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Help, is it just me, a dud DVD disk or is there a problem with the sound coding in Harry Potter? I have a Pioneer DV-505 multi region player,

Pioneer VSX-859 RDS AV amp and speakers. The player is connected to the amp via an optical cable. When playing Harry Potter in Dolby Digital the sound is perfect but on selecting THX-EX on the amp as the disk plays in quiet sections of the film a quite noticeable noise comes from the front speakers, almost like a repeated thumping, its hard to explain, its not a constant noise but when it is so obviously not meant to be there (selecting AC-3 removes the offending sounds). Please help, I am pulling my hair out and my wife is fed up of me moaning about it!

Simon Shepherdson, via email



I’ve listened to my own copy of Harry Potter again on a couple of systems and carefully trawled through numerous reviews and it looks very much like the problem is at your end. The quality of the THX-EX soundtrack has received almost universal acclaim and since you mention that the effect is also apparent on a friend’s copy, but not on their setups that pretty much rules out a disc defect or mastering problem. The only way to see if it’s the player or the amp is to substitute one of them.




I own about a hundred DVDs and around ninety percent of them are region 1 because as you well know R1 has better extras, shame isn’t it? Anyway I have two players one is an LG3200 multi region, an excellent budget player, the other is a Panasonic DK-1, region 1 five-disc mini system with 5.1 surround. My R1 copy of What Lies Beneath plays on both players with no problems but the last time I tried it the picture pixellated and it wouldn’t play! I have cleaned the laser lens and the disk and there’s no sign of physical damage. Previously I purchased a R1 copy of Castaway, which was faulty straight away and I was told it was a bad pressing and several had been recalled. But my question, finally, is why would a disc suddenly stop playing? I have exchanged the discs with no problems, can you shed some light it?

Ken Newby, Mildenhall, Suffolk



Clearly the problem was with the disc rather than the player but just because you couldn’t see any physical damage it doesn’t mean to say there wasn’t any, or maybe you were looking in the wrong place. When a disc refuses to play or is not recognised by a player -- as opposed to glitches during replay -- it’s often caused by the player not being able to read data from the ‘lead-in’. However, DVDs, like CDs play from the middle out, and when you inspect a disc you instinctively look at the outer edge. All it takes is one small scratch in the lead in area to render the disc unplayable; it might even be so small as to be almost invisible to the naked eye. The next time it happens try a disc polishing kit, and watch how you handle your discs, especially when replacing them in library cases.




I recently bought a 32" widescreen TV and a Grundig GDV620 DVD player. I successfully hacked the player for multi-region replay and set the output to PAL in the setup menu but there’s a flicker in the bottom left of the TV screen when I play any region 1 or 0 disc. I can get rid of the flicker by changing the output to NTSC but then the image has a jerkiness to it.

Can you suggest an alternative hack for the Grundig?

Paul Hawran, via email



As far as I know there is only one hack for this machine, but it wouldn’t make any difference, flickering and jerkiness are characteristic of the TV and DVD player doing things they were not really designed to do. The Grundig player is not very happy at converting NTSC to PAL and the TV only grudgingly displays NTSC signals. The only solution, apart from buying a separate NTSC to PAL converter is to replace one or the other.



I bought The Terminator (2 disc) special edition on region 2 when it came out in March 2001. Both discs were fine and played perfectly well. I recently read several posts on the Internet about the discs in this set developing faults, such as a mist and fingerprints appearing beneath the surface of one or both of the DVDs.

I immediately checked mine to discover exactly the same had happened to disc number 2 in my set. The disc will not play at all. I have read about this happening to about ten other people and it seems to be a manufacturing fault. I asked Play247 from whom I bought the disc if they could help but they told me it wasn't their responsibility. MGM do not seem to be interested either. I was wondering if you could look into this and maybe warn your readers to check their discs?
David Mcmullan, via email



After some cajoling MGM has finally conceded that there is indeed a problem with The Terminator and Silence of the Lamps special editions. It’s denying it has anything to do with so-called ‘DVD rot’, caused by a breakdown of the glue bonding the layers of the disc, but says it may be due to an ‘incompatibility’ between the inks used on the disc labels and problems with ‘storage conditions’ at the time of manufacture. The statement issued by MGM goes on to say that only a small batch of discs were affected and it hasn’t happened again. Make of that what you will but the bottom line is that MGM has accepted responsibility so you should have no trouble getting your discs exchanged. At the time of writing they were supposed to be setting up a free telephone Helpline to deal with enquiries but we’re still waiting for details, we’ll keep you posted.





I am sorry if you have mentioned this player in the past but I am a new reader to the magazine. I would like to know if there is a region crack code for it?

Tim Pyke, via email



This is indeed an old friend but I see no harm in repeating this very popular hack for new converts, and incidentally it works with many Samsung players, so here goes. Step one is to ‘Cold Start’ the player, which basically means resetting it to its shipping condition by pressing the Stop and Play buttons together for around 5 seconds. You should then see the language menu, select English. Next enter the following code on the remote handset: Repeat 38767, ‘02’ the present region code setting will appear on the screen, enter the new code (1 to 6 or 9 for all-region) then press Open on the player and Standby on the remote. By the way, if you change to R1 and want to change back to R2 substitute the code Repeat 29334.



I bought your magazine yesterday and noticed a hack for the Dansai
DVD-1010, you also mentioned that there was a hack for the DVD-852 but did not say what it was, please could you let me know as this is the machine I
have and have some region 1 discs I would like to watch. Thanks
Max Paterson, via email



That was most remiss of me, I shall put that right straight away and suggest that you try the following: On the remote press Setup then on the player’s front panel press Stop, Previous, Next and a hidden service menu should now appear. This has a setting for region code, which, as usual are 1 to 6 or Bypass for all regions.


