Blu-Ray region-free players

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hanshotfirst1138
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Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby hanshotfirst1138 » 06 Oct 2012, 18:53

My wonderful Phillips DVP-5982 has just died on me. I've tried getting a cleaner, and still no luck. I think it's permanently dead. As pretty much all noteworthy special features have moved to Blu-Ray, I've been dragging my feet about the changeover, but now I'm apparently going to have no choice but to switch over.

Unfortunately, there's a rather significant stumbling block in the form of region-coding. Whereas my wonderful little Phillips player could be unlocked with a few keystrokes, evidently the manufacturers of Blu-Ray caught onto this and have made it considerably more difficult to unlock BR players. Apparently, it requires some actual physical modding which generally has to be done by a third party. I'd rather do it myself, but apparently that is quite difficult. Thinking of looking at eBay, but there're so many choices, I don't know where to start! There is, of course, the famed Oppo BDP-93, but it's a $500 player with $150+ mod!

A bit of an explanation, this is unbelivably long-winded, so if anyone gets to the end of this post, they deserve a medal. I mean, my initial thought was to buy a mid-range player (I work at Meijer and can get a 10% discount, but we mostly have mid-range stuff at best, sadly.), but I then discovered that unlike DVD, BR can't simply be hacked with the remote. Since I still have a CRT TV with a coax connector, so it seems like a bit of overkill, but but every special feature worth a damn seems to have moved to BR. I've thought about buying something pretty good to prepare for the future, but apparently region-free BR is pricey. Then there's the world now. I'd like to be able to do stuff like stream YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, etc. but that's not essential, plus I have my computer for it, or if need be, I can buy a Roku box or something.

I'd have to imagine that pretty much all BR players come with HDMI hookups and will upscale DVDs and have 1080p at this point. I have no interest in 3-D (though I have a sinking feel the industry will attempt to force my hand on that count), but I would like to be able to connect wireless for what are apparently nifty features. I have a few VCDs and a number of multi-region DVDs I'd like to play, and I'd like to be ready for multi-region Blu as well.

I live with my parents at the moment, though of course that could be changing soon. I've always thought of building some some small home theater, the problem is location. I tend to watch my DVDs on bed in my room, where there's no room for surround sound and such. I could always set up a proper HT in the basement and just get a nice LCD TV and stereo for my room, but any level of HT is expensive, and I'm notoriously frugal even with a significant amount of money saved up... I also have an irritating Aspergers-inflected tendency to research the living hell out things before I buy them in an attempt to balance money and quality. Anyway...

I'd consider anything over the $200 mark a bit pricey,
I'd probably go up to about $300, but I don't know if I can get anything decent enough in that range. Admittedly, now DVD players are cheap and Blu-Ray players are getting cheaper (I work at a Meier where we have DVD players at ridiculously low prices, but if you're looking for something region-free, then you can't just grab whatever.). I WAS going to buy a BR player and put my old one down in the basement when I never had one, but so much for THAT plan....

Advice from anyone?

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luckystars
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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby luckystars » 06 Oct 2012, 19:59

Not sure if this will meet your requirement, but it's a decent all rounder and a steal at 75USD (multiregion blu by firmware hack)
http://www.buy.com/prod/toshiba-bdx1200 ... 64812.html



I have one (bought in the uk) and use it for all my DVD/Blu import discs, and it plays VCD's too :D
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Markgway
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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby Markgway » 07 Oct 2012, 01:15

Sometimes the cheaper the player the more likely it is to be multi-region changeable. We bought a Limit player for £50, a Tevion for £129 (our first player), and a Toshiba for £75 (inc. benefits). All have worked perfectly. You really need to do your research before buying.
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gasteropod
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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby gasteropod » 07 Oct 2012, 18:28

I have a Limit which I wouldn't recommend because it adds edge enhancement, I use the Toshiba BDX1200 which would be great except with many discs (seemingly UK ones) it stutters and stuff, but is generally fine with Criterions (besides a random little glitch here and there with certain discs) which is what I mainly use it for.

