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View Full Version : Let's Talk About Region-Free DVD Players


John Booty
10-21-2002, 06:49 AM
With more and more Japanese DVD's having English subtitles, I'm really interested in looking into these. I'm also interested in a lot of Hong Kong flicks that aren't region 1.

Does anybody own one and have any advice/recommendations? What's a good price? I've seen them for around $300 at cons, but I'm sure they can be had more cheaply.

Karisu-sama
10-21-2002, 07:06 AM
We got one at AX, Pioneer, it was I THINK around $150, it's GREAT!!!!!! We love both Anime direct from Japan (like not available yet in the US, and it already comes subtitled :D) and Hong Kong Action flicks that may take forever to get here.

Region-coding is a big scam designed to protect price differentials, and AFAIK neither region-free players nor owning DVD's from "other regions" are illegal. It just pisses off the various industry fat cats.

John Booty
10-21-2002, 07:31 AM
Oooh, so they can be had that cheaply? That's awesome. Thanks for the advice... it was actually your mention of a region-free DVD player on the Miyazaki thread that prompted me to post this.

I would have just PM'd you but I figured the info could be useful to the whole board. :P

Does the player you have include all the usual goodies?

-digital (Dolby and/or DTS) sound output
-component video (the sep. red/green/blue) cables
-does it play CDR's full of mp3's?

Really only #1 is super-important to me, the other two are just nice-to-haves. ^_^

Hungryjack
10-21-2002, 08:24 AM
I own a Malata N996 DVD player. It was $300, but I bought it because it's region-free, it does GREAT PAL/NTSC conversion (no stretching) and offers manual x/y scaling for those movies that look stretched anyway. It plays DVD, DVD-R, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, VCD, VCD2, and MP3 formats.

It has Digital optical and coaxial outputs, composite, S-Video, and component video output. Oh, I forgot to mention, it does standard NTSC as well as 480p (progressive scan) On the audio side, it has Dolby Digital 6.1 and DTS.

It's a great DVD player, but the remote looks like a piece of junk. No worries though, it's all run through my big remote anyway.

You can get it in black, silver or gold (read: pimp)

Aurora
10-21-2002, 08:48 AM
Originally posted by Hungryjack
I own a Malata N996 DVD player. It was $300, but I bought it because it's region-free, it does GREAT PAL/NTSC conversion (no stretching) and offers manual x/y scaling for those movies that look stretched anyway. It plays DVD, DVD-R, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, VCD, VCD2, and MP3 formats.

It has Digital optical and coaxial outputs, composite, S-Video, and component video output. Oh, I forgot to mention, it does standard NTSC as well as 480p (progressive scan) On the audio side, it has Dolby Digital 6.1 and DTS.

It's a great DVD player, but the remote looks like a piece of junk. No worries though, it's all run through my big remote anyway.

You can get it in black, silver or gold (read: pimp)

Where did you buy yours? o.o...cause now ~I~ want one! :P

Keurblitz
10-21-2002, 08:55 AM
Well, I bought (actually my dad) bought one of those multi-regional DVD players when he went back to hong kong and he brought it back to the states. It plays CDs, CD-R/w, DVD. DVD-r/w, Mp3s, VCDs and all that good stuff.... It cost him roughly $100 for the machine and it has like 2 microphone jacks also, which is good for karaoke ^_^ But you can definitely buy one of those in New York for roughly $200

peacecraft
10-21-2002, 10:42 AM
Keep in mind that there are DVDs now designed NOT to play on region free DVD players, so a better bet is a multi-region DVD player. A freegeion free player has no coding built in, and some discs are programmed not to play if they do not find the right coding. A multi region player can be switched between region settings and fools these discs into playing anyway.

Not too many discs have this coding... yet, but there are a few, and its probably a safe bet that there will be more (I believe New Line is considering putting it on all there discs, so if you were thinking about getting the rest of the LotR series on DVD...).

Oshi
10-21-2002, 10:59 AM
I don't have a DVD player o_o;
I have a laptop with video out and a DVD drive... and that's basically region free, right? Anybody know the deal with other-region DVDs and computers?

