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I've HAD IT With Region 1, I NEED Code-Free Player, PLEASE Help

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I've HAD IT With Region 1, I NEED Code-Free Player, PLEASE Help

Old 07-08-01, 05:49 PM
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I've HAD IT With Region 1, I NEED Code-Free Player, PLEASE Help

Alright, so I've had it with Region 1, and waiting fourty years before the Sopranos new season comes out, and NEVER being able to get the South Park DVDs in complete season sets. So, I'm going to sell my region 1 player, and get a multi-region player. But here's the problem:

I don't know which one to get. I was hoping that everything would go smoothly, I'd buy a player, and everything would be fine. But now I read that you need a PAL to NTSC converter for most of these, that costs like $300 + ?!?!?!?! What the heck is that??!?!?

So what I'm wondering is if there are any players out there that automatically convert the coding so that it can be played on a regular TV, WITHOUT losing any of the aspect ratio (I read that some of the SAMPO ones mess up the converstion???).

I don't really have a TON of money, so I would like something affordable.

Please help me.
Old 07-08-01, 05:52 PM
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if you get a code free player make sure you get on that lets you change the region not on that simply bypasses. These new RCE discs will only play on region 1 players NOT on region bypass. I would recommend looking for a Apex A600 with the loophole menu only the ones made in 2000 have this menu but you do a code on the remote and you get a menu were you can select the region and enable or disable macrovison. and you can force ntsc or pal but thats a standard feature. You can get these for under $250 easy if you search around.
Old 07-08-01, 06:11 PM
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But would you need a converter to view the DVD on your TV with this one?
Old 07-08-01, 06:14 PM
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Hi,This is my first post,You should try Lastertown on the web.They have a player that will convert pal to ntsc and its region free.Hope that helps and I think the player runs for $240.I Don't know if Best Buy or Circuit City carry it.The Sampo dvd player.
Old 07-08-01, 06:16 PM
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DVD-4-LIFE, welcome to the board. and I'm glad your first post comes as a reply to my message.

I read elsewhere that the Sampo ruins the aspect ratio though, and that some widescreen dvds actually run at full frame.

That's why I was trying to avoid that player. But thanks : )
Old 07-08-01, 06:21 PM
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Have you read HKFlix's Ace Ventura thread? I answered a lot of these type of questions in it. Feel free to email me with any questions if you like. I just went thru the whole setting up a regionfree system a couple of months ago. There is a lot of differences in DVDs from various countries, especially in R2 where the same movie can have as many as five or more different versions.
Old 07-08-01, 06:21 PM
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http://www.dvdcity.com carries region hacked players from major manufacturers. The problem with getting something like an Apex is that it's a low quality player. Some discs won't pay properly or look crappy.
Old 07-08-01, 06:35 PM
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Unless you buy an international TV, the proper aspect ratio on anamaphoric titles will not be played at its proper aspect ratio,avoid those and only buy the non-anamaphoric titles for the region free players
Old 07-08-01, 06:42 PM
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Oh so if they're not anamorphically enhanced, it plays the regular aspect ratio?

I'm confused.
Old 07-08-01, 07:05 PM
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The non-anamaphoric titles plays as they are suppose too,they are wide screen.Movies like Chain Reaction from the UK are stretched out meaning they are anamahoric,my players can't play them properly.I think the Terminator SE R4 is the same way.You are going to see a difference because of the conversion of the non-anamaporic titles and tv shows but the difference is minimal.The top of the screen is cut off,thats all.
Old 07-08-01, 07:09 PM
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Ok, just let me make sure that I'm following you correctly...I probably am not.


The Sampo plays non anamorphically enhanced DVDs in other regions fine, correct?

The only ones that are messed up are the onest that enhanced for 16X9 televisions???

Is this correct?

What do you mean it chops off the top of the screen, that seems to me like it would be a BIG problem


And here's the biggest question: is this just for region 2 + dvds, or for region 1s as well?
Old 07-08-01, 07:19 PM
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You are right about the aspect ratio.The top of the screen looks like a wide screen movie ,so the screen isn't actually cut off.Buffy the Vampire Slayer looks slighty widescreen at the top but not at the bottom.I never ran a comparison between dvd and tape of the show to see if you're missing anything.
Old 07-08-01, 07:21 PM
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Region 1 discs play fine on the region free players
Old 07-08-01, 07:24 PM
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Hmmm..so it's like half wide-screen? That's just WEIRD

But is the picture actually the way it's supposed to be, or is it distorted. Sorry to throw so many questions at you, it's just that I want a multi-region DVD player SO bad it hurts....

