Any chance HD-DVD players will become multi-region?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by astirling, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. astirling

    astirling
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    I'm referring to playing standard DVD's here. I'm keen to upgrade to HD-DVD but I've got an awful lot of R1 DVD's that I still want to watch. I don't have room for my existing player and an HD-DVD one so I'm kind of struggling. My best option at the moment is to import a R1 HD-DVD and use either my X-Box360 or my Pioneer 530H for R2 DVD playback.
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    There is virtually no chance of the US Toshiba models (either) ever being modded to be multi-region - they simply don't support PAL. Hopefully the UK HD DVD player will support R2 PAL discs and will be moddable to be multi-region PLA/NTSC playback.
     
  3. raw27

    raw27
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    Hi

    Well i tried a uk disc and the player told me wrong region, so then i used DVD shrink and removed the region code then tried again and this time the player showed a message saying "PAL disc not able to play". So the player nos it is a pal disc and as the tosh is more like a computer im sure some one out there will get around this and let it play all regions and Pal disc etc

    Thanks
     
  4. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    The us machines do not have the chips to be able to handle PAL so theres no workaround..
     
  5. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    This is as I have reported before. R2 DVDs are both PAL and NTSC so I always presume that a UK HD DVD players will have PAL and NTSC capabilities that were not needed in US.
     
  6. crispybig

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    Does anyone know of any software (similar to DVD Shrink) that will convert from PAL to NTSC while doing backups? Obviously all the burning software can handle PAL and NTSC (and probably SECAM too) as they are used worldwide. Same goes for the burning hardware - the same eveywhere.

    So the difference is just in the encoding, and someone has surely written a transcoder? Legally too, I would think, as no "laws" are being broken.

    A bit of scaling would be required to get the 576 lines down to 480, but that is routine stuff. Maybe not even that for wide ARs (e.g. 2.40) as just the blank lines could be cropped.

    If such a beastie existed we could play our NTSC backups of our PAL DVDs - couldn't we?
     
  7. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    Ulead Movie Factory 5 can transfer from Pal to NTSC quite happily....i imagine a few other products do it too......otherwise it means a hell of a lot of hard work doing various stuff the long way, do a search and you'll find potential free options, or buy a package to do it the easy way...lol

    btw, it isnt just the video, you need to adjust the sound too due to the ever so slight varience in speed.....hence using a paid for package is a lot easier....lol

    (friend of mine is from the philippines and gets videos sent from home on NTSC VCD every so often, weddings, funerals, birthays etc, so he paid for the package i use and i code them over to PAL DVD for him....)
     
  8. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    You don't want to get into format conversion. Yuk.
     
  9. JUS

    JUS
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    this is interesting...in the early days of dvd I bought a US Toshiba player..3109 I think...I'm now using the transformer from that for my XA1 :) ....the player was modded to play UK discs...and it could handle both NTSC & PAL...so I am surprised this isn't the case with these players...are you sure it's not a software restriction?
     
  10. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I am sure it is a software restriction, all someone needs to do is write the software which is potentially a pretty enormous task. DVD is trivial in comparison. We are not just talking changing a 1 or 2, we are talking a significant change to almost 60Mb of firmware (for NTSC only). The player certainly recognises PAL and many of the bits are in there in theory but for all intents without the software it just doesn't process PAL. Giving people 'hope' I think is the wrong message here I think. I would love it BUT....NO :)
     
  11. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Now I am confused.. so hardware wise theres nothing to stop the Tosh from playing PAL dics ? Just the firmware ? I thought it was missing some specific chips to do the job ??
     
  12. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Am i completely wrong in thinking that there was the 'threat' of any 'customised' players becoming 'disabled' on and via ethernet connection?
    Big Brother etc?
     
  13. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    This is EXACTLY my point, it is irrelevant whether it is hardware or software, it aint going to happen. The US HD DVD players DON'T DO PAL. Any talk about the possibilities will just raise unrealistic expectations.
     
  14. JUS

    JUS
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    Thanks Nic...interesting and disappointing all at the same time :)
     
  15. Duncan Harvey

    Duncan Harvey
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    I must admit I thought there might be a work around so that once everything was scaled up to either 720 or 1080 it would work. I can understand it not working with 576p.

    Still its not exactly a hassle having to maintain a separate DVD player for R2.
     
  16. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Chaps, do you mean they don't support PAL over RF? Or do you mean they don't support 576i/576p output over HDMI/component?

    If you mean the second I'd like to know where you get that information, because it appears to me that Toshiba use off-the-shelf Broadcom chips that support all formats. Look them up on Broadcom.com yourself and check the specs.

