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Title: Completely region-free!
Description: Now what?


Bob Cashill - March 3, 2012 01:46 AM (GMT)
With THE DEVILS due on R2 DVD and a bevy of Hammers coming to Region B Blu-ray I decided it was time to span the globe. So I bought an Oppo-BDP93, modified to play everything including Victrola records, and I'm off. So: Now what? What's good out there in all the DVD and BD regions? What are the must haves...and the must avoids? Where do you shop online? I'm open to everything (natch!) but thought I'd just post here. Region-free here I come...

Adam Tyner - March 3, 2012 02:43 AM (GMT)
I'll just rattle off a list of the Blu-ray titles I've imported from the UK (that haven't since been released on these shores), and maybe that'll be some inspiration:

The 39 Steps
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
A Bay of Blood
Brief Encounter
The Burmese Harp
City Girl
Eden Lake
The Edge of the World
The Elephant Man
Une femme mariee
Four Flies on Grey Velvet
The Innocents
Junebug
Lifeboat (preordered, at least)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
Martyrs
Paranoiac!
Peeping Tom
La planete sauvage
Pontypool
Profound Desires of the Gods
A Separation
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
Suspiria
Tokyo Story
Touch of Evil
Transformers: The Movie ('86)

Yikes! I've never written that all out before. Didn't realize the list was that long, and that's not even complete (figured there was no point in listing titles that came out in the U.S. afterwards, and I skipped a few that I really don't think are worth it). Clearly I'm right there with you about Region B being well worth that slight investment in another player.

. . .

Others you might be interested in:

The Conformist
Double Indemnity
The Lost Weekend
Repo Man
Rififi
Rolling Thunder
Silent Running
Two Lane Blacktop

Generally, I'd look at the lists of everything Eureka/Masters of Cinema and the BFI have put out since very, very few of those have found their way to Criterion and the like.

I'm less familiar with what's coming out in France, Germany, etc., but I know that Phantom of the Paradise from amazon.fr has been on my list of things to grab for a while now.

. . .

Personally, I've ordered all the Eureka/MoC titles directly from Eureka (they offer free worldwide shipping) and the rest from amazon.co.uk.

Brian Camp - March 3, 2012 03:14 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Bob Cashill @ Mar 2 2012, 07:46 PM)
With THE DEVILS due on R2 DVD and a bevy of Hammers coming to Region B Blu-ray I decided it was time to span the globe. So I bought an Oppo-BDP93, modified to play everything including Victrola records, and I'm off. So: Now what? What's good out there in all the DVD and BD regions? What are the must haves...and the must avoids? Where do you shop online? I'm open to everything (natch!) but thought I'd just post here. Region-free here I come...

William D'Annucci - March 3, 2012 03:18 AM (GMT)
I hear Spirits Of The Dead is amazing. Is that Region B?

If you're still hot for Heisei-era Godzilla flicks, cast your eyes to Hong Kong and Australia. Universe Laser & Video put out an anamorphic DVD of Godzilla Vs Biollante that's bare bones with a Japanese track and combo Chinese/English subs. And possibly OOP. But it looks decent enough and you're not going to find it in Region 1 anytime soon. Australia's Madman Entertainment has an Eastern Eye division that's put out a bunch of Showa and Heisei G flicks. I got an anamorphic Godzilla Vs Destroyah fairly cheap. The Japanese stereo track is a mess, but there's a serviceable mono track and good English subs, plus some extras. I'd consult online reviews and fan forums for opinions on titles.

Bob Cashill - March 3, 2012 02:58 PM (GMT)
Thanks all. I am looking for Godzilla movies, among other things. Adam's list is...incredible. It's a wide world...

William, I have the SPIRITS OF THE DEAD BD. It's region-free and indeed incredible. My other favorite region-free BD is BFI's DEEP END.

Off to CD Japan, Amazon UK, and Australia shops...other suggestions welcome.

