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In What DVD issue 38 there was a report on the Alba DVD 113. It stated that this machine would play region 1 discs. Alba tells me this is not the case. Could you please clarify this for me? Also, I notice the report refers to NTSC playback as well. I have heard that region 1 and NTSC is not exactly the same thing. Is this so?

Philip Conroy, via email



The facility to replay Region 1 discs is an unadvertised feature and strictly speaking it’s not permitted under the DVD licensing agreements that
manufacturers enter into so it tends not to be something they publicly admit
to, nevertheless the two Alba 113's I've seen were both all-region enabled out of the box. However, there's nothing to stop a manufacturer disabling this feature at any time, because it doesn't officially exist!

It is possible that current machines are now being shipped set to R2 only –it’s not the sort of thing they announce… – but I've come across a hack, which might work. Switch the player on and press Pause 314159. The display should show ‘COdE - -‘, enter the required region code (1 to 6 or 0 for all) then Pause and switch off, count ten and switch on again.
Regional coding and TV standards are two quite different things. Regional
Coding is designed to stop discs bought in one country playing on decks in
another, for the purposes of timed releases and local censorship. In other words it allows Hollywood to retain control over international movie release and distribution. TV standards are the technical specifications for a country's television broadcasting system. It just so happens that most DVD players sold in the UK can replay both PAL (most of Europe etc) and American NTSC discs, but regional coding prevents a UK (R2) player from playing US (R1) NTSC discs, it could however play a Japanese NTSC disc, because Japan is also Region 2.




I am finally getting round to the idea that I need to purchase a DVD player, however, I am most un-knowledgeable in this field and need some help. I want a good quality model that can play multi-region discs that can also work in Canada as I am hoping to relocate there in near future. I have heard they are on a separate electronic frequency?
Tony Wallbank, via email



I suspect you are referring to the fact that Canadian mains supplies, like their next-door neighbours operate on a frequency of 60Hz, as opposed to the 50Hz supply we use in the UK and throughout most of Europe. However, this isn’t a problem, it’s the fact that the US and Canada have a 110 volt AC supply whereas ours mains is nominally 230 volts. If you tried plugging most Euro players into a US socket it simply wouldn’t work. There are a handful of DVD players that have switchable 110/230-volt power supplies and some can operate on a 110 to 230 volt 50/60Hz supply. Moreover just about any DVD player can be hacked or modded for all-region playback but I think that in the end you would be better off buying an all-region or hackable player locally. Apart from anything else prices are very slightly cheaper out there, you won’t have so far to go to get it repaired if it goes wrong, and you’ll have a wider choice of models since you won’t have to worry about checking the players power supply. You’ll also have less bother sorting out AV connections since few, if any, US/Canadian TVs have SCART sockets.




I have one of the original Wharfedale 750 DVD players from Tesco, which I
have had for 2 years and been quite happy with. I used the region free hack and have regularly imported and played region 1 discs. However my latest purchase of Fox’s
  'There’s no Business Like Show Business', which is part of the Marilyn Monroe Diamond collection just will not play. All I get is a caption saying 'This disc is not formatted for your region'. Is this an RCE disc? There is nothing on the sleeve to say and I do not get the RCE map on the screen. Also I did not think Fox used RCE and I did not expect it to be used on such an old (1954) film. Any thoughts on how to get around this?
John Sheppard, via email



I don’t think this is an RCE issue, as you point out, you would expect to see the ‘world map’ logo if that were the case. However, the message you’re seeing does suggest a region code problem. Obviously this shouldn’t happen if the player is set to all-region playback, and it’s behaving normally with other R1 discs, so that leaves us with two possibilities. The first and least likely is that Fox has come up with a clever (and secret) new tweak to defeat all region playback, or, the more likely explanation, which is that you have a duff disc, or at least the data that tells the player what region code the disc is using is corrupt.






I bought a Samsung M105 DVD player and for some reason, it is not allowing me to complete the first step in hacking the region code. I have entered the code and that’s as far as I get.  What am I doing wrong?

