DR DVD AUGUST
THE RIGHT IMAGE?
Further to your sensible advice to Colin Bland (What DVD March),
I bought a budget player (hackable region code) and a similarly priced surround
system and I have no complaints. However, as you point out the type of display
is important. I have looked at the various TV upgrade options in the stores
they include plasma (whatever that is), flat screen, and so on and the quality
gain, although noticeable, would for me not justify the cost of replacing my
ageing TV. I am considering buying a "beamer" (hope that is the right
term) or projector as besides the annoying hum of the cooling fan, seems to
offer the largest screen area with the least loss of picture quality for the
money. Finally, do the cables connecting it all together make that much
difference as the price per meter indicates? If so are there any basic
guidelines to follow?
Miles Bennett, via email
The primary reason to upgrade your TV is to move from the boxy 4:3
aspect ratio screen shape to 16:9 widescreen, which is the format most movies
and nowadays most TV programmes are made in. As for the type of display
technology, that’s largely decided by screen size. Up to screen sizes of around
36-inches the best all-round option, bar none, is the good old CRT picture
tube. From 40 to 60-inches the choice is between rear projection and plasma.
Rear projectors are basically big TV shaped boxes with a video projector in the
base beaming onto a translucent screen from behind via a set of mirrors.
They’re reasonably priced, picture quality can be quite good, in subdued room
lighting but the viewing angle tends to be less than a TV. If you’ve got pots
of money go for a flat-screen plasma panels. They’re very elegant, you can hang
them on the wall or ceiling and picture quality is almost as good as CRTs, but
they’re eye-wateringly expensive. Front projectors come into their own for
displays more than 60-inches across, picture quality is directly related to
price and you will have to pay a pretty penny to achieve the same kind of
performance as a CRT display, moreover they work best in near dark conditions
and you have to install some kind of screen. Incidentally, I like the name
‘beamers’; in the trade really powerful projectors are known as ‘paint
I have a Samsung 807 DVD player (approx 3 years old), which I have been
very happy with as it normally plays R2 & R1 discs (including RCE coded
movies) quite happily. But recently I have been having problems with both
R1 & R2 discs not loading properly. After inserting a disc and closing the
tray, the disc will spin but TV screen just displays Samsung screensaver with
DVD in top left corner. If left for a minute or two, it eventually changes to
blue screen, saying reading but chapters are not displayed on and the disc does
not play. Sometimes disc will eventually play after cleaning -- this worked
last week on a region 1 copy of AI (which won't play this week!)
I have tried cleaning discs and laser lens but still an increasing number of
discs won't play (both R2 & R1, including R2 Stormriders, Men of Honour,
Farscape etc.). It seems as if the more
extras and chapters the disc has, the less happy the player is with it.
David McDermitt, via email
The symptoms you describe suggest a problem with the pickup assembly.
The fact that it will eventually read some discs tends to rule out problems in
the processing department, where faults tend to be more consistent, in other
words it either works, or it doesn’t, or all discs are affected. It is possible
that your attempts at cleaning have made the problem worse. For example
microscopic fibres and dust from cleaning cloths can get into the optics, or
even permanently scratch the lens and the wrong type of cleaning fluid can
leave deposits. It’s worth trying one more cleaning operation but with a good
quality kit, preferably a combination ‘wet and dry’ type that uses a cleaning
disc with a microscopic brush, and isopropyl cleaning fluid, and follow the
instructions to the letter! If that doesn’t work then I’m afraid it needs to be
My girlfriend and I bought a copy of Jeepers Creepers and thought it
was really good. The only problem that we found was that when watching
the extras, notably the designing of the Creeper, the picture would flicker,
almost like there was something wrong with the tracking (if it were a
video). The problem only occurred when the camera cut to a picture in the
design process, it did not occur when the camera was focused on the interviewee.
Have you had any problems like this? Is this normal? Have you had
other complaints regarding this issue?
Jonathan Rogers, via email
No, you’re the first and there’s no reports of problems on any the many
Internet forums so it sounds like a one-off. Ask for a replacement, meanwhile,
if anyone else has had trouble with the extras on this movie please let me
CRACK CODE CLINIC
Recently I purchased a laptop from Tiny Computers; unfortunately the
WinDVD software can only have the region code changed 4 times before it locks.
Can you help?
Jason Teoh, via email
PC DVD players sometimes require two hacks, one for the player software
and another for the actual deck but a good place to start for the software
would be http://www.geocities.com/windvd2000/download.html,
make sure you know the version number of your WinDVD software before you
download anything! For more information about hardware issues, and links to
unlock utilities have a look at: www.digital-digest.com/dvd/articles/region_hardware.html
I've bought a home theatre package from Sainsbury's for £220. It's
DVHT-3080, which contains a Synn DVD8034 and Synn JSP200 speaker system. My
question is, can I change the region using the handset? I don't know if
this helps but at the point of sale it is referred to as a Limit DVD8080.
Mark Wain, via email
You’re in luck! Switch it on then press Open/Close on the handset then
key in 8421 and the current region should be shown. Now press the OK button
repeatedly to change the region number, or 9 for all region replay. Store the
setting by pressing Open/Close.
I’m using PowerDVD on my computer and for a while I could play DVDs
from any region on it. However, It has now locked to region 2 and I can't play
any discs from other regions. Is there anyway of unlocking this software?
