Release List Reviews Shop Join News DVD Giveaways Video Games Advertise
DVD Reviews | Theatrical Reviews | Price Search Buy Stuff Here
DVD Talk
DVD Reviews DVD Talk Headlines HD Reviews


Add to My Yahoo! - RSS 2.0 - RSS 2.0 - DVD Talk Podcast RSS -


Go Back   DVD Talk Forum > DVD Discussions > DVD & Home Theater Gear

DVD & Home Theater Gear Discuss DVD and Home Theater Equipment.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-08-14, 08:00 PM   #1
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Sacramento, Calif.
Posts: 13,526
Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

The Oppo players I've looked at look really nice, but they're awfully expensive. Any other brands or specific players that are a bit more affordable? Also, do all region free players have basic PAL -> NTSC conversion? I have some R2 DVDs laying around that I haven't been able to watch in years, and if I'm going to invest in a region free BD player I figured it might as well have that capability.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-14, 09:01 PM   #2
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,212
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

Many Insignia players can be hacked to be region-free. I've got one which works well, and does perfect PAL-NTSC conversion. It is pre Cinavia also. It has a full contingent of analog outputs on the rear panel. It will do 1080p component. In short, it is much better than current stripped-down players from Sony or Samsung. They've been castrated -- no analog audio outs, no component outputs, and come infested with Cinavia in the firmware. I am not entirely sure of Insignia's current lineup (they may have the same AACS / MPAA consortium-mandated limitations, but I got mine at Best Buy in 2010-11 and it has worked very well. Certainly 95% as well as any Oppo player, and for 1/10 the cost. My player is the Insignia DVDBR3. If you do insist on going for an Oppo, go for the BDP-93 with .ISO playback firmware, I've seen it for as low as $349 refurbbed.... It bests their current BDP-103 in my eyes for many reasons. But check out pre-2013 players in general, they'll be much better in including more of the above options if they're important to you -- including possible region code hackability.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-14, 09:36 PM   #3
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
caligulathegod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Grove City OH
Posts: 3,567
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

If you want reasonably priced, check out region free LG blu-ray players on Ebay. I bought the chip and modded my own, but there are pre-modded ones for less than $200. My LG plays just about any video format I've thrown at it from AVI and MOV to MKV. You can connect a USB hard drive to it and it plays anything.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-14, 05:48 AM   #4
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,212
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by caligulathegod View Post
If you want reasonably priced, check out region free LG blu-ray players on Ebay. I bought the chip and modded my own, but there are pre-modded ones for less than $200. My LG plays just about any video format I've thrown at it from AVI and MOV to MKV. You can connect a USB hard drive to it and it plays anything.
What is the exact LG model of your player? I've had great results with the LG BP300, but again it's a 2014 player, so no analog audio outputs, no analog video outputs, only HDMI out, and cinavia 'preinstalled'. Otherwise it is a fine standalone for under $50.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-14, 08:03 AM   #5
DVD Talk Legend
 
PhantomStranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Phantom Zone
Posts: 17,275
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

First, check your current players if there are any hidden hacks to them:

http://www.videohelp.com/dvdhacks

Many BD players have easy backdoors to make them region-free for DVD. A few have backdoors for region-free BD playback.
__________________
Blu-ray Picture Quality Tiers (last update: May 30, 2016)

Over 5000 Blu-rays ranked by pure video quality.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-14, 12:39 PM   #6
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
caligulathegod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Grove City OH
Posts: 3,567
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
What is the exact LG model of your player? I've had great results with the LG BP300, but again it's a 2014 player, so no analog audio outputs, no analog video outputs, only HDMI out, and cinavia 'preinstalled'. Otherwise it is a fine standalone for under $50.
Mine is the BP620 from 2012. It has standard def analog, but no component. Still has cinavia but otherwise has been good. It's only missing Amazon since that was the year they had their dispute. It's a good multi-region player with no issues on PAL/NTSC conversion.

