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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Blu Rays from Germany - what's required?

   
Author Topic: Blu Rays from Germany - what's required?
Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12410
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-14-2016 01:48 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have a friend who had a heart attack which has left him partially disabled and with mental issues. He is currently living in an assisted living facility. He had been working as the IT guy for our film booker, but in a former life he was a German teacher so he's fluent in German.

He actually has an easier time conversing in German than in English, and he loves movies, so our film booker has suggested that he would love to see movies in German. I also have a niece who lives in Germany and said she can send over any movies he might want, BUT I'm wondering about his ability to play them. I know Germany has a different BR region code than the US, but what about power differences?

Can anybody tell me what kind of equipment he'll need?

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Steve Wilson
Film Handler

Posts: 99
From: Paoli, IN, USA
Registered: May 2004


 - posted 10-14-2016 02:15 PM      Profile for Steve Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email Steve Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you get on Ebay, you can find Blu Ray players which can be changed from one region to another. But they are bit pricey. $200 or more for a player. I looked at them when we were thinking about horror movies which are not available in the USA but were available in the UK. Some of the Hammer Movies. Check it out

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3713
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 10-14-2016 02:32 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A multiregion DVD or BD Player is all you need.

- Carsten

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6960
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 10-14-2016 03:25 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The last time I investigated this, multi-region BD players were seriously expensive. DVD only players were very cheap, and furthermore there are hacks that you can find online to make many region 1 players multi-region. But not (again, the last time I looked, which was around two years ago) BD.

When I visited some relatives in the UK around December 2014, I simply bought two cheap Samsungs at PC World in Wimbledon for around £50, having first checked the sticker on the back to ensure that the power supply would accept 100-240v and 50-60Hz, and brought them home with me as hand luggage. We've been using them on and off at the Egyptian and Aero ever since, and they work fine. Unusually for Samsung devices, they haven't burst into flames or shaken themselves to death, either! The only gotcha is that the firmware won't update (it gives an error message if you try to do so through the player's menus), presumably because when it "phones home" to Samsung, the server checks the IP, knows that it's outside the region it's supposed to be used in, and won't deliver the update. Can't think of any other explanation. But we've never encountered a region 2 disc that they won't play.

So it might be worth investigating ordering a cheap region B/2 player directly from amazon.de or amazon.co.uk. It'll cost a bit to ship, but you'd still be ahead on the $400-ish that was the cheapest multi-region player I could find from a US-based vendor the last time I looked.

The other option would be to use a utility such as DVDFab to make region-free copies of the German BDs you buy, but if you don't have a BD burner in your PC, that would be a significant expense ($100ish the last time I bought one), as would blank discs ($2ish for single layer, $5-6 for double). Needless to say, doing this is also illegal.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7976
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-14-2016 04:04 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Do home HD TV sets sold in the US work with 50i or 25p material? D-cinema projectors and most broadcast monitors will work fine, but that doesn't mean that the average home TV set will (I have never tried and don't know).

There are DVD players that will convert from PAL to NTSC and vice-versa, but I don't know of any BR players that will do that.

The multi-region version of the Oppo players works fine, but switching regions is a bit of a pain. I have not seen a BR player that will just take any disk and play it like multi-region DVD players will do.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6960
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 10-14-2016 04:46 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I emigrated from the UK I brought my region B set-top BD player with me. It's a cheap and unspectacular LG. It plays region B BDs through our refurbed from woot.com, $200 40" Vizio flatscreen with no problems whatsoever.

The two machines in the theatres both go through scalers (Aja FS2 in one, Intelix in the other), though - I've never tried them hooked by HDMI straight to a consumer TV.

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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 871
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-14-2016 05:14 PM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Scott Norwood
There are DVD players that will convert from PAL to NTSC and vice-versa, but I don't know of any BR players that will do that.
Bear in mind that Blu-Rays are neither PAL or NTSC, but a format unto themselves (at least, the HD content on them is. Any SD content, like the extras, will be one or the other). At any rate, any domestic Blu-Ray player should be able to play any material, HD or SD, from any region 1 or international region 0 disc provided it is output to a flatscreen via HDMI. Other regions code flags, alas, will require a hack code or a multi-region player.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12134
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-14-2016 05:56 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah...a lot of people don't stop to think that they can also send a player from the region and that may be the cheaper/easier option.

There are definitely mulit-region "kits" for the likes of Oppo. To get an Oppo to play DVDs is super-easy there is a file that one can burn to CD...insert and the player will configure itself as region 0. For Blu-rays, that is another story but there are a couple of hardware solutions out there that work and the mods are easy and undoable if it should ever need to go back for repairs.

But for home use? I'd just get the player from the country of interest...put a little German flag on it.

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Steve Wilson
Film Handler

Posts: 99
From: Paoli, IN, USA
Registered: May 2004


 - posted 10-14-2016 09:02 PM      Profile for Steve Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email Steve Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I would recommend the following. I have one of these units, but not a region free. The 4K up-scaling is phenomenal. On Ebay around $200 plus or minus.

Sony BDP-S6500 Region Free DVD & BD ZONE ABC Blu-Ray Disc Player- 4K- 3D- WIFI

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 10-14-2016 09:18 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Also keep in mind that at least 2/3 of all Blu-rays are region free.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1828
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 10-15-2016 11:09 AM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have two of the earlier Sony BDP-S5100 multi region Bluray player. It works flawlessly, with no jitter or other issues via HDMI cable to both my Panasonic AE8000 projector and my LG 4K USHD flat screen. They even support 3D, and the multi-region functionality even survived a firmware upgrade, although you need to follow the sellers instructions for multi-region to continue working. On my players, the instructions were to allow the Bluray player to download the firmware, as opposed to downloading from Sony to a PC.

Search Amazon for "multi region bluray player". There are bunch for around $250. Avoid the cheaper no name brands.

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1363
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 11-06-2016 07:35 PM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark Ogden
Bear in mind that Blu-Rays are neither PAL or NTSC, but a format unto themselves (at least, the HD content on them is. Any SD content, like the extras, will be one or the other). At any rate, any domestic Blu-Ray player should be able to play any material, HD or SD, from any region 1 or international region 0 disc provided it is output to a flatscreen via HDMI. Other regions code flags, alas, will require a hack code or a multi-region player.

Correct. I have a few Region 0 BD's from international markets, and they play fine.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12410
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 11-06-2016 10:11 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks all for the info. Much appreciated. We'll work on getting him some entertainment!

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