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Markgway
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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby Markgway » 07 Oct 2012, 22:26

gasteropod wrote:I have a Limit which I wouldn't recommend because it adds edge enhancement, I use the Toshiba BDX1200 which would be great except with many discs (seemingly UK ones) it stutters and stuff, but is generally fine with Criterions (besides a random little glitch here and there with certain discs) which is what I mainly use it for.


I think that's the one we have. You're right about the glitching though for me it has only happened with select rental BDs from a couple of UK indie distributors. Don't recall ever having had a problem with an American import or UK retail disc (except for Get Shorty witch glitched once). On the whole we're happy and use it as our main player. The region switching is so easy. I've never used the Limit - it's my Dad's - but it's probably workable as a back-up player, no? Anything that can be done to reduce the EE?

P.S. I only own ONE Criterion title - Blow Out. ;)
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gasteropod
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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby gasteropod » 07 Oct 2012, 22:52

Markgway wrote:I think that's the one we have. You're right about the glitching though for me it has only happened with select rental BDs from a couple of UK indie distributors. Don't recall ever having had a problem with an American import or UK retail disc (except for Get Shorty witch glitched once). On the whole we're happy and use it as our main player. The region switching is so easy. I've never used the Limit - it's my Dad's - but it's probably workable as a back-up player, no? Anything that can be done to reduce the EE?

P.S. I only own ONE Criterion title - Blow Out. ;)


Melancholia UK Blu-ray is one that has stuttering motion on it, can't remember which others but I definitely came across a few so then decided to just use it for region A's. As for small glitches on Criterions, it happens on Dazed & Confused and Identification of a Woman, a split-second blocky glitch that occurs at the same place every time, except if you then rewind it to see it again, it doesn't do it again, and this also occurs on the Masters of Cinema Blu of Touch of Evil.

Nah there's nothing that can be done about the Limit's EE as far as I know, it gives a poor quality picture so pretty much negates the whole point of Blu-ray so I couldn't recommend it as a backup player.

And only owning one Criterion Blu is shameful ;)

hanshotfirst1138
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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby hanshotfirst1138 » 08 Oct 2012, 17:52

luckystars wrote:Not sure if this will meet your requirement, but it's a decent all rounder and a steal at 75USD (multiregion blu by firmware hack)
http://www.buy.com/prod/toshiba-bdx1200 ... 64812.html



I have one (bought in the uk) and use it for all my DVD/Blu import discs, and it plays VCD's too :D


A BR player a high-end company like Toshiba that'll upscale, play everything, and update/let me do BD live? I don't suppose it streams, but like I said, it sounds like I could just buy a Roku box or something. There're two reviews there, one excellent, one not so much.

Markgway wrote:Sometimes the cheaper the player the more likely it is to be multi-region changeable. We bought a Limit player for £50, a Tevion for £129 (our first player), and a Toshiba for £75 (inc. benefits). All have worked perfectly. You really need to do your research before buying.


I've been trying, but unlike DVD, where you could make the player region-free witha few keystrokes, this seems to be a complicated matter indeed. I've spent my share of time on Google, and it still seems I know very little. How would I conduct my research?

P.S. I only own ONE Criterion title - Blow Out. ;)


I have the Criterion two-disc Ran, it's among my prized possessions. I have a few other too.

gasteropod wrote:Melancholia UK Blu-ray is one that has stuttering motion on it, can't remember which others but I definitely came across a few so then decided to just use it for region A's. As for small glitches on Criterions, it happens on Dazed & Confused and Identification of a Woman, a split-second blocky glitch that occurs at the same place every time, except if you then rewind it to see it again, it doesn't do it again, and this also occurs on the Masters of Cinema Blu of Touch of Evil.


Is the fault of the player or the discs? It doesn't sound promising....

And only owning one Criterion Blu is shameful ;)


This is one of the things I do like about being R1 :thumbs: !

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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby gasteropod » 08 Oct 2012, 18:49

hanshotfirst1138 wrote:Is the fault of the player or the discs? It doesn't sound promising....


The player, presumably a buffering problem.

