or less, especially if you can find one locally at a pawn shop, etc. I bought at 3182 for a family member for around $15.00 once.

Another option might be for him to trawl eBay for a used Oppo DVD player. The DV-983HD is their last (and best) DVD-only player, but it can get expensive, even used. If he doesn't need the absolute best upscaler, earlier models might work alright, too). If his TV doesn't support native PAL signals (such as Panasonic and Samsung TVs), the digital converter in the Oppo players is much, much better than the ones in the Philips machines.