Alan Maxwell - March 3, 2012 05:37 PM (GMT)
I've only seen it on the big screen a couple of times so can't comment on the home viewing package but notice that the BFI have released a DVD/BD pack of their restoration of The Great White Silence, a documentary following Scott's ill-fated journey to the pole and an absolutely incredible experience. Aside from a couple of effects and one scene recreated in the studio (with Scott & companions), it's all footage from the expedition's official photographer. I was amazed there was even film of this to begin with but to see this movie is something else.

Bob Cashill - March 3, 2012 05:51 PM (GMT)
Interesting, thanks. I'm finding a lot of stuff I'd like to acquire...sigh...

Wade Sowers - March 3, 2012 07:16 PM (GMT)
Keep your eye on Masters of Cinema out of England - their deal with Universal has already produced Blus of TOUCH OF EVIL and SILENT RUNNING (mentioned above) - all of these will be Region Locked. Their catalogue is also pretty neat and will set you back a few paychecks. You probably know to check Blu-ray.com as in the International Section of their Forum you will find a list of Region Locked and Region Free Blus for France and the United Kingdom. Regarding France, Gaumont has quite a list of classics they have restored and released on Blu - some are Region Free, some are Region Locked, some have English titles, some do not, some Region Locked films have English titles, some Region Free do not, so it goes - if you click on a title you can find out what is what . . . this is also from Blu-ray.com - you click Movies at the top of Home then down the left side you will see a listing for studios.

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/movies.php?studioid=270

Yi Lee - March 3, 2012 07:27 PM (GMT)
Hey Bob (and everybody else),

Two quick recs, one audio and one video.

First, if you're into high end home audio Norwegian outfit 2L and their "Nodric Sound" puts out some superb BD-audio releases that make it sound like one is sitting on stage with the musicians whilst they do their thing.

Second, if you're into Hong Kong entertainment, the seminal 1985 TVB series _The Yang [Family] Saga_ features just about every major TV idol-turned film star of the last twenty years plus was directed by the trio of Johnny To, Raymond Lee (of "Swordsman" [1991] and "Dragon Inn" [1992] fame), and Joseph Siu (probably most well known as a film producer but also co-directed 1984's _The Duke of Mount Deer_ and TVB's 1991 serial _I am Wong Fei-hung_ starring Shek Kin.) The most famous telling of the Yang clan legend is probably Shaw Bros. 1984 "Eight Diagram Pole Fighter" scripted by Ni Kuang, directed by Lau Kar-leung, and starring Lau's adopted brother Gordon Liu alongside the late Alexander Fu who died midway through filming causing the plot to be re-written to focus on Liu's character instead. Video quality is not so hot but it's interesting to see how Shaw's film division and TV division (TVB) tackle the same tale in two different formats and how the two different mediums demand different visual approaches to what is essentially the exact same material.

William D'Annucci - March 3, 2012 07:40 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Bob Cashill @ Mar 3 2012, 09:58 AM)
Thanks all. I am looking for Godzilla movies, among other things.

Madman Godzilla page

Only box sets now. Maybe individual copies are on eBay.

Dave Garrett - March 3, 2012 08:17 PM (GMT)
Another recommendation for Eureka/Masters of Cinema. It's also worth keeping an eye on the other European Amazon sites (Amazon.fr, Amazon.de) in addition to the UK Amazon site - if you've never ordered anything from them before, your regular Amazon.com credentials will work on all of them, so no need to re-register.

I've also spent more than I care to remember at Network DVD's site - get on their mailing list and you'll be notified when they have a sale. They just had one last month that knocked 50-60% off the regular prices, and the savings were even greater since US customers have the VAT removed as well. The only thing to watch out for is that they tack on a GBP40 (!) shipping surcharge for overseas customers if your order is over a certain number of titles/weight, which means that you'll want to break up a large order into multiple smaller ones (no more than one large box set per order).

Just out of curiosity, where did you get your modded BDP-93? That is almost certainly the same player I'm going to get when I go region-free Blu, but I haven't really done any research yet to determine preferred suppliers.

Bob Cashill - March 4, 2012 01:43 AM (GMT)
Didn't know you could search by studio on Blu-ray.com. Thanks, Wade.

HK and Network recs also appreciated. May have to try that Nordic sound. Too bad about the Big G, though.

