DR DVD MAY
I have been looking to buy a DVD player and have read the back issues
of your magazine from October 2001. I had just made my mind up to purchase the
Toshiba SD210E, which you gave great reviews. On going into my local Richer
Sounds I was more than pleased to find that they sell the chipped multi-region
version. Ready to part with my cash willingly I was advised that the Aiwa
XD-DV480 was the better machine. My dilemma is I canít find any reviews on it
and do not want to make a mistake. I value your opinion greatly and would
appreciate your guidance.
A. W. Beard, Plymouth
By coincidence we have just reviewed the Aiwa DV480 in our sister
magazine Home Entertainment and I can tell you that it is a badge-engineered LG
machine. The final conclusion was that it was okay but nothing special. The
Tosh 210 was reviewed a couple of months earlier, it received a four star
rating and came highly recommended for its top quality picture and sound. Of course
itís up to you but I know which one Iíd spend my hard-earned onÖ
How do you clean DVDs without causing damage? I know the best answer is
not to get them dirty in the first place, but quite a few recent purchases come
with dust and the odd fingerprint pre-installed! I've tried using a very soft
cloth designed for cleaning camera lenses and a soft brush, also for camera
lenses - problem is that both leave lots of very fine scratches on the DVD
surface and the cloth appears to make matters worse, as the more I wipe the
more dust sticks to the disc! Can you advise me on a suitable cleaning/dust
removal product that you would recommend?
Ewan Boyd, via email
Being the proud owner of a couple of grubby and inquisitive kids, (and
in view of my own questionable eating habits), I have considerable experience
in the removal of fingerprints and sticky deposits from the surface of DVDs,
CDs and various other types of optical and magnetic recording media. Pizza Hut
cheese is definitely the worstÖ My own preferred cleaning method for optical
discs is to use a complex formulation of degreasers and unguents that goes
under the brand name of Fairly Liquid (though I suspect other brands are
equally effective). A couple of drops of washing up liquid and a quick wipe
over with soft cloth or duster, under running warm water, usually does the
trick. Let the disc dry off on some kitchen towel and buff it up with a soft,
lint-free cloth or spectacle cleaning cloth. Iíve been doing that for years
without a single mishap (remind me some time to tell you how to recover
scratched discs using ordinary household chemicals). DVDs and CD are made out
of a tough polycarbonate plastic, it does them no harm and your hands feel
really soft afterwards.
As a matter of interest DVD uses powerful error correction, better even
than CD and most players are quite tolerant of the odd scratch or scuff but
when thereís a problem youíll know it! Thereís no gradual reduction in picture
quality or increase in noise levels as on old or worn video tapes, the first
signs of DVD playback trouble are track skipping, freezing or a blocky
I have just read the readers letter in the February issue regarding a
problem with the Chicken Run DVD. You may be interested to know that I have the
exact same problem with my copy. After many viewings suddenly the player will
not read the disc. There is no apparent sign of damage on the disc. It's as if
the film has dropped off the disc. Could this suggest a manufacturing fault?
Leigh Parker, Basingstoke
In the absence of any other letters and email from readers, or the
usual flood of complaints on Internet newsgroups that swiftly follows the
release of a duff disc I have to stick with my original theory that this is
still an isolated incident. The only other thing I can think of is that the
player itself is damaging the disc. Iíve come across a few dodgy machines in
the past three or four years. One had a dislocated laser assembly that ploughed
a deep furrow in every disc but the damage was very obvious. Iíve also seen
several players with iffy loading mechanisms and when the eject button was
pressed the disc would still be spinning in the tray as it opens. This covers
the playing surface in fine, near invisible scratches that will eventually
defeat even the best error correction systems. It may be thatís whatís
happening here, particularly as you say youíve played the disc many times. Have
a look at the disc through a magnifying glass and if you suspect something is
wrong -- and the player is still in
guarantee -- it might be worth having it checked out.
RCE FIX FOR TOSHIBA
If you are having trouble playing RCE coded discs on Toshiba players
chipped for all-region playback try this workaround. Load the RCE infected disc
then keep prodding the Stop button to stop it loading now press Memory,
highlight T (Title/Chapter) with the cursor buttons, press 1 then Play and
Clear and it should start.