Stephen Montgomery, via email
It’s possible, though on some versions of PowerDVD once it’s locked it
stays locked and the only solution is to re-install the software, however,
first try a brilliant little utility called DVD Genie, it’s freeware and can be
downloaded from: http://www.inmatrix.com/files/dvdgenie_download.shtml
Can you please give me a hacking code for an LG DA-3520?
Sharon Murie, via email
No problem, switch it on and make sure there’s no disc in the tray then
press Stop, Pause, 314159 on the handset. You’ll see ‘Code –‘ on the player’s
front panel display then key in a region number, 1 to 6 or 0 for all regions.
Press Pause, switch off, count ten and switch back on again.
In the April issue of What DVD you gave a hack for the Philips DVD-750,
would this be the same for the DVD-751 model? I haven't tried it yet
because I didn't want to mess up my machine if it was wrong.
R. Jones, via email
I have it on quite good authority that it does work but I haven’t tried
it either. How about becoming an official What DVD guinea pig and trying it out
for us? The pay is lousy and we take no responsibility etc., Oh and don’t
forget to let us know if it works. (Only joking, the chances if it going
horribly wrong is quite small...)
I have recently purchased a Medion 4210 DVD player. Is there a remote
control hack so I can play region one discs on it?
C.J.P, via email
I can’t find any records of a Medion 4210 so I’m assuming you meant the
4310, in which case yes, there is a hack. (Worth trying, just in case there is
such a thing as a 4210). Begin by pressing the Open/Close button on the handset
then press Setup, enter the region number (1 to 6 or 0 for all-region) and
finish off by pressing Pause, Step Back, Step Forward, Setup.
I have just bought an Orion 3003 DVD player and like many others I am
looking for the hack to make it multi regional. So far I have not found it, can
Leah Schroeder-Mynett, via email
There are indeed a lot of people looking for this one, I’m afraid my
searches were inconclusive. I could find only one unauthenticated hack but I’ve
got a feeling that it could be quite old and it may not work any more as the firmware
on this model has been changed. In any case it’s worth a try. The procedure is
to press Setup on the handset then Stop, Previous and Next on the front panel
and if it works this will bring up a service menu with an entry for region
setting, enter 1 to 6 to change or Bypass for all regions.
I have just bought a Logic 3300.Can you please tell me if there is a
hack code for this player?
Bobby Mallon, via email
I hope you mean the Logix DVD-3300, in which case the answer is yes. All you
have to do is switch on and on the handset press Open/Close, Setup, use the
right cursor arrow to select Custom Setup then press 3333, change the region
code as required or select 0 for multi-region. Finish off by pressing Enter
I was wondering if you could help me with a
hack for a Grundig GDV220?
Mackenzie, via email
Try this: switch on then on the player’s front panel simultaneously
press and hold for 3 seconds Play, Skip, Forward and Open/Close. This should
bring up a service menu, scroll down to the item Region Set and select 1 to 6
or ‘Free’. Exit the menu and the player should switch off automatically.
I have a Proline DVD-2000, is it possible to get different regions on
it, if so how?
Andy Twemlow, Newcastle.
Yes, with the disc
drawer empty on your handset press Power, Menu, 167. Select your chosen region
or press Mute for all regions then press Exit and it’s done. By the way, here’s
a bonus hack to enable VCR playback on this machine. Pop the disc in the tray
then press Menu, 5, Eject (it should remain closed), 1 Index Menu, Eject. A
service menu should appear, press 1 for VCD replay.
It’s bad news for the following readers who have players that as far as
I’m aware cannot be handset-hacked. Mike Mckenna (Sony DVP-NS300), Toni Cooper (Toshiba SD2109), Karl (Pioneer 525), Andy Philips
(Aiwa XR-DV7000), Rob (Sharp DV-620), and Damien Donnelly, who asks if the
Macrovision anti-copy protection on his Philips DVD-750 can be switched off?
BUDGET PS2 HACK
Apart from a few early imports Sony’s Playstation 2 has resisted all
attempts at a firmware hack but now the wait is over and you can now get a
simple to use kit to disable the region lock on your games console. Region X
comprises a CD-ROM and a memory module or ‘key’, and all for just £19.99. Just
insert the key into memory slot 2, load the disc and switch on. A menu appears,
make your selection and press X on the gamepad, the draw opens, load your DVD and
away you go. Region X should be available from your local games supplier or
RCE HACK FOR SONY
If you’ve had your Sony player chipped but it still refuses to play RCE
coded discs there may be a solution. Load the disc as normal and press Menu (DVD
menu) then Program, select a chapter numbers between 2 and 20 and repeatedly
press Play, Stop, Play Stop, etc., until it starts playing. It may take a few
attempts, and you may end up deep inside the movie but just use the Skip button
to get you back to the start.
PHILIPS PALMED OFF
As you may or may not know the region lock on a good many Philips DVD
players can be disabled with a handset hack, but not with the standard button
box, you need to buy a ‘Universal’ remote, like the One For All 4 or 6. However
there’s also a little known alternative in the shape of a Palm pocket
organiser, which can become a sophisticated universal remote using a program
called OmniRemote. You can download a trial version (15-day limit) from the
developers at: http://www.pacificneotek.com/
Ó R. Maybury 2002,