And finally, do the Region 1 DVDs work fine? Cuz this would be the main deciding factor.
Old 07-08-01, 07:32 PM
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The top part of the screen has a black bar,about an inch thick(27 in.TV) that runs at the top of the screen.Like I say,region 1 discs play fine.So i hope this helps.
Old 07-08-01, 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by dvd-4-life
You are right about the aspect ratio.The top of the screen looks like a wide screen movie ,so the screen isn't actually cut off.Buffy the Vampire Slayer looks slighty widescreen at the top but not at the bottom.I never ran a comparison between dvd and tape of the show to see if you're missing anything.
Yup, the Buffy and Bean PAL discs have a small black bar on the bottom of the screen. These titles are supposed to be full frame so that blackbar should not be there. That's why you should avoid the Sampos and Odyssey players. As I said in the Ace Ventura R2 thread, 2:35 aspect ratios look like 1:85 and 1:85 movies look full frame (except that they have a small blackbar on the bottom of the screen). These cheap players cannot converter the aspect ratio correctly onto a 4X3 NTSC TV.
Old 07-08-01, 08:23 PM
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Originally posted by Seagraves
And here's the biggest question: is this just for region 2 + dvds, or for region 1s as well?
All PAL discs will be in an incorrect aspect ratio when using the Sampo or Odyssey DVD players on an NTSC 4X3 TV.
Old 07-08-01, 09:40 PM
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Well here's a question, what do the full frame ones look like??
Old 07-08-01, 10:27 PM
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watch

out for a lot of the on-line places wanting major cash for region-free players like the ones from Sampo. I have seen reports of places charging at least twich the MSRP..FOR THE EXACT SAME MACHINE (no harware mods were done or anything).
You could walk into a local B&M and probably pick one up pretty cheap (I grabbed my 620 for US$129.00 from a B&M).

Also, according to reports I have seen, the current Sampo lines have been discontinued (DVE-620, DVE-660, and the model that has the Karaoke function). They will supposedly have new models coming out, and nobody knows if it will be possible to access any of the 'special features' that made the current models popular. If you want a Sampo, I would say grab one quick.

For info on what places carry the Sampo line (they also sell the players direct):
http://www.sampoamericas.com/
(choose "where to buy" from the menu)


I did quite a bit of investigating on the PAL/NTSC conversion issues. I think the general bottom line is that one of these DVD players isn't going to be able to do a perfect conversion, especially for the prices of the players themselves).
For more reading on the conversion issues, check this thread in the Sampo Forum at www.nerd-out.com:
http://www.nerd-out.com/forum/read.p...&i=3643&t=3643

further good sites for Sampo info:
http://www.area450.co.uk/
http://www.geocities.com/reversengin...index_nn4.html

paging through those sites should answer any possible question about Sampo stuff you may have.

Hope this helps!!
Old 07-08-01, 11:19 PM
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go to target and get the oritron they have in the ad for $100. Get it and when you have it set up press
Menu
1
6
7

and it will ask you what region you want press mute and it will set the player to all regions. I tested this with Region 3 CTHD and with RCE discs Snatch and Charlies angles and they all work.
Old 07-09-01, 03:10 AM
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That's funny, here in Europe everybody wants a codefree player so they can play movies bought in the USA.