Could you help me find a code for my recently purchased Grundig GVD620HT, which at the moment only plays region 2?
R. Edmondson, via email



This is a quick and simple one, open the disc tray then on the remote tap in the following code: 9817 and with a bit of luck a service menu pops up, it’s the usual drill, select a region code (1 to 6) or 9 for all region. Exit the menu and if you’ve got an older TV without a ‘raw’ NTSC input, make sure the player’s output is set to PAL otherwise you’ll end up with a black and white picture when playing R1 discs.



LG DVD 4710

I have just bought an LG DVD-4710, which only plays region 2 disks. I have a load of region 1 DVDs; can you tell me please what code is needed to play them?
D. Robinson, via email



LG is the Region 1 fan’s friend and most of its players, including the 4710 will respond to this simple hack. Switch on, and with no disc in the tray press Stop, Pause 314159 on the handset. When the word ‘CodE’ appears on the front panel display you can select a region code (1 to 6) or 0 for all regions. Press Pause again, switch off, count 10 and switch back on again.




Following a question in a recent edition of your Crack Code Corner re a regional code for a Logix 3300d player, the hack involved pressing the Shuffle and Next buttons on the remote, but I can’t find them on my handset, can you help?

Stuart O'Sullivan, via email



It’s possible the remote on this model has been changed or upgraded but no matter, here’s another hack for you to try. Open the disc tray and press Setup, select the last item on the setup menu and press 3333, this should reveal the region code setting, which you can change – you know the drill by now – then press Enter and Setup to exit the menu




I have a Philips DVD Player - DVD701. I would like to know if there is any way that I can make this a multi-region player.

David J Levy





Is there a hack for the above machine, to let me play region 1 etc.?
Chris H, via email



The classic Philips all region hack certainly works on the DVD 701 but I haven’t had a chance to try it on the DVD 623, however, I am reasonably sure it’s okay so give it a try it and let me know. You will need to get hold of a OneForAll universal remote control, the OFA 4 or 6 are ideal. Program this with setup code 0539 then point it at the player and press Magic 085. The display should now show a line of dashes, in which case change to the player’s own remote and enter the code 222222005255, don’t worry, the last 5 doesn’t show. Finally press Play and the display shows ‘No Disc’, switch off, count to ten and it’s good to go.




In issue 37 the region hack for the Cyberhome AD-N212 and AD-M512 apparently works with firmware 9.8 or less. My AD-M512 has firmware 9.9-0112. I can access the set up menu, but get no further. Any suggestions?

Mr S. Hill, via email



It is possible to change the firmware on this machine but I warn you that it is not for the faint-hearted and you need to be a bit of an expert with PCs. The procedure is far too lengthy to go into here but if you know your way around PCs and CD-ROM burning and feel like a challenge (and it helps if you know a bit of German too…) have a look at the following web site: http://home.t-online.de/home/0306855728-0001/cyber.html




I've just bought a brand new Samsung SV-DVD3E combined VCR and DVD player from a Samsung approved Internet supplier. Are the any region hacks available, and if so what are they? Does changing the regions have any effect on the quality of playback?
Andy Wood, via email



I can’t say for certain but I would start by trying the all-purpose Samsung hack (see the one for the DVD-709), which definitely works with your machine’s predecessor, the SV-DVD1. Otherwise you may have to wait a bit as it can take a few weeks to several months before some hacks surface, assuming they exist. As far as the video quality of hacked players is concerned, in theory it doesn’t make any difference but in practice it mostly depends on the TV, etc., that the player is connected to. Unlocking the region code on a player simply tells the machine that is allowed to play the disc. In an ideal world the disc is played back in its ‘native’ video format, i.e. NTSC in the case of US Region 1 disc, but you will need a TV that’s able to display NTSC signals. However, most DVD players sold in the UK play back both PAL and NTSC discs by carrying out partial standards conversion, outputting what’s known as a PAL 60 or pseudo PAL signal, which most recent TVs can display. This can involve some quality losses but usually they are negligible and in most cases hard to spot, unless you are looking for them.



Here’s this month’s list of problematic players and their anxious owners, keen to know of any region hacks. As usual if you can help relieve these poor souls suffering please drop me a line.


Technics SCDV250 (Alan Brough), Toshiba 220E (Lindsay Watson), Toshiba SD-110E (Peter Shine), Pioneer DVD XV-DV55 (Paul Burgess), Sanyo DC-AVD8501 (Phil), Sony DVP-NS305 (Dawn), Sharp DV - 740H (Stephen Bottomley) Orion DVD-3003 (Darren Pittard), Kenwood DVR-7000 (Stefan de Vogelaere).





Look out for a new major feature, coming to a DVD player near you. A couple of soon to be launched machines have JPEG still picture playback and this could turn out to be a major selling point on budget and mid-range models, especially amongst owners of digital still cameras. Basically it means you’ll be able to view pictures on your TV, simply burn images on a writable CD-ROM and pop it in the machine. As the feature develops expect to see slideshow and even commentary functions on more advanced models.  The latest models to have this feature are the Thomson DTH-220 and 210, due out in the next few weeks.



Watch out for rental shop discs putting sticky security or identity labels on discs. They can upset the balance of the disc, which could lead to vibration and accelerated wear on the deck mechanism. The labels could also become detached – it can get really warm inside some players – and end up doing some real damage.



Still mystified by all this DVD malarkey, then pay a visit to the Simpson’s DVD FAQ at http://www.fox.co.uk/thesimpsons/dvdqa/simp_dvdqa.html where Homer and Lisa will explain all…




Ó R. Maybury 2002, 0208




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