Can you recommend a Region Free DVD Player?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Brian D H, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Brian D H

    Brian D H Second Unit

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    My current DVD Player is Region 1 and is currently dying. (It's a 5-disc Toshiba 3755 that has started skipping and locking on DVDs. It seems to still work fine for CDs, so it will spend the rest of it's life as a CD player)

    Since it looks like I'm going to have to replace it I thought I'd go Region-free. What player would you recommend that is reasonably priced, and you would consider a good quality player even if it wasn't Region free?

    Features wish list in order of preference:
    1) Quality image
    2) All the necessary connections
    3) Price
    4) Dependable (won't break down)
    5) Easy to use Region changing via remote and Good PAL conversion (I'm here in NTSC land)
    7) DTS would be nice, too

    Thanks for your help,
    Brian
     
  2. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    the Oppo 971H is a very good player and can be made region free by inputting a code into the setup menu. It does pretty much everything you listed out.
     
  3. Ken Chui

    Ken Chui Supporting Actor

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    I also second the recommendation re: the OPPO OPDV971H. You can order directly from their website (which would have the latest firmware installed; the DVI-HDMI & DVI-DVI cables are also included), or any of their authorized resellers (such as HKFlix.com).
     
  4. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I just found out Amazon is selling the Oppo with free shipping.
     
  5. Brian D H

    Brian D H Second Unit

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    Thanks for the input everyone.
    (Right now I don't have an HDTV so some of these features may not be necessary, yet.)

    Only one player to recommend? Any other suggestions?

    Lets try this question: What player do you currently have? Would you buy it again? Why or why not?

    Also: I found that there is a simple code to change my Toshiba 3755 to region free - or any other region. It seems to work fine (Don't know if it does PAL conversion yet - I don't have a PAL DVD) But, it still skips and freezes - any suggestions on getting my Toshiba working?
     
  6. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    My region free player is the Toshiba 4900. The progressive scan output is crap, but it does very well otherwise and I would buy it again (got it for about $75). Others have recommended the Yamakawa brand players available at ecost.com and direct from the company. I bought one to play with but it had some skipping problems. I haven't looked into it for awhile so you'll have to do a search on the preferred model numbers. That would be a cheaper route than the Oppo.
     
  7. Irina

    Irina Second Unit

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    Look for more reccomendations on http://dvdbeaver.com/ (some links at the bottom of the page). You can definitely trust its opinion.
     
  8. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    I have the cyberhome 300. its a great dvd player.. its my third cyberhome dvd player.. that I have gotten. I had the 402 before.

    it does progressive scan, easy to make a region free. plays very nicely.. even with the proper conversion from PAL to NTSC. the only bad news is there is no DTS.
    some older models have DTS.

    JACOB
     
  9. Irina

    Irina Second Unit

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    I totally agree with Jacob's recommendation. I think cyberhome 300 is a fantastic DVD player and it's also one of the most affordable (about $30.00). I have three of them in my household. I bought all of them more than a year ago. All work great without any issues. Also, it's one of the easiest DVD players in terms of making it region-free. For my Toshiba 4900, I had to burn a CD to to make it region-free. That was a hassle.
     
  10. AndrewR

    AndrewR Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm gearing up for a new player too. I'm leaning toward an Oppo but the highest connection I can use is via component cables. I've read reviews that the component connection ranges from Decent to pretty substandard. How true is that? Is the image really that bad or is it just the standards of very picky people?

    There are two other players I've looked at. The Philips 642 and the Cyberhome CH DVD655. Does the Philips still have that ANGLE icon problem (there's no way to turn it off and pops up whenever that option is available)? Any views on the Cyberhome?

    Thanks
     
  11. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    If you want a "name brand" recommendation, I would suggest any of the PHILIPS models. I have the DVD-726. I bought it for about $70 3-4 years ago and it's still going strong. Does a good conversion (and yes, it properly displays widescreen content on a 4:3 set) and the region hack is VERY easy (just a 4-5 button sequence on the remote control, found very easily online).

    I don't know of the ANGLE problem you're speaking about. Perhaps that was just isolated to a few models...
     
  12. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    I use a Zenith DVB 410 (made by LG) and have had no problems with it since applying the region hack. The coax digital out is solid, and the component outs produce a nice, clean picture.
     
  13. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I love my Pioneer 363K. When it eventually has to be replaced,Im going with a Pioneer region free player again.
     
  14. Elijah Sullivan

    Elijah Sullivan Supporting Actor

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    What about this one: NeuNeo/Helios HVD-2085? It's advertised very aggressively at HKFlix...

    http://www.hkflix.com/hardware/xq/as...qx/details.htm

    I'm going to buy a region-free player in the next few weeks. Is there anyplace that reviews different models and might be informative about features and quality? Thanks
     
  15. Brian D H

    Brian D H Second Unit

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    Glad to see that the suggestions are coming in.

