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I hope you can help before I tear my hair out. I've purchased a Sanyo HV-DX1E DVD/VCR combi. In the instructions it says you can change the country code. I've tried to put in the letters and it still will not work, it just comes up 'Please check the code'. Is there a code or do I have to get it chipped?

Mrs S. Hurley, Clevedon, North Somerset



The Country Code setting on a DVD player’s setup menu confuses the hell out of a lot of people and is frequently mistaken for a Region Code hack so let’s set the record straight. The Country Code tells the player which country it is going to be used in, so it can set the correct language for the on-screen displays, subtitles and soundtracks. Normally it’s factory set, or by the importer so it’s unusual to need to change it. Regional Coding is a quite separate issue whereby data on the disc tells the player whether or not it is allowed to play the disc. I’ve searched high and low for a crack code for the DX1E without any luck so I’m afraid the only way it will ever play discs from another region is to have it chipped. For future reference I’ve only seen a small handful of hackable DVD/VCR combis, so far all of them made by Samsung, though new ones are coming along all the time so maybe the situation will improve. 




In your March issue you mentioned that a hack was possible for the Sanyo DVD 1500 through Channel Technology. However the web site does not mention the hack and my e-mail's to them are returned as undeliverable. Are you able to suggest any other way that I can hack the above player? If the player cannot be hacked can you suggest somewhere where I could have the player chipped, again, if it is possible?

Jason Mepham, via email



Channel Technology seems to have disappeared and the web site is now closed, which to be honest is not that unusual in the semi-shady world of region code hacking. However, the information you are looking for lives on in the form of a ‘zip’ file that you use to create a CD-ROM, this is loaded into the machine and it makes changes to the player’s firmware. Now I must stress that this is an advanced technique and not in the same league as a simple handset hack, moreover it also carries a lot more risk of permanent damage, so only try it if you know what you are doing and know your way around PCs and CD ROM burning. One last thing, I understand that it only works with Sanyo machines made before July this year. The file you need, which comes with rudimentary instructions is called ‘spookytooth-sanyo1500crack.zip’. You should be able to track down a copy by typing that into a search engine like Google (www.google.com) but if you have trouble send me an email and I’ll forward a copy, with the proviso that you use it entirely at your own risk!




In your Sept 2002 issue you published a hot hack for Thomson DTH-4200 but I am unable to make it work. I tried setting it to region 1 DVD's only but no luck. I don't know if you have to punch in the codes quickly, or there should be a delay in entering the region number after the special code. I have also tried to switch off the machine totally and try it but that doesn't work either. The machine you pictured is my model, am I missing something?

A Marshall, via email



I can only think of three reasons why a hack won’t work: you didn’t follow or understood the instructions (very common), the manufacturer changes the firmware (it happens now and then), or I got it wrong. Oooops…


No prizes for guessing what happened this time but in our defence this is the first time (promise not to do it again) and we only got it a tiny little bit wrong. What I should have said is that you have to press the Repeat button on your handset first, before entering the before entering the 38767 code.






I am looking for a hack code to make my new DVDR-890 region-free, can you help?

Joe Shah, South Norwood, London



Congratulations Joe, you are the first to ask for a hack for Philips latest DVD recorder and there’s some good news, not only do I have a hack, but also a new hack that should work on a lot of Philips players, and doesn’t involve you buying a new remote control. Try the new hack first, on the Philips handset press Open/Close 159; if it works the front panel display will show a row of dashes. Now enter the code 121 212 005 255 (note that the 12th digit won’t show and that this is not the usual code for Philips players, we’ll come to that in a moment). Press play, the display should show No Disc, switch off, count ten and switch back on again and it’s done.


If pressing Open/Close 159 didn’t work then it’s back to the old tried and tested method, which involves buying a One 4 All universal remote control (OFA 4 or 6). When you get it home program it with setup code 0539 then press Magic 085. This should have the effect of taking you to the front panel screen full of dashes we mentioned a moment ago. You can then go back to the player’s own remote, enter the code and follow the rest of the procedure. Now about that code, only use it for DVD recorders like the DVDR-890, 980, 985 and 1000, for all other Philips models you should use the standard code 222 222 005 255.




So, I read that you are the crack code master. I have multi region DVDs that won’t play on our Region 1 player. Can you please help us out?

Tom, via email



Ah the old ‘flattery will get you everywhere’ trick, well, it works for me… I am fairly sure that your Apex 500 is a US model (K-Mart budget special) and it can only play NTSC discs.  Even though your discs are ‘Multi Region’ (I presume by that you mean Region Free) they will only play on you machine if they’re NTSC recordings. Region Free discs are mainly for the benefit of the European DVD market, where most players can play both NTSC and PAL discs. However, all many not be lost, it’s worth checking out a firmware upgrade for this machine, which might make it possible to play PAL recordings, have a look at the following web site: http://www.nerd-out.com/darrenk/




LG DVD 5253 

I have a LG DVD 5253 and have tried the hacks that I have found on the Internet, they do not work. One that I tried gave a hack to see the firmware version, which did work.

Can you give me any help?

Paul Snow, via email



Sorry, no hack as such but if you’ve got a PC with an Internet connection, a CD-Writer and nerves of steel you can modify the firmware with a small download. Only the PC savvy and those willing to take the risk need apply, but full instructions can be found at: http://www.area450.co.uk/lg5083hack.htm





Have you a code to enable the playing of other region DVDs for the Ferguson DVD 400 FE?