Got it here, Dave. It cost me but it was Christmas cash that I had managed to hang onto. One thing I haven't been able to do is connect wirelessly to Netflix--likely a problem on my end, not Oppo's--but it doesn't matter much to me, as I can do that on my Sony (and I do it very rarely).

Julian Knott - March 4, 2012 10:28 AM (GMT)
There's not much I can add, especially after the blanket recommendations for titles from Masters of Cinema and the BFI. ITV DVD is another label to look out for (BOYS FROM BRAZIL).

As I'm in the UK, it's rare for me to import titles, except from the US.

A French disc of PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE is something I treasure - not a huge upgrade from the DVD, but a definite improvement, and the bonus features (some not English-friendly) are welcome.

Has Luc Besson's fine fantasy film THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ADELE BLANC-SEC been mentioned? The UK edition is very nice. The film is only available on DVD in the US.

I think I'm right in saying that Disney animated titles are sometimes released in Europe before the US (and vice versa). Usually they're eventually matched or bettered by US editions, though. Some UK Disney discs are missing bonus features (THE INCREDIBLES, for example), so caveat emptor!

Many box sets are relatively cheap in the UK (ALIEN ANTHOLOGY, DIRTY HARRY, SUPERMAN, etc).

Territories outside the US (inc. the UK) currently have Fox's CLEOPATRA, which I don't think is on the horizon in the US yet. Superb print, and lots of bonus features.

The UK version of Carpenter's THE THING features the behind-the-scenes documentary in its original format (the US disc has it chopped up into pieces, and threaded throughout the movie.

If you're a fan of off-beat British comedy you might like BUNNY AND THE BULL. Nic Roeg's period murder drama EUREKA is available in Australia. Philip Ridley's Faustian fantasy HEARTLESS is available in the UK, as are Oscar-winning romance ONCE; Mat Whitecross' excellent biopic of Ian Dury SEX & DRUGS & ROCK & ROLL (starring Andy Serkis); Jee-woon Kim's A TALE OF TWO SISTERS; Vincent Price horror flick WITCHFINDER GENERAL; Euro zombie films [REC] and [REC]2. These are probably available in other European versions, too, but I can't speak to those.

Quite a bit of British TV is probably only available here: Buffyesque monster series DEMONS; the re-make of THE PRISONER; lesbian drama series LIP SERVICE; pitch-black comedy series PSYCHOVILLE (from the creators of THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN); a re-formatted version of Gerry Anderson's puppet series THUNDERBIRDS; the BBC version of WALLANDER (detective series starring Kenneth Branagh, adapted from the Swedish series of novels), for examples.

I imagine that there are quite a few stand-up comedy titles available here, but not in the US.

Bob Cashill - March 4, 2012 04:07 PM (GMT)
Julian, thanks especially for the tip on ONCE, which isn't even available here on BD. (Strange, given that a Broadway production opens soon.) A TALE OF TWO SISTERS would also be a welcome addition.


Wade Sowers - March 4, 2012 05:45 PM (GMT)
If you are going to place an order with amazon.fr one of these days, this is a film by Ettore Scola I found quite remarkable (I had never heard of it) - Region Free (no longer required), beautiful transfer of a film that depends a great deal on its set design, and with Sous-titles Anglais (to say nothing of Emmanuelle Beart and Ornella Muti) . . . it's about the magic of theater as a troup of actors make their way across France on their way to Paris - romantic, funny, sad, wonderful performances, about what you would expect from Scota . . .

http://www.amazon.fr/capitaine-Fracasse-No...30882871&sr=1-2

Also, the Criterion Forum keeps a list of Masters of Cinema

http://www.criterionforum.org/forum/viewto...hp?f=14&t=10619

and BFI titles

http://www.criterionforum.org/forum/viewto...php?f=29&t=9483

which gives you a lits of what is available and some of those on the way in the near future, as well as the Region Codes . . .

Bill Picard - March 4, 2012 07:15 PM (GMT)
Can anyone recommend a somewhat less expensive BR region-free player? I was less wise with my Christmas money than Bob, I guess, and $500 is a bit steep for something I probably won't be playing too many BRs on. I'd been holding off on BR but my Oppo region-free DVD player just died (though my Cyberhome keeps chug-chug-chuggin' along) and I might as well upgrade.

