Buying a DVD Player
October 13, 2004 11:07 AM   Subscribe

A little over a month ago, my home was broken into and you were all very helpful. I am slowly replacing items, and now I need to find a DVD player. It must allow playback of many different regions - we have (well, we had, and they were stolen too, but we will replace) a lot of non-US region DVDs. On Amazon, many of the items listed don't seem to support DVD-R - and since my powerbook superdrive can only burn DVD-R, I guess I need something that will support this format. Any recommendations?

And should I even consider a DVD/VCR combination, or is the prevailing wisdom that the more complication, the more likely it is to break down?

We had a mid-range Apex code-free player before, maybe $75, worked great. I'd rather not spend more than $125 or so to get something as good or better.
posted by luriete to Shopping (7 answers total)
I'm sure it won't hold up for years and years, but Target has a teeny-tiny little model from Cyber-Home that currently I bought for $38 last week. So far it's played every disc format known to man, as well as CDs with Jpgs and MP3s, and it's progressive scan. There are also hacks online to allow it to play non-US region disks (although I haven't tried it myself.
posted by FreezBoy at 11:22 AM on October 13, 2004

A DVD/VCR is inherently a bad idea. The VCR's operation will attract dust into the unit, which can scratch or burn on to the DVD lens.

Better to get separate units, or, better yet, ditch the VCR for a PVR.
posted by Coffeemate at 11:39 AM on October 13, 2004

A good site to find the info you're looking for is (aka The search function there lets you check off specific features. Another useful site is the message forums at

For what it's worth, you don't need to spend tons of dough to get the features you're looking for. In fact the cheaper DVD players seem to be more flexible when it comes to the ability to play DVDs region-free. I bought a Norcent DP300 last year for <$50 and it plays everything I thow at it.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:26 PM on October 13, 2004

...along with everything I throw at it.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:29 PM on October 13, 2004

I don't think you can buy a DVD player that doesn't support DVD-R any more. Don't worry about that aspect of the buying decision, at least.
posted by majick at 1:59 PM on October 13, 2004

Check out this gorgeous DVD / KARAOKE!!!! machine on / (second one down)
posted by Lizc at 2:59 PM on October 13, 2004

The Philips DVP-642 can be region-free with a remote code, plays just about everything, and is pretty cheap (around $60 US) but a little flimsy.

If you can find a cheap Apex or Sampo, visit One Firmware for All and turn your device into an everything-reading, mpeg-jpeg-mp3-playing, region-and-macrovision free monster.
posted by Gortuk at 5:55 PM on October 13, 2004

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