How to play European DVD's?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by adrian1, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. adrian1

    adrian1 Extra

    Jan 24, 2008
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    A friend is buying me some obscure European films (not available in N.America, and not ever likely to be) on DVD, and I'm wondering what the best way to watch them would be. I currently have a Samsung BD-P1400 Blu-ray player, and also a Samsung DVD-1080P7 DVD player, both of which are Region1. I know these DVDs will not play on either of these machines, so I'm wondering what my options are. Are there any region-free players available for sale in Canada, or should I consider purchasing a Region2 player on Amazon/e-Bay? Could I use a laptop for this perhaps? Not looking to spend lots of money on this, as the unit would only be used for these few European films.

    Thanks for any help or advice with this !!
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

    Oct 1, 2000
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    Central FL
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    You need a player and a display that can both do PAL.
  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Jun 20, 2000
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    Phil's info is incorrect. You need a player which can convert PAL to NTSC and can be made region free. I have several myself and they aren't that difficult if you know where to look. In fact, if the best picture quality isn't necessary, many cheap Brand X players have this capability. If picture is important, all Oppo players convert between formats and can be made region free. is the place to find region free hacks and more info. You might consider getting an Oppo annd using it for all your playback.
  4. Nic_II

    Nic_II Extra

    Feb 15, 2008
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    This is from an European perspective (I live in Finland). All players sold here can play both NTSC and PAL and most players can be made multi-region using a simple remote control hack. I have no experience with BluRay-players, but I tried to find a hack for your Samsung DVD-1080P7. I found one approach which apparently works, but it's rather risky. However, you might still want to check it out (I can't put the URL here, but it's on's forum, topic number 328445).

    You can also check out the DVD Hacks-section there for a list of known hacks. Do note that most of them are for European players, although they usually work on US players as well (especially the ones where it's just a simple remote hack - you can even try those out at the store without risk of damaging the player and you can always change it back to R1).

    As already mentioned, remember to check that the player can output PAL signal and that your TV can display it. In case you end up buying a Region 2 player from Amazon or eBay, you can check whether you can make it region-free from the above site and if so, it can be used as an all-purpose player since a Region 2 player turned region-free will have no problems outputting NTSC signal from R1 discs. However, you do need a power adaptor (Europe is mostly 230V while US is, I believe, 110V?) and possibly a Scart->RCA adaptor, in case the player doesn't have component video output (most of them have) or HDMI.

    As for using your laptop, it might be possible without any modifications at all. Depending on it's age, it might have a DVD-player that hasn't been hardcoded to any specific region. But even if it has and it refuses to play R2-discs (or asks you to select a region, which you can usually do five times until it's locked for good), you can use a software such as DVD Idle's "DVD Region+CSS Free" (you can probably figure out DVD Idle's URL...?)

    I use it myself and it works like a charm. Using it you can at least view the films on your laptop's display. I don't know whether your laptop's video output can output the proper signal, though.

    If I was in your place, I'd try to acquire a Region 0 PAL DVD and try playing it with my laptop and outputting the signal. In case you can't find one and you have a DVD-burner, you can easily make your own R0 PAL disc. I use Roxio MyDVD myself, but just about every similar software should be able to burn the disc in PAL format without a region code. If you can play that disc using the video output on your laptop and your TV shows it, you just need the above software and you can play DVDs from all regions (of course, even if your TV doesn't support PAL, you should always be able to view the DVDs on your laptop's display, but I presume that's not a very tempting option).

    I hope this helps.

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