Simon, via email




I have a Samsung DVD-M105 can you help me with multi region hack?

Doderinde, via email



No problem, and Simon, pay attention, especially to model to numbers! All together now on your handsets press Repeat 57538. You must press the Repeat button, NOT A-B Repeat, it won’t work if you do that, Simon… All being well ‘02’ should be displayed in the top left corner of the screen; this is your current region setting. Now, quickly enter your region code selection, 1 to 6 or 9 for all regions. You only have a few seconds to do it, and this means you Simon… If you’re too slow you have to start over. To finish off press Open on the remote – again don’t hang about – count 15, switch off then back on again.




I am looking for a code to make the Samsung DVD-511 DVD player region free.
Sarah Wheeler, via mail



This is the other common Samsung hack (which Simon – see above – may have tried to use). The first step is to cold start the player, which puts it into factory-fresh condition, do this by switching on (disc tray empty) and press and hold the Play and Stop buttons on the front panel for a few seconds. The language selection menu should appear, choose 1 for English then press Repeat 38767, then the region number (1 to 6 or 9 for all regions). To store the setting press Open on the player and Standby on the remote. By the way, to get back to R2 from R1 it’s the same procedure but this time use the code Repeat 29334.




I have a Goodmans DVD3500PK can it be "hacked" to make it multi-region?
Chris Spencer, via email





I was wondering if you have a Multi-Region code for my Grundig GDV 620.

Louisa Kattenhorn, via email




Indeed it can and all you have to do is open the disc tray, tap in 9817 on the remote and a service menu should appear, with the option to change the region coding. The choices, as usual are 1 to 6 or 9 for all regions. Exit the menu and it’s done.




Having read the April edition of What DVD and in particular your advice on converting a Cyberhome AD-N512 to multi-region, I need help! I got into the hidden set-up menu OK and then drew a blank when it came to changing
the region. Any further advice you can give me would be very much appreciated.
Jane Messenger, via email



I’m not aware of any problems with this hack (open disc tray, press 76 Select to fire up the hidden service menu). It’s possible the manufacturers have changed the Firmware – the software that controls your player – the published hack is okay on firmware up to version 9.8. This should be shown on the service menu, if it is a different version then I’m afraid you may be in for a wait, possibly a very long one, but I’ll keep looking.




Would you have a hack for the Philips DVD-711 that would switch off RCE? I have already hacked the machine but now find that region 1 AI and Hearts in Atlantis only plays in black and white. Or do I have to have the machine chipped to alleviate this problem?

John Wright, Hampshire



This is not caused by RCE (Region Code Enhancement), which would prevent the disc from playing altogether. The reason the picture is in black and white is because this player outputs a ‘raw’ NTSC signal from an R1 disc, your TV either cannot display NTSC or it hasn’t been set up to do so. Check the manual (the TV’s that is…) and see if there’s an option in the configuration menu, or possibly an NTSC input on one of the SCART sockets.




Could you tell me is there any way of making my Philips DVD-750 RCE compatible?

Damien Donnelly.



The surest way I know to circumvent RCE coding is to set the player to Region 1 playback, rather than all regions. By the way, only try this on Philips players if you are using the One 4 All hack, the standard Philips remote hack will cause the machine to lock up after 25 changes (it can be unlocked with the One 4 All hack). There’s also a rough and ready RCE workaround for Philips players that I mentioned in issue 41’s Geek Zone’. Briefly load the disc and repeatedly press the Stop button, to prevent it loading and displaying the RCE world map. Then press the T-C button twice, the display shows a row of dashes and you can now start play by entering in a time, or try pressing the Play button.



