Stupid question about my Philips BDP5012/F7

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Clay_E, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Clay_E

    Clay_E Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 11, 2004
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    I want to order a Blu-Ray from for which the listing claims it's "Region Free," but the small print says this is true only if my Blu-Ray player "supports 50i." I am about as technically disoriented as it is possible to be, so I have very little clue what this means, and no amount of Google searching has been able to shed any light on this for me. Can anybody out there who's smarter than I am offer any help with this...? :huh: Many thanks in advance!
  2. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

    Dec 5, 1999
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    Brian McHale
    50i means it will be 50 Hz interlaced. I don't think the average TV in the US is capable of playing 50i discs.
  3. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

    Apr 2, 2004
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    Kentucky, USA
    It's actually not that simple. Some American TVs can handle 50hz, some cannot. Also, some US Blu-Ray players can play 50hz (outputting it at 50hz), some convert it to 60hz (making it compatible with 100% of US televisions) and others (most notoriously, the PS3) cannot handle 50hz content at all. So, if your player can't do 50hz at all, you're completely out of luck, unless you get a new player. If you have a 50hz-compatible TV (such as the Sharp Aquos models, some Sonys, some LGs and probably many of the cheap Chinese models like Vizio), then you can use a player that either outputs 50hz natively, or one that converts. If you have a 60hz-only TV (such as Panasonic and Samsung), then you would have to get a player that can convert the 50hz content to 60hz. There is an excellent thread here that gives a basic rundown on various makes and models of players, showing their level of compatibility. By the way, as for televisions, most of that research was my own, when I was looking for a multi-system TV. I took my Oppo Blu-Ray player (which can output 50i natively), a 50hz disc and a PAL disc with me to the store. I tested Sharp, Sony and LG. I found out from various online forums (mainly for people looking to take US TVs with the to other countries to save money) that Panasonic and Samsung are NOT compatible with PAL or 1080i/50 (presumably to prevent such exporting). The Vizio manuals I downloaded said they were PAL-compatible, so I see no reason why they wouldn't support 50i. So, there's a fair amount of American TVs that can support 50i, it's just usually not documented in the manual. I'd begin with the Blu-ray player, see what it works with, and go from there. I ended up buying Sharp, by the way, which is, incidentally, also compatible with PAL over the composite inputs, meaning if you have a PAL VCR and tapes, you can also play those without conversion.

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