Region Free Multi Format DVD/Blu ray player

morasp

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I was wondering if anyone could suggest a region free Multi format (PAL, NTSC) Blu ray/DVD player. I found one by Sony that seems like it would work.
 

David Norman

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I think hard to argue with the Sony.

Main thing is to make sure it has the functions you need -- 3D or not, Wifi, ?? 4K upscaling.
I have a 6700 that's been pretty much bulletproof. The 1700 seems to be the go-to cheap player, but doesn't do 3D

If I was in the EU I'd probably get a Panasonic since the build seems a bit better, but not really an easy option in the US

I prefer the OPPO region free, but not really an option for most anymore. The Sony's are much easier to switch from Region to Region for BD, but the OPPO is much quieter and a little faster overall
 
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Angelo Colombus

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I bought my Sony BDP-S1100 region free player from Amazon a few years ago and it plays everything from all regions. No issues and nice picture with both dvd & Blu-ray
 
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AndyMcKinney

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I'm sticking with my Oppos for now. I had (well, still have, but getting ready to sell) a trio of BDP-83s, and I've recently purchased a trio of BDP-103s to replace them with before they start getting too scarce.

The Region Free mod was a little easier in one of my 83s (just the blue button plus 1, 2 or 3), but it's not too hard in the 103 (plus, the same mod will work in the 93/95/103/105/203/205... you have to have a different mod for the 80 and 83).

One other potentially important thing you should look into is whether your player will also allow you to switch to MULTI mode (so if you have a multi-system TV, you can watch PAL material without a pesky standards conversion). Might also be good to know if your TV and player can handle 1080/50i. If the TV can't, you'll need a player that can convert 1080/50i to 1080/60i. If the TV can, you'll want a player that doesn't force an unnecessary conversion on you.

That's part of the reason I've stuck with the Oppos. It does all of the above (conversions if you need them, or pure original output if you don't).
 
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dpippel

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I was wondering if anyone could suggest a region free Multi format (PAL, NTSC) Blu ray/DVD player. I found one by Sony that seems like it would work.
I've had the Sony BDP-S6500, modded by Bombay Electronics, for over a year and have been extremely happy with it:

Amazon product

The Oppo players are great, but the company is no longer making them and they're even more expensive now than they were new.
 
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AndyMcKinney

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The Oppo players are great, but the company is no longer making them and they're even more expensive now than they were new.
Not exactly. It depends on which model you're shopping for. If you're shopping for their most recent models, the 4K players (UDP-203/205), then yes, speculators have marked those up way past what they originally sold for.

If you're just needing a player for blu-rays and DVDs, though, you can get a decent buy if you pay attention. I was able to buy three BDP-103 players for less than $400 each (one of them a lot closer to $300). The BDP-93, 83 and 80 can be had for even less. I've even seen a BDP-80 go for around $175, though IMO, the BDP-83 is a much better starting point (as it has a better built-in scaler for DVDs...the BDP-80 uses the same one as their earlier DV-983 DVD player). Usually, you will have to add the multi-region mod yourself (if you want region-free blu-ray). The 9x/10x/20x ones are easier to find than the 8x ones, but there are several 8x players on eBay now that already have them installed (just read closely).

Of course, you can make the Oppos region-free for DVD for free, via software. It's just blu-ray that requires the mod.
 
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dpippel

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Good info, but IMO when you're looking at the 93, 83, and 80, you're paying good money for old, used hardware that's more likely to have problems than something newer. Disc drives and lasers don't last forever. The 103 at the prices you mention is still $100-$200 more than an already modded Sony/LG/etc., and then you STILL need to buy the Blu-ray region-free mod for it at additional cost unless you get lucky and pick up an already modded one at those prices.

I'm not saying that Oppo isn't a possible option, but really, if all you're looking for is a relatively inexpensive way to add region free Blu-ray playback to your system, they're probably not the best choice at this point in time. I miss the days of my BDP-103 and UDP-203, because they were amazing machines. I wouldn't consider buying one now though, unless I got it for a song. The PQ on my Sony is just dandy, and for the relatively little use it sees the player is perfectly fine for the job, which is to play the occasional region-locked disc here and there. Just my two cents.
 
