best region-free multi-system DVD player for less than $100

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Mamadu.Bwana, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. Mamadu.Bwana

    Mamadu.Bwana Guest

    Dear friends,

    I recently moved to the USA form Europe and I might move to Canada or
    back to Europe in the future. I am looking for your advice concerning
    the purchase of a DVD player which would allow me to play any DVD in
    any country on any TV. However, I do not really understand the
    technical issues (such as the difference between region-free vs multi-
    system for example).

    I found a website which offers *region free* players:

    and *multi-system* players:

    Which is better?

    Also, on Amazon, I found this player:

    Which gets good reviews, is not expensive and offers "1080i
    Upsampling" though I have no idea what that really does.

    My TV is a rather modest POLAROID FLM-1911 (
    Polaroid-FLM-1911-19-HD-ready-LCD/dp/B000FOE052). Lastly, I should
    probably add that I never watch TV programs, only rented or purchased
    DVDs, but that I have pleny of videos on my computer in *.avi and
    *.mp4 formats.

    I also watch a lot of DVD purchased in Russia.

    Could you please point me towards the right DVD player for such needs?

    Many thanks in advance,

    Mamadu.Bwana, Jan 13, 2008
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  2. LOL!!

    All you other spamming twats, this is how it should be done.
    Bikini Whacks, Jan 13, 2008
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  3. Mamadu.Bwana

    P.V. Guest

    I'm not sure about multi-system, but I would guess it means that the
    player can convert PAL material for NTSC tv and vice versa. The players
    behind your multi-system link also seem to accept different voltages, so
    you could use such even if you'll need to move again. Most modern TV's
    seem to accept both NTSC and PAL video without problems, but if you're
    not sure about your TV, it would be a good idea to choose a player that
    can do the conversion.

    Region-free simply means that the player is set to play DVD's of any
    region (USA and Canada 1, Europe 2, Russia 4). I would recommend such
    player unless there were some problematic DVD's with Regional Coding
    Enhancement (RCE), at least in region 1. They first check if the player
    would play discs of any other region by pretending to be a disc of all
    other regions one by one. If the player starts playing the disc before
    the disc finally checks for intended region, the disc will only show a
    message that it is only intended for region so-and-so.

    As far as I know this feature is used only in some region 1 discs, while
    all(?) discs of other regions would play fine in a region-free player.
    Unless someone has other info, I would recommend having two DVD players:
    one for region 1 only, and one region free for all other regions.

    1080i Upsampling means that the player can rescale the original material
    on DVD into TV's resolution, which nowadays is usually much higher that
    resolution on DVD. If the player doesn't perform this conversion, the TV
    can do it also just fine. Having the player to do the upsampling is
    preferrable only if you know that the player you're using does better
    job upsampling than your TV. Besides, upsampling-capable players usually
    only output in resolutions 1280x720 or 1920x1080 (well, also in SDTV
    resolutions 720x480 or 720x576), and I believe your TV's resolution
    isn't any of those, so the TV would have to rescale the video anyway.
    That's why I doubt if this feature would be worth of paying extra for
    such player.

    P.V., Jan 13, 2008
  4. Mamadu.Bwana

    JNugent Guest

    Is that what happens?

    I thought (without giving it too much consideration) that a DVD player
    simply converts the mpeg material on the disc into whatever sort of
    broadcast-type signal the TV set needs to "see", whether that be NTSC,
    Secam, PAL or whatever?
    JNugent, Jan 13, 2008
  5. Mamadu.Bwana

    Mike S. Guest

    The MPEG bitstream contains flags indicating the TV system that the video
    is formatted for. In a non-converting player, this must match the system
    of the player or else it returns an error (like "cannot play this type of
    disc"). A player capable of dual TV systems may reformat the output for
    more appropriate display on the other system.
    Mike S., Jan 14, 2008
  6. Mamadu.Bwana

    Mamadu.Bwana Guest

    @Bikini Whacks: Jeez, and I thought I was the most suspicious person
    out there. But then, maybe "bikini whacking" is not the most healthy
    thing for mental balance ;-)

    @P.V.: so the way to go is a multi-system & region free player? Now,
    at the risk of setting off Bikini Whacks paranoia about me trying to
    sell something, I would need some help *purchasing* a player (I don't
    really care from which vendor). Is there one player out there which
    you would particularly reccommend (again, for less than $100)?

