DR DVD NOV/WDVD
Have you had any reports of disc
incompatibility with the LG 3200E player? At about 75 minutes into Contact SE
mine went into intermittent freeze frame and moved on in a series of jerks with
part of the picture breaking up, it cleared after a couple of chapters but
every time I tried the same sections it objects.
Alan Jones via
I'm not aware
of any problems with Contact, either the original or the special edition, or
the LG 3200 player either for that matter. It's also unlikely to be anything to
do with layer change, which according to my records occurs at around 94
minutes. My guess is that it's a disc problem, most likely some dirt or a
greasy finger mark, it could be a scratch or scuff marks and it is just
possible that there's a manufacturing fault. Check the surface of the disc for
damage, if necessary clean it (a drop or washing up liquid works just fine, but
makes sure you dry it off with a sift cotton or lint-free cloth before putting
it in the machine!). If it's marked try a CD/DVD restoration kit to polish out
any light scratching and follow the instructions to the letter! Otherwise get
This is also a
good excuse to give the deck mechanism in your player a quick wash and brush
up, any of the commercially available CD cleaning kits – preferably one from a
reputable source, made by someone you've heard of – will do. Follow the
instructions carefully. If you play a lot of rental discs and/or the player lives
in a smoky or dusty atmosphere it's worth doing this every few months.
With regard to
your September issue you give advice to Sharon Murie who asks about a black and
white picture from a NTSC disc. You say 'there's nothing you can do apart from
treat yourself to a new TV set.'
Or she could buy a NTSC-PAL colour converter for about £40 by mail order and
quite a few other places. They're not hard to get hold of and are frequently
advertised in many DVD magazines. I'm really surprised you don't know about
Matthew Sheppard, Chippenham
Ah, but I do
know about NTSC to PAL converters, over the years I've tested several of them,
and all of the standards converting VCRs that have appeared from time to time
(which, incidentally would also do the job). However the reason I didn't
suggest one is that the conversion process can involve a significant reduction
in playback quality plus the risk of unstable colours and a jerky picture as
conversion is a tricky business, it's not too bad going from 625-line PAL to
525-line NTSC, this involves a process known as line 'culling' but going the
other way, from 525 to 625-lines is a lot more complicated. New picture lines
that didn't previously exist have to be artificially created and inserted into
the signal using a process called interpolation, moreover the relatively simple
colour encoding of an NTSC signal has to be altered to match the much more
demanding requirements of the PAL colour decoder in the TV. I can assure you
that digital standards conversion equipment, capable of handling the picture
quality of DVD, cost a whole lot more than £40; the units you mention are
satisfactory for VHS tape, where the quality threshold is a lot lower but the
results with DVD could be disappointing.
I own a PS2 and
there are a couple of things I'd like to know about the DVD
playback. First of all, because I am not an expert at these kinds of things,
but what is it that makes it the terrible DVD player that so many reviewers
have said that it is? Also, because the PS2 has a digital optical output, does
this mean I can make the most of a home cinema set up? One more thing,
what's better, SCART or S-Video?
Nick Taylor, London
Put it this
way, DVD players make lousy games consoles… Playstation 2 is a brilliant video
games console, I know my son has one and he lets me play with it occasionally,
and the graphics are excellent (shame about the games though…). However, the
point is playing games is what it was designed to do, and it does it superbly
well. Sony cleverly realised that it wouldn't take much jiggling with the deck
and electronics to make PS2 play DVDs as well, it's an extra added feature and
a useful marketing tool but no-one, not even Sony would suggest buying a PS2
just to watch DVDs. In fact many of the reviews I've seen that mention DVD
playback have been fairly kind about it, though some early reviews were carried
out on imported Japanese machines and DVD picture quality on those machines was
definitely quite poor.
In general DVD
picture quality on UK spec PAL PS2s isn't too bad at all, but it would have
been a whole lot better if Sony had seen fit to enable the RGB output during
DVD replay and fitted an S-Video socket as standard, instead of making it an
optional extra. The lack of a proper remote control facility is another common
gripe. Yes, I know you can buy an add-on infrared remote for less than £20 but
it's not very convenient and it takes up one of the controller sockets.
Controlling the player from a wired gamepads is an absolute nightmare and it's
made even more awkward by the lack of a front panel display – the PS2's
on-screen graphics are a bit basic. Trick play facilities are fairly sparse
with only 8x picture search and forward only slomo, especially as many DVD
players these days, even budget models have search speeds up to 100x and
beyond. The lack of a coaxial bitstream output could also be inconvenient for
some users. Again I must stress the PS2 is a great bit of kit and the fact that
it plays DVDs at all is a bonus but that's not what it was designed for.
If you've got a
Dolby Digital/dts decoder or AV amp the PS2's optical bitstream output will
allow you to hear the 5.1 channel digital surround soundtracks on most DVDs and
in answer to your last question, an RGB output (on a SCART socket) gives the
best picture quality on PAL DVDs but this is not an option on the PS2. (This
and multi-region playback can be enabled with one of the unapproved mod chips
now available). The next best option is S-Video.
PLAY AND AMAZON
I am only 15
and enjoy watching movies but cannot afford to buy lots of DVDs. I buy most of
them through play247.com, which I think is brilliant because the prices are
good but also for the R1discs. I have also used Amazon.co.uk but was
disappointed after I tried to order a film and some CDs. After I had been
through the whole process of ordering, I received an e-mail the next day saying
that the card I was using was not a Switch card, which was correct, but I was
actually trying to use my Solo card, which on the drop down menu is listed as
Switch/Solo. So I e-mailed them and they came back with some extra instructions
but I still couldn't get it to work, so it's back to Play247.
