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After reading seeing an item in Doctor DVD on the subject of Region 1RCE discs, I thought I would let you know about a very similar problem I experienced with my Pioneer DVD 525 Player. I recently hired a Region 1 copy of "Hollow Man" and was disappointed to discover that it would not play on my multi-region Pioneer 525 Player.


Up until this time I had never had any problems playing a region one disc, I have also never needed to change the region code. However on this occasion the R1 copy of Hollow Man gave a message saying, "This disc is not formatted for play in this region". After trying everything I could think of, including changing the region code to 1, (still no luck) I was about to give up when I decided to try one more thing. I put the disc in the payer and let it display the above message, I then pressed "Stop" so as to display a blue screen, I then used the Search mode button to skip to track 3. At this point I pressed Play and hey-presto, the film started to play. Then using reverse picture search I was able to go back to the start of the film. I know this sounds a bit Heath Robinson, but who cares, it worked! The only thing is no matter what I did I just could not get it to play the extra features.

Barrie Dodd, via e-mail                



Well done that man! Several tricks like this one are now coming to light to enable decks to play RCE discs and I have a suspicion that this procedure, or something like it may well work on a number of other machines (see also Able Alba). If anyone comes across a similar tweak please let me know, so I can pass it on.




After reading your review a while back I brought an Alba DVD-103, what a brill buy also for the fact that its multi-region. But now I have a problem, it wont play the region 1 version of Hollow Man as this has RCE encoding on it. So my query is, how do I get around it, is there a remote hack?

Mark Jones, Stoke on Trent

Try this, when the Region Map appears, telling you that you can't play the disc press Stop on the remote to get to the intro screen then press Digest, select Chapter 1 and Play.




I would like to tell you a story. In December 99 I bought a new widescreen TV and to complement it a DVD player. The player I bought, a Hitachi 250, had only just come out with very good reviews. It was great so much better than video I soon got the bug and a Celestion Pro-Logic package followed. All was fine until Christmas Day 2000 when the player started to act up some of the new DVD's I had received would not play properly they would pixelate then the machine would turn itself off. I went back to the shop, told the guy on the service desk what was wrong and he said the laser was dirty and if I bought a cleaner this would cure it. Sure enough it worked but about two weeks later the front panel display died. So back again I went only to find out now that it was two days out of guarantee and they would not fix it. They finally agreed to look at it and repair it if necessary. Away it went for two weeks, then a phone call to say it was a wear and tear item and it wouldn't be repaired….


Another round of arguing got me nowhere so my wife and I thought we could live without the display. There is a happy ending, I finally lost my cool with the old player and decided to buy a new one. After two hours trudging around electrical stores my wife was becoming bored and finally, against my better nature, she talked me into a Samsung 511 for £170. All I can say is it's better than my Hitachi; I'm glad I bought a budget player; I had an expensive one before and looked what happened! Also be careful where you buy, some of those big name places could not care less if anything goes wrong and their warranties are not worth the paper they're written on. Try to use a smaller shop as believe it or not they do care about their customers.

Steve Clack, via e-mail



It sounds as though Steve has been very unlucky. A dirty laser pickup can happen to any player, the duff display is very rare so I wouldn't necessarily hold Hitachi to account for these problems. The difference between the Hitachi player and his new Samsung machine can be largely put down to the fact that two years is a long time in DVD technology, many improvements have been made since his first generation player came out, and prices have tumbled.


Steve's real beef seems to have been with the shop. Whilst they're obviously within their right to stick to the terms of the guarantee a little flexibility would have done wonders for them and their customer relations. It was their loss because Steve won't be shopping there again! His advice about smaller shops rings true, salespeople are often more knowledgeable and able to give good advice, the equipment may be a little dearer but it's a small price to pay for better service.    



I am having a problem with the volume from my TV. I have a Toshiba 28W8DB and have recently purchased a Pioneer 636 DVD player following many problems with other lesser machines. I also have an ONDigital box and an ancient but quite capable Samsung NICAM VCR hooked up to the TV.  On normal television broadcasts the sound is perfect with a normal volume setting of around 23-ish. Watching a video is also very good with the same volume setting, maybe 25-27 when I'm alone. However when watching a DVD I need to set the volume on the TV at least 10 points higher (37) to get the same effect as from the VCR. This also appears to be the same with the ONDigital box.  The DVD is plugged directly into the TV via a SCART, the VCR and ONDigital box are connected via SCARTs and then a SCART from the VCR into the TV. I have checked the separate volume setting on my DVD player to make sure that is not turned down but that would not explain the ONDigital box being the same. Is this just something I will have to put up with or is it specific to the TV? I am currently looking at getting a digital amp and speakers to fully enjoy the 5.1 experience and need to know whether this will be the same if all the sound is through a separate Amplifier. Any ideas?
Tony Champion, via e-mail


The fact that the difference in volume levels only occurs on digital devices is probably just a coincidence. In fact small variations in the line level output from various AV devices are not at all unusual. Moreover you can't rely on constant levels from the source components, media or broadcasters. You only have to listen to the way SKY One cranks up the volume during ad breaks… However, such a big difference sounds unusual but it's unlikely there's a fault with the TV or the DVD or digibox. You can eliminate the possibility of a fault on the TV simply by swapping over the SCART input leads and see if the same thing happens. My feeling is that the audio outputs from the DVD and digit box are low but within tolerances, it might be possible for an engineer to tweak the settings in the device's firmware but in the end I think it's just something you will have to live with and the same thing is probably going to happen when Tony uses an external amplifier.




