Help me find a region free blu ray player.
December 2, 2009 1:13 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a (US market) Blu-Ray player that can be converted to play dvds from any region.

I have a large collection of dvds from around the world. Some of them are region encoded for other regions than the US.
I have had various dvd players that can be modified in one way or another to play dvds from any region.

(I am not worried about the PAL/NTSC difference)

I recently got a blu ray player, and I love what the upscaling it does on most of my dvds. However it refuses to play non region 1 dvds.

(Note I am here talking about regular dvds, I am as of now not worried about the blu ray region encoding).

In an effort to keep my life simple, I would prefer to have one unit that could play my blu rays, my dvds and my foreign dvds.

I did some searching on the internet and went out and bought a LG 370 blu ray player, since I had seen a file to hack it on the internet. It turns out after much sweat that the us model I got with the latest firmware is not modifiable.

So, what I am looking for, is a blu ray player, available on the US market, preferably some large chain store, that either out of the box, or with an available mod, will play dvds from any region.

There are several parameters to that,
1) Its currently available
2) The current hardware and firmware versions are still modifiable.
3) The mod or hacks is easy to find and works.

If someone has been able to mod a LG 370 US model successfully I would have to hear about that too.
posted by digividal to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Note: I am aware that some people just make a copy of the dvd, with software that removes the region encoding.
Since I have quite a lot of foreign dvds I would prefer not to have to do that.
posted by digividal at 1:14 PM on December 2, 2009

The library where I work recently purchased several region-free DVD players from this place, located outside Chicago. They offer several region-free Blu-Ray players. I think they take the original player and modify it, so the manufacturer warranty may be void, but they've been pretty good about returns and handling problems so far. YMMV, and there may be similar stores out there.
posted by arco at 1:38 PM on December 2, 2009

You also might be able to identify hackable players from the list of players they offer, then do the job yourself.
posted by arco at 1:39 PM on December 2, 2009

Try searching or asking in the forums at
posted by IanMorr at 1:45 PM on December 2, 2009

The easiest way to do that is to buy a USB Blu-Ray drive for your PC and to buy and run AnyDVD. It removes all copy protection and region coding from whatever disc (DVD or BD) is put in the drive. (AnyDVD works fine under Vista and Win 7.)

The bad news is it means you'd be playing your discs on your PC, not on your living room television. The good news is that it's not very expensive.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:53 PM on December 2, 2009

Using a PC is only inexpensive and easy if you have a PC that is powerful enough to smoothly play HD video. If you've got that, then hooking up to a TV is often trivial.
posted by rxrfrx at 1:57 PM on December 2, 2009

I have tried the VideoHelp forums.
Its where I went before I bought the LG 370, since it was mentioned and listed on the forum.
I then discovered after I had bought it that the US version or current firmware can not be modded anymore.
posted by digividal at 2:02 PM on December 2, 2009

Try an oppo with this DIY mod
posted by travis08 at 2:13 PM on December 2, 2009

Also for the Oppo, I believe the only thing needed to make the DVD player region free is inputting the proper code with the remote. The Mod Kit is only needed to make the Blu-Ray region free.

So it's pretty trivial if you only need region free DVD playback, and only slightly more difficult if you need region free Blu-Ray.
posted by travis08 at 2:22 PM on December 2, 2009

I will look at the oppo. It was a bit more expensive than what I had hoped for, given that hte LG I bought I got for $120.
posted by digividal at 2:51 PM on December 2, 2009

The Oppo hacks I can find that apply to the blu ray player seems to involved a pretty advanced hack.
Do you have a reference for the codes that can be inputted from the remote to make a player region free for dvd playback.
posted by digividal at 3:34 PM on December 2, 2009

I own a Dune HD Center, and use the "region free patch", for both Bluray and DVD.

I own a Popcornhour C200, in which I inserted a LG BH08NS20 Bluray/DVD drive, which I reflashed to be "rpc-2 autoreset". With the "region free patch" plays all regions. (technically, a change-region-as-many-times-as-you-want, which is why you need to make sure the DVD part of the drive is RPC1, or RPC2-autoreset).

However, these are top of the line players, and cost appropriately. But networked, and plays everything, so definitely a good purchase.
posted by lundman at 5:55 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I forgot to mention that both hacks are easy, Dune you just run a file using the GUI browser (network or off USB), then use remote control to change region.

C200 you use the GUI CSI installer to install patch (once), then use remote controller to change the region. The only hassle is re-flashing your bluray/dvd drive (or research/purchase one without such restrictions).
posted by lundman at 5:58 PM on December 2, 2009

I will look at the popcornhour. It is half the price of the oppo so that is good.
posted by digividal at 10:08 AM on December 3, 2009

Ok I searched around for the popcornhour C200 for a while, and I found a disturbing number of posts that claims it cannot play this blu-ray or that blu-ray. This makes me quite nervous about investing in it.

Not only do I have to worry about the region free part, but even wether or not it will even play a blu ray in the first place.

I have found no good review on the quality of its up converting either.
posted by digividal at 3:32 PM on December 3, 2009

These are new devices, if you ran the "official" firmware, you will find many blurays do not play. I run the latest beta firmware, and every single bluray does play. It is worth to remember that bluray changes their encryption with new disks they release, and the player manufacturers have to update their software to stay compatible. Generally, you just need to wait for the next firmware and it will play it again. Syabas (C200) have been very good with firmware updates.

Personally, I think they released the C200 too early. It should have been released now, as opposed to Sept.

I can not comment on the up-converting. My DVDs play fine on 720p/1080p tv, but I have nothing to compare that with.
posted by lundman at 5:52 PM on December 6, 2009

I solved this by picking up a blu ray player when I was in Europe.
I checked to make sure it was 120/220v 50/60 hz compatible
before I bought it.

Its a little bit like cheating, and it does require me to have two
players. but I can now play all of my discs again.
posted by digividal at 2:23 PM on February 1, 2010

Hey digividal,

Which player did you pick up in Eurupe? Are you happy with the upconverting?

posted by talljamal at 1:06 AM on February 8, 2010

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