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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby Markgway » 08 Oct 2012, 19:22

I'm just not a fan of the kind of arthouse movies Criterion mostly puts out. I'd get Dazed and Confused if it was cheaper (I have the Universal BD so not desperate). That's the only one though. Clearly Gas has had more issues with his Toshiba than I have... but I wouldn't let them put you off. A small glitch now and again (as I said I've noticed it on ONE retail disc) is a small price to pay for a cheap multi-region player.
Last edited by Markgway on 08 Oct 2012, 22:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby gasteropod » 08 Oct 2012, 20:13

Markgway wrote:Clearly Gas has had more issues with is Toshiba than I have... but I wouldn't let them put you off. A small glitch now and again (as I said I've noticed it on ONE retail disc) is a small price to pay for a cheap multi-region player.


Not if he's wanting to play UK discs, because the stuttering motion makes them unwatchable. It's nothing to do with rental discs either.

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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby Markgway » 08 Oct 2012, 22:23

I've bought loads of UK discs and had only ONE problem. Either I've been lucky or you unlucky.
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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby gasteropod » 08 Oct 2012, 22:42

Markgway wrote:I've bought loads of UK discs and had only ONE problem. Either I've been lucky or you unlucky.


Luck has nothing to do with it, it's simply incapable of playing many discs properly. David Mackenzie (encoder of Mondo Vision titles) spoke to Toshiba about it and they claimed they were working on a solution, but nothing's come from it. That's after Toshiba claimed that simply inserting a memory stick would solve the problem, which is a complete load of bull because players don't use memory sticks as RAM like that.

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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby saltysam » 09 Oct 2012, 01:44

My bedroom relegated old aldi tevion is fine except for discs that have a 2d/3d option..Piranha remake & Ghost Rider 2 both start glitching 15 minutes in (uk discs) my legendary Oppo player though
..perfect! :clap:
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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby gasteropod » 09 Oct 2012, 03:30

I've always heard good things about Oppos, how much was it?

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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby Markgway » 09 Oct 2012, 11:49

According to the AV Forums these are the most problematic discs:

Kill List (StudioCanal) - UK
Transsyberian (Icon) - UK
Melancholia (Artificial Eye) - UK
Drive (Icon) - UK
Columbiana (Entertainment In Video) - UK
Donnie Brasco (Sony) – US / UK
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (StudioCanal) UK
A Prophet

Having rented 3 of those that would explain my issues.
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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby Markgway » 09 Oct 2012, 11:58

I think maybe 'Hugo' stuttered as well... and a Jason Statham film the title of which I can't remember. So, yeah, a problem, I admit. But for £50 and the fact it plays the vast majority of discs just fine it's still a bargain.
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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby gasteropod » 09 Oct 2012, 15:05

I've just remembered it stuttered with The Wrestler too.

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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby hanshotfirst1138 » 21 Oct 2012, 03:15

So apparently, as regards upscaling, it's something that varies from player to player. My friend's PS3 does a frankly gorgeous job, is there a particular signifier of which graphics chips will handle it better than others? Are there any specific criteria? More to the point, if I also want an HDTV, that's a whole new can of worms. Last I recall was years ago during the plasma vs. LCD duel. It's probably a whole new ballgame by now, so what am I looking at :P?

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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby hanshotfirst1138 » 06 Mar 2014, 05:00

I doubt anyone cares, but I wound up getting a Westinghouse HDTV, which is functional, and a Sony S 3100 modded on eBay for region free. Nothing fancy, but it does the job.

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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby Markgway » 06 Mar 2014, 20:26

That's good.

We're still using the Toshiba. Can't remember the last time we had a problem with it.
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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby grim_tales » 06 Mar 2014, 20:46

Lately I've started noticing problems on my Panasonic player (chipped) when its refusing to read discs which is starting to annoy me :( I'm not sure if if a firmware upgrade is needed (I've had it since 2009 or so) or not...

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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby saltysam » 09 Mar 2014, 22:00

Bought a modded Panny from multi-region magic couple of weeks back.
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Re: Blu-Ray region-free players

Unread postby grim_tales » 10 Mar 2014, 10:07

That's where I got mine from too :)


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