    I had already considered the PHILIPS DVD-726 and the Cyberhome 300, but when I look them up on sites like Amazon etc. I find a lot of people complaining about quality.

    Anyone out there experience any problems with particular players? What should I avoid?
     
  16. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Sorry to be contrary, but I had a Cyberhome 300 and it was definitely not a good player. Very cheap though. I have a Malata 580, but I got it when buy.com sold them and it was only about $70 delivered. They seem to run double that now. Not worth that kind of money. I also have a Daewoo DVG-9200N which is hackable for complete universal playback. Also very cheap (got it at Target for about $45) and on OK player, plus it has a display. Personally, I would go Philips or Oppo if I were getting something now.
     
  17. Patricia

    Patricia Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm also thinking about buying a region free player. My dvd player that I have had now for a year and a half, an Emerson, still works perfectly, but there are some R2 dvds that I really want so I'm thinking of changing.

    I'm thinking about the Philips 726, or what about the Philips 642 or the 642/37? I've seen the 642 for $70 at circuit city and $60 at compusa and amazon. Can anyone tell me if it would be worth it to get one of these to play my region 1 dvds that I have already and any region 2 discs that I'll get? Will it last and not crap out on me?
     
  18. Lyle_JP

    Lyle_JP Screenwriter

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    I own the Philips 642/37. In my opinion, it's pure garbage for PAL to NTSC conversion. The stair-stepping artifacts and complete lack of resolution in progressive scan are reasons to pass on this player.

    -Lyle J.P.
     
  19. Patricia

    Patricia Stunt Coordinator

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    Does that mean that the picture is lousy?

    Can ya tell I'm not too technologically inclined?[​IMG]

    And what about buying a cheap one(strapped for cash) like the Cyberhome300 and using that just for R2 discs(which will really just be one set of R2 discs, "starsky and hutch" season 4, cuz I'm sick of waiting Sony)? Then just keeping the dvd player I have, an Emerson which I love and works great, for my R1 discs. That is, assuming I can figure out how, if possible, to hook both up to my television.

    Thanks for any help because I am at a complete and utter loss when it comes to this stuff.

    Oh, as far as hooking it up, I looked today to see how it's hooked up to my tv(I didn't hook it up when I got it, my brother did) and I'll try to explain it and ask my question without sounding too dense.

    Ok, the three wires(connectors?)that come from the back of the dvd player that are one red, one white and one yellow, are plugged into the back of my satellite tv box in the corresponding color holes where it says "In 1". Now, right next to that are three more holes, one red, one white, and one yellow and they say "In 2". Would this be where I would plug in a second dvd player? I'm kinda thinking it is because that would make sense.

    And now it looks like I'm gonna have to get that Cyberhome because I just broke down and ordered the season 4 of "starsky and hutch" from AmazonUK because they only had 5 left and are on sale for $28US, and I took the whole thing as a sign to just go ahead and make a decision(horrible at that) to buy the player and get it over with.

    So, would I be hooking it up right? And is the Cyberhome worth the $40 to just play one set of dvds? I mean, even if it only lasts a year, that's alright because maybe by then these particular dvds will be out in the US and I could get them, or be able to spring for a new player.

    And, as far as asking how the picture and sound quality is on this player, I don't know if this makes a difference, but my tv that it will play on is at least 15 years old. Big ol' 27 inch Philco still works good too.
     
  20. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Patricia:
    ANY of the current Philips players will almost certainly be better quality than a Cyberhome and will likely last a lot longer.

    I bought a 640-something for my in-laws last year. They're still enjoying the heck out of it, and they play R1-NTSC almost exclusively.

    The model I have at home is the 726. I've had it at least three years, I think, so I'd be surprised if it isn't discontinued.

    I think it does an excellent PAL-to-NTSC conversion, especially for the money, and certainly a better conversion than my $400 Samsung Worldwide VCR (or my old $500 Aiwa one).

    As far as complaints about the conversion of the 642: some people are more sensitive to digital conversion than others. If you're happy with digital satellite/digital cable pictures, with their compression artefacts all over the place, then you'll probably be more than satisfied with the PAL conversion.

    I don't have the 642, only the 726, but I can say it does a better conversion than my old Sampo player, plus it DOES render widescreen pictures properly on a 4:3 set. Add to that it's remote-control hackable and a name-brand unit, I don't see how you can go wrong.

    Also, if you don't have a HDTV, then I don't think the lack of progressive scan will be an issue to you. I think that's only of benefit to HDTV owners. Besides, I think some of the other Philips models do have ProScan, so if that's important to you, just look around.

    I'd definitely steer clear of the non-name stuff, though. Heard too many complaints about Cyberhome, Apex, etc. I'd stick with a name brand that's easily hackable, and from what little I know, that would appear to be mostly Philips at the moment.
     

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