I don't see your model listed where I got my chip. He used to sell on EBAY, but he still sells at rattlebyte.com. If you can solder, it's not too difficult.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-14, 07:34 AM   #7
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Where the sky is always Carolina Blue! (Currently VA - again...)
Posts: 5,167
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
Many Insignia players can be hacked to be region-free. I've got one which works well, and does perfect PAL-NTSC conversion. It is pre Cinavia also. It has a full contingent of analog outputs on the rear panel. It will do 1080p component. In short, it is much better than current stripped-down players from Sony or Samsung. They've been castrated -- no analog audio outs, no component outputs, and come infested with Cinavia in the firmware. I am not entirely sure of Insignia's current lineup (they may have the same AACS / MPAA consortium-mandated limitations, but I got mine at Best Buy in 2010-11 and it has worked very well. Certainly 95% as well as any Oppo player, and for 1/10 the cost. My player is the Insignia DVDBR3. If you do insist on going for an Oppo, go for the BDP-93 with .ISO playback firmware, I've seen it for as low as $349 refurbbed.... It bests their current BDP-103 in my eyes for many reasons. But check out pre-2013 players in general, they'll be much better in including more of the above options if they're important to you -- including possible region code hackability.
Can you list any? Bestbuy's site right now doesn't even show any Insignia BR players at all.

I'm in a similar situation since my Sherwood region free BD player appears to be on the verge of biting the dust. Most of my import BRs have turned out to be Region A - including German, Korean, HK, etc - but I have at least half a dozen UK releases at the moment, with more in mind.

I've also had issues with the Sherwood being so picky with firmware and not wanting to play some newer releases either - although I have a backup LG player that's probably better overall - just not region-free capable.

Any specific model suggestions would be appreciated - Insignia, oppo or otherwise.
__________________
"We have sunk to a depth in which re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."
-- George Orwell

A healthy sense of variety.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-14, 11:05 AM   #8
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
hanshotfirst1138's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Livonia MI
Posts: 9,594
DVD is fairly easy, you can modify many players with a few keystrokes on the remote. I have one in the basement I paid $35 for, hit a few buttons, and it works fine. Blu-ray is much more dicey, because it require actual hardware modding, and updates to the player can undo region-free software. I got mine on eBay, and according to the seller, it would remain region-free even after updates. They lied, and when I contacted them about it, they sent me a link to a download which I put on CD and loaded onto the player to restore region-free functionality. I understand the need for region-coding, but when I'm bending over backwards to pay for legal releases rather than just torrent everything, it does feel especially galling. That Oppo is beautifully enticing, but it's expensive BEFORE the region-free mode . Plus I have to no soddering skills .
__________________
"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one."
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
"Smart can't beat free."
Gillian Flynn

Last edited by hanshotfirst1138; 12-27-14 at 02:22 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-14, 01:26 PM   #9
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Where the sky is always Carolina Blue! (Currently VA - again...)
Posts: 5,167
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

I'm definitely referring to Region-free BD players. I already have several region free DVD players (Philipps, Oppo, etc).

I bought a Sherwood BDP-5004 Blu-ray Disc Player that was region-free out of the box - in 2010 off Amazon. Read here (http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/hardwa...su_bdp-899.htm) that it was a clone of a momitsu player - also region free.

It's worked fine for the most part with a few exceptions - since I've never plugged it in once to update firmware, etc. I've had some issues with Fox BRs and a couple others, but not the end of the world. Lately it's starting to run louder and hang up if the tray is out too long - or even if it's on a static menu screen too long (kinda weird).

Either way, just wondering if there are still more along these lines available or if I'm going to have to splurge this time. Gotta say it was quite the bargain for under $100.
__________________
"We have sunk to a depth in which re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."
-- George Orwell

A healthy sense of variety.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-14, 09:29 AM   #10
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
E Unit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: (formerly known as trespoochies) Texas
Posts: 9,334
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

I have the Curtis Mathes CMMBX130 which is basically the exact same thing as the Sherwood you listed, but have had the same issues as you about it. And I do have one of the Insignia's from Best Buy, model NS-BRDVD4. Just a word of caution if you go seek out one if the Insignia's, from what I've read, most seem to have died out within a year as they seem to have been refurbished. I bought mine when it was discussed here back in 2011, and until about 3 months ago it worked fine, but it's now starting to die out. Worth it for me since I bought it for $35 and it lasted for as long as it did. Here's the thread on it.