    As to firmware, it's likely to be the same for US and Euro models -- Japan may be same too, depends on things like character support I recon -- otherwise life starts to get complex when you're trying to fix bugs in two different sets of 60Mb code. Why keep two source trees? That's the most expensive approach, why would they do that?

    StooMonster
     
  17. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    ignore me ..must have got my wires crossed :)
     
  18. pjclark1

    pjclark1
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    I'm with StooMonster on this one

    I don't believe it is commercially viable to make machines that can only play one region/standard disk. In the past manufacturers have made one machine to sell to all markets and set the restrictions via remote commands during the testing. Hence why so many region hacks are available via standard or specialist remotes. Once Toshiba have released players for all regions, I believe the firmwares will again be unlockable via remote hacks. At the moment there may have been no firmware written for PAL regions, but I am sure this will change in time.
     
  19. jsgreen89

    jsgreen89
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    Yeah I guess when the PAL version of the A1 is released in the UK, somebody can compare the firmware to the NTSC version and create a region-free version.

    That's what i'm hoping for anyway :D
     
  20. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    The ideal will be one software that will give us what we (I) want. However it is routine to have NTSC only DVD players in the US and th same 'identical' player in the UK which is PAL and NTSC. Two different softwares. I wish it was different. I guess we will know more when someone tries flashing the UK software on a US player :)
     
  21. bsuttie

    bsuttie
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    Has anyone taken this a stage further. i.e. on a region free PAL DVD edit the ifo files to declare the VTSs as NTSC (even though they are still PAL - certainly wouldn't want to consider converting the video). Just curious, don't have a player myself, yet.

    regards

    Brian
     
  22. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Brian

    if you can make such a disc, I will test it.
     
  23. bsuttie

    bsuttie
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    OK, if you could PM me your address I'll get one in the post

    regards

    Brian
     
  24. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Will HD-A1 firmware work on HD-E1 machine and vice versa? That was my thought.

    One thing to consider, in the PC world -- and HD A1 uses a PC's HD DVD drive -- region codes are in the hardware of the drive as well as the OS and as well as the application (three levels in Windows). So perhaps the region encoding is in the HD DVD drive as well as the firmware?

    Can you use HD-A1 (American) firmware on HD-XA1 (Japanese) machine?

    StooMonster
     
  25. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I don't think we know StooM, I have never seen anything on this.

    Brian

    you have PM
     
  26. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Just an update on Brians disc which I believe is a PAL disc but marked as NTSC. IT PLAYS ;) Early days yet and I will do some more testing but it would indicate to me that this is a software issue that could be solved if there was a desire.

    Thanks Brian :thumbsup:
     
  27. scgf

    scgf
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    Nic - I just tried this too. I did a backup of a PAL DVD and then edited the 3 ifo files with ifoedit to say NTSC rather than PAL. The PAL disc played, colour & definition were excellent, it upscaled nicely . . but the movement was very jerky and the picture was lower down the screen than it should be.

    Ifoedit allows you to select the line in which PAL occurs the brings up a window with lots of parameters. When you select NTSC, the picture format and several other parameters change along with the PAL/NTSC change. I think this is causing the jerkiness - the ifo files are telling the HD-A1 that the picture format is different to what it should be for starters.

    Does anyone know how to change *just* the but in the ifo which says 'PAL' without changing all the other paramters?

    Maybe this needs a separate thread - it is certainly pretty major. It means the HD-A1 can read and output PAL SD DVDs . As you say, a simple firmware update is all that is needed, but that would not come from Toshiba :-(
     
  28. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Exactly the same result if you try to play a PAL DVD-RAM.
     
  29. bsuttie

    bsuttie
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    scgf

    If you really want to get deeper you could use a hex editor on the actual ifo file. You will find details of it here - jump to video attributes for the relevant bytes.

    However the problem I think you'll find is that the bits that set the resolution are dependant on the video standard. Even if you could separately set the resolution that would maybe correct the frame size, however PAL = 625/50 and NTSC = 525/60 in the eyes of the DVD spec, there is no separate attribute for frame rate and that is what I suspect is causing the jerkiness - 25fps material being spat out at ??? (can anyone help here, as I say I don't have a player so I'm a bit in the dark here).

    What gave me some hope that this might work was the fact that when I tried this disc on some SD DVD players they played with incorrect frame sizes / distortion, but a cheapy Samsung 950 upscaling DVD player outputting 1080i / 50 actually played it perfectly. I guess I was hoping the Toshiba might just do the same.

    regards

    Brian
     
  30. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    What you guys have said tallies with my experience here. I hope to test the freq in on the disc with another processor this evening as frc is the issue atm. It would indicate to me however that the 24 / 25 and PAL / NTSC thing is more down to firmware and in particular the output freq.
     

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