Bob Cashill - March 4, 2012 07:43 PM (GMT)
Sorry for your loss, Bill. Wade, thanks as always for the tips--are you still having shipping problems from Amazon fr and de?

Adam Tyner - March 4, 2012 08:01 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Bill Picard @ Mar 4 2012, 03:15 PM)
Can anyone recommend a somewhat less expensive BR region-free player?

I use a Sherwood BDP-5004. All you have to do to play region B Blu-ray discs is punch a little code on the remote (973502) before playing. It looks like those are pretty tough to find these days, though. I think I paid around $120 for it. Kinda noisy and can be fussy about getting a disc to play, but once a movie starts playing, I've never had a problem with it.

Insignia players are really cheap and have what looks like a fairly easy way to get around region-coding by putting firmware on a flash drive. They're not the greatest players in the world, but a refurb for $50 probably makes it easy to look past whatever shortcomings there might be.

Wade Sowers - March 4, 2012 08:04 PM (GMT)
Actually, the few things I have purchased from amazon.fr and amazon.de (oh, I highly recommend the Karl May western DER SCHATZ IM SILBERSEE with Lex Barker - beautiful restoration and a fun movie, the first of these I have seen) I used the crazy expensive dispatch service that takes about five minutes and it worked, although I would not recommend it for a single title, not so bad if you are making a large purchase.

By the way, I want to thank you for finally kicking me over to the Region Free world as all of this back and forth has finally pushed me over the edge (that and the thought of those Hammer films) - I note amazon has your machine for less then $500.00 (well, $499.00) so I guess I will pick up some new Blus while in Paris this week and get one of these machines when I return, unless I get into the right cab and decide to stay.

So, is there a code you put in to play various regions on your machine, turn a switch, just put in the Blu or DVD?

Bob Cashill - March 4, 2012 08:34 PM (GMT)
What I paid extra for was the modification, so that the machine can play BDs and DVDs from all regions. You can buy DIY kits for the Oppo to do this, but I don't trust myself.

Have a good trip, Wade. Haven't been to Paris since college. Maybe meet up at midnight with Hemingway and Stein, who'd find your tales of multiregion Blu-rays dazzling for sure.

Wade Sowers - March 4, 2012 10:30 PM (GMT)
Well, you are lucky to live in a town where you can find someone to do the install, around here the outfits selling OPPO (at least over the phone) all say they do not do it and don't know anyone who does. I did find a company in another part of the country who will sell the OPPO I want with the modification already accomplished, so I guess this is the way I will have to go. These things are never as easy as you hope they are going to be.

William D'Annucci - March 5, 2012 02:03 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Bob Cashill @ Mar 4 2012, 03:34 PM)
You can buy DIY kits for the Oppo to do this, but I don't trust myself.

That's what I finally did. It took a long amount of time and patience to unplug one bit in my Oppo without breaking anything, but it worked. Only cost me $25 extra.

Bob Cashill - March 5, 2012 04:24 AM (GMT)
You're a better man than I am. I do these sorts of things shaking with fear, thinking of old movies: Don't touch the contacts! Don't cross the streams! Is it the red or the blue wire?

Wade Sowers - March 5, 2012 03:37 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (William D'Annucci @ Mar 4 2012, 08:03 PM)
That's what I finally did.  It took a long amount of time and patience to unplug one bit in my Oppo without breaking anything, but it worked.  Only cost me $25 extra.

So, where did you find the DIY kit? I'm not so good at this stuff, but I could perhaps find someone who knows what they are doing to work on it. The place I found to purchase a modified machine adds a couple of hundred to the price - just the kits they sell are around $150. Bob's right, you should never watch JUGGERNAUT (1974) before working on anything with wires.

Yi Lee - March 5, 2012 04:36 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Bill Picard @ Mar 4 2012, 01:15 PM)
Can anyone recommend a somewhat less expensive BR region-free player? I was less wise with my Christmas money than Bob, I guess, and $500 is a bit steep for something I probably won't be playing too many BRs on. I'd been holding off on BR but my Oppo region-free DVD player just died (though my Cyberhome keeps chug-chug-chuggin' along) and I might as well upgrade.

