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When will we start seeing region-free blu-ray players?

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When will we start seeing region-free blu-ray players?

Old 02-12-08, 10:59 AM
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When will we start seeing region-free blu-ray players?

As much as I enjoy my PS3, I also enjoy the fact that I can (and do) import HD-DVDs from anywhere and not worry that I can play them.

Not so much with Blu-Ray.

It's the one aspect of Blu-Ray that has kept me championing HD-DVD. I want to be able to import and watch what I want, not what big brother says I should be permitted to watch.

Are any of the current crop of BR standalones region defeatable? If not, are there any players on the horizon that are touted to be?

I know that with standard DVD players, the "big name" brand players released here in the U.S. (Sony, Pioneer, Toshiba, Panasonic, etc.) for the most part have been region locked. It's been the Asian "off-brand" players that have had easily-accessible region defeats, either through remote codes or firmware hacks.

The whole "region lockdown" thing seems to be much bigger here in the U.S. (because of the MPAA I'm sure). If you browse through UK audiophile magazines, region-free DVD players are ubiquitous and can openly be ordered from most vendors.

Whereas we in the U.S. get hosed.

So what's out there for those of us who like importing titles?
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Old 02-12-08, 11:28 AM
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You won't see region free blu ray players.
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Old 02-12-08, 11:49 AM
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I'm guessing never.
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Old 02-12-08, 01:47 PM
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Never. Unless something is hacked, this won't happen.
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Old 02-12-08, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Qui Gon Jim
Never. Unless something is hacked, this won't happen.
So you're saying soon.
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Old 02-12-08, 02:27 PM
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We will see...guarantee it. Look what happen to DVD players today. It will be hack eventually...just give it some time. I have read that some places in Europe that they were able to get it working...
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Old 02-12-08, 02:41 PM
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There are hacks for blu-ray players in europe to make them Region Free for Blu-Ray and DVD discs. You just have to look around. It is a hardware hack.
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Old 02-12-08, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by QuePaso
There are hacks for blu-ray players in europe to make them Region Free for Blu-Ray and DVD discs. You just have to look around. It is a hardware hack.
Correct, but the OP is asking when there will be an option that is region-free out of the box, and anyone waiting for such a unit can stop now, it won't happen.
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Old 02-12-08, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Qui Gon Jim
Correct, but the OP is asking when there will be an option that is region-free out of the box, and anyone waiting for such a unit can stop now, it won't happen.
I didn't get that from the OP:
Originally Posted by OP
It's been the Asian "off-brand" players that have had easily-accessible region defeats, either through remote codes or firmware hacks.
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Old 02-12-08, 03:26 PM
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Region coding is not mandatory, so there is a good chance that the non-region-A disc is region-free already.

Here is a list of Region-B releases and their region coding status. You'll see the majority of titles are region-free. Fox is pretty much the only studio using it. Note you can also choose Region A and C at the top of the page.

http://www.blurayregioncodes.com/index.php?region=b

Last edited by matome; 02-12-08 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 02-12-08, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Qui Gon Jim
Correct, but the OP is asking when there will be an option that is region-free out of the box, and anyone waiting for such a unit can stop now, it won't happen.
Region Free DVD Players are 100% against the rules of the DVD Forum, yet you can purchase those no issue at this time. The same will happen to Blu-Ray. Anyone expecting otherwise, IMHO, is just silly. Its not like the players CANNOT be region free, the 2nd firmware update for the Samsung 1000 made the player region free accidentally and was then added back in later, so there is ABSOLUTELY nothing stopping region free blu-ray players from existing, and to say otherwise is spreading non-sense, IMHO of course.
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Old 02-12-08, 04:16 PM
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Big brother.
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Old 02-12-08, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by QuePaso
Region Free DVD Players are 100% against the rules of the DVD Forum, yet you can purchase those no issue at this time. The same will happen to Blu-Ray. Anyone expecting otherwise, IMHO, is just silly.
I tend to agree.

I am firmly behind region-coding at this point as it is one of the prerequisites for many smaller and large distribs to enter the Blu market. As the market moves towards mass mode I expect manufacturers to react in the same manner they did with SDVD - introducing region-free players.

We are likely 1 perhaps 1 1/2 years away from it (modified players aside) but very much following the SDVD route.