Keurblitz
10-21-2002, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by Oshi
I don't have a DVD player o_o;
I have a laptop with video out and a DVD drive... and that's basically region free, right? Anybody know the deal with other-region DVDs and computers?

oh, then this is a lot easier then!! Since you have a computer DVD drive!! All you have to do is d/l this driver for your DVD driver so that it allows you to play any DVD disc. um.. I 'm at school right now so I don't have the link for you, I'll try to find it for you tonight.

John Booty
10-21-2002, 01:20 PM
peacecraft: that is an excellent point. i'll keep that in mind.

> I don't have a DVD player o_o;
> I have a laptop with video out and a
> DVD drive... and that's basically region
> free, right? Anybody know the deal with
> other-region DVDs and computers?

DVD-ROM drives have regions just like a regular DVD player but a lot of drives have hacked drivers that circumvent this.

some (all?) DVD-ROM drives allow you to change the region a certain number of times (like, five times or something) and then it's unchangeable.

Hungryjack
10-21-2002, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by peacecraft
Keep in mind that there are DVDs now designed NOT to play on region free DVD players, so a better bet is a multi-region DVD player. A freegeion free player has no coding built in, and some discs are programmed not to play if they do not find the right coding. A multi region player can be switched between region settings and fools these discs into playing anyway.

Not too many discs have this coding... yet, but there are a few, and its probably a safe bet that there will be more (I believe New Line is considering putting it on all there discs, so if you were thinking about getting the rest of the LotR series on DVD...).

I should clarify my statement. My player is set to region 0 by default, but I can change the region code if I ever wanted to. I have never messed with it because I have yet to try a disc that was not covered by Region 0.

Ranma Saotome
10-21-2002, 02:54 PM
I rather get a DVD-ROM drive and flash the firmware. :)

John Booty
10-21-2002, 03:20 PM
> I rather get a DVD-ROM drive and flash
> the firmware.

I've used a computer to watch DVD's on a television via a DVD-ROM drive and videocards with TV-Out ability, and I haven't been real thrilled with the quality. It wasn't terrible but not nearly up to par with the quality a $60 Apex DVD player from WalMart can produce.

When I had an actual DVD decoder card in my one PC several years ago, that definitely matched a standalone DVD player in terms of quality, but it was a pain in the ass for other reasons.

Still, a DVD-ROM drive costs $40 these days and the hacked drivers/BIOS are free, and a region-free standalone player costs a lot more $$$. So that's what I'm doing for now. :P

Then again, imported R2 (Japan) DVD's are so expensive the cost of your hardware will soon pale in comparison anyway. :P

Hungryjack
10-21-2002, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by John Booty
Then again, imported R2 (Japan) DVD's are so expensive the cost of your hardware will soon pale in comparison anyway. :P

No lies there! Sometimes you have to jump through strange hoops too because the Japanese release might have no English subtitles, but the German release does. Oh, by the way, the German release is $50 and it's in PAL format. gah, it's so hard to get all your ducks in a row sometimes.

But at least you start building a library of good vendors to buy from.

Cait
10-21-2002, 07:43 PM
Side question: Why did they even invent the whole regions thing? What is it's purpose? What does it change? I've never really understood it. Anybody?

Cassandra
10-21-2002, 07:55 PM
I know a lot of it is from Japanese companies not wanting their consumers to purchase the cheaper American DVDs. Stuff that we consider expensive here is (usually) laughable compared to how much it costs in Japan.

Karisu-sama
10-21-2002, 07:59 PM
John: my husband says it cost around $200, and he thinks it has all those things. It's probably region-free, not multi-region coded.

Answer to side question: to preserve the price differentials, and what native industries in each country like to charge. That's all. In theory region-coding should not even exist.

Yeah, I'm not thrilled that a Japanese DVD normal price is twice that of a US one, but I'm glad I can at least get them now.

Ranma Saotome
10-21-2002, 09:55 PM
Originally posted by Cait
Side question: Why did they even invent the whole regions thing? What is it's purpose? What does it change? I've never really understood it. Anybody?

I think it because of the same reason as to why game consoles are region divided. To increase sales or some crap like that.

Ranma Saotome
10-21-2002, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by John Booty
I've used a computer to watch DVD's on a television via a DVD-ROM drive and videocards with TV-Out ability, and I haven't been real thrilled with the quality.

Wouldn't that also depend on the videocard? I have an ATI Rage Fury Pro w/ VI-VO and I do see some quality lost, but it is like 95% on par.