Hey Bill (and everybody else),

In a previous thread from June 2011 started by Lisa Larkin about Oppo replacements, I made the observation that "Oppo" was the overseas branding for Chinese electronics manufacturer Bu Bu Kao or BBK of Guangzhou. Owing to their wide portfolio of products--particularly their excellent gadgets for foreign language training--they've made the successful transition from being just another original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to their very own well regarded name brand. If you've been satisfied with electronic products by Sony and Philips, one of their OEMs is trying to strike out on their own and pull off a BBK: Giec of Shenzhen (I think their romanisation, a mix of Cantonese and Mandarin pronunciation, is an attempt to approximate the English word "Geek.") Take a look (Amazon China and Dang Dang are two of the bigger on-line retailers in China):

http://www.amazon.cn/GIEC杰科-...30905531&sr=1-2

http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p...t_id=1317912302

I haven't made the BD transition (yet? ever?) but for about USD $95 depending on whatever you get for Chinese RMB to USD exchange on the day of purchase, you acquire a Blu-ray player that will read just about every format imaginable, is native ABC/123456 without need for any further modification, plays both NTSC and PAL, and accepts voltage anywhere between 120 to 240v (very useful if one moves around the world quite a bit; perhaps just more cost effective to purchase more wonpro power strips from Europlugs.com?) I don't how it compares to Oppo or Lexicon (just another BBK OEM player with Lexicon's name on the front but with its' MSRP increased by a factor of ten over Oppo!) but $95 seems to be one of the less costly options out in the current marketplace. If you don't feel comfortable ordering from Amazon China, then use a Chinatown brick and mortar retailer who can place an order for you or see what eBay holds.

William D'Annucci - March 5, 2012 05:05 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Wade Sowers @ Mar 5 2012, 10:37 AM)
So, where did you find the DIY kit? I'm not so good at this stuff, but I could perhaps find someone who knows what they are doing to work on it. The place I found to purchase a modified machine adds a couple of hundred to the price - just the kits they sell are around $150. Bob's right, you should never watch JUGGERNAUT (1974) before working on anything with wires.

eBay, baby, eBay...

The voice going through my head at the time was more like "Schmuck! You are going to break a $500 player with a $25 gizmo so you can play 5 discs in you collection of hundreds!" :rolleyes:

Dave Garrett - March 6, 2012 12:41 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Yi Lee @ Mar 5 2012, 10:36 AM)
Hey Bill (and everybody else),

In a previous thread from June 2011 started by Lisa Larkin about Oppo replacements, I made the observation that "Oppo" was the overseas branding for Chinese electronics manufacturer Bu Bu Kao or BBK of Guangzhou.  Owing to their wide portfolio of products--particularly their excellent gadgets for foreign language training--they've made the successful transition from being just another original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to their very own well regarded name brand.  If you've been satisfied with electronic products by Sony and Philips, one of their OEMs is trying to strike out on their own and pull off a BBK: Giec of Shenzhen (I think their romanisation, a mix of Cantonese and Mandarin pronunciation, is an attempt to approximate the English word "Geek.")  Take a look (Amazon China and Dang Dang are two of the bigger on-line retailers in China):

http://www.amazon.cn/GIEC杰科-...30905531&sr=1-2

http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?p...t_id=1317912302

I haven't made the BD transition (yet?  ever?) but for about USD $95 depending on whatever you get for Chinese RMB to USD exchange on the day of purchase, you acquire a Blu-ray player that will read just about every format imaginable, is native ABC/123456 without need for any further modification, plays both NTSC and PAL, and accepts voltage anywhere between 120 to 240v (very useful if one moves around the world quite a bit; perhaps just more cost effective to purchase more wonpro power strips from Europlugs.com?)  I don't how it compares to Oppo or Lexicon (just another BBK OEM player with Lexicon's name on the front but with its' MSRP increased by a factor of ten over Oppo!) but $95 seems to be one of the less costly options out in the current marketplace.  If you don't feel comfortable ordering from Amazon China, then use a Chinatown brick and mortar retailer who can place an order for you or see what eBay holds.

