WHAT DVD 2001

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DR DVD NOV/WDVD 31

 

JERKY CONTACT

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 email

 

A

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 it changed.

 

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.

 

 

PREACHING AT THE CONVERTED

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 them.
Matthew Sheppard, Chippenham

 

A

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 well.

 

Standards 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.

 

 

STATION STANDARD

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

 

A

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 email

 

A

Keep those 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

 

A

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)

 

 

ZERO TOLERANCE

Where can I get region zero DVD's? Is there a web site that I can order from?

Craig Gemmell, via email

 

A

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

 

TOSHIBA SD-2109 & SD-100

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

 

And…

 

Is there a hack available for the Toshiba SD100?

Darren Higgins, via email

 

A

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,

 

 

JVC XV-515

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

 

A

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. 

 

A

Most Philips 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).

 

Start by 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.

 

 

PROLINE DVD-2000

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

 

A

The 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.

 

 

APPLE iBOOK

I recently 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.

Jake Polonsky.

 

A

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

 

 

PANSONIC RV20EB

Do you know if there's a hack code for a Panasonic RV20EB-S DVD player?

Thomas Vale, via email

 

A

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 manufacturer's warranty.

        

 

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

 

A

The handset hack for the Philips DVD 612 (see above/left), using an OneForAll 6 universal remote should work on your machine.

 

 

SAMSUNG SV-DVDIE

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.

Buster, Aberdeen

 

A

Salesperson 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, good luck!

 

 

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

 

A

'Fraid not Neil, as far as I'm aware chipping is the only way you are going to get to watch R1 discs on this machine.

 

---end---

 

Ó R. Maybury 2001, 1108

 

 


 

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