Graham Thorne, via email



We haven’t had one of these before but after a bit of digging around I managed to come up with the following. On the remote handset press Menu 167 then enter your preferred region code (1 to 6) or Mute for all regions. Here’s an extra bonus hack for you, to enable VCR playback press Open, pop an audio CD in the tray, press Open again, to close the drawer then Menu, 1, Index, Open, 1




Can you find a hack for my Rowa DVD player?

Sarah, via email



It would have been quite helpful if you could have included the model number but what the hey, I’m in a good mood. There are only a couple of hacks for these machines but first, have a look around the back. If you see a round socket – similar to the ones used by a mouse on a PC, and a switch marked ‘PAL/Auto/NTSC’, you’re out of luck I’m afraid. Otherwise try these hacks. For the DVD 280 or 3610 press the following keys on your handset: Open/Close, Zoom, A-B, Left, Down, Right cursor buttons and ‘Region Free’ should appear on the screen. The alternative hack for this model is Open/Close 1111. If you have a DVD-800 press Open, 2168 then keep pressing the Enter key to select the region.




Hi, I have a Hitachi DVD Player (model number DV-P305E) that can only play Region Two discs. I have a friend who has a lot of Region One DVDs which I would like to borrow so can you tell me if there is a Region One hack code for my machine?

Alan Parsons, via email



Hi to you, and yes there is. In fact the P305 is an old friend but we haven’t covered it for a while so maybe it’s time for another airing. It’s the familiar Samsung hack, mentioned briefly in the letters this month, but the whole routine is as follows. Cold start the player by switching off then switch back on again using the front panel (not the remote) Play and Stop buttons, select English as the language then press Repeat 38767, The current region appears on the screen (i.e. ‘02’) then enter your new region code (1 to 6 or 9 for all regions). Note that if you change it to Region 1 you will need to use the code 29334 to get it back to R2 or all region replay.



DANSAI 952                           

I have a Dansai 952.  Is there a remote control cheat/formula to allow me to play Region1 DVD's?

Louisa Hartley, via email



This one’s hot off the press. To turn your Tesco special into an all region machine do this: press Open, Setup, Stop, Skip Back, Skip Forward and a service menu will appear, choose your region or Bypass for all region replay.



KISS 1302

I’m not sure if you can help but I have a rather unusual DVD player, a Kiss 1302, which I bought on ebay a while ago, and I wonder if you have come across it before, and if so, do you have an all-region hack for it?

Ben Willers, via email



No, it’s a new one on me but I have managed to track down a possible hack but since I haven’t had a Kiss yet (always open to offers…), I can’t vouch for its effectiveness. My information is that you load a disc then press Stop, Stop, Setup, Slow, Skip Back, Skip Right a service menu will appear and you can use the cursor button to change the region. Let me know how you get on.




I have just inherited a Maplin SMC-MK1 from a friend who has recently emigrated. He also game me a small collection of Region 1 discs, which he assured me would play, but as yet I haven’t managed to get one of them to work. When I emailed him he told me there was a hack for it, but he has lost or forgotten it, can you advise?

Melanie Keen, via email



I’ve never heard of a player spontaneously resetting itself, normally once the region code has been changed, or set to all region replay it stays put, so your friend must have changed it back to Region 2. Not to worry, this machine is easily hackable, press Open, 7, Enter, 7 and a hidden service menu should appear on the screen from where you can change the code, either 1 to 6 or 13 for all regions.




I’ve had this player for almost two years and it has been brilliant and didn’t want to risk damaging it but now that the guarantee has expired, I wondering if there’s any chance it could be modified to play Region 1 discs?

Mile Lewin, via email



It can and all you have to do is press the Power and Previous buttons together on the front panel and the display should change to a row of dashes, next on the handset press 1999 and the display should now show A-0000 D-01.  Enter the two-digit region code (01, 02, 03 etc) or 00 for all regions. Switch off, count ten and switch it on again.




Not all of us are lucky enough to own a DVD player with a Region lock that can be easily changed, so spare a thought for these poor folk who, to the best of my knowledge are stuck with unhackable machines. If you know otherwise, please drop me a line so we can put them out of their misery.


Panasonic SC-HT70, H. Mercercox

Akai DVP-3410, Steve Sharman

Sanyo DC-TS750, Andy Grey

Sony DVP NS300, Sindy

Sony DVP-NS305, Neil Baker






As we all know DVD manufacturers are engaged in a battle over recordable formats. At the moment it’s all fairly low key, DVD recorders are still thin on the ground and relatively expensive – compared with a play only machine or VCR -- so hopefully not too many fingers will get burnt. Now news reaches us of yet another format tussle, this time over the next generation recordable DVD. Until recently it looked fairly cut and dried and the new Blu-Ray system, capable of storing several movies on one disc and backed by most of the leading industry players was apparently coming on nicely. Now we hear that Matsushita, which owns the Panasonic and Technics brands is thinking of developing its own blue laser system, and just to confuse matters Time Warner is backing a new high definition system called HD-DVD-9. One new format at a time please…



If you look closely at DVDs from Disney, MGM and Warner you might spot a ‘D-Code’ printed on the label or box. D1 signifies that it’s an official UK release, usually with an English only soundtrack and British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) seal of approval with all the naughty or offensive bits cut out. If you want to see the full uncut, or not quite so hacked about version you’ll have to look out for D2 and D3 codes, which are not supposed to be sold in the UK or Ireland. There’s also a D4 code, which is used to identify discs for other European markets in Region 2 and R4 territories, which includes Australia and New Zealand.  




Ó R. Maybury 2002, 0410





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