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I am looking to purchase an all region DVD player. Can you please supply me a list of the best players? I have also been told to perhaps wait awhile as they will be bringing out not only players, but also players and recorders. Can you please advise on this also?

Martyn Pate, via email



Sorry, without knowing a great deal more about your requirements, not least how much you are prepared to spend, and what sort of AV system (if any) you have it's next to impossible to compile a list of players. There are well over 200 machines on the market right now and one way or another most of them can be hacked or chipped for all-region replay. Besides, any list would be instantly out of date, more than a dozen new players are launched some months. The best thing I can suggest is to peruse What DVD's regular hardware roundup -- we always mention whether or not they can be hacked and give details -- and have a look at our sister magazine Home Entertainment, which also carries regular reviews and has a comprehensive buyer's guide. As for DVD recorders, unless you fancy a gamble, and you’re feeling lucky you should wait. We're in the middle of a formats battle between the rival DVD-RAM and DVD+RW systems and someone's going to loose... If you want to record or time shift TV programmes stick with a VCR or have a look at the new generation of HDD (hard disc drive) recorders (see this month's hardware reviews.




I recently found and used a region hack for my Phillips Q40 player so I could play region 1 DVD's and now I can't set it back to region 2. The player will not accept any more codes, is there any way of getting it back to the original settings? I really need help as I now have over 130 DVD that I can't watch....

Gary Byers, via email



As far as I'm aware the usual Philips remote hack (requires the use of a ‘One 4 All’ universal remote handset) has no limitations but there is also a dealer hack for many Philips players that allows the Region code to be changed a maximum of 25 times. Philips says it is for the benefit of owners who move home, from one region to another. If you hacked the machine using the supplied remote them this could be the explanation, in which case I suspect the region code is now permanently locked. If anyone knows different please let me know.




I own a Bush 2002 DVD, which has served me well for a couple of years and have had no problems with my 150 plus collection of DVDs. That is until recently. I am having difficulty with Pulp Fiction. The top half of the picture plays fine, but the lower half (and the split is exactly in the middle of the screen) is out of sync to the top half, running slower and sticking. I have experienced this symptom before on some menu screens (Any Given Sunday, Perfect Storm, Cats and Dogs) but the films have always played fine. Is this something to do with the way that the disc has been encoded, and do you know of any upgrades that might solve this?

D Brown, via email



I'm not aware of any problems with Pulp Fiction or any of the other discs you mention and this sounds very much like one of those unfortunate and thankfully rare player-disc incompatibilities. I discovered something very similar with the Harry Potter extras on this model but the disc played okay on all the other decks I tried. You could try replacing the disc but I suspect it will be the same. It’s almost certainly a processing glitch, on some players it can be rectified by a firmware upgrade but that’s not an option on this model, which in any case is getting on a bit now.




I have a picture problem with my Toshiba SD-100E player. When getting to the end of a film the DVD will freeze on a frame and search for the next bit of the film. You can hear the unit whirring while it's looking for the next part. Unfortunately this only happens near the end of a film and often renders some unwatchable! I have tried Toshiba and they gave me a list of repair shops, all of which are closed or do not answer their phone. I'm at a loss for what to do as the warranty has recently expired.

Anthony Leonard, via email



I wouldn’t mind betting this is a fault, possibly concerned with the deck mechanism, though it's worth making a note of the time index to see if the lockup occurs at precisely the same point every time on the discs, in which case it may be a more subtle processing error. Either way, as it is almost certainly a hardware problem you are going to have to persist with Toshiba's customer support Helpline (0870 8430333) to give you the contact details for an approved dealer, or take it to a trusted local repairer.





LG 3200E

I have an LG 3200 DVD please can you tell me if there is a region one hack code for this model? My mate has a Sony DVP-NS4000 is there one for this as well?

Nick Flatman, via email



Sorry Nick’s mate, you’re out of luck, Sony players are almost always hard-coded and the only way to make them multi-region is to have them chipped. As for the LG 3200, all you have to do is switch on (disc tray empty) and when you see the No Disc message tap in 314159 on the remote. The word Code appears and you can enter 1 to 6 or 0 for all region, press Pause then Standby, count five and switch back on again.





I have recently been given a new Samsung DVD-M105 player and have desperately been trying to use the hack you printed in the April issue. I followed the instructions to the letter but it does not seem to be working! Any ideas?

Andrew Watson, via email



Samsung recently changed the firmware on this model and forgot to tell us... Anyway, with the disc tray empty the new procedure is to press Repeat (not Repeat A-B) followed by the code 57538, '02' should appear on the screen, select the Region number (1 to 6 or 9 for all region), press Open/Close then Standby.




Please could you give me the hack for the Grundig GDV 220?

Jason Valentine, via email



Try this. Switch on then on the player press Play, Skip, Forward, Open/Close, which should bring up a service menu.  Using the cursor buttons on the remote select Region Set, choose the Region number or Free, press Select and exit the menu.





I have a Grundig GDV620 (£99 from Currys on special offer) and it will not play DVD-R discs. It is set at region 2. Is there a software cheat that I can do, or can I get it chipped up so that it will play DVD-R discs

Christopher Gullick, via email



Not that I’m aware of, this is almost certainly down to the design of the laser pickup and processing circuitry, which cannot be changed. However, you can hack the Region lock. It’s an easy one, open the disc tray and press 9817, a service menu appears and you can choose region 1 to 6 or 9 for all region replay by pressing Enter on the remote.





