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"Region Free" Blu Ray Player... Not Region free anymore???

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"Region Free" Blu Ray Player... Not Region free anymore???

Old 01-28-19, 10:53 PM
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"Region Free" Blu Ray Player... Not Region free anymore???

Posting this here as well as the home theatre forum...

I purchased a Sony BDP-S5100 region free Blu Ray player via Amazon in late 2015. It worked flawlessly until now. I have not used it in about a year as I have been heavily watching Netflix/Amazon Prime/ Acorn TV etc. I fired it up this evening and am now getting region errors and "invalid disc" for items (European Discs) that previously worked. I also have some North American discs that won't play either. All discs are completely pristine, clean, and unmarked. It physically works as some discs will play.

I have not upgraded the firmware on this device since purchase, nor connected it to the internet. Does the "region free" feature expire? I'm a pretty savvy guy with home theatre, and am stumped. Right now I have about 1000 foreign Blu Rays and Dvds that are coasters as they won't play. It's rage-inducing after the money I have spent.

Anyone run into anything similar, or have a suggestion?
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Old 01-30-19, 09:12 AM
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Re: "Region Free" Blu Ray Player... Not Region free anymore???

Originally Posted by dtaylor149 View Post
Anyone run into anything similar, or have a suggestion?
Buy another region-free player. They're plentiful and don't cost much. Problem solved.
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Old 01-30-19, 10:30 AM
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Re: "Region Free" Blu Ray Player... Not Region free anymore???

On mine you have to press one of the color buttons on the remote for the region you want to use before closing the tray. I don't have the list in front of me right now.

If you got it from 220 electronics, it's supposed to be lifetime region free.
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Old 01-31-19, 08:45 PM
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Re: "Region Free" Blu Ray Player... Not Region free anymore???

If any disks still play normally, then the basic player seems intact. Is this a "region-free from the factory" player or a "region-free modified" player? Of the Region A disks that don't play, do you see any pattern? Maybe they're all from 1 or 2 studios, possibly Fox? If your player was modified, I wonder if there could be a daughter card inside with new firmware, and perhaps something's broken and it's reverted to the original player firmware? I mention Fox because they're possibly the only studio that changes their encryption keys, and if your player is a few years old, the stock firmware might not support their latest disks. If you're technically inclined, I'd pop the top, look for anything that looks like it didn't come from Sony, and examine it closely. Press on any socketed chips, look for loose wires, etc. (Obviously unplug the player first and also ground yourself.) If you know somebody who's good with a soldering iron, they could also give it a try in case of a bad solder joint.

My only similar personal experience is with a cheap Insignia BD player where the sound randomly degrades to loud static on power-up. But simply pulling the power cord for 10 seconds fixes it. I'm not sure if it's a firmware bug or a failing semiconductor, but it's been doing this for years and still working.
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