Hey Yi, I had completely forgotten about that earlier Oppo-replacement thread (in my defense, I was running on fumes for almost all of the second half of last year thanks to a insanely compressed schedule for a large and very complex project at work).

So I take it BBK still hasn't marketed a Blu-ray player in China yet? That Giec player looks awfully tempting - it would be great if it had hi-rez audio (namely SACD) playback capabilities like the Oppo Blu decks, but at $500 less than a comparable Oppo, I think I could manage to live without that feature. Do you know if it's possible to display the on-screen menus in English?

Yi Lee - March 6, 2012 02:47 AM (GMT)
Hey Dave (and everybody else),

I haven't moved to China yet. If I were there, it'd be a quick trip down to the local electronics mall and a few minutes fidgeting with the floor sample.

Here's Giec's pages:

English
http://en.giec.cn/productsdetail.aspx?productid=29

Chinese
http://www.giec.cn/productview.aspx?id=30

Unfortunately, they don't have an owner's manual download as far as I can tell. Will be looking out for one for the next few days.

Also, of note, a press release (in Chinese):
http://www.giec.cn/newsview.aspx?id=47

Quick observation: un-advertised option shown in the screenshots is for "SACD output" so maybe this really is the little player that could.

Lastly, the BBK DVD player from 2004--still chugging along fine, BTW--did have the option to turn all the on-screen Chinese menus into English, which was pretty standard for consumer electronics purchased back then. I wouldn't be surprised if the trend continued to this day but until I come across a pdf confirming this, let's assume "no" for the moment. Will keep my eyes peeled, Dave and Bill and whoever else is considering the Giec G3600 (the G4300 is their 3-D blu-ray player BTW and probably the reason why they've slashed prices on the G3600.)

Edit:

The short of it: yes, English language menus. Another site lists it on spec:

http://product.yesky.com/product/769/769492/param.shtml

If there is unlisted SACD capability, this thing is a steal at $95.

(To Dave): BTW, I'm not sure why there isn't a BBK blu-ray player on the Chinese market yet, though one can purchase Oppo blu-ray players there domestically. My personal theory is that since "Oppo" has a certain commercial cache, they're keeping it a separate entity as not to water down that brand (even though it's pretty common knowledge that the two companies are one in the same.) Haier, the Chinese electronics conglomerate that was conceived along the lines of being a mainland zaibatsu has had to claw and scratch to build up the entire brand profile. Taiwanese Sunpentown has had similar problems doing the same when they moved their operations to China and re-casted themselves as a mainland company. I think BBK is keeping Oppo separate since it's become a proven commodity and they don't want to water down the brand recognition that one label has earned. Just a pet theory.

Second edit:

Another specs site:

http://product.it168.com/detail/doc/469941/detail.shtml

Some more quick observations:

1) So apparently all menus can be switched to display in both simplified and traditional Chinese (as to be expected for a Chinese product), English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Dutch. It appears this thing was created with more than just the domestic Chinese market in mind.

2) Has microphone input! Karaoke fiends rejoice.

3) You know piracy in China is bad when standard features include the ability to play media files straight off of usb flash drives. Not even the pretense of "you have to play an actual physical disc" anymore. I wonder what sort of video codecs they might have unofficially put inside that thing; this literally might be the last player one ever needs to purchase. The engineers at Giec obviously have BBK in their cross hairs and if this product passes the scrutiny of demanding A/V aficionados around the world, a play-everything player at $95 is an unbeatable steal.

William D'Annucci - March 7, 2012 02:36 AM (GMT)
Another cool non-US disc if you're a real Casino Royale obsessive like me is the R3 DVD of the uncut edition. Now, by uncut, that means that the opening bathroom drowning and all the violence in the stairwell sequence have been cut somewhat differently. But I think it is the better version in terms of artistry and editorial clarity.

The comparison in the linked article here is between the US PG-13 version and the German disc, but the many screencaps will give you an idea of the differences. But I believe it is the HK disc that is the complete uncut version intended by Martin Campbell. I'd be interested to know if there is a Blu-ray of this uncut version out there.

