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Can you hack a Sony BDP-S590 to be region free? (1 Viewer)

Hollywoodaholic

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I'm sure this has been asked before, but I couldn't find this specific model in a search as to whether it could be hacked from a Region A to play Region B blu-rays. Model Sony BDP-S590.

There are some sites that say Sony can be programmed region free using the remote, but there are different versions and, frankly, I trust the info on this forum more. Thanks for any.

I see Oppo will no longer be in the business, and I'm not anxious to expensively replace my unit for just a few desired titles, but if there is a hack or another domestic model that I can switch to that can easily be converted, I'd be curious.

The region B release of the complete Northern Exposure series with original music got me re-interested in this topic.
 

Josh Steinberg

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It may be possible, I just don't know. Is that one of the models that 220 Electronics or Bombay Electronics offer? I believe they may also mod existing players besides selling pre-modded ones. You might want to email either or both and as if they could modify your machine. I'd guess that once they figure out the hack for a particular brand of player that the hack is similar from machine to machine within that same brand, but that's honestly just speculation on my part.
 

jcroy

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Do you know what micro-controler cpu is used in the chips which Sony uses?

If you do, then do you know how to disassemble the firmware code from the binary files?
 

CraigF

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It could probably be hacked...by someone who knows how. I don't know what the commercial companies do, but I think it's more than just a simple firmware change, since I know the commercial "hack" survives regular firmware updates (like the Oppo mods).

That's a fairly old player as Sony BDPs go. The "replacement"/similar-but-newer region-free model goes for about $150 from MultiSystem Electronics (same company as the others mentioned above). Probably even cheaper models/brands that would be perfectly good, especially if it's just for very occasional use, and if you skip not-disc-playing-related "frills" like wifi etc.

For myself, I decided that buying a region-free "cheap" Sony suited me better than getting the mod for the Oppo. Part of my "preserve the Oppos" strategy...not for everyone, some people only want one player in their system, I like to distribute the wear.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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I don't know what the commercial companies do, but I think it's more than just a simple firmware change, since I know the commercial "hack" survives regular firmware updates (like the Oppo mods).

I think they actually install a new chip inside. Because the Oppo has all of those extra ports, hackers were able to design a chip which could be used externally for the Oppo. I would suspect that for other modded players, it's a similar type of chip which has just been soldiered somewhere on the inside.

When the Blu-ray standard was being put together, one of the requirements of the BDA (the association that holds the patents and controls the licensing rights to use the Blu-ray name, logo and branding) was that players could not be modified by software/firmware to break the region coding, as was the case with DVD players. DVD has "Region 0" which is region free/all region, so to hack a DVD player, all one has to do is reset the region to 0 from the individual region it originally came programmed at. There's no equivalent to "Region 0" for Blu-ray - everything is either A, B or C. So the hack itself had to be redesigned. There's really no such thing as a "region-free" player for Blu-ray; a more accurate description would be that players are modified to be region-switchable, since the user must manually change to do a different region in order to play that disc.
 

jcroy

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If Sony is using one of those all-in-one bluray chips manufactured by Mediatek, then the micro-controller cpu is an arm processor.

(IIRC, Oppo was using off-the-shelf Mediatek chips for their bluray players).
 

jcroy

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in terms of reverse engineering, disassembly of arm opcodes is very tedious to deal with.
 

CraigF

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If Sony is using one of those all-in-one bluray chips manufactured by Mediatek, then the micro-controller cpu is an arm processor.

(IIRC, Oppo was using off-the-shelf Mediatek chips for their bluray players).
And most of the "shortcomings" of Oppo BDPs (like 83/93) over the years were due to just that: Oppo was completely at the mercy of Mediatek to fix some probs, and they wouldn't even though Oppo was very willing to do their part. (Oppo surrounded the Mediatek chipset with other chips to do "the good stuff".) To be fair, Oppo was hardly a drop in the bucket to Mediatek so Oppo couldn't be an engineering/sales driver.
 
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CraigF

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There's really no such thing as a "region-free" player for Blu-ray; a more accurate description would be that players are modified to be region-switchable, since the user must manually change to do a different region in order to play that disc.
I actually used to object to the term "region-free" for BDPs because a) they aren't called "regions" for BDs and b) there's no such thing as region-free for BDs, the correct proper term equivalent would be "all-area", but going half way I would accept "all-region". But I gave up long ago, since anything with "free" in it seems to sell better with the public, and I happen to prefer region over area anyway. :)
 

jcroy

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I have no idea who else is still manufacturing all-in-one bluray chips.

Back in the day, Renesas made an all-in-one chipset which Pioneer used in their then-current bluray players back in the late-2000s. Though after 2011 or so, Pioneer changed to Mediatek chipsets.

The last time I looked through a Renesas chip catalog, the only obvious bluray chipsets they still carried were for computer bluray-r drives and the old all-in-one chipset previously used by Pioneer. Most likely the latter is dead "old inventory".
 
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