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Recommend a good region free Blue Ray player?


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#1 of 16 Tony J Case

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Posted January 02 2010 - 07:06 PM

So after 7 years of service, my DVD player has up and died it's final death. The disc wont spin anymore, so it's time to send it onto the great beyond, Since the new Blue Ray players are becoming more wide spread, I thought I'd give one a shot this time around. While my B-movies and exploitation flicks arent coming out on that format anytime soon, I might as well prepare for the future.

Of all the features, the player has to be region free. Oh, and preferably cheap - if we can get under 150 bucks, that would be dandy. So - any suggestions?


#2 of 16 Ed Moxley

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Posted January 03 2010 - 01:20 PM

I've not heard of any region free blu ray players. Since I have no need for one, I haven't been looking, so I can't say there's definitely none. Seems like I read awhile back though, that they were being real strict about that. Maybe someone that knows more than me about this will chime in. Good luck!

Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#3 of 16 Stephen_J_H

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Posted January 03 2010 - 01:31 PM

There are only 2 region free BD player manufacturers that I am aware of: Momitsu and Oppo. Oppo's BDP-83 will set you back about $500, whereas Momitsu's region free models run from $250 on Amazon, but may be cheaper elsewhere.

"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#4 of 16 Tony J Case

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Posted January 03 2010 - 06:15 PM

Ouch - 500 and 250? Sounds like Blue isnt for me then, at least not until the cheaper players become more wide-spread. Ah well - off to find a good cheap all regions DVD player then.

Pity, I really want to get that new re-release of Piranha coming up in a couple of months.


#5 of 16 Ed Moxley

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Posted January 03 2010 - 11:27 PM

I have the Oppo, and never noticed anything about it being region free. After reading this thread, I checked in the manual. It says it plays discs from three regions (A,B,&C). Aren't there more than three regions? Like I said, I have no need for that feature anyway. I'm just curious.

Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#6 of 16 TravisR

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Posted January 04 2010 - 05:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Moxley View Post

It says it plays discs from three regions (A,B,&C). Aren't there more than three regions?
 

There's only 3 regions for Blu-ray.

#7 of 16 Stephen_J_H

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Posted January 04 2010 - 06:29 AM

Let's clear something up: are you only looking for region free for your DVD collection, or are you interested in buying BDs in other regions? If the former, you may want to look into region hacks, although most of these for BD players are chip-based and will therefore void your warranty. My current HT setup contains a Sony BDP-S350, a Toshiba HD-A30 and a Zenith region hacked DVD player. I know a lot of people like to keep their setups simple, but this keeps region free in my system.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#8 of 16 Selden Ball

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Posted January 25 2010 - 07:01 AM

Don't forget that if you are purchasing DVDs or BDs for your permanent library, the cost of all of your discs will soon exceed the cost of the player.

Several companies sell players made by the same OEM as makes the Momitsu player, and some are quite a bit less expensive. Sherwood and VisionQuest are two of them.

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#9 of 16 Rachael B

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Posted January 25 2010 - 07:39 AM

I have not seen anything cheaper than the Momitsu 799. I have used mine only about 10 times so far but it seems hunky dory so far. I also have the older discontinued Momitsu 899 and it's turned out to be a better player than my Panasonic 30 & 35. All the modd'ed, big company players I've seen have been north of $300 and mostly even more. IMO, you're not gonna get a better price than the Momitsu 799 anytime soon, if ever...? Oppo, apparently, isn't gonna go out of their way to make their decks easily modd'ed like they used to. They don't want any MPAA heat these days.

P.S. - I paid $250 for the 799....


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#10 of 16 Selden Ball

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Posted January 25 2010 - 07:55 AM

The Sherwood BDP-5004 is about $90 cheaper than the Momitsu BDP-799. (The MSRP shown by Amazon is wrong.)

