Looking to buy a Region-Free DVD Player...I need help and suggestions.

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by John Kilduff, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

    Oct 27, 2001
    Likes Received:
    This is my first post in this sub-forum (despite having been on the HTF for almost 3 years).

    Anyway, having read about how some DVD titles from other regions have better picture/sound/extras than their Region 1 counterparts, I've been looking to get a Region Free Player.

    My questions are:

    What Region Free Players are the best models?

    Are there any players that will be able to play titles from other regions immediately without having to be hacked?


    John Kilduff...

    Thanks in advance...I can try and be more specific if needed.
  2. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

    Nov 3, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Norcent 501M can play titles from any region, including PAL titles. It has to be hacked, but there is a secret menu you enter to hack it, nothing to download 1st. Very simple to do. Just punch in 2-9-6-0 on the remote with no disc in the tray or tray open, that's it to enter the menu which is self explanatory from there. Cost is about $170 delivered. It will upscale to 1080i over component.

    There are many more players than can be hacked with a simple download. The Toshiba SD-4900 does a very good job of playing all titles, most titles don't require a hack, but to play everything you have to do a download and burn to CD-ROM. The Toshiba has been selling for about $70 lately when on sale. DVDRHelp.com can provide the hack. It also does DVD-Audio.

    I've heard that the new Zenith DVB-318 can be hacked with the same download as the Toshiba because they use the same menu structure. The Zenith costs about $200 delivered, but can upscale to 1080i using both component and DVI. I have not tried this player, but the reviews are good. Supposedly both Circuit City and Best Buy intend to sell this player.

    The best stand alone player I've personally tried from a picture standpoint that can play any region and convert PAL to NTSC is the Norcent when using 1080i. If you don't have a display that can show 1080i, then I like the Toshiba. Both players have fairly comparable quality at 480 interlaced or progressive, but the Toshiba is a little better, and a lot cheaper.

    If price is no object (over $1,500), by far the best picture quality I've seen that will do what you want is a hacked (hardware modded) Panasonic RP91 run through an iScan HD video processor that will both convert the PAL output of the Panny to NTSC and upscale any DVD to as high as 1080P. The quality is very close to Hi-Def at 1080i (which is how I view it).
  3. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

    Dec 18, 2000
    Likes Received:
    On the other end of the price scale, the Malata DVP-393A offers progressive-scan, very good PAL conversion and region free playback in a compact chassis, for about $80 US.
  4. SvenS

    SvenS Second Unit

    May 5, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I would recommend the Philips 727. It has very nice Progressive Scan out and is one of a very few players that can convert PAL to NTSC and get the aspect ratios correct on Anamorphic DVD's. The best part is you can grab this player for $65-$70 on the Net.

Share This Page