Where can I find cheapest Region Free DVD player? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 2017-07-16, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Question Where can I find cheapest Region Free DVD player?

Hello,

I recently bought a movie from Australia that is region coded for region 4/PAL, upon buying it I knew it was region locked and have tried playing it through my laptop switching my DVD drive to region 4 however the movie keeps pixelating, freezing and unwatchable. So I'm hoping a region free dvd player will solve these issues. However I haven't had much luck finding a good Region Free DVD player and hope someone can recommend some that's affordable if it's possible.

Thanks in advanced.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 2017-07-16, 02:52 PM
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 2017-07-16, 03:00 PM
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Many players can be made region free by "hacking" them with a code. Type the make/model of the DVD player along with "region hack" into the web, and you'll usually find a code for doing so. However, the situation may be complicated by PAL/NTSC...

I was recently renting a condo outside of North America and the person had numerous Region 1 DVDs, but they were not playable on the Region 4 player that the owner had recently purchased. I searched the web for the hack and was able to watch the DVDs. Also, the owner was quite happy that he was now able to watch his extensive collection upon his return to the condo. (I'm assuming he previously had a Region 1 player that broke or was stolen and replaced it from his Region 4 location. He was totally unaware of why many of his DVDs wouldn't play and he was not aware of DVD regions. Region 0 and region 4 DVDs would play, leading to his confusion.)

You should be able to obtain a DVD player very inexpensively or even for free with many people now streaming instead of playing DVDs. If you, or a friend or relative already have DVD players, check for the hack. I cannot recall if the hack makes the matter of NTSC/PAL, etc moot, or if there is a different hack... DVD players are often manufactured in one place for the world with no "hardware" differences, however, DVDs are designed to play properly only in certain places and may require more than simply region free player, depending on the TV, etc.

Here's a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_region_code

Quote:
In general, it is easier for consumers in PAL/SECAM countries to view NTSC DVDs than vice versa. Almost all DVD players sold in PAL/SECAM countries are capable of playing both kinds of discs, and most modern PAL TVs can handle the converted signal.† However, most NTSC players cannot play PAL discs, and most NTSC TVs do not accept 576i video signals as used on PAL/SECAM DVDs. Those in NTSC countries, such as the United States, generally require both a region-free, multi-standard player and a multi-standard television to view PAL discs, or a converter box, whereas those in PAL countries generally require only a region-free player to view NTSC discs. There are also differences in pixel aspect ratio (720 × 480 vs. 720 × 576 with the same image aspect ratio) and display frame rate (29.97 vs. 25).

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 2017-07-16, 06:13 PM
 
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 2017-07-17, 09:13 AM
 
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HDMI is the key

I've had luck with Phillips DVD players. The last one I bought cost less than $50 IIRC, and they are easily converted to region free.
As for the NTSC/PAL issue, this no longer matters with HDMI connections. I've played some quite old region 2 DVDs with no issues.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 2017-07-17, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrahamAshby2 View Post
As for the NTSC/PAL issue, this no longer matters with HDMI connections.
Good point, however, this means you need to have an upconverting DVD/BD player with HDMI out and have it set to say 1080i/p (appropriate for the TV), etc.

If the player only has composite, S-video or component, then PAL/NTSC still needs to be a consideration depending on the equipment/discs involved. Also, after further reading on the web, the "hacks" may not work for BDs, only DVDs.

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