LG DVD5083

Do you happen to know of any remote hacks for the LG DVD5083, allowing me to play region one discs?
Mick Rymer, via email



Unfortunately not but it can be hacked if you have access to the Internet and a PC with a CD writer. All you have to do is download a small file called LG500zip, you can get it from: http://downloads.come2store.com/AllanC/LG5000.zip, this contains a small Readme file with instructions, when you extracted the file and burn it to the CD-ROM just pop it in the player and follow the prompts. Incidentally, only use a standard 650Mb CD-R disc. It won’t work if you user the higher capacity 700Mb discs, and if all that sounds like gobbledegook, get a PC savvy friend to help.



I recently purchased a Mico Clasica 20 DVD/SVCD/CD/MP3 player, is there a code to make this multi region?
Mark Simmons, via email



It’s another easy one. On the remote handset tap in the code 2917 Enter, up pops a service menu and you can make your changes, 1 to 6 for a specific region or 13 for all regions. Exit the menu to store the change.




I have just purchased a Matsui DVD-125 and would like to know if there was a way to alter the region coding? I saw in the latest edition of What DVD that you answered a similar query for someone who had bought a Matsui Model 120 and I wondered if the method described was the same for my model?

I also read somewhere that the region coding for the UK was 2 and that this
also included Japan, is this true? I’ve also see some DVD's advertised with
’No regional coding, will play on all machines’. Is this also true?  Sorry for so many questions in one e-mail but I am new to DVD and need all the help I can get!
Tony Martin, via email



Ask away, that’s what I’m here for. Firstly, yes and no; yes I have a hack for the DVD-125 and no, the one for the DVD-120 won’t work. The correct procedure is as follows, with the disc tray empty press Menu 167 then the region number you want to change to (1 to 6) or Mute for all region, store the setting by pressing Exit.


Japan is Region 2, so disc will play on most DVD players sold in the UK; the only point to watch out for is that Japanese discs, like those sold in the US, use the NTSC video standard. Most players helpfully convert this to a form that most recent UK TVs can display (PAL 60) but a few simply output a raw NTSC signal, and not all TVs can handle that, and you may end up with a black and white picture. There are a growing number of ‘Region Free’ discs on the market and yes, they will play in all players (with the same NTSC proviso if they’re American), but usually they’re back-catalogue titles and it’s unlikely many new releases will appear in Region Free format.




Here’s this month’s list of sad hackers. I really don’t hold out much hope for handset hacks for machines from the likes of A-brand companies such as Panasonic and Sony but as usual if you know of a way to help any of these unfortunates please drop me a line. Andy Wood (Samsung SV-DVD3E), Mick Hilton (JVC XV-E112), R. Carteledge (Grundig GDV-230), Andy Bakes (Panasonic XV10), Jim Barnes (Sony DVP-S725), Colin Sproul (Sanyo DVD-SL20), Natalie Webb (Sony DVP-NS400), I Fincham (Sony DVP-S535).





If your multi-region Tosh player is troubled by RCE coded discs here’s another workaround for you to try, to fool the player into accepting the disc. It doesn’t work with all models, but give it a go anyway. Load the disc and straight away press Stop, then press the T button twice. The display should show ‘Time Input’, enter 1 (second), press Play and cross your fingers…



There are reports that MGM has developed an ‘RCE-like’ coding system to prevent R1 discs working on players set for all region playback. Little is known about the system at the moment, or even how well it works but the code was added to early pressings from one of its Japanese plants on the following movies: Another Woman, Antitrust, Magnificent Seven, Magnificent Seven Ride Again, The Princess Bride and Salvador. Apparently the experiment has now been curtailed but if anyone has had any interesting experiences with these titles I like to hear from you.



A little over a year ago electronics manufacturers in China quietly announced they were working on the development of a new optical disc system called Advanced Versatile Disc or AVD. It was thought at the time to be a bargaining tool, to help Chinese manufacturers get a better licensing deal for the players they make. More recently there’s been news of yet another system, this time backed by 19 Taiwanese firms, called EVD (Enhanced Versatile Disc), which would be compatible with AVD. Its not clear AVD/EVD decks would play DVDs – either officially or unofficially -- but there’s little doubt that DVD patents are under very close scrutiny




Ó R. Maybury 2002, 1107











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