    @JNugent & @ Mike S: can the DVD players not directly get to the MPEG
    file itself like, I believe, computers do?
    Mamadu.Bwana, Jan 14, 2008
  7. Mamadu.Bwana

    JNugent Guest

    So fpr which system is the video formmatted on a region 0 DVD?
    JNugent, Jan 14, 2008
  8. Mamadu.Bwana

    JNugent Guest

    I think they must be able to, otherwise "Region 0" DVDs would not work.
    JNugent, Jan 14, 2008
  9. Isn't that like saying which system is the video formatted on a region
    4 DVD?
    It can be either (if it's meant for Australia, PAL; if it's meant for
    Mexico or Jamaica, NTSC - more accurately, 25 frames/sec vs 29.97).

    The same with Region 0. (The only Region 0 DVD I own is a Secret
    Policemen's Balls box set, which is PAL.)

    As for the original post, one problem you may have with a "universal"
    DVD player is the different voltage systems used in Europe and the

    -- Don
    Don Del Grande, Jan 14, 2008
  10. Mamadu.Bwana

    Hatunen Guest

    That's not much of a problem. There's quite a bit of equipment
    out there, including my wife's curling iron, that works on any
    voltage from 110vac to 240vac, and on either 50 Hz or 60 Hz. just
    a matter of getting a plug adaptor. If the nameplate says
    110v-240v, that's all that's required.
    Hatunen, Jan 14, 2008
  11. Mamadu.Bwana

    P.V. Guest

    I don't know any specific models available in the U.S. You just need to
    look at the specs or manuals of players in your price range.

    Figuring out if the player is region-free shouldn't be a problem, as
    such players usually have that feature marked very visibly in brochures.

    Still, I'm not absolutely certain about the meaning of multi-system, but
    if you download the manual, you should find picture of menus where you
    can set video output format to PAL or NTSC. If such setting exists, the
    player will work with both PAL and NTSC tv's.

    Operating voltage(s) usually can be found in the end of manual among
    other technical details. Useful combinations for your use could be
    marked e.g. as 110/220, 115/230 or 110-230. Frequencies should include
    50 and 60 Hz. As the plugs are different, you might want to find a
    picture of back of the player, and check that the power cord is not
    fixed, but instead it can be plugged off. (And it's always better if the
    connector looks same as in many other devices like boomboxes or shavers,
    as that makes the cords easier to find in your new location.)

    If you want to play .avi files: well, .avi can contain video and audio
    in any format, so it's impossible to make a player that would play all
    avi files. But if you buy a player that has DivX Video logo on its front
    panel, it'll play .avi files where video is in DivX and audio in MP3,
    and that's probably most common combination.

    P.V., Jan 14, 2008
  12. >,
    Ok, looks like you've beaten me this time, but mark my words, this isn't
    over. I'll be watching you like a hawk. And when you *do* try and sell
    something I'll be right there behind you, waitng to pounce (sobriety
    permitting). ;)
    Bikini Whacks, Jan 14, 2008
  13. Mamadu.Bwana

    Mike S. Guest

    Whichever one the author chooses. I own both PAL and NTSC commercial
    Region 0 discs.

    Region coding and television system are two entirely different, unrelated
    Mike S., Jan 14, 2008
  14. Mamadu.Bwana

    JNugent Guest

    Similar but not the same. A Region 4 DVD will not play on a Region 2
    player, but a Region 0 disc will play on any DVD player.

    That indicates to me that the disc itself is the same the world over,
    *except* for the region-coding, which is only necessary in order to
    prevent large-scale personal or grey imports. It necessarily follows
    that "PAL", "Secam" or "NTSC" is not the big issue it might seem.
    Music DVDs are frequently authored in Region 0 coding.
    I didn't think he meant that. I thought he meant a player that would
    play any disc. They are available. I've got one.
    JNugent, Jan 14, 2008
  15. Mamadu.Bwana

    JNugent Guest

    My point exactly.

    The only one of them that applies at the level of the disc is the
    region-coding. If the playback method is pure mpeg (as, eg, with a
    computer), the "television system" doesn't even come into it.
    JNugent, Jan 14, 2008
  16. Mamadu.Bwana

    Mamadu.Bwana Guest

    well, you know that if you ever try to sell bikinis around here I will
    pounce on you - you have been warned ;-))
    Mamadu.Bwana, Jan 16, 2008
  17. Mamadu.Bwana

    Mamadu.Bwana Guest

    ok. as far as I can tell, this would be a good player for a good price
    (nope I am not selling it - just asking for your comments):
    Pioneer DV-393s Player - Plays Any DVD On Any TV- - Best Seller

    Play any region disc. Guaranteed.
    This just in: the slim, stylish dual voltage DV-393s delivers
    exceptional playback versatility and high-octane performance. It plays
    any region code DVDs, DVD-R/RWs, DVD+R/+RW, DIVX, CD/CD-R/RWs, and
    your WMA- and MP3-encoded discs. Plus, you can view JPEG still photos
    using its PhotoViewer feature. For jaw-dropping video, it features a
    12-bit/108MHz Video D-A converter and our PureCinema 3:2 Progressive
    Scan, and includes a component video output. For great audio, it
    offers Virtual Dolby® Digital with SRS® TruSurround and digital
    outputs for Dolby Digital and DTS® surround, plus a high-end 192kHz/24-
    bit D-A converter for superb musical performance.