I have a Hitachi 24" Widescreen TV, a SKY digibox and an Schneider NICAM VCR. Currently the digibox is connected to the first SCART socket, the VCR to the second and they are connected together again with a SCART. I am looking to buy in the near future a Playstation 2 and a DVD player. Obviously given the poor DVD performance of the PS2 I want a standalone DVD (with 2 SCART sockets). How would I connect the lot up?


I am trying to avoid using a splitter box to give me three or more SCARTs.

What I thought was this: TV SCART 1, SKY box and VCR: SCART 2, DVD and PS2. However I tried it with the devices that I already have (Sky, VCR) set up like this and it doesn't automatically switch to the VCR when it plays. I'd rather not have the Sky into the VCR then into the TV, as the TV doesn't automatically change the picture from the VCR, however with the digibox it tells the TV what to do.


Would getting a DVD Player with 2 SCART sockets help? I assume (rather stupidly) that if I put a PS2 through a DVD Player that when the DVD is off and the PS2 is on the signal will go through to the TV, when the PS2 is off and the DVD on the TV plays my DVDs. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Richard Scott, via e-mail


For what it's worth that Hitachi TV was a bit of a novelty when it first came out, around five years ago, being one of the smallest widescreen sets ever made. Sadly it wasn't very prolific in the socket department and apart from some front panel audio inputs, those two SCARTs on the back are all you have to play with. I was a bit puzzled by your original connection scheme but let's put that behind us and start over. Your solution, to daisy-chain the VCR and Sky box on one socket and the DVD player and PS2 on the other should work, though as you say, the DVD will need to have two SCART sockets. However, it's a bit optimistic to expect automatic source switching from such a disparate collection of components, it's a rare luxury, even when all of the devices in a system are made by the same manufacturer. It's likely that you will have to wrestle with several remote controls and manually switch the TV, like the rest of us…






I've recently purchased a Lecson DVD 900 and was wondering if you could tell me the region hack code for this particular model? I know it was
published in another magazine some months ago but my wife threw it out before I had chance to make a note of it.

R Rake, via e-mail


Your wife is clearly a discerning woman and knows what to do with those other magazines. Just make sure she doesn't bin this one (we'll be calling round to check…). The code to enable multi-region is as follows: open tray, press Zoom, A-B, Up, Left, Down, Right and 'Region Free should flash up on the screen. To switch to a specific region press Open/Close, 1, 1, 1, 1 then the Region number (i.e. 1, 2 etc.) and the word Region and your selection flashes on the screen. 


PS. You use this hack, and all the others we print entirely at your own risk. You have been warned!



I see that you are a whizz when it comes to hack codes. I have just bought a Wharfedale M5 DVD player and I was wondering if you know how to make it a multi region player?

D.Kemmery, via e-mail


I do and flattery will get you everywhere. Try this: press Setup, 6, 2, 8, 3, 6 to get you to the Factory Menu where you can switch to 'All' or a specific numbered region.



I have recently purchased a DVD player a Tatung TDV 2000 could you
please let me know of any codes so I can play other region disk
Albert Moore, via e-mail


There is one but I understand this may not work on all firmware versions but give it a go, you may be lucky: Open tray, press 0, 3, 9, 1 Enter, use the Down key to select the appropriate Country Code then press Select. 


I own an LG 3200e. In an advert it said that it can play regions 1-6 but in the manual it says it can only play region 2. Which is true?
Sara and Boz, via e-mail


This model can be hacked via the remote to play all or any region using the following codes: press Pause, 3, 1, 4, 1, 5, 9 then 0 for All Region or a number 1 to 6 for a specified Region, switch off and wait a few seconds before switching on again.




Is there any way that I will be able to play region 1 DVDs on my Hitachi
DV-P305e, as it says that it is NTSC compatible on the box, or will I need
to get it chipped? 
Anthony Ryan, via e-mail


You're in luck. Cold start the player by switching it on and pressing and holding the Play and Stop buttons on the player, after a few seconds this should bring up a Language menu, select a number, press Repeat on handset then for press 3, 8, 7, 6, 7, your present Region code should be displayed (i.e. R2), then press 9 for All Region and 1, for Region 1 etc. then press Open and Standby. If it sticks on the FBI warning press Picture Search. To get it back to R2 after follow the same procedure but after you press the Repeat button enter the code 2, 9, 3, 3, 4 (Assuming you changed to Region 1).



Can you please tell me if there is a region code for a Grundig GDV-210?

Helen Merry, via e-mail


There is: open tray, load R1 disc, press 0, 1, 2, 3 on remote and press Play.



I want to be able to play Region 1 discs on a Grundig TV/DVD combi model 1450 can this be done?

Dennis Tiernan, via e-mail


Not as far as I know, sorry…



I have the Toshiba 3109, and was wondering if there is a key sequence on the
remote that would allow me to play all regions?
Mark Honcoop, via e-mail


Chipping only I'm afraid




Ó R. Maybury 2001, 0305





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