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David Norman

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A 103 was especially good choice when the plug in region free mod was $50, but a bit less desirable now that module seems to be a minimum of 120-150 if you can even find it anymore. I have a 93 and 103D now. I wish I had seen John Dirk classified for his 203 a couple months ago b/c I'd have seriously considered adding it too, but I'm not entirely sure going for the Panasonic UHD or top shelf Sony and keeping a region free BD separate isn't the best choice right now -- at least far more useful than even looking at those $2000-4000 for a 203 or 205

EDIT -- just looked at Ebay laughing at "Brand New 205 Buy it Now $6000"
 
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AndyMcKinney

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Good info, but IMO when you're looking at the 93, 83, and 80, you're paying good money for old, used hardware that's more likely to have problems than something newer.
Maybe, maybe not. Remember, the excellent build quality of Oppos versus the bargain-basement build quality of a lot of other players, newer isn't necessarily going to last longer.

If it weren't for the ridiculously slow load times on the Modern Family season sets (probably because of the stupid menus?), I would probably have stuck with my BDP-83s, even though the 103 also has an even better scaler than the 83. Built like a tank and still going strong.

The only thing I worry about is that there are now no more firmware upgrades, but with physical media dying a slow death, maybe there won't be much of a need for updates to deal with problematic discs. Hopefully not with anything I plan on buying, anyway


The 103 at the prices you mention is still $100-$200 more than an already modded Sony/LG/etc., and then you STILL need to buy the Blu-ray region-free mod for it at additional cost unless you get lucky and pick up an already modded one at those prices.
True, though Oppos have always been priced at a premium.


I'm not saying that Oppo isn't a possible option, but really, if all you're looking for is a relatively inexpensive way to add region free Blu-ray playback to your system, they're probably not the best choice at this point in time.
That wasn't in the OP's remit, though, and wasn't something that I was suggesting. I'm just suggesting that an Oppo might be the best option (regardless of price) when it comes to multi-region, if the multi-region aspect is the most important thing.

The PQ on my Sony is just dandy, and for the relatively little use it sees the player is perfectly fine for the job, which is to play the occasional region-locked disc here and there. Just my two cents.
I appreciate your reasons, and I certainly don't mean to come off as combative. We all have different reasons for the choices we make. If I were only playing region-free stuff on rare occasions, then yes, I'd probably be using a much less-expensive player (until i went high-def, I was using Philips DVD players). My needs, though, are very different and quite specific. I have a ton of non-US, PAL (and 1080i/50) formatted discs. I also have TVs that are capable of playing PAL & 1080i/50 content at their native resolutions. Also, my screens are pretty good size for the room. So, in the research I did all those years ago, Oppo was one of the few players that was 1). region-moddable, 2). truly multi-system and, perhaps just as importantly, 3). contains a truly high-end scaler that's particularly good at making DVDs look their best. Since there's a lot of stuff that's only on DVD, squeezing that last bit of picture quality out of them is highly important to me as well.

Which brings up a question for all you hardware enthusiasts out there: now that Oppo's no longer making new equipment, is there anyone out there who is using the same high-end scalers (or better versions of them) in their builds? Do new OLED TVs have better scalers themselves that what could be found on the latter Oppos? If any of the new players have the same type of high-end scalers, are any of these also capable of switching TV systems like the Oppo (where you can force NTSC/PAL/MULTI modes on the fly) and fully capable of 50i/60i without conversion?
 

AndyMcKinney

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A 103 was especially good choice when the plug in region free mod was $50, but a bit less desirable now that module seems to be a minimum of 120-150 if you can even find it anymore. I have a 93 and 103D now.
You can still get the modules on eBay for the price range you mention, but there are other online stores where you can make out much cheaper. I recently bought one for about $80 with a coupon they pushed through Facebook when I allowed it to sit unbought in the cart for a day or two (the module is advertised as a 203/205 module, but it works with all of Oppo's blu-ray players except the 80 and 83). Now, the 80/83 modules are truly getting hard to find on their own out in the wild. Anyone considering one of those players should consider a player already modded if they need region-free blu-ray playback.

I'm not entirely sure going for the Panasonic UHD or top shelf Sony and keeping a region free BD separate isn't the best choice right now
Another reason I'm sticking with an Oppos. The saved shelf space is important to me (and also easier on my wife who probably wouldn't like having to figure out which player she needs to use if something happens to me someday. Much easier with one for all things).