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Old 02-12-08, 05:14 PM
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Where are you guys getting this idea that you can buy region-free DVD players? They've always required either firmware hacks...or occasionally the cheapy chinese models have remote-code hacks. Any commercially-released DVD player that is region free is an accident - as this is against DVD forum rules.

They've always been grey-market devices and continue to be so. Yes, you can buy hacked players...on ebay. Or you can hack your own.
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Old 02-12-08, 05:24 PM
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We can always hope for an Oppo Blu-Ray player. They make changing region pretty easy to do.
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Old 02-12-08, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey
Where are you guys getting this idea that you can buy region-free DVD players? They've always required either firmware hacks...or occasionally the cheapy chinese models have remote-code hacks. Any commercially-released DVD player that is region free is an accident - as this is against DVD forum rules.

They've always been grey-market devices and continue to be so. Yes, you can buy hacked players...on ebay. Or you can hack your own.
I get my idea from actually owning a few. And none have required firmware upgrades and none are cheapy Chinese models. In fact the latest Oppo 981 I got was region-free out of the box. I also bought a very cheap Phillips recently for someone else and also did not have to use a firmware upgrade.

What are you talking about?

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Old 02-12-08, 05:52 PM
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Greenmonkey, if you're going to argue a point, it helps to know what you're talking about.
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Old 02-12-08, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
I am firmly behind region-coding at this point as it is one of the prerequisites for many smaller and large distribs to enter the Blu market. As the market moves towards mass mode I expect manufacturers to react in the same manner they did with SDVD - introducing region-free players.

We are likely 1 perhaps 1 1/2 years away from it (modified players aside) but very much following the SDVD route.
I see only one studio always using region coding, Fox, I've read it was mandatory for them, that's why they chose Blu-Ray.
In Europe we don't need it, our region coding is made with the languages you can find on discs, and we have no laws refering to region coding.

Pro-B, I heard the Loewe player you're waiting for, has a pretty good upscale and image quality, will be sold in Europe for 990.
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Old 02-12-08, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey
They've always been grey-market devices and continue to be so. Yes, you can buy hacked players...on ebay. Or you can hack your own.
The german site I ordered my Panasonic S99 (S97 based) from, did the region free hack for me and I have a 24 months warranty, they're not selling on ebay as well as the swedish and dutch site that sell modified Blu-Ray players.
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Old 02-12-08, 06:32 PM
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I wonder if Sony will combat hacked players the same way they do it on the PSP - by requiring updated firmware to play newer games. And including the update on the disc.

Maybe that has changed since I sold my PSP a few years ago, but I had hacked it and knew that I couldn't play the new GTA game because it would force an update.

Anyway, seems like something they could do.

Last edited by Draven; 02-12-08 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 02-12-08, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey
Where are you guys getting this idea that you can buy region-free DVD players?
I bought my Pioneer DV600 region-free upconverting dvd player from an authorized dealer. The store specializes on region-free dvd players which are usually sold for expats who wish to watch their native films & tv shows.

I don't understand how you can say that all region-free dvd players hacked.
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Old 02-12-08, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Draven
I wonder if Sony will combat hacked players the same way they do it on the PSP - by requiring updated firmware to play newer games. And including the update on the disc.

Anyway, seems like something they could do.
I don't think Sony provide the firmware for every Blu-Ray player, actually the modified players (region A+B and region1+2) are Pioneer BDP95-FD BDPLX70A and Sony BDP S300-S500.
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Old 02-12-08, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Draven
I wonder if Sony will combat hacked players the same way they do it on the PSP - by requiring updated firmware to play newer games. And including the update on the disc.

Maybe that has changed since I sold my PSP a few years ago, but I had hacked it and knew that I could play the new GTA game because it would force an update.

Anyway, seems like something they could do.
They were able to do it because the games only played on one device - the PSP - which they made. They could put firmware upgrades for the PS3 and Sony players but not others.
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Old 02-12-08, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Peep
They were able to do it because the games only played on one device - the PSP - which they made. They could put firmware upgrades for the PS3 and Sony players but not others.
True. So I guess they could do it for their players. I wonder if other manufacturers would follow suit...
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Old 02-12-08, 08:00 PM
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First off 67.90% of currently released Blu-rays are region free. The vast majority of the region locked titles are Fox movies and day and date releases from Sony and Disney. And if that still bothers you can go out and buy region free players for both dvd and BD-

http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/31/f...ers-appearing/
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