Home Theater Systems, home audio video

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Converting Your DVD Player to Region Free

When hunting for your region free solution online the best rule (as with most things) is not to part with your hard earned money. In this article the webmaster of DVD-Unlock briefly looks over the options available.

Region Free Solution 1 - Remote Control / Key Sequence

Many low to mid-range DVD players have secret menus or "back doors", these methods can let you change things such as:

- The current region setting on your particular model (In most cases this is were the Region Free setting can be set)
- Switch between PAL and NTSC
- Modify the Macrovision setting
- Enable VCD and sometimes MP3 playback

Access to these secret menus normally requires the user to enter a sequence via the remote control, codes for particular players can be found all over the net on both free or a "paid for" basis.

Personally I would avoid subscription, one off payment or "required donation" sites because they will normally contain the same information that the free sites have.

Region Free Solution 2 - Upgrading or downgrading your players firmware

This method involves changing the software installed on your model and normally involves downloading the update from the Internet. Once the download is complete the update can be burned to a disk, (quite often in a certain way depending on your DVD model) the disk is then placed in the DVD player.

This method is one of those things that if it works, it works great. If it fails on the other hand you could be looking at a dead player.

Region Free Solution 3 - Chipped Remotes

This is a method I have never performed, but have been made very aware of.

Many sites now are offing chipped remote control units, these units are supposed to be pre-programmed to unlock your particular player normally by the touch of a button. On the face of it this seems like a great solution for DVD players that would not normally be unlocked. In reality the cost of these remotes can cost around the same price as a brand new region free DVD player. I have also been made aware of numerous sites which basically take your money and don't deliver, have poor customer support, don't answer emails, etc.

Now I am sure there are lots of reputable chipped remote dealers out there on the net, I just don't know of anyone who's found one; to be honest I could not justify the cost anyway.

Region Free Solution 4 - Purchase a Region Free Player

If you cannot find a free unlock code for your player I seriously think the best option would be to purchase a cheap region free player, you can normally pick them up locally plus take them back if you get any problems.

Tim Day


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