Bob Cashill - March 7, 2012 03:41 AM (GMT)
As it happens, William, I saw CASINO ROYALE here in the US...and twice more in Hong Kong, when we vacationed there in early 2007. And as soon as it got to the bathroon scene it hit me: "Hey, this is different somehow..." So I may have to get that (too). I assume there's little chance of the new Bond Blu set to have that cut.

William D'Annucci - March 7, 2012 04:45 AM (GMT)
Here's a 5 year old Mobius thread talking about the same thing! And guess who the first two posters are? Oh, we're getting old! :rolleyes:

Mobius: CASINO ROYALE Region 1 is edited!

Lisa Larkin - March 7, 2012 07:43 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Bob Cashill @ Mar 4 2012, 02:34 PM)
What I paid extra for was the modification, so that the machine can play BDs and DVDs from all regions. You can buy DIY kits for the Oppo to do this, but I don't trust myself.

Are the days of easy remote code hacks gone? My CyberHome 500 died a while back with a friend's DVD locked inside the drawer <_< and I was disappointed to find that you can't even buy an Oppo DVD player any more. I wasn't sure if their Blu-rays did region-free standard, which is a must for me with my ample region 2 & region 3 DVD collection.

Dave Garrett - March 7, 2012 10:03 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Lisa Larkin @ Mar 7 2012, 01:43 AM)
QUOTE (Bob Cashill @ Mar 4 2012, 02:34 PM)
What I paid extra for was the modification, so that the machine can play BDs and DVDs from all regions. You can buy DIY kits for the Oppo to do this, but I don't trust myself.

Are the days of easy remote code hacks gone? My CyberHome 500 died a while back with a friend's DVD locked inside the drawer <_< and I was disappointed to find that you can't even buy an Oppo DVD player any more. I wasn't sure if their Blu-rays did region-free standard, which is a must for me with my ample region 2 & region 3 DVD collection.

Blu-ray players require a hardware modification in order to enable region-switchability - you can't do it with a hidden menu or remote code.

I'm pretty sure the stock (i.e., unmodified) Oppo Blu players can handle multiregion DVDs, it's just non-R1 Blu discs that require the mod. But I haven't confirmed this.

Adam Tyner - March 7, 2012 11:14 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Dave Garrett @ Mar 7 2012, 06:03 PM)
Blu-ray players require a hardware modification in order to enable region-switchability - you can't do it with a hidden menu or remote code.

That's not entirely the case.

In software, the region setting has to be in place before the BD engine kicks in. On the Momitsu and Sherwood players, I can say from firsthand experience that a remote code does it. I have to punch in the code before I play anything, though.

Dave Garrett - March 8, 2012 10:41 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Adam Tyner @ Mar 7 2012, 05:14 PM)
QUOTE (Dave Garrett @ Mar 7 2012, 06:03 PM)
Blu-ray players require a hardware modification in order to enable region-switchability - you can't do it with a hidden menu or remote code.

That's not entirely the case.

In software, the region setting has to be in place before the BD engine kicks in. On the Momitsu and Sherwood players, I can say from firsthand experience that a remote code does it. I have to punch in the code before I play anything, though.

I sit corrected.

A cursory Google turned up the following statement on Wikipedia: "Unlike DVD region codes, Blu-ray region codes are verified only by the player software, not by the optical drive's firmware."

Michael Blanton - March 12, 2012 08:38 AM (GMT)
BLU-RAYS

A few blu-rays I've picked up that I haven't seen listed yet are the Brothers Quay's INSTITUTE BENJAMENTA; Jan Svankmajer's ALICE; Pasolini's; ARABIAN NIGHTS, THE CANTERBURY TALES, and THE DECAMERON; Peter Greenaway's A ZED AND TWO NOUGHTS, THE PILLOW BOOK; and David Lynch's MULHOLLAND DR and WILD AT HEART are all currently available from amazon.co.uk and on June 4, 2012, six David Lynch films including ERASERHEAD, TWIN PEAKS and LOST HIGHWAY will be released.