The two players differ only in a few details: Sherwood has 7.1 analog outs, Momitsu has only stereo. Momitsu has both RCA and optical digital outs, Sherwood has only RCA. Their GUIs look different from one another. Sherwood equipment is available from many local A/V stores. Momitsu isn't.

http://www.amazon.com/Momitsu-BDP-799-Blu-ray-Player-Region/dp/B002W2FP04
http://www.amazon.com/Sherwood-BDP-5004-Blu-ray-Player-Black/dp/B002AQ51VK

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#11 of 16 Rachael B

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Posted January 25 2010 - 10:56 AM

Selden, do you have to alter the Sherwood to make it Wee-jun emancipated? How do you know it can be freed? There's nothing in the descriptions that clue me into it's region shifting ability. Maybe I missed something?

Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#12 of 16 Selden Ball

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Posted January 25 2010 - 10:46 PM

Rachel,

Strictly speaking, the Sherwood BDP-5004 is multi-region, not region-free. Different codes are used for the different regions, although I've seen several reports that people have received 5004s that can play any DVD out-of-the-box.

The two Sherwood BD players recognize exactly the same codes from their remotes as do the Momitsu players. (Supposedly Sherwood's out-of-production BDP-5003 works the same way as their current BDP-5004.) DVDBeaver's review of the Momitsu BDP-899 describes the codes (See http://www.dvdbeaver...tsu_bdp-899.htm ) As I mentioned previously, it's pretty obvious that the players are made by the same OEM.  Momitsu, Sherwood, VisionQuest and the no-longer-made Curtis Mathis players are  physically identical, with minor variations in their I/O capabilities.

I've been using my Sherwood BDP-5004 to watch British DVDs of Blakes 7. I don't have any region B or C BDs, but others have reported that they play fine, too. I don't use the 7.1 analog outputs, but I've seen reports that they're quite good.

My understanding is that the BD and DVD licenses prohibit manufacturers from shipping region-free players, which is why that capability normally has to be added by 3rd party hacks. Supposedly Oppo got into a lot of trouble for advertising that their earlier players were region-free, which is why their current BDP-83 and BDP-80 players had to be region locked.  Sherwood does not advertise that the players are multi-region, and all the documentation and back-panel print say that the players are for BD Region A and DVD region 1. Hopefully this will keep the capability under-the-radar so far as the licensing organizations are concerned, although it's been published rather widely on the Web, and a Web search finds it easily.

Selden

#13 of 16 Rachael B

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Posted January 26 2010 - 10:43 AM

Selden, my pair of Momitsu decks are doing well for me. I do have better than a half-dozen, locked to Wee-jun B, BD's so far. I got Che in today and I'm not sure if Cinema Paradisio that also came in is locked or not. Che says so on the case.

Wee-jun locking has become nearly silly..../img/vbsmilies/htf/frown.gif

Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#14 of 16 Stephen_J_H

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Posted January 27 2010 - 05:26 AM

Region locking has been silly from the get-go.


"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#15 of 16 ReggieW

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Posted January 27 2010 - 09:24 PM

I've had the Sherwood BDP-5004 for three weeks now, and can confirm that it definitely plays DVD/BD discs from all regions (ABC & 1-6) AND correctly does the PAL/NTSC conversion - something my region-free OPPO 970HD couldn't do properly. I believe that some of the players may've shipped set to region 0 (despite what the box says) which allows playback of dvd regions 1-6. For BD playback, you will have to enter the code to change the region setting. However, if you leave the player in standby, it will remain on the region you've set until you power it off by pressing the on/off button on the front plate.

The player is noisy when loading a disc but quiets down once the film actually starts. It's definitely a clone of the Momitsu 899 ($360 online), except the Sherwood can be had for just $160.00 shipped online. I believe that Target.com now also stocks the Sherwood. This has been an awesome investment, as this player PLAYS everything including the 1080i/50hz titles such as Antichrist without a hitch. My primary player for region 1/A is still the Samsung BDP-2500, so the Shwerwood is a used as a secondary player in my rig.

Highly recommended.
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#16 of 16 JediFonger

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Posted February 02 2010 - 06:05 AM

go on ebay to get oppo/panny/*insert ur own brand* region free models. they are 100-200+ above the MSRP. or if you have those players already, buy the mod kit, but it'll void your warranty. just FYI.