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-home-th...furb-35-a.html
__________________
"Whoa, did Walter Goggins fuck your mother?" - Osiris3657
Perhaps he did.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-15, 01:44 PM   #11
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Where the sky is always Carolina Blue! (Currently VA - again...)
Posts: 5,167
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

Well I guess that begs the question again...is there a reasonably priced alternative model at the current time or are we left with much more expensive options - unlike the trend in DVD players....and will we ever get away from this ridiculous system?
__________________
"We have sunk to a depth in which re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."
-- George Orwell

A healthy sense of variety.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-15, 08:00 PM   #12
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 4,941
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
My player is the Insignia DVDBR3.
Late to the party, but this is the one I have, purchased for about $40 a little over two years ago. It even came with the "proper" firmware level (as I recall, more recent versions of its firmware disable the region-free "hack"). I created a Harmony macro to enable its region-free menu (for both DVD and BD) with a "single" button press. I don't throw much at it (we have purchased maybe 20 BDs during the time we have owned it), but it's handled everything fine thus far. It did recently develop an issue with the tray sticking on eject, but removing the faceplate on the edge of the tray did the trick.

My biggest frustration with it is that it stretches 4:3 content if you have the display settings at 16:9 on the player, so you have to drop into the settings menu to change the player's display settings to 4:3 for those specific discs. (We don't own any 4:3 BDs, but it affects every 4:3 DVD I have tried.) It has nothing to do with the aspect ratio or "zoom" level settings on the TV.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-15, 04:31 PM   #13
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
hanshotfirst1138's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Livonia MI
Posts: 9,594
Out of curiosity, how does this kind of modding work? Apparently the DVD region-free stuff is software, is there some sort of particular programming which is used to keep firmware up to date and still mods it? Why does the BD require hardware modding? I should've payed attention that my player didn't have HBO GO . There seems to be a miniature industry of modded BD players, it appears to be complicated to do. I assume that studios saw how easy easy DVD mods were and decided to crack down? I have a REALLY cheapass Phillips downstairs with a 720p set, and even it seems to be able to handle PAL to NTSC. I'm amazed it has an HDMI output, to be honest.
__________________
"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one."
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
"Smart can't beat free."
Gillian Flynn
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-15, 05:02 AM   #14
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Where the sky is always Carolina Blue! (Currently VA - again...)
Posts: 5,167
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

Well, back when DVDs were new, most players then also had to be physically modded with chips installed, etc (like modding an old playstation to play Japanese games). I started out with a DVD-ROM on my desktop - which I could easily switch regions using a free program like DVD Genie. Of course, if you forgot to reset it, there was a possibility of locking your player on a certain region.

As time went on - I think some companies like Phillips/etc. just never locked the installed chips on some players - and a simple remote code - or in some cases nothing at all - was required to allow free region swapping.

As was stated, there have been blu-ray players that were region-free out of the box as well - just requiring remote codes to switch between settings. But unlike DVD players - maybe since the firmware needs to be updated on a more often basis (I never connected mine up since I don't care about BD Live features, etc) - they experience decreased functionality. Might be that hardware modding is the only way for a BR player to stay fully functional in the long term - but that's still pretty irritating. I'll probably start looking at options though - that and ebay.
__________________
"We have sunk to a depth in which re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."
-- George Orwell

A healthy sense of variety.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-15, 09:15 AM   #15
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

There is another option, and it should be well cheaper than an Oppo. Buy a 2nd player. Amazon UK and many other stores will ship to the USA.
__________________
Ignorance vs Bliss
--Wizdar
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-15, 03:32 PM   #16
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,036
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
There is another option, and it should be well cheaper than an Oppo. Buy a 2nd player. Amazon UK and many other stores will ship to the USA.
I thought Europe used a different electrical system than the U.S. I'd buy a player manufactured for sale in the UK in a heartbeat if it would work.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-15, 05:32 PM   #17
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

Electricity is always being converted. You could get a converter to adapt it for a player easily. Shouldn't cost too much.

Many electronics these days are actually capable for both systems (so the company doesn't have to make 2 versions for the world), if they say 100-240v on the back. Or similar numbers that cover both 120 and 230v. My BDp is, and my amps, but not my preamp. Then you'd just need a plug adapter, which are even cheaper. Or if you ever got one of those travel phone kits people used to think were cool, you probably have one.

UK isn't the cheapest place to get electronics, it just sounds easy since we stole their language.

You could also just shop here:
http://www.220-electronics.com/regio...y-players.html
__________________
Ignorance vs Bliss
--Wizdar
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-15, 04:54 AM   #18
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Where the sky is always Carolina Blue! (Currently VA - again...)
Posts: 5,167
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
Electricity is always being converted. You could get a converter to adapt it for a player easily. Shouldn't cost too much.