    # A slim and trim PAL/NTSC Progressive Scan DVD player 55mm high.
    # The Super Fine Focus Digital Filter boosts horizontal image
    resolution to 540 lines.
    # Modified to Play Any Region, Code, Zone DVD 1 through 6 on Any PAL
    TV, NTSC TV or Multi-Standard TV with 110 or 220 volts anywhere in the
    # Also Plays REA/RCE Protected Discs (Region Code Enhanced)
    # MP3/CD-R/CD-RW Playback
    # Built-in PAL to NTSC and NTSC to PAL Video Converter (will play both
    PAL and NTSC Discs from any region or country on any TV in the World).
    We also have this VCR Converter set that converts and plays VHS Video
    tapes from around the world with any TV
    # Built-in 110/220 Volt 50/60hz Worldiwde Auto Switching Voltage. No
    External Power Converter Needed.
    # NTSC and PAL Compatible - Plays European/Asian/American Any PAL or
    NTSC discs on a standard American NTSC TV or on European PAL TV!!!
    # Connect this DVD player to your regular American DVD recorder and
    copy DVDs from Europe, Asia, Australia or around the world.
    # Connect this DVD player to our multi-system DVD recorder and create
    DVDs in any format (PAL or NTSC) that is playable in USA, Europe,
    Asia, Australia or around the world.

    Video Features:
    # 12-bit/108MHz video D/A converter
    # Super Fine Focus Digital Filter for 540 lines of horizontal
    # Twin-Wave Laser pickup (DVD/SVCD/VCD/CD/CD-R/CD-RW)
    # Video Adjust
    # Component video output

    Audio Features:
    # 192kHz/24-bit audio D/A converter for highest sound performance
    # MP3 playback
    # DIVX Playback
    # TruSurround by SRS
    # Optical and coaxial digital out
    # DTS/Dolby Digital/MPEG Audio/PCM

    # Advanced GUI (Graphical User Interface)
    # Resume function
    # User-friendly remote control unit
    # S-Video Out x1
    # Video Out x1
    # Component Video Out
    # 110/220/240 volt 50/60 hz for Worldwide Use
    # Silver Color

    # Video Outputs :
    * DVD Component Video Output
    * S-Video Output
    * Composite Video Out (Standard RCA)

    # Audio Outputs :
    * Optical Digital
    * Coaxial Digital
    * Standard Composite Stereo Out

    Provided Accessories
    # Remote Control
    # Batteries
    # Instruction Book
    # Stereo AV Cables - RCA Type (Red, Yellow, White)
    # Power Cord For North America ( additional Plug Adapters required for
    other countries)

    Warranty: 1 Year Parts, 90 Days Labor

    Return Policy: 30 days money back or exchange as long as the item is
    returned complete with all accessories in original factory box and
    packaging. Shipping charges are non-refundable. Click here for
    complete details on our return policy.

    Shipping Charge: $20 delivery charge (UPS standard ground service 5 to
    7 business days) for delivery within 48 contiguous United States.
    Appropriate shipping charge will be added to the multiple item order.
    Please contact us for expedited delivery services. Shipping charges
    may vary by USPS for APO/FPO addresses.

    Pioneer DV-393S Code-Free DVD - Any DVD On Any TV
    Price : US$79.99
    Mamadu.Bwana, Jan 16, 2008
  18. you can unlock a dvd player so that it is all region compatable, you
    just need to get the code for your own particular make and model and
    use the remote to enter the code. google keywords like "dvd unlock"
    and you will find someone who will sell you the code for a reasonable
    price. by the way same goes for dvd drives in computers.
    donmcmahan.calm, Jan 16, 2008
  19. In the default mode it does. However of the 3 or so DVD players
    I've had by going into the setup mode you turn off automatic
    and set it for PAL or NTSC, and no matter the format of the video
    on the DVD it is output in your selected format.

    Bill Vermillion, Jan 18, 2008
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