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Re: [ARSCLIST] Using Modified Code Free Video Players

From:  Jones, Randye
> I am looking for a combination DVD-VCR that can play any region discs. 

Unless your VCR is broken and you can't find a separate anymore, why in
the world do you (or anybody else) want a combo DVD-VCR???  If you want
a DVD player, buy a DVD player.  Don't compromise it with a VCR
mechanism on the same chassis. 

If you are thinking that a combo machine with a region-free DVD section
would enable the playing of PAL or SECAM video tapes, it doesn't work
that way.  Except for most PAL VCRs sold in Europe which will play our
NTSC tapes on their PAL TVs, you would need a multi-system VCR and these
are becoming rare in the U.S.  As for multi-region DVD players, that is
a much simpler problem.  

Start by googling the make and model number of machines you already own
with the word hack, or region-code hack, and you will instantly find how
to hack the machines you already have if anybody has figured out how to
do it.  The web sites, such as the one mentioned by Thomas Stern are in
other countries where their legislatures have not been bought by the
MPAA and have not passed these laws which serve to help only the
American movie industry. Very often the hack can be easily done with the
remote control.  If it needs a chip, don't bother doing it, DVD players
are so cheap it isn't worth it.  

If you see any machine in a store, a catalog, an ad, or web site, just
google it with "hack" or "region-code hack" and see if it is
remote-control hackable.  If it is, buy it.  If it isn't, try some other

If you live in or near a major city, all you have to do to get a
region-code machine is go into any European or Asian immigrant community
and go into any video or electronics store (and sometimes any corner
grocery store) and there will be plenty of region-code free machines
openly on sale.  

> So far, I've only found players that have been modified to be code free.

Usually all the store did was get a wholesale lot of hackable machines
and spent 3 minutes hacking each machine.  If they have not raised the
price or only raised it $5 or so, fine.  Don't let them charge much more
for this simple service.

> This raises two questions: first, are there players that
> are produced with that feature already in place

Last week in a reputable NYC department store I saw a table piled high
with a brand-less Chinese machine that amazingly had a European SCART
jack and no indication of region code on the box, machine, or
instruction book.  It was only $20 bucks (supposedly marked down from
$60) so I grabbed one (mainly for the SCART capability) and found when I
got it home that it was region-code free right out of the box.  I went
back and bought 5 more. It has a SCART, 5.1 audio outputs, S-video out,
component video outs, and fibre optical out.  My daughter and I already
have many DVD players and recorders and if we take them out of the
boxes, these will be used if we need to toss a player into a suitcase or
use in some inner recess of our collections.

> that would stand up to the expected wear-and-tear?

So what if it doesn't last forever, it only cost 20 bucks. Most of the
easily hackable machines are the cheap ones.  Most of the expensive
machines aren't hackable. Buy three $60 machines instead of one $180
machine and keep the other two in their boxes.  Don't use it for regular
use, use it only if you come across a non-region one disc.

> Second, would using a modified player present DMCA issues?
> Any assistance you can provide to either/both questions
> would be appreciated.  Regards,  Randye Jones

You do intend to double-lock all your doors, put up your black-out
curtains, and station a guard with a shotgun at each entrance, don't

Hacking the machines for region code will still not remove Macrovision
or other copy-guard systems.  So it just allows you to watch the
forbidden disc that was imported from some evil nasty foreign country. 
But except for the major multi-nationals, most independent producing
companies around the world are now producing their discs Region 0 (zero
or region-free).  The MPAA has not been able to wine and dine and
provide willing starlets to the legislators in most other countries like
they have to our easily purchased U.S. Congress, so most other countries
don't care if you (gasp!) watch a movie from some other country.  Since
the late 1980s most of THEIR PAL VCRs (even the cheapest ones)could play
our NTSC tapes on their PAL TVs. I have noticed that most non-hacked DVD
players I've encountered will convert PAL to NTSC on code-free DVDs to
make them viewable on our NTSC TVs.  When the HD-DVD system was devised
it did not include a Region Code system to make all discs playable
everywhere!!  Which is why the U.S. film industry quickly KILLED that
system in favor of Blu-Ray which has its own Region Code system.  And we
Americans think we live in a free country with freedom of speech, etc.

Mike Biel  mbiel@xxxxxxxxx  

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Using Modified Code Free Video Players
From: Thomas Stern <sternth@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, June 15, 2009 2:45 pm
To: ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I am not familiar with DVD-VCR combos, but you should look at
the website VIDEOHELP.COM, hacks section.
Many DVD players have a region code menu which permits the
user to change the region of the machine, or set it to ALL regions.
The menu is accessed by entering a sequence of commands and numbers
the remote control. This information is NOT made available by the
manufacturers (they have established this technological enforcement
of their continental cartels, which I think should be outlawed as
restraint of trade) but is available free on the website cited. There
are also companies which offer to SELL this information, or modify
the machines, but for many players it is foolish to spend money for
There are SOME brands which do NOT have a menu as described above, so do
require the modification and replacement of the programming on the
hardware chips,
and that service is also available for hefty price.
 I do not know what, if any, legal issues exist, and all inquiries
regarding this have received NO response.
 Best wishes, Thomas.

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