Jon Anton, via
bouquets and brickbats coming so we can pass on your experiences.
TO HACK OR NOT TO HACK
I have had my Philips 711 for a few months
now and was considering whether or not I should hack it for Region 1 playback?
But before I make up my mind I have a question. When you put the hack in how
long does it last? I've heard that some
hacks only last a couple of times.
Carl Day, via email
The all region hack for this machine works
well and the change has no time limit. I think what you may have seen is a
reference to the fact that some versions of the Philips DVD firmware (the
software program that controls the machine) only allow the region code to be
changed a maximum of 25 times, after which it will lock on the last setting.
This restriction was built in because Philips originally stated that the
facility to change the region lock was for the benefit of DVD player owners who
move from one region to another. (For details of the hack see this month's
Crack Code Corner)
Where can I get region zero DVD's? Is there a
web site that I can order from?
Several on-line retailers specialise in
Region 0 discs, the two that we highlighted in our recent feature on the
subject (WDVD 27, July) were Anchor Bay (www.anchorbayentertainment.com)
and Criterion (www.criterion.com), but
you will find that many retailers stock them, especially the popular titles.
CRACK CODE CORNER
Could you tell
me how to crack my Toshiba SD-2109 so as it can play region 1 titles? I looked
on the net for that model and it actually says it is a multi region player but
for the life of me I cannot get 'em to play
Steve Woods, via email
Is there a hack
available for the Toshiba SD100?
Sorry both of
you. All Toshiba players are hard coded and the region code can only be changed
by having the machine 'chipped'. The Player Steve Woods saw was undoubtedly
chipped by the retailer or it's a specially imported model,
Could you please tell me if there is a region
hack code for a JVC XV515? I
have family in America who are able to provide me with movies before they
come out here. Any advice or help would be gratefully appreciated.
Colin Simmons, via email
More bad news, I know of no handset hacks for
this machine, it's chipping only I'm afraid
PHILIPS DVD 612
I have got,
player and was wondering if there was a hack for it or is this a case of
getting it chipped?
Deborah Hallmark, via email.
players can be set to all region playback but not with the supplied remote,
you'll have to invest in a OneForAll universal remote control, it can also be
done using a Philips remote (SBC-RU880) and with a Palm Pilot pocket organiser,
but we'll stick to the OneForAll 6 (model URC 7650).
configuring the OFA6 with setup code 0539. Press the DVD button then the Magic
button. Next press 085 and the player's front panel should display a row of dashes.
Now enter the following code (you can do this with the player's own remote
handset): 222 222 005 255, followed by Play. At this point the player's
on-screen display should now say 'No Disc'. Switch the player off, wait ten
seconds and switch it back on again.
I was wondering
if there were any region code hacks for Proline DVD players. I think it is the
2000 model. I was hoping it could be done by the remote control.
Tony Stannard, via email
multi-region hack for this machine is very straightforward but I have heard
that some discs – Matrix is one of the movies listed -- are not happy with it,
and RCE discs are also liable to be rejected. The code is as follows: Press
Menu, 1, 6, 6 Mute, then exit the menu and it's done.
bought a new Apple iBook with a built in DVD drive, and was upset to find the
drive to be regionally encoded. Do you know any cracks to get around this? The
drive is a Toshiba SD-R2002, and I'm using Apple DVD player v.2.7. The drive is
RPC-2 (region locked) and so is the player software, though they both have
counters to allow you to switch region 5 times before they lock.
At the time of
writing the word on the web was that the RPC-2 firmware lock is very solid
indeed but that doesn't means there's not going to be a hack or a reset for the
5 change limit. Keep an eye on web sites like http://www.opuscc.com/download/,
which posts details of hacks as soon as they're found
Do you know if
there's a hack code for a Panasonic RV20EB-S DVD player?
I do, and there
isn't and as I've said before Panasonic players are hard coded and the only way
to play R1 discs is to have them chipped, which will invalidate the
PHILIPS DVD 701
I have just
returned from Canada with a few films. The problem I have is that my DVD player
is not multi-region and when searching through your magazine I can't find any
upgrades or hacks for the 701, they are only for the 700 or 710. Can I use any
of these upgrades for my model without affecting my viewing?
Colin Glasgow, via email
hack for the Philips DVD 612 (see above/left), using an OneForAll 6 universal
remote should work on your machine.
Being totally new to DVD I purchased a Samsung SV-DVDIE Combi and was
told by the assistant that it was multi-regional. On setup I realise it is not.
Is there a hack for this model? If not I would consider taking it back under
the Sale of Goods act.
speaks with forked-tongue, and I have no details of a handset hack for this
machine. I think you might be on shaky ground for a complaint under the Sale of
Goods Act since Region 1 or all region playback is not an advertised facility
and it would be your word against the sales assistant. It's worth a try anyway,
DENON DVD F100
Can you please tell me if there is a code to
crack my Denon DVD F100, to play all regions on my DVD player?
Neil Broom, Doncaster
Neil, as far as I'm aware chipping is the only way you are going to get to
watch R1 discs on this machine.
Ó R. Maybury 2001, 1108