I have a Goodmans DVD3500PK home cinema system and I was wondering if you had

a crack code for this machine?

Stuart Gray, via email



Small world… The hack for this machine is the same as that for the Grundig 620 (above).





Could you let me know whether you have any codes for a Matsui DVD120?

Chrissie Deighton, via email



This is a really easy one, to bring up the hidden menu where you can make your changes just press and hold (for around ten seconds) the Open/Close and Skip Forward buttons on the remote. If that doesn't work try holding the Stop button as well.




I have a Thomson DTH4200 DVD. Do you know of a hack for this machine or do I need to have it chipped? By the way, do you know why the DVD manufacturers have the world split into different areas for DVDs? I would have thought that the more avenues open to DVD buyers, the more discs they would sell, and after all, profit is the name of the game.

Mr A Marshall, via email



Regional coding was included in the DVD spec at the insistence of the major Hollywood Studios, to control movie release and distribution. Film prints are very expensive and continue to earn revenues in cinemas worldwide long after the movie has been released on DVD in the States. You are right, profit is the name of the game, now on to your little problem. The first step is too ‘cold start’ by switching on (disc tray empty) and pressing Play and Stop for around 5 seconds, on the language menu that appears select 1 (English) then press 38767 and a region number (1 to 6 or 9 for all regions). To store press Open/Close then Standby.




Please could you tell me the hack to play region 1 discs on my Samsung 709 DVD player? I’m at my wits end.

Stuart, via email



The hack for the Thomson DTH-4200 (see above) should work on this machine




I have just bought the above DVD player. Following your instructions in your magazine to make my player multi-region I have found that I have no 'shuffle' button on my remote, therefore I am unable to get past the first stage. I would like to know if there is another button to substitute the shuffle button?

Clare Abbot, via email



The reason you haven’t got a Shuffle button is because that hack was for Logix 3000, you have a DVD-3300 and the hack for that is as follows: Open the disc tray and press Setup, select the last item on the menu and press 3333, you can now change the Region code, press Enter then Setup to exit.




I wondered if you have a hack for the Dansai 1010?  I tried the one for the Dansai 852 in a recent issue but it does not work.

Robert Vaile, via email



These are two quite different machines and the hack for the 1010 is completely different: on the remote press Setup and on the player press Stop, Forward, Previous, Next and a menu should appear. Select the region number 1 to 6 or Bypass for all regions) and it’s done.




Is there a remote control hack for a Crown CDV661?

Sharon Cowburn, via email



Sure is Sharon, and it’s a doozy, just make sure the disc tray is empty, tap Menu, 167, then enter the new region code (1 to 6) or Mute for all regions.




I've been given your address by a friend who says you may be able to help me make my Bush DVD-2009 DVD player Region 1 compatible?

Steve, via email



I’ve just waved my magic wand and your 2009 should now play R1 discs. (Actually this model should play them straight out of the box…). And buy your own copy in future!





Unfortunately some players are doomed not to be handset hackable, or maybe the hacks haven't come to light yet, so let me know if you can help with any of the following because as far as I'm aware the only solution on these models is to have them chipped: JVC XV523 GD (Stuart Cockbill), Panasonic SA-PM08 (Edward Noyce), Toshiba SD 220 (E. Palm), Panasonic SA-HT70 (James Middlecote), Pioneer DV444 (Malcolm Lindsay), Sony DVP-NS300 (Paul Gardner), Sony DVP-S366 (L. Bird), Toshiba SD-110 (M. P. Wraxall), JVC XV-S302 DVD (Martin Filkins), Pioneer DV 505 (Mohamed Khattabi), Toshiba SD-110E (Lawrence Bryant), Toshiba SD210E (Rachael Bailey), Hitachi DV-P315 (Stephen), Pioneer DV545, Panasonic DVDRV41 (Rash).






Worried about sending your beloved DVD player off to be ‘chipped’? Now you may be able to do the mod yourself. A new range of ‘Solderless Upgrades’ has been introduced by DVD Chips (http://www.dvdchips.co.uk/). They are available for a wide assortment of models, including many popular decks made by Hitachi, JVC, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Technics and Toshiba. There are three types of hack, a special tool that has to be connected to the internal circuit board, a CD-R or DVD containing a firmware upgrade and a specially designed remote control (no need to even open the box on these last two). They can only be used once and if they’re returned to the company you get a small rebate.




The Matrix and some Samsung players often do not get on. There’s been a free firmware upgrade for the DVD-709 for some time (phone Samsung customer help on 01952 292262) but problems with ‘skipping’ often persists on the 709, and it has also been reported on the 807. There’s now a simple workaround, if it starts happening simply press the Play button a few times on the remote handset.




If you know your way around the inner workings of PC and know what EPROM stands for then you may be interested in a piece of software called FirmTweak. This freeware program allows those bold and brave enough to tinker with the software that controls their DVD players to edit the on-screen displays and graphics and change the region settings. Currently it works with around 40 different models but novices should give it a wide berth as it has the potential to turn your DVD player in a very expensive doorstop! For more details have a look at: http://www.btinternet.com/~keithjclark/firmtweak/.




Ó R. Maybury 2002, 1306






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