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Looking for a new Blu-Ray player that will play all my old DVDs (PAL, Divx, etc.). (1 Viewer)

ArtC

Grip
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Jul 5, 2006
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19
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Art Cohen
Greetings all;

Back in the heady days of the 2000's, I used to be quite the DVD enthusiast. I had an Oppo DV-981HD that I used to play all manner of discs from around the world (and the internet).

Then I had kids, moved to a different state, yadda yadda yadda, you've heard the story, I'm sure, and I basically didn't watch any movies that weren't from Disney or Pixar for about ten years.

So now it's 2021 and I'm actually equipping a modest home theater for the first time in my life. We currently use my kid's Xbox to watch movies, and I still have that old Oppo DVD player (which I've been using to play CDs), but I'd rather see if I can find a single unit that will allow me to play blu-rays and all my old DVDs (to be honest, I don't know how many more years the Oppo has in it, anyway).

This is what I'm looking for:
  • Smooth PAL Playback. Before I bought the Oppo, I had a cheap Toshiba region-free DVD player that would play PAL discs, but they would "stutter" once or twice per hour when playing via HDMI on an early HDTV. Something to do with converting the framerates, obviously, although I don't recall the details now. The important thing is that the Oppo player was dead-solid whether it was playing PAL or NTSC content, and that's an important feature for me.
  • Region-free DVD playing. I own a number of non-US commercial discs (mostly Region 2) that I haven't watched in a long time, and would like to do so again. Yes, I can surely find them to stream online, or even buy them on blu-ray in many cases, but my preference would be to find a player that can play the discs I already own. Region-free blu-ray playing would be nice, but is not essential to me. I don't buy too many new discs and my main concern is watching the discs I already own.
  • Divx playback. I also have a number of discs in the Divx format that was popular on download sites in the 2000s. These are from PAL and NTSC sources, mostly TV shows that were unavailable commercially at the time.
  • Multichannel audio playback; many bands and musical artists have released multichannel mixes of their work on blu-ray in recent years (e.g. Jethro Tull, King Crimson), and in the early 2000's, there were multichannel mixes for some albums released on DVD-Audio. I'd like to be able to play all of these, although the DVD-Audio compatibility isn't a show-stopper.
Does such a beast exist, that will play all of that (reliably, smoothly, even if the discs aren't in perfect condition) along with blu-rays? 4k support is not required.

Thanks in advance.
 

David Norman

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There are no Bluray players that are region free out of the box and most have to be modified in some way.

My first thought if you don't need 4K and like your prior OPPO is to consider getting a slightly used Oppo 103 (or even 93) with the simple region free mod. It should play just about everything thrown at it including DVDA and SACD. It's not cheap, but it should be solid and as long as you stay away from the 95/105 and 4K 203/205 not totally outrageous. many of them come with the Region Mod already with it or you can still get an internal plug in for $90 it looks like (not the $50 the internal or External mod was for years, but half

Otherwise you end up with some compromise. I honestly can't say whether all/any of these could handle your DIVX discs assuming they aren't locked which I'm assuming if you downloaded them they aren't
LG and Samsung -- I'm not a fan of their disc players
Sony Region Free players will meet most of your requirement but PAL playback hasn't been one of their strong features. Some models can handle

I'm a big fan of the Panasonic 420 and 820 4K players, but they don't do DVD-A or SACD and there is no US DVD players to step down to though several excellent UK players.
 

Angelo Colombus

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Angelo Colombus
I do have the Seiki Blu-ray player which you put in a three digit code in the menu to change the region code. But that is rare and most players will need a modification to play all regions.
 

David Norman

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Messages
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I do have the Seiki Blu-ray player which you put in a three digit code in the menu to change the region code. But that is rare and most players will need a modification to play all regions.

I have that one as well -- picked it up on clearance 4-5+ years ago right before it sold out. Cheap as dirt both in price and build quality though it works pretty well. It really doesn't handle PAL discs all that well unless you can output directly without converting to NTSC. I'm not aware of another current production US model that works this way though I think there is an AUS player branded by LASER that is essentially the same guts.
 