Many electronics these days are actually capable for both systems (so the company doesn't have to make 2 versions for the world), if they say 100-240v on the back. Or similar numbers that cover both 120 and 230v. My BDp is, and my amps, but not my preamp. Then you'd just need a plug adapter, which are even cheaper. Or if you ever got one of those travel phone kits people used to think were cool, you probably have one.

UK isn't the cheapest place to get electronics, it just sounds easy since we stole their language.

You could also just shop here:
http://www.220-electronics.com/regio...y-players.html
Yeah...considering all my non-Region A BRs are from the UK (as well as the other ones I plan on buying) - that probably is the fastest/cheapest way to go. Looks like quite a few for under $100 USD on amazon.co.uk and most of them will still play all regions of DVD as well.
__________________
"We have sunk to a depth in which re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."
-- George Orwell

A healthy sense of variety.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-15, 10:20 PM   #19
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
hanshotfirst1138's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Livonia MI
Posts: 9,594
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

What price range are you thinking of specifically? Just curious, to compare with what I paid .
__________________
"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one."
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
"Smart can't beat free."
Gillian Flynn

Last edited by hanshotfirst1138; 01-21-15 at 10:28 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-15, 07:20 PM   #20
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Where the sky is always Carolina Blue! (Currently VA - again...)
Posts: 5,167
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
Electricity is always being converted. You could get a converter to adapt it for a player easily. Shouldn't cost too much.

Many electronics these days are actually capable for both systems (so the company doesn't have to make 2 versions for the world), if they say 100-240v on the back. Or similar numbers that cover both 120 and 230v. My BDp is, and my amps, but not my preamp. Then you'd just need a plug adapter, which are even cheaper. Or if you ever got one of those travel phone kits people used to think were cool, you probably have one.

UK isn't the cheapest place to get electronics, it just sounds easy since we stole their language.

You could also just shop here:
http://www.220-electronics.com/regio...y-players.html
Thanks for the link. For some reason I didn't check it out earlier as I was assuming it was a UK e-store. I'll try one of those - $140 for a modded Sony sounds like a bargain (and no voltage issues to worry about).
__________________
"We have sunk to a depth in which re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."
-- George Orwell

A healthy sense of variety.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-15, 10:45 PM   #21
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Sacramento, Calif.
Posts: 13,526
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

I'm still in the market for a reliable region free player. Haven't found anything that tickles my fancy. I love my Sony BDP-S580. I wish I could just use a remote code.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-15, 01:00 AM   #22
DVD Talk Hero
 
Rypro 525's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: a frikin hellhole
Posts: 27,978
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

http://www.amazon.com/S1200-Multi-Sy...blu+ray+player

anyone have this one? I'm looking for one that doesn't need any fancy button hitting to switch regions
__________________
Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheChewDefense
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-15, 12:13 PM   #23
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 15,099
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rypro 525 View Post
http://www.amazon.com/S1200-Multi-Sy...blu+ray+player

anyone have this one? I'm looking for one that doesn't need any fancy button hitting to switch regions
I don't think it's possible for Blu-ray. DVD Playback can have automatic multi-region because according to the spec, the DVD tells the DVD player what region it is, and the player authenticates the region.

With Blu-ray though, the disc checks the Blu-ray player's region, but doesn't tell the Blu-ray player what region it is. So if the disc sees that the Blu-ray player is set for the wrong region, or tells the disc that it can play more than one region, the disc refuses to play. So the Blu-ray region on the player has to be manually set, since there's no way for it to know what region disc it is.

https://www.avforums.com/threads/any...ayers.1702624/
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-15, 09:54 PM   #24
DVD Talk Hero
 
Rypro 525's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: a frikin hellhole
Posts: 27,978
Re: Reasonbly Priced Region Free BD/DVD Player Recommendations

^ so for the most part you have to type in a special code to change regions for blu?
__________________
Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheChewDefense
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-15, 10:03 PM   #25
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
hanshotfirst1138's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Livonia MI
Posts: 9,594
No, region-free Blu-ray usually requires actually hardware modding. On my player, it turns on to whatever region you set it to, and the first three number keys set the region. It's annoying, but it's better than not being able to play region-free, that's for damn sure.
__________________
"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one."
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
"Smart can't beat free."
Gillian Flynn
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:05 PM.


Copyright 2011 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0