Other blu-rays from the UK I've picked up include BRIGHTON ROCK (1947); GREAT EXPECTATIONS; THE ITALIAN JOB (1969); THE INNOCENT; PARANOIAC; ZULU, THE IPCRESS FILE, THE GO-BETWEEN, THE LOST HONOR OF KATHERINA BLUM, PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, COMPANY OF WOLVES, ROLLING THUNDER, ANGELS OF EVIL, REPO MAN, ESSENTIAL KILLING, OUR DAY WILL COME, DON'T LOOK NOW, CROSS OF IRON, PRIVILEGE, THE LAST BATTLE, SUSPIRIA, INFERNO, PHENOMENA, THE BEYOND, HIDDEN, SPIRITS OF THE DEAD, I SELL THE DEAD, REDACTED, THIRST, THE GRIFTERS, TOKYO SONATA; ASHES OF TIME (Redux); MAD DETECTIVE; THE EAGLE HAS LANDED, CAPRICORN ONE

From France: Fellini's CITY OF WOMEN, BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF, OSS, CAIRO - NEST OF SPIES, OSS, RIO..., LUCKY LUKE, IN THE ELECTRIC MIST (extended eversion), DANTON, LA NUIT DE VARENNES, MR 73, 36 QUAI DES ORFEVRES, PARS VITE ET REVIENS TARD, THE CRIMSON RIVERS, LES TONTON FLINGEURS and BOUND

From Holland: THE BABY OF MACON, TIDELAND (correct aspect ratio)

From Germany: STRANGE DAYS

From Japan: SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO (UNCUT JAPANESE VERSION)

Victor Boston - March 12, 2012 10:10 PM (GMT)
Just to chime in at this point that I too have the HK R3 release of CASINO ROYALE and it's the best version as I recall but there's a handsome UK 3-disc release that has unique extras and since it's completely uncut (like the R3 release) bar a few shots from the torture sequence and available pretty cheaply I picked it up as well.

Region coding was hackable with DVD from the early days (my first player was a Creative Labs drive and video card for my PC that output to the TV) so I embraced it immediately with the likes of Carpenter's best films available in R1 and in my sweaty hands long before they appeared locally. I've amassed quite a collection of R1-R4 discs and hacked many different players without any problems as I always checked ahead. The beauty of DVD format was they didn't have to be constantly online or firmware upgraded to play everything. With Blu-ray the players are either interrogated online or constantly evolving to play new features so you can never be sure your hacked player will continue to work with each successive firmware upgrade. To be honest it's become too unwieldy to bother and I'm sticking with Region B (or Region Free) discs. I'm kind of happier now because I can enjoy what I have on DVD and not be constantly chasing the global market for better editions of titles. Some of the best US releases are region free on blu and the image manipulation that the format has introduced has made it doubly hard to make an informed purchase.

With the move away from physical media, the controversy over image quality and the degradation of some of my older DVDs, I'm reluctant to spend much more hard-earned money on discs.



Mike Thomas - March 14, 2012 01:25 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Yi Lee @ Mar 5 2012, 08:47 PM)
3) You know piracy in China is bad when standard features include the ability to play media files straight off of usb flash drives.

Thanks for your very informative and helpful posts, but as an FYI, a PS3 can also play media files from a USB drive.

Bob Cashill - March 14, 2012 01:57 AM (GMT)
More awesome lists, thanks. Victor, I hear ya; kinda wished I went from multiregion to sensible, but I've gone the other way instead...

Yi Lee - March 14, 2012 10:33 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Mike Thomas @ Mar 13 2012, 07:25 PM)
Thanks for your very informative and helpful posts, but as an FYI, a PS3 can also play media files from a USB drive.

Hey Mike (and everybody else),

Thanks for the PS3 usb info. I'm not a gamer so I have very little familiarity with that product even though I made a "Mass Effect 3" post on the Sci-Fi board.

The reason for my "piracy" comment is that the Giec player can open file-types commonly associated with peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer in Asia: Matroska Containers or MKV files, Real Player's proprietary RMVB format, and live ISOs or disk images. To my knowledge, un-hacked consumer BD players outside of China don't usually have this capability straight out of the box, particularly with the latter two.




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