Region-Free Conundrum - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:13 PM
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Default Region-Free Conundrum

I am an avid collector of animated feature films on DVD/Blu-ray, and many of the releases that I'm interested in will never come to Region 1 DVD/Region A Blu-ray.

The device I currently own is the Sony BDP-S570 (for Region 1/A/United States).

I did a lot of research into a 'code hack' via a remote device such as the Kameleon. What I discovered was that although the BDP-S570 is able to be code hacked in Region 2/Region B/Unite Kingdom - the device is not hackable here in the U.S.

So my next research was into a modification. I found overseas modification companies such as 'Multiregion Magic' - but they do not offer their services for non-residents and the cost is nearly $300 USD.

So finally, I felt resigned to buying a new region-free player, but am having trouble finding one that I believe to be of good quality (or that is even legitimately region-free - search 'BDP S570, region free' online and most retailers claim my device is region 0 when it's not.)

So ultimately, I am seeking advice in how to proceed. Which creates a multitude of questions:

1) Has anyone ever discovered/seen a 'code hack' for the Region 1/A Sony BDP-S570 that WORKS?

2) If not, are there any reliable/trustworthy modchippers in the U.S. that you can reccommend?

3) Is a better option to trade-in my BDP S570 for a new, region free player? If so - please offer some suggestions for a high quality region free Blu-ray player.

4) Or, instead of those ideas - should I purchase a Region 2/B player instead and just have two separate players? What are the issues regarding this? (such as NTSC/PAL television compatibility, et cetera)?

Thank you in advance for your help. I know this is a well-worn question, and I wouldn't ask it if I didn't already do many hours of looking around myself and exploring various routes of action.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:53 AM
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JVB Digital sells region-free players and DIY mod kits. The players that they modify in-house are really overpriced, but many of the mod kits are affordable. Depending on the player model, some of these may kits require some soldering, but others are very simple.

I don't see a listing there for the S570, but you could inquire to find out if any of the other Sony kits are compatible with that model. However, looking at their descriptions, the Sony kits are labeled "Very Difficult" for installation.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:19 AM
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Just get a $55 Insignia refurb for other regions but keep your Sony for region A. The Insignia will play 50Hz and convert PAL to NTSC.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:12 PM
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Josh Z - thank you for the suggestion of self-modding. However, to me that is a last resort. I don't exactly have the time or know-how to self-mod especially for the notoriously difficult Sony models.

HDDVD73 - my main concern is video/audio quality. Are all Blu-ray players essentially the same? I mean, with 1080 picture and 7.1(?) sound - do they all largely look/sound the same or would something for $55 be of lesser quality?
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NealP View Post
Josh Z - thank you for the suggestion of self-modding. However, to me that is a last resort. I don't exactly have the time or know-how to self-mod especially for the notoriously difficult Sony models.

HDDVD73 - my main concern is video/audio quality. Are all Blu-ray players essentially the same? I mean, with 1080 picture and 7.1(?) sound - do they all largely look/sound the same or would something for $55 be of lesser quality?
I can't see any difference in video and bitstreamed audio should be exactly the same. The only concern would be reliability. That is why you use your Sony as your main work horse and keep it updated with the latest firmware. Just use the Insignia for the occasional title from a different region. That's what I do.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:18 AM
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We'd all love an OPPO but not the $600+ price tag!
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:26 AM
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I was about to suggest an Oppo. They're marvellous players that are made region free rather easily. I couldn't imagine using anything else. The price tag may seem steep at first, but then you have to remember that you probably won't have to buy another BD player again...
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NealP View Post
Josh Z - thank you for the suggestion of self-modding. However, to me that is a last resort. I don't exactly have the time or know-how to self-mod especially for the notoriously difficult Sony models.
Anything that requires soldering, I can see being a problem. However, some DIY kits are extremely simple. See this recent post in our blog. (Of course, in that case, the player being modified is more expensive.)

Quote:
HDDVD73 - my main concern is video/audio quality. Are all Blu-ray players essentially the same? I mean, with 1080 picture and 7.1(?) sound - do they all largely look/sound the same or would something for $55 be of lesser quality?
Most Blu-ray players are equivalent when it comes to Blu-ray video quality. Where there are potentially much bigger differences would be DVD upconversion, build quality, reliability, and firmware update support.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:20 PM
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Last summer I picked up an Oppo BDP-80 region free. I couldn't have been any happier with it. Unfortunately they don't make that model anymore.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
Most Blu-ray players are equivalent when it comes to Blu-ray video quality. Where there are potentially much bigger differences would be DVD upconversion, build quality, reliability, and firmware update support.
My tv (Samsung LN52B750) does an EXCELLENT job doing the upconverting. I experimented with several players and several methods and found the absolute best picture comes from using a Philips DVP5982 through the component connection. This player has an HDMI and various methods of upconversions and I have tried other players, both dvd and Blu. I think the tv filters the image differently using component.
One of the perfect tests I tried was using the intro to Stargate SG-1, season 8, when the ships battle in the arctic there's various levels of noise and digital artifacts. Using my final method, digital noise is nearly eliminated but yet detail levels remain high. All other tests after that were moot.
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