Anyway, I can recommend a Pioneer player, that can easily be hacked, have no problem with RCE, and are IMHO very reliable.
Old 07-09-01, 05:54 AM
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Please people! There is NO player that can do a perfect PAL-NTSC conversion! I have the Apex 600 loophole model and it is ok but the chip does not handle conversion and aspect ratio at the same time.My R2 Friends dvd's get's squished horizontally(both top & bottom) the result is like watching 1:66/1 exept it's not letterbox.
If you don't like this,i suggest watching your R2's on your computer(get dvd-genie) or buy a nice but rather expensive Ten-Lab converter.Here is an e-mail i received last year when discussing this over at nerd-out: Hi Alain, I noticed that PAL discs letterbox slightly too.... Though I didn't notice it as a problem, though I only have one Region 2 PAL disc --- The Killer from Germany... and it looked ok. The ratio is definitely not 1.33:1 but the black bars were only about 1" on the top and bottom of my 27" Sony TV....I just figured out why the Apex does this!! Some simple calculations show it uses the same 1.2 times reduction in scan lines to convert 16x9 Anamorphic content to 4:3 mode. Here is why: Anamorphic NTSC Content: 720x486 Anamorphic content on 4:3 TV: 720x405 (after reduction) Pal content full frame: 720x512 Pal content on NTSC TV: 720x426 (After reduction) See, it applies a 1.2 reduction for use in anamorphic content on 4:3 TV's. Well, when playing PAL content, it just uses the same programming (as it's already there) to convert the PAL content to fit on the NTSC screen. That explains the slight distortion you get. I knew math classes in school was worth something!!! Haha. Obviously there is nothing to be done about this. It's just a way they simplified programming to keep costs down. They would have had to use a 1.05 time reduction to get the proper aspect ratio of PAL to NTSC. I bet when you play a NTSC disc on the player in PAL mode, it just shows NTSC without stretching it at all, so you get black bars too. (My TV cannot show PAL.) As for the Zoom, it does suck... I noticed that too. Oh well.... As for quality, it is pretty good though it does show more MPEG2 artifacting than my 1st generation Mitsubishi (which is just a Toshiba inside) does. Also, you can see slight strobing of the brightness every time an I-Frame is shown. My Mitsubishi doesn't do this either. Also, there are sometimes sound sync issues... Some movies like Brainstorm and Austin powers are pretty bad. The Color Purple was pretty bad too. My mitsubishi also never has these problems. But all of these are slight ... and it is so darn fast, huh? It never shows the layer change!! Anyway, I hope I helped shed some light on this thing. -Adrian
Old 07-09-01, 07:30 AM
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I cant understand whey there seems to be this problem, is is due to the crappy NTSC format?

Most of the people I come across in Britain have multi-region DVD's, either having bought Pioneer/Sony/Panasonic and getting the chipped, or have gone for a cheapo that has a simpe handset hack. I have never seen this problem with FF/P&S or Anamorphic Widescreen DVD's, and the only discs that casued problems (only he cheapo machines like Wharfdale/Samsung) were the RCE disks.

Is the problem that PAL is a higher resolution than NTSC and so can convert down, whereas U.S. tv's have a problem converting up?
Old 07-09-01, 12:44 PM
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I'm no expert

but, yes. PAL has the higher resolution. It also handles colors differently. Also, due to the format/resolution differences, movies in PAL will have a shorter running time than the exact same flick in NTSC format. This is why trying to judge strcitly by running times whether two movie versions are cut or not is a bad idea.

From what I have read, the Sampo (and some other players) use the same circuitry to do both PAL/NTSC conversion and the conversion necessary to display an anamorphic, 16x9 image on a 4x3 TV screen in the proper aspect ratio. So, after the PAL/NTSC conversion process, the movie image itself will be in a 16x9 widescreen format. At this point, you have two choices (which is analogous to the whole 'widescreen v. full-format' thing):

1)Adjust the output on the player such that there is no cropping on the left/right edges. However, the vertical aspect will be stretched to fill up the screen. How bad the image really looks will depend upon the original aspect ratio of the film ( i.e. 2.35:1 or 1.85:1, etc) (this option is analogous to 'widescreen' but with the vertical scale stretched so no black bars appear)

2)Adjust the output so that the vertical scale is mostly/totally correct, but now the image will be cropped on the left/right sides. The amount that gets cropped again depends upon the original aspect ratio of the film (directly analogous to 'full-screen' format).

This whole conversion issue becomes moot if you have a 16x9 widesreen NTSC TV (drool...maybe someday >sighNTSC conversion/proper anamorphic handling set-up, go get a PC, and build a set-up that dumps the video output to your TV. This would eliminate pretty much all these conversion issues. I think I have seen posts here relating to building a Home-Theatre-PC and over at the asiandvdguide forum: http://pub5.ezboard.com/bhongkongdvds

Good luck.
Old 07-11-01, 05:50 PM
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Originally posted by hypeiv
go to target and get the oritron they have in the ad for $100. Get it and when you have it set up press
Menu
1
6
7

and it will ask you what region you want press mute and it will set the player to all regions. I tested this with Region 3 CTHD and with RCE discs Snatch and Charlies angles and they all work.
I went out and bought this player from Target. Tried the menu thing, and it worked like a charm! I currently only have one R3 movie to test it (Time and Tide), and it worked great. Don't know about other movies; I know I can get my hands on another R3 movie, and I'll try it out this weekend to check it out.

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