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What equipment do I need to watch Reg4 PAL DVDs here in US?

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What equipment do I need to watch Reg4 PAL DVDs here in US?

Old 01-30-06, 07:35 AM
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What equipment do I need to watch Reg4 PAL DVDs here in US?

G'day all, I apologise up front if this has been posted before - I did a search and couldn't quite find what I was looking for. I've recently moved to the US from Australia and have brought along a rather sizeable collection of original Region 4 DVDs which are in the PAL format. Unfortunately I was a bit stupid when I arrived and just bought an NTSC CRT TV and a basic Sony DVP-NS50P DVD player which only plays Region 1 and NTSC DVDs, so I couldn't watch any of them.

I'm now at the point where I want to buy an LCD TV here in the US, as well as a better progressive scan DVD player, and am not quite sure what I have to buy to be able to play my DVDs.

Do I need to buy a multisystem (PAL and NTSC) LCD TV as well as a codefree and multisystem DVD player? Or can I get away with buying just a codefree, multisystem DVD player with an NTSC LCD TV? I'm assuming that I have to at least buy a codefree, multisystem DVD player as a minimum right?

I noticed that getting a multisystem LCD TV adds considerably to the price and I'd rather spend for features and resolution (HDTV etc) for the LCD rather than multisystem if I don't need to.

Any assistance anyone can provide would be very much appreciated. Recomendations would help, too! I'm prepared to spend about $1000 on both the LCD and DVD player. If this is too low, please let me know.
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Old 01-30-06, 09:45 AM
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You will only need a DVD player that is region-free and can convert PAL to NTSC, your NTSC TV will be fine. A cheap solution is the Philips 642, available at Amazon for about $60 shipped. There is a very easy "hack" to make this player region-free by just inputting a code on the remote control. It can convert PAL to NTSC and is a good basic player. Then you can spend the rest of your budget on the LCD set.
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Old 01-30-06, 11:24 AM
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That's great news - I was worried about having to spend on the TV as well. I'll check out that Phillips you mentioned. Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-30-06, 01:15 PM
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I wanted to add that you can get a lot more suggestions from the International DVD forum- here is a link to a discussion about several region-free players:
http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=412648
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Old 01-30-06, 02:17 PM
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Be aware that the Phillips 642 has a problem where the progressive scan mode turns itself off when the player turns off. You will need to reset it every time you are using it if you are using the progressive output. It isn't hard to do but it is a pain in the ass. If Phillips has issued new firmware to correct this, I haven't heard yet.
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Old 01-30-06, 11:06 PM
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Thanks for the responses. Before I realised I needed a codefree and multisystem DVD player, I was thinking of getting a home theatre system (an inexpensive one - about $500 or thereabouts, depending on how good it is). Would you guys suggest I get the DVD separately as a regionfree and multisystem player and then get the speakers separately? I'm guessing there aren't too many HTIB sets where the DVD is both region free and multisystem?
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Old 02-01-06, 03:24 PM
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If you're looking for a good deal, then you should be shopping for a regular DVD player that you can hack to make it region-free. If you go shopping specifically for a region-free player that advertises itself as such, you'll probably be paying a premium for a player that someone bought cheaply and just modifed themselves. This is why I recommended the Philips- it is an easy hack and the player is cheap enough that you can spend more on your other components. I don't think I've ever seen a region-free HTIB before.

If you're looking to get a full HT system for $500, it may be tough. I suggest getting a couple of better quality components to start with and then move on to add more later. I bought a basic receiver and 2 great front speakers when I started. A year later I added rear speakers, then I later upgraded to a better receiver and a better TV. I enjoyed the progression because I had high quality audio when I started and added more features as I went along. If you're going to stay in the US for a while this may make more sense to you, but if you plan on heading back to region-4 then you may want to buy a cheap set that you can enjoy and Ebay as you head back.
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Old 02-01-06, 10:53 PM
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Thanks mate. Building it as you go makes sense - I haven't got a huge living room to start off with anyway, so two front speakers will probably suit. It seems as though it'll make sense to get a DVD separate to the speakers then. What's a receiver - do I need that?
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Old 02-02-06, 08:14 AM
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The receiver is the control center of your system. It consists of an amplifier, pre-amp, and tuner in a single unit. Basically, you connect all of your components (DVD player, cable box, CD player, video game system, etc) to the receiver, and then connect your speakers to it. The receiver controls what sound is going out to the speakers.

The most basic receivers just connect audio devices, but most newer receivers do video switching, meaning you also plug all your video cables into the receiver (DVD player, cable box, video game system, VCR) and run one single video cable to your TV set. For example, if you want to switch from TV to DVD, you just change the setting on the receiver and it changes the output to the speakers and the TV.

Receivers can be $100 or thousands. Most receivers now will have connections for 5.1 surround sound, so you can plug in extra speakers later to add that feature. I would aim to spend $300 or so on a good quality receiver that has surround sound capability. Then you can add a subwoofer, center channel speaker, and rear surround speakers at a later time if you want to get the whole HT experience.
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