AndyMcKinney

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Kentucky, USA
Art:
I'll second the suggestion of a secondhand Oppo BDP-93 or BDP-103. One other thing: if you only need region-free for DVDs (not Blu-rays), you don't even have to buy the region free mod: you can simply download the SuperDisk software mod, burn it onto a blank DVD, and it will make the player region-free FOR DVD. For free.

I can't speak to DIVX compatibility, but AV Forums said this in their review of the 103:
The 103D worked well in our testing and appears to support the majority of media and file formats including JPEG, AVCHD, MP3, MP4, DivX, MKV, FLAC and WAV files.
 
Last edited:

Reggie W

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Pike Bishop
My recommendation is to go to 220 Electronics and pick out a player. I've purchased 2 players from them (Pioneer) and they are fantastic. They sell a variety of brands at a wide variety of price points. I've recommended them to several people. All were quite happy with their purchase. Check them out if you want a region free player.

www.220-electronics.com
 

Bartman

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Aug 5, 2017
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Trevor Bartram
I'm on my second Seiki 4K player for region A/B/C Blu-ray and all region DVD playback however the Seiki is no longer available. Based on recommendations at another forum, I purchased an LG BP250 (Region B only) from Amazon UK, in case the Seiki dies. Luckily I purchased the LG just before international shipping costs went thru the roof. If you just want an all region DVD player, there are several very inexpensive players on Amazon US. Good luck.
 

sfyalek

Grip
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
17
Real Name
Yalek
Greetings all;

Back in the heady days of the 2000's, I used to be quite the DVD enthusiast. I had an Oppo DV-981HD that I used to play all manner of discs from around the world (and the internet).

Then I had kids, moved to a different state, yadda yadda yadda, you've heard the story, I'm sure, and I basically didn't watch any movies that weren't from Disney or Pixar for about ten years.

So now it's 2021 and I'm actually equipping a modest home theater for the first time in my life. We currently use my kid's Xbox to watch movies, and I still have that old Oppo DVD player (which I've been using to play CDs), but I'd rather see if I can find a single unit that will allow me to play blu-rays and all my old DVDs (to be honest, I don't know how many more years the Oppo has in it, anyway).

This is what I'm looking for:
  • Smooth PAL Playback. Before I bought the Oppo, I had a cheap Toshiba region-free DVD player that would play PAL discs, but they would "stutter" once or twice per hour when playing via HDMI on an early HDTV. Something to do with converting the framerates, obviously, although I don't recall the details now. The important thing is that the Oppo player was dead-solid whether it was playing PAL or NTSC content, and that's an important feature for me.
  • Region-free DVD playing. I own a number of non-US commercial discs (mostly Region 2) that I haven't watched in a long time, and would like to do so again. Yes, I can surely find them to stream online, or even buy them on blu-ray in many cases, but my preference would be to find a player that can play the discs I already own. Region-free blu-ray playing would be nice, but is not essential to me. I don't buy too many new discs and my main concern is watching the discs I already own.
  • Divx playback. I also have a number of discs in the Divx format that was popular on download sites in the 2000s. These are from PAL and NTSC sources, mostly TV shows that were unavailable commercially at the time.
  • Multichannel audio playback; many bands and musical artists have released multichannel mixes of their work on blu-ray in recent years (e.g. Jethro Tull, King Crimson), and in the early 2000's, there were multichannel mixes for some albums released on DVD-Audio. I'd like to be able to play all of these, although the DVD-Audio compatibility isn't a show-stopper.
Does such a beast exist, that will play all of that (reliably, smoothly, even if the discs aren't in perfect condition) along with blu-rays? 4k support is not required.

Thanks in advance.
I agree with other members. Oppo will be the best choice, However, Oppo had stopped the productions for a few years but you still can find some online with the high price tag. Oppo BD-95 can play Divx disc. Oppo BD-103 will do the job as well and play SACD and DVD-A. The another option will be Marantz. Most of the Marantz players can play SACD and DVD-A. As Reggie said, 220-electronics is a good web site to offer region free blu-ray players.
 

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