EDIT -- just looked at Ebay laughing at "Brand New 205 Buy it Now $6000"
I can't imagine anyone who knows anything about anything would actually "bite" at that price. I'm amazed that there a 205 player on there now that's already bid up past $3,000. As much as I love Oppo, that's crazy. If I ever need UDP, I guess I'll have to eat my words and have two players in my setup, unless another manufacturer steps up someday to make a player that's truly universal (not only region-free for BD/DVD, but multi-system, with an excellent scaler for DVDs, and a decent build quality).
 

Rachael B

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I bought my Sony BDP-S1100 region free player from Amazon a few years ago and it plays everything from all regions. No issues and nice picture with both dvd & Blu-ray
I got the same one but from 220 Electronics. I've only had mine about 6 weeks. It's done everything right except it kept freezing towards the end of Spartacus 4K a few days ago. It must need new Firmware but I have the latest. I had to finish the show with one of my Panasonic players. I really like how the 1100 switches Wee-juns using the colored buttons. It's the easiest switching I've seen on an emancipated player. I'm pleased with the Sony all in all. It's played several Wee-jun B BD's flawlessly and that's what I bought it for.

The O.P. should consider the 1100.
 

dpippel

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I got the same one but from 220 Electronics. I've only had mine about 6 weeks. It's done everything right except it kept freezing towards the end of Spartacus 4K a few days ago.
You were watching the Blu-ray disc, correct? The BDP-S1100 is not a 4K UHD player. :)
 

David_B_K

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You were watching the Blu-ray disc, correct? The BDP-S1100 is not a 4K UHD player. :)
I was going to ask about that. I do not have a 4K player or TV, and my understanding is that the Sony player in question upscales Blu-rays for 4K TVs but that it will not play a 4K Blu-ray. Is that correct?

Also, does the BDP-S1100 play SACDs?
 

dpippel

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I was going to ask about that. I do not have a 4K player or TV, and my understanding is that the Sony player in question upscales Blu-rays for 4K TVs but that it will not play a 4K Blu-ray. Is that correct?

Also, does the BDP-S1100 play SACDs?
It will not play a 4K UHD disc and only upscales to 1080P. It does not support SACD playback. If you need those capabilities, you might want to consider the BDP-S6500 or the newer version of that model, the BDP-S6700.
 

Angelo Colombus

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I got the same one but from 220 Electronics. I've only had mine about 6 weeks. It's done everything right except it kept freezing towards the end of Spartacus 4K a few days ago. It must need new Firmware but I have the latest. I had to finish the show with one of my Panasonic players. I really like how the 1100 switches Wee-juns using the colored buttons. It's the easiest switching I've seen on an emancipated player. I'm pleased with the Sony all in all. It's played several Wee-jun B BD's flawlessly and that's what I bought it for.

The O.P. should consider the 1100.
Like the other folks have said the Sony BDP-S1100 does not play 4k discs. Does a nice job on dvd's & Blu-rays. I was told when i bought the player not to have a firmware update because it will erase the all region setting.
 

Rachael B

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You were watching the Blu-ray disc, correct? The BDP-S1100 is not a 4K UHD player. :)
I have my model numbers scrambled and so does Sony. Mine is a UBS-X1100ES. It does UHD-BD. Sony gets stuck on loving certain numbers that I presume they deem lucky, appealing, or something else too....??? Having multiple 1100 models is confusing. Sony loves 9000. They're always looking for a new unit so cool that they can bring back 9000, one, more, time.....until next time!
 

dpippel

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I have my model numbers scrambled and so does Sony. Mine is a UBS-X1100ES. It does UHD-BD. Sony gets stuck on loving certain numbers that I presume they deem lucky, appealing, or something else too....??? Having multiple 1100 models is confusing. Sony loves 9000. They're always looking for a new unit so cool that they can bring back 9000, one, more, time.....until next time!
I guess Panasonic figured that out and beat Sony to the punch with the DP-UB9000. :laugh:
 
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Rachael B

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I guess Panasonic figured that out and beat Sony to the punch with the DP-UB9000. :laugh:
I have one of those and that thought had crossed my mind. I think there's some kind of love for the number 9000 in japan...??? Maybe they think all people love the number 9000? I had a Marantz 9000 too....
 
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