All-region DVD players sold in America

Formido

Novice Member
Is it true that all DVD players marketed as 'All Multi Region Code Zone Free DVD Player' must either be hacked, given new firmware, or physically modified (chips replaced) to actually play DVDs from England, Australia and France? I've been told on other forums that so-called all-region players are actually not...out of the box. Also, that they require a special TV as well. Is this true?
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
Sort of true.
The issue is with the field/frame frequency used in Europe (inc. the UK), Australia, etc., for standard definition TV, which differs from the USA/Japan/etc.

Historically, it was determined by the frequency of the AC mains power supply and that legacy still remains.
The USA TV system (NTSC) operates at 60 fields/sec.
The UK (etc) TV system (PAL) operates at 50 fields/sec.

In order to play EU content you need both a player AND a TV that will handle 50hz. I suspect most US equipment will not. Whereas our equipment (less than, say 25 years old) typically will handle both.

Or - a player that will convert the 50hz disc content to 60hz for output to any US TV. This option may be simpler but standards conversion like this isn't generally very good to watch; motion may be jerky and there may be detail loss. Thus, keeping it at 50hz throughout is the better choice.

None of this is directly related to region coding. You might get a completely region-free EU/Aus title but still be unable to play it without 50hz capable gear.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Multi region DVD players certainly exist and are sold commercially. Some require a special code to be entered to unlock the feature, but the days of needing to modify the player are long gone.

Blu ray is a different matter and there's much fewer options in this respect and I am not aware of any commercially available multi region players.

Most modern tvs will hdmi inputs will accept all TV video standards, but you may find some US domestic market models that will not work with PAL sources.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
I have seen multi region suppliers in the US, you should be able to find a good one to ask.
As to the TV, models for the US market only run at 60Hz even though the display panels in them can display 50Hz.
Also when it comes to 24Hz US/Canada use 23.997Hz which can result in slight frame jumps.
The hardware is capable but the features aren't implemented.
I used to test STB firmware and some TV firmware. Imagine getting paid to watch TV. :cool:
Unfortunately it was repeats of test content.
 

Formido

Novice Member
Thanks to everyone for all the info, though I'm still not sure if I'm looking for something that does not exist. The deal is my cheapo Insignia NS-D160A14 has started to make so much noise I have to wear headphones, so its time to replace it. I'm looking to upgrade, and the idea of a multi-region DVD player sounded good on paper, but theory doesn't always match reality. I definitely don't want to have to fuss with it, to get it to work...plus fooling with firmware and such is likely outside my tech skill. Definitely don't want to have to replace my LCD TV, as it is now only used for DVDs (kicked Comcast out, and threw away the useless Mohu-Leaf antenna).

If anyone can recommend a multi-region DVD player that works out of the box, plays on a regular ole American LCD TV, has composite (red, yellow & white) connectors, and is currently available on the American market, please let me know. If not, I'd like recommendations on a regular ole DVD player with composite connectors (my setup only uses these RCA connectors). I have zero interest in Blu-ray, so that is a non-issue.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
The composite video is different between Europe and the US I'm afraid.
I suggest looking for multi region suppliers in the US and see if they can supply what you want.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
It's not a specific recommendation since I have no direct knowledge but this is one of several examples
Amazon productWhat's not clear from the spec/description is whether it will convert PAL based (50hz) disc content to an NTSC signal (60hz). I have in the past seen similar cheap machines that will do so, so it is a possibility.
Or - maybe your TV will handle PAL/50.

Of course - if you have no need for PAL/50 playback then that becomes a non-issue.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
There is a comment on that Amazon product page that it upscales European DVDs to 1080p 60Hz.
The commenter's name is Jojo.
 

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