REGION CODING ON APPLE LAPTOPS
DVD playback is touted is a key selling point on recent Apple Powerbooks
but the region lock can only be changed 5 times before it is disabled. There
are several fixes for this antisocial behaviour, including a couple of handy
little utilities that stop the region change counter working. More details and
links to downloads can be found at: http://www.markus-fritze.de/dvd/
SAFEWAY REOC A5
A region code hack is now available for the Reoc A5, sold exclusively
through Safeway stores, however you will need a PC with a CD writer and an
Internet connection. The first step is to write or download a simple text-based
command file then Ďburní it onto a CD-R disc. Load the disc in the player and
it will reprogram the firmware to all region replay. Full details can be found
I always say the regional coding on Sony players is locked solid but
thatís not strictly true. Early versions of the DVP-S7000 actually had two tiny
switches inside the cabinet that disabled the region lock and Macrovision anti
copy systems. The switches disappeared on later models but anyone handy with a
soldering iron could fit them.
CRACK CODE CLINIC
I have had a Yamaha S700 player for over three years, and am very happy with its performance. I
have more than 100 discs and have never had any problems. I have always bought
Region 2 discs, but now I am thinking of switching to Region 1 playback. Can
you advise if my machine can be hacked to play Region 1 movies?
Daniel Molloy, via email
The S700 was Yamahaís first DVD player and like a lot of early machines
it was actually a cloned Panasonic deck. And very good it was too Ė for its day
-- but as regular readers will know, the regional coding on all Panasonic
players since the A100 has been locked solid and can only be disabled by
chipping. Yamaha now sources most of its players from Philips and these can
usually be hacked, which is no consolation to you, but look at it this way,
youíve had three good years out of it, so it may be time to retire it to the
bedroom. New players with hackable or disabled region locks now sell for less
than £100 (how quickly things change, if memory serves the S700 cost £600 newÖ)
and the picture and sound quality on some budget models is actually better than
a lot of first generation players
CYBERHOME AD-N 212
Could you please advise me on how to convert the Cyberhome AD-N 212
player into a multi-region compatible machine?
Scott Govan, via email
PS. where will I find your response?
Youíll find your response right hereÖ This is a nice easy one, and you
might like to take note that it also works on the Cyberhome AD-M512. Proceed as
follows, switch the machine on and open the disc tray. On the remote handset
press 7, 6 and the 'Sel' button and all being well a hidden set-up menu should
appear on the TV screen. From this menu you can now change to any numbered
region (1 to 6) or enter 13 for Region free playback. Donít forget, in order to
play Region 1 RCE (region code enhancement) encoded discs you should select
Region 1 rather than all-region replay.
I have recently bought a Samsung DVD-M105, and was wondering if there
is a hack for converting it to multi region viewing?
Thomas, via email
Youíre in luck, this player is handset-hackable and you can use this
method on a number of other Samsung players as well as a few Hitachi and
Thomson models. Before we start thereís
a couple of points to watch out for, on some models this will also disable the
Macrovision anti-copy system, but only if you switch off Quasi-PAL replay and
set the SCART to composite video output. Secondly, in order to get the player
back to Region 2 only replay you must substitute the appropriate code Ė see the
Step one is to perform a ĎCold Startí which puts the player into the
first time installation mode, do this by switching the play on and pressing and
holding the Play and Stop buttons on the actual player. This usually takes
several seconds, after which time a language menu should appear on the
screen. If it doesnít work first time
switch off and try again. When the menu comes up select option 1 for English.
Now, on the remote handset press Repeat and enter the following code: 3, 8, 7,
6, 7. Your current region code should now be shown on the screen (i.e. Ď02í), enter the region number you
want to change to (i.e. 1 for the US, etc., and 9 for all region playback) and
in quick succession press the Open button on the player and Standby on the
remote and itís done.
To get back to Region 2 from Region 1 you have to substitute the
following code: 2, 9, 3, 3, 4.
