It looks as though I will have to purchase a DVD player in the very
future, but I don't know what I should be looking out for? Also people
keep talking about "Regions" could you please explain to me what they
are on about? I was thinking of looking at a Sony DVD player at around the
£300 mark, would I be getting value for money or should I be looking at
Colin Bland, via email
You make it sound like a chore, but for a newcomer to DVD I guess the
current market can appear confusing, what with players costing from under £100
to over £5000, all apparently doing basically the same job. Then there’s the
business with regional coding and not to mention differences in audio systems,
disc formats and recordable DVD. So, for Colin and anyone else delving in the
wonderful world of digital video for the first time here’s the basics.
There’s no need to spend a fortune on a DVD player, the picture and
sound quality of cheaper machines is usually very good in deed, and in all
cases noticeably better than VHS tape. If you’ve got serious money to invest in
home entertainment equipment it’s usually better spent on the display – i.e.
the TV -- and a decent surround sound system and speakers. The thing about
digital video is that there’s comparatively little difference in performance
between budget players and top of the line models, high end machines won’t
necessarily have any more facilities though they are usually more sturdily built
with better styling but in general you are paying for improved audio CD
performance, and the name of course.
On the insistence of the major Hollywood studios the DVD world is split
into six ‘Regions’, the US is Region 1 and the UK and most of Europe is Region
2. This is to allow the movie industry to control distribution and prevent
software piracy. Most discs contain a code that prevents them playing on DVD
players sold in other regions. In other words a US Region 1 disc won’t play on
a UK Region 2 player and vice versa. However, a lot of players, in particular
those made in China and marketed by less well known or ‘B-brand’ manufacturers
can be ‘hacked’ to play discs from other regions by entering a simple code on
the player’s remote control handset. Players made by big-name ‘A-brand’
companies tend to be ‘hard coded’ and have to be modified or ‘chipped’ in order
to play discs from other regions, apart from the extra costs it also
invalidates the manufacturer’s warranty.
Sony players come highly recommended and if you value build quality and
cutting-edge performance they are indeed good value but don’t expect any of
them to be able to play Region 1 discs from the US, unless you pay extra
(typically £40 to £100) for a ‘chipped’ model, and are aware of the guarantee
I have a Sanyo X5 DVD mini hi-fi system and a collection of 153 DVDs. I
can play 150 of them but it refuses to have anything to do with three of them,
namely James Bond Moonraker (although it plays all of the other official James
Bond discs) Never Say Never Again and Lady and the Tramp, Scamp’s Adventure.
Each time these are loaded it goes into reading mode and then comes up
showing ‘No Play’ each time. I have replaced these discs but the same thing
happens. Is there anything on these titles that prevents Sanyo machines from
playing them? I have tried them on a friend’s deck, which is a different model,
and they play normally without any problems.
As far as I am aware both your Sanyo system and the discs mentioned
have a clean bill of health and I if there were any serious glitches with the
player I would have expected you to have problems with more than just three
discs from such a substantial collection. Normally I would say it’s probably
due to faulty discs and you should get them exchanged but you have already done
that. There is an outside chance that the replacements all came from the same
faulty batch but that’s a very long shot, especially as they appear to play
properly on a friend’s machine. The only other explanation therefore must be
that it’s a rare one-off and these discs are in some way incompatible with your
player. It is sometimes possible to ‘jump-start’ a reluctant player by pressing
chapter skip, pause or menu whilst the player is reading the disc, failing
that, and assuming the player is still in guarantee, I suggest that ask the
dealer or retailer to have it checked it out.
Having spent a small fortune on a 28-inch TV I thought I would buy a
budget DVD player I thought I would buy a budget DVD player. Being the idiot I
am I never thought to buy a n NTSC television. I presumed that the DVD was
multi-region, it would play okay. The only Region 1 DVDs I can now watch are
South Park and the picture is fine. Please forgive my lack of expertise but
what can you tell me about my DVD player as the manual says nothing. The model
concerned is a Limit JDV 300A and it cost £199. Otherwise I have no complaints,
it is basic but it does the job really well with superb picture and sound and
very easy to use handset. I am just curious as to its origins.
P.S. can anyone please tell me what the movie ‘Pi’ is all about?
Michael Rowe, Nottingham
I’ll open the floor to a discussion of the meaning of Pi, such matters
are beyond my technical abilities but I can’t tell you much about the Limint
300A either, apart from the few facts I’ve been able to glean on the net,
namely that it’s Chinese in origin and it appears to use the well-established
C-Cube decoder chipset, which allows for multi-region functionality. I suspect
the reason you can’t play more than a handful of Region 1 discs could be that
they are protected by Region Code Enhancement (RCE), which prevents players set
to all-region playback from playing RCE coded discs. The solution is to switch
the player to Region 1 only playback, on this model you can access the code
lock by putting the machine into Standby mode then press Open on the handset
and key in 8,9,2,6 then the region number (1 to 6 or 9 for all region).
