DR DVD NOVEMBER
THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT HARRY
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.
WHAT LIES BETWEEN?
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.
FLICKER OR JERK
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
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
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.
CRACK CODE CLINIC
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
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
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
PHILIPS DVD 701
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.
CYBERHOME AD-N212 AND AD-M51
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.
SIMPSONS ON DVD
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,