If you have changed to a region other than 1 or 2, you have to use one
of the following codes to get back to the region code change mode.
Region 3: 5, 6, 7, 3, 2
Region 4: 7, 6, 8, 8, 4
Region 5: 5, 3, 8, 1, 4
Region 6: 2, 4, 4, 6, 2
By the way, if RCE coded discs stick on the FBI warning screen press
the forward picture search button, which should get you straight to the main
I recently bought an Alba 113 DVD player, which is great, but it only
plays Region 2 DVDs. Could you possibly tell me if there is a code to play
Region 1 discs, or even multi region.
Stephen McIlroy, Glasgow
Are you sure it only plays Region 2 discs? I understood these machines
were shipped with the region lock disabled and are set for all region replay,
certainly the two Iíve seen in the past six months or so were region free. If
youíve tried an R1 disc and it didnít play it might be that it was RCE encoded,
non-RCE discs should be okay. The other possibility is that it has defaulted to
NTSC output, which your TV may not be able to handle in which case you need to
switch it back to PAL. To do that make sure the disc tray is empty and press
the Display button then select video standard and set it to PAL.
SONY DVP-S336, SONY DVP-S335, SAMSUNG DVD 511
Please could you send me the DVD hacks for the following DVD
Samsung DVD 511
Adam Delarey, via email
Are you opening a shop or what? First the bad news, there are no hack
codes for Sony DVD players, they are hard-coded and the only way around that is
to have them chipped. Shop around, several companies advertising in What DVD
can do the work for you, typically it costs around £80 to £90. The DVD-511 is
hackable, used the same method as the Samsung M105 (see opposite)
Doctor, I have recently purchased a Philips DFR-1600 home theatre kit.
I am going to the States soon and would like to take advantage of the low cost
of DVDs out there. Can my player be enabled to accept Region 1 discs?
Stewart VerBruggen, via email
I havenít had a chance to try this one out Ė mainly due to the lack of
a DFR-1600 -- so I would be very interested to know if it works. The trick,
apparently, is to press the System key, then 1, 6, 7 and a menu appears asking
for a number between 1 and 6. Tap in 1 and see what happens.
Would you have a hack for a Philips DVD 750, I would be very grateful?
Damien Donnelly, via email
I do indeed. To enable all region-playback on this model and most
models players you will need to get hold of a One For All 4 or 6 Universal
remote control handset. Step one is to configure the One For All handset with
the set-up code 0539. When thatís done point the One For All at the player,
press the Magic button and tap in the code 0, 8, 5. The display should now show
a row of dashes, change to the playerís own remote handset and enter the
following code: 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 0, 0, 5, 2, 5, 5. The last digit wonít show
on the display, donít worry, now press Play on the remote and the display
should now show ĎNo Discí. Switch off, count to ten and switch back on again.
I am in urgent need of a code that I have been told would enable my DVD
player to show American movies. I have a Sony DVP NS300. So if you could kindly
get back to me with this code or information on how to obtain it I would be
Mr Beardsworth, via email
Sorry Mr B, it canít be done, the region lock on Sony players are
locked tighter than a duckís rear end.
I hope you can help me I have just bought a Sanyo DC-AVD8501. I have
looked for a code without any success. Do you know if there is one or am I on a
wild goose chase?
Peter Jessop, via email
Iíve looked high and low but drawn a complete blank on this one.
Nevertheless I wouldnít be at all surprised if there was one, itís still fairly
new and it sometimes takes a while for hacks to be uncovered/leaked; if anyone
knows of a hack or has managed to crack this machine please let me know.
Can you give me a hack for my Grundig DVD player via the remote?
Stevan, via email
No problem, this is another easy one. Switch the player on and open the
disc tray. On the remote handset press the code 9, 8, 1, 7 and a hidden set-up
menu should appear on the TV screen. You can change the Region by entering the
appropriate number (1 to 6) or 9 for multi-region). The playerís video output
will almost certainly follow that of the disc and switch to an NTSC signal, if
your TV doesnít have this facility you should go to the playerís set-up menu
and change it to PAL.
” R. Maybury 2002,