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Advice on Region Free DVD Player


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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Jeffrey Greiling

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Posted July 14 2004 - 06:47 AM

Hello,

I need some advice on a region free DVD player that will convert Pal to NTSC and is preferably progressive scan.


My max budget is 250 but would I really want to try to spend around 150.


Thanks for the Help,

Jeff

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Jonty Rees

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Posted July 14 2004 - 08:32 AM

CyberHome DVD300 - approx. $35 (thirty-five dollars) in the big box stores.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Andre Bijelic

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Posted July 14 2004 - 09:23 AM

The Malata 393A is a great, little player. Region-free right out of the box, excellent PAL-NTSC conversion and surprisingly good deinterlacing. I bought one in Chinatown for $65CDN, which is something like $50US.

Another good one is the Toshiba 4900.
Don't tug on that, you never know what it might be attached to...

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted July 14 2004 - 09:53 AM

I picked up a 4900 and the hack to make it region free is very simple. I don't think the progressive output is all that great (combing issues) but the audio is good. Not sure where you can get one now (besides eBay). I got mine from Crutchfield but it doesn't look like it's being carried anymore.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Jay Blair

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Posted July 14 2004 - 12:42 PM

For a long time for inexpensive region free DVD players I've been recommending the Toshiba SD4900, but have now discovered a much better player, the Yamakawa DVD-288k/VGA. Progressive scan, region free instructions included with the player, VGA output, DVD-Audio, numerous adjustable settings for video and audio such as gamma, hue, sharpness, luminance delay, contrast, brightness, saturation. Perfect conversion from PAL to NTSC. Extremely sharp and vivid picture. Weighs twice as much as most similar inexpensive players but is less than 2 inches high. Very fast operation (fastest chapter search I've ever seen).

Best of all, $59.99 at www.yamakawadvd.com plus $14.99 shipping (and CA sales tax if you live in California). One year warranty parts and labor.

A version with fewer features (such as no DVD-Audio and no VGA) is being sold by www.ecost.com for $45 plus $17 in rebates off that price ($25 off with another purchase of $500). Model # DVD-238. As I post, Ecost is showing 17 units in stock.

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted July 14 2004 - 12:54 PM

Sure Jay, NOW you tell me Posted Image

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Jay Blair

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Posted July 14 2004 - 06:55 PM

Cameron,

Hey, for $60 save your lunch money for a couple weeks and try a Yamakawa. If you don't like it better than the Toshiba, send it back or sell it. If you do like it better, sell the Toshiba on eBay. Might not get a lot for it, but the difference between the new Yamakawa and what you get for the Toshiba would be small change. Note that like the SD-4900, the weak link with the Yamakawa is de-interlacing. Strickly a flag-reader as far as I can tell. But then, I've yet to see a sub-$100 DVD player that has strong de-interlacing. De-interlacsing aside, the Yamakawa has a lot nicer picture than the Toshiba. It really is amazing for a player in this price range. Interlaced output rivals many of the big boys, including my Panasonic RP91.

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted July 14 2004 - 07:11 PM

Does the one on eCost have the same picture quality? I don't need the DVD-A or VGA output

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Jay Blair

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Posted July 15 2004 - 01:53 PM

The DVD-238 seems to be promoted as a baby brother to the DVD-288, but I have not tried the 238 myself or read any meaningful reviews of it, so cannot vouch for this model. It does use the same code to make it region free as the 288 and "seems" to have many of the same features. All I know.