Considering a region-free DVD player... a couple of questions:

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tony Aguila, Oct 10, 2001.

  1. Tony Aguila

    Tony Aguila Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm seriously considering the purchase of a region-free player, and I have a couple of questions, not hardware-related, but relates to DVD titles.
    First, what Region 1 titles are also available in other regions that you consider to have better audio/video and/or extra features? The NTSC/PAL issue is a non-issue since my projector can adapt to either.
    Second, what popular DVD titles are now available in other regions except Region 1?
    The information I gather from here will strongly influence my final decision, so I really appreciate any feedback from my friends here.
     
  2. Michael Banks

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    I an on my second region free player. The main reason for me was asian films, be it anime or live action. There are many titles that are blockbusters overseas, but won't be available in the forseeable future in the US.
    Examples include the Ghibli collection which is anime and only available R2. A must own IMHO. Another thing is Korean titles, mostly all R3. Let me tell ya, they can make some great movies. Another plus is that 90% of korean releases are english subtitled and anamorphic. I personally don't keep up with the R2 PAL releases someone else should be able to help you with that.
    That is my main reason for a region free player. The only problem is that every player you plan on owning after the first will have to be modded.
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  3. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    Tony, not sure if you're a Mac user or PC user, but if you're a Mac user, you can upgrade to Mac OS X and your DVD player will be region free.
    Lotta "ifs" in my post, but hey, ya never know.
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  4. Roland Wandinger

    Roland Wandinger Stunt Coordinator

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    (Souldn't this be in the Regional DVD Area)
    I have the french R2 PAL releases of Dark City and Sleepy Hollow which both have a DTS track (in english) and feature all of the extras of the R1.
    Also the videoquality of those are better than the R1 counterpart which I own also.
    The R2/R4 PAL release of Planet Of The Apes has a good 16x9 transfer. There is also a R2 NTSC release in Japan which also has a 16x9 transfer but supposably not any better than the R1 release.
    The british R2 PAL version of Bound is a must have if you like the movie. The 16x9 transfer is just amazing!
    The R2 Die Hard With a Vengeance has a much better transfer than the R1 5 Star Col. but no DTS track.
    The Japanes R2 NTSC release of Cutthroat Island features a 16x9 transfer and a 1500kbps DTS track. It costs around $60-70 though. There is also a recent release in Germany which also features a 16x9 PAL transfer (which is not quite as good as on the Japanes release) and an exclusive audio commentary by R. Harlin and other extras.
    The R2/R4 Scarface has a 16x9 transfer.
    There is a 2 disc SE of The 5th Element available in Germany which has a DTS-ES track. The video quality is no as good as both R1 releases though (haven't seen it myselfe though).
    The french Halloween H2O and Cube releases have superb 16x9 transfer. I think Cube has even more extras than the R1.
    ...and lots of others!
    [Edited last by Roland Wandinger on October 11, 2001 at 04:31 AM]
     
  5. YANG

    YANG Second Unit

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    R1 releases,there are some that are better than other region releases.
    In general,different region releases attracts different interest highly due to censorship,features,audio and video presentation.
    What are the the best from R1? www.dvddebate.com had recently did a comparison of the TERMINATOR 2:U.E release from R1 and R2.They gives the R1 release lots of high marks and attention.
    Audio quality,SAVING PRIVATE RYAN DTS DVD is still the best from R1.But SPR wins in video quality from the PAL releases,check out www.michaeldvd.com.au for the indepth review.
    Visual quality,err...to PAL or not to PAL???
    What are the best from other regions?
    Foreign films,including to those that are made in UK and AUSTRALIA,may sometime get chopped by the MPAA.So the demand for uncut foreign films grows.THIS IS THE BIGGEST DRAW OF ATTENTIONS.
    Audio...due to the difference of the copyright being owned by different studio in the overseas(subsidaries of a same studio in the overseas have independent free rights),the DVD release audio maybe different.For example,the upcoming release of ENEMY AT THE GATES from AUSTRALIA will come with a DTS5.1 track.STARGATE had been released in KOREA with a DTS5.1 track.ARMAGEDDON had been released in JAPAN with a DTS5.1 track.THE MUMMY RETURNS had been released in UK(R2) and AUSTRALIA(R4) with DTS5.1 surround.Not to forget DANCES WITH WOLVES from UK with DTS5.1.
    Every region releases have their best,even those chinese movies from HONGKONG!Which are multi region compatible too.
    So,everybody are winners.Everybody are losers too.
    Pay more attention in the REGIONAL FORUM for more news and informations.
     
  6. Alistair Paterson

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    The region 4 release of Jackie Brown has got a anamorphic transfer (R1 hasnt) and is not a flipper (R2 is).
     
  7. Tony Aguila

    Tony Aguila Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the info, guys.
    MikeM, yeah I'm a Mac user, all the way, but can't stand watching movies on my G4.
    Roland, you know, you're right about this thread being in the Regional DVD Area. I've been on this forum since it's infancy but have developed the habit of visiting only a few areas... software, hardware, lately TV and projectors.
    Now that you mention Bound, I'm even more encouraged. I was just re-viewing it the other night and it occurred to me that the R1 (non-anamorphic) version is probably one of the best looking transfers when zoomed to full width on my 92" screen. Most others just simply break up at this size and I usually watch non-anamorphic movies in "normal" size (with black bars on the sides), even the widescreen ones.
    I don't mind paying more for DVDs because at this stage, I've started*to cut back on buying quantities and have been more quality conscious, movies-wise and DVD quality-wise, especially video. After moving up to a larger screen, I realize that some DVDs are almost unwatchable... take for example one of my favorite movies, The American President.
    Michael (Banks), are you saying that I would need one player per region? Aren't there ones that are truly "region free"?
    Gee. Now I'm going to have to allot more time in the day to looking for sources for all these goodies.
     
  8. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    You should not need more than one player. There are plenty of modifications that accept all regions. You should make sure that your modification does not simply make the player into a Region 0 player, as schemes such as RCE (Regional Code Enhancement or something like that) prevent DVD's from playing on Region 0 machines and even some autoselect machines. That being said, more clever modifications do exist, my player automatically plays any DVD's, including RCE enhanced DVD's.
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  9. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    I own two Region free players, both which choose the appropriate region code when the DVD is inserted into the player.
    TOSHIBA SD1600 modified by Mindlogic.com. Great player, now in my bedroom.
    MALATA N996 from avdeals.com and this player allows me to view PAL content to my heart's content. I have been buying Hong Kong Legends titles like crazy. The player is hooked up to my Panasonic HDTV and it's the best DVD player I have ever owned. No need for another player when you have this one.
    Check out Hong Kong Legends .
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  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    quote: The NTSC/PAL issue is a non-issue since my projector can adapt to either. [/quote]Actually it is an issue. I have a PAL All-Region title. Just for kicks I decided to try it in my Technics DVD player. The DVD player refused to play it. It didn't push out the PAL output, it TOTALLY REFUSED TO PLAY THE DISC. This means that NTSC/PAL is a major issue for you. You don't need conversion, but you need a player that can output both formats. I don't think this is a common feature. My Apex does an admiral job at converting PAL to NTSC considering the price.
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    [Edited last by Philip Hamm on October 11, 2001 at 01:46 PM]
     
  11. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    I had an Apex. Note I said "had." [​IMG] [​IMG] It did the job, sort of, but it was just so frustrating having to view PAL DVD's all distorted. Plus the artifacts. [​IMG] They were all over the place. Ugh. Sold it and put the $ towards the Malata.
    Two years ago a 480p player with half the features of the Malata was nearly a grand. Now look at the prices! It's amazing.
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