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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 burners’.   




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 looked at. 




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 any
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 know.






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 a Synn
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



LG DA-3520

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.



ORION 3003

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 you help?
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 then Setup.




I was wondering if you could help me with a hack for a Grundig GDV220?

Ross 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? (It can't...)






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 online.




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.



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, 1804












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