SCHNEIDER DVD 855
Could you please help to set up my Schneider DVD 855 to allow me to
play region free DVDs?
Heath, via email
I suspect you’re after the crack code for this machine as a ‘region
free’ DVD is just that and will play in any player. Anyhoo, the routine for
this model is very straightforward,
open the disc tray, press Setup on the remote and select the Hand icon
in the top right of the menu display, press 3, 3, 3, 3 and a hidden men, with
region code setting option, should appear.
I have recently bought a SEG 1000, set to play Region Two
DVDs. I would really appreciate the hack to switch this machine to multi-region
Oscar Saorin, via email
My information is that this player, which is apparently only sold in
German, is factory set for all-region playback, have you tried it yet?
My dad recently bought me a Hitachi HTD-K150E player,
unfortunately when I tried to play some discs sent to me by my friend in
Montreal, the player came up with a message saying "Wrong
Region". Is there anyway you could help so I could watch these DVDs?
Parina Tailor, via email,
Lucky you, it’s quite a decent little system, and what’s more it’s
hackable. Try this, open the drive tray and on the handset press Volume Up and
Fast Forward and the display should show ‘321’ and the current region code.
Press Volume Up and Fast Forward to step through the region codes, when the one
you want (Region 1) appears press and hold the Angle button for at least 5 seconds
to store the setting.
I have a Hitachi DVP-305 and wondered if you can change the region
coding to play US titles. I have tried using handset hacks but to no avail. I
even tried the Samsung DVD-511 hack that you printed in issue 33, because these
two machines have the same remote control. Any ideas?
Phillip Attwell, via email
There have been reports that this model, and its alter-egos from
Samsung and Thomson have had a recent firmware update, which renders the hack
useless. As soon as a new hack is released – assuming it is possible –it will
appear right here.
I recently mailed the editor asking him if it would be possible to
print a region code hack for the Technics SC-DV250 in a future issue and he
told me you were the man in the know. He also said that Technics were very
strict with their region locks and I might have to get it chipped but I am a
bit sceptical about this. Any advice would be appreciated.
Mark Smith, via email
Never doubt our noble and illustrious Editor (must be time for a pay
rise…) he is right on both counts. As the man in the know I can confirm that
he’s correct when he says that the region locks on Technics players are
Do you know of a hack for the Sanyo DVD1500?
Rob, via email
This is a bit of an odd one. The DVD-1500 can be hacked but only after
it has had its firmware upgraded. To do that you will need a special CD-ROM
data disc, which you load into the machine like a normal DVD. They’re available
for £23.50, which includes post and packing.
I have recently purchased a Philips DFR1600 home theatre kit. I am
going to the States soon and would like to take advantage of the low cost of
DVD's out there. Can my player be enabled to accept region 1 DVD's?
Stewart VerBruggen, via email
Sorry, I’ve got nothing on this machine and I’ve come across a few
similar requets in DVD newsgroups on the Internet, so I guess it’s locked up
tight but as ever, if anyone knows different I’ll be happy to pass on the
I go to America a lot so I bought some DVDs there. When I got home I
found that they wouldnt play..wrong region?
My player is an Oritron 600. I saw an advert that for a multi-region
player so i bought it, (LG DVD-4210) when I put in the discs I get a check
region error message. Is there any hope for me?
John Mason, via email
You needn’t have bought the LG player, the all region hack for the
Oritron 600 is very straightforward. With the player switch on press Menu on
the handset, followed by the code 1,6,7, then press Mute and Okay.
The hack for the LG 4210 is only slightly more involved. With no disc
loaded switch the player on then press Stop then Pause followed by 3,1,4,1,5,9
and set the region (1 – 6 or 0 for all region). Press Pause again, switch off,
wait for at least 5 seconds then switch back on again.
I have just purchased a Grundig GDV620HT and would like to know how i
can get it to play all regions DVDs or at least Region 1 discs. Hope you can
My father has just purchased a Panasonic SCHT80 system which I have set
up for him. He was told it was multi region and hackable via the remote. I have
looked through various and many issues of your mag but cannot find anything
about it. Is it possible to select regions or indeed hack on this model?
Martin Chatfield, via email
I recently bought a "Reoc A5" player (only because I got it
Could you please tell me how to make it multi regional?
Dalveer Samra, via email
I have purchased a Medion 4310 DVD player and have spent several days
trawling the internet trying to find a suitable hack to allow Region 1 discs to
be played, but to no avail. Please, Please, help me. Does such a hack exist
using the Remote Control or do I need to get this particular model chipped?