The Region Free Blu-ray Player Thread

(autephex) #61

I wouldn’t necessarily say not in the near future… things can change pretty quickly. It all depends on how many units are being sold and how much money the manufacturers are making from them.

Like your example with record players, Technics stopped producing their most popular turntable about 5 years ago. Many of the new players are cheap garbage and you have to get a vintage one for quality.

My blu ray player lasted about 10 years before dying, hardly a lifetime.

There are still lots of enthusiasts for VHS, yet finding VCRs, let alone good quality working VCRs is very hard… Even DVD players aren’t so common at this point.

I don’t want to end up with a bookshelf full of region locked discs I can’t play without having to repeatedly replace an expensive player. If a company isn’t making the effort to make their discs region free, they are essentially telling me I am not their customer and they don’t want to sell to me, so I will get it however I can then…

Not sure what kind of releases you’re buying that cost $100 for two?

Blu rays themselves are already not commonly sold where I live. The movie section at stores is shrinking smaller and smaller.

(autephex) #62

And I also have a hard time accepting that Koch is obligated to do region locked discs when The Dollars films, probably the biggest SW release possible, can be released in Germany region free… along with everything Explosive does, and all current genre releases from other countries seem to be region free also. What’s so different about Koch’s situation? Its not like they are releasing films from big studios even (at least these SWs)

(Søren) #63

A couple of releases that is 3 or 4 :slight_smile:

And regarding players the good thing is that UHD players also support DVD and they keep getting cheaper. And UHD’s are region free which is liberating.

Some companies region lock more than others that is right. Kino Lorber and Scream Factory region lock everything, Code Red and Vinegar Syndrome nothing. It doesn’t make sense.

At some point I thin we will begin seing blu-ray players that ignore the region lock but it will take some time.

(autephex) #64

Actually a couple is literally 2 :wink: A few would be 3 or 4

And I don’t know much about the UHD world yet, but I suspect its fairly likely it won’t go far. New formats fail all the time, even if they are great.

And you have to remember that the kids don’t want physical mediums now, save some minority of youngsters into our niche fandoms. But have to keep in mind that its largely the older audience of fans who still want any kind of physical formats… And although it may not feel like it when we’re discussing on these dedicated communities, we are a very niche market and the companies that mass produce products, particularly those products involving technology, are not interested in niche markets. They only care about making lots of money.

(Søren) #65

And still my record player died years ago but my son just bought one recently :slight_smile:

Also more niche genre movies are being released today than ever before but you’re talking as if you won’t be able to buy a player tomorrow :slight_smile:

Sorry, but you seem over pessimistic. At the same time you seem to think that Koch Media can make bundles of money by making their releases region free. Sorry, but your logic is flawed.

VHS players are gone yes, but that format also died, what 18 years ago. Dvds are still being made and sold today, and blu-ray’s and UHDs. If I will be able to buy players for those just 10 years after they are ‘dead’ I think that will probably be long after I’m dead either way, so the problem is non-existant :slight_smile: Don’t know how old you are. You might experience a player draught but my guess is that you will be up in the years too :slight_smile:

It really isn’t. It can also mean more than two but no matter :slight_smile:

(autephex) #66

Was your son’s new player brand new, or a used player, and if new is it one of the many pieces of crap marketed towards hipsters?

Yes, more genre movies are being released - to niche audiences such as yourself who spend lots of cash on collectible movies. However the vast majority of people who watch movies will never buy any of this. Part of the reason that these kinds of movies are often limited in release, and also vinyl music releases, is because there isn’t a big enough audience for them. These special limited releases make the collectors want them even more, as something special that won’t be around… but in fact, they are usually limited in number based on how many units would sell for the title, even if it wasn’t limited.

The majority of movie watching people don’t buy discs any more, and don’t even own players for them. That’s just how it is now, and will remain.

I never said players will become unavailable tomorrow. What I said is that I don’t want to deal in the future with having a collection of films that requires me to buy an overly expensive player to watch them. And these players will grow in price as the said players become less and less available over the coming years.

Yes, it will happen. Physical mediums are continuing to become less common and I don’t see this trend reversing, but growing.

I think we just have a very different approach to collecting.

For you, buying a couple blu rays is no big deal and you probably regularly spend what I consider lots of cash on these movies.

I wait sometimes years before buying a movie, and only buy select titles, and will not pay past a certain price for any one title.

I also will not buy things like electronics new - I wait until I can find them dirt cheap, second hand. I haven’t had more than $1000 in my bank account at any one time for the last decade, so yes, the price of a blu ray player is a lot to me.

(kevenz) #67

I just googled for a region free blu ray player and I found this one first…. it can player 4k blu ray from any region… blu ray from any region…. dvd from any region… music cds.

It has an usb input if you got a movie on an usb stick and you can even plug an usb hard drive if you have many :wink:

$400 but there’s probably better alternative out there…

(autephex) #68

The usb features are nice, but I do already have that capability and I have PLEX setup on my home network which allows me to stream any digital content I have on my computer (movies, music, whatever) to my TV like its Netflix… even displays poster art and all.

So like I said, if a company is releasing region locked discs, the message is clear: we don’t care if you buy our discs in another country because we’re locking you out… in which case I will just be streaming them digital I suppose…

All I was saying is Koch can tap into the large niche market of collectors like Arrow does with region-free… this doesn’t mean that this market is so large that it will support the continued manufacture of players…

And $400 … christ… is that actually reasonable to anyone?


Nope ! … I went Blu ray last year after finding a Philips player at a charity shop - £5.00, I then invested a further £7.00 for my replica remote control … watching telly and playing my movies on a Sony Bravia LCD £55.00 … all state of the art, just not for this decade :smile:

(kevenz) #70

@autephex: I have my own Netflix too… I use Kodi as a media server and you can put anything in there with movies posters and synopsis and all… I think it’s the future and dvd players are going to disappear someday.

Ok this one is a region free blu ray and dvd player for $148… it’s a little more resonable I guess.

(Cat Stevens) #71

I bought this Sony player on Black Friday from, I believe either the same seller, or one affiliated (in Elk Grove, IL), and it has done the job so far of playing any spaghetti disc I’ve thrown at it (well, gently placed in its tray, I should say).

(Bad Lieutenant) #72

“This is why I have 2 players…”

Admin edit: Splitting this off to give the discussion its own topic. And thanks to Bad_Lt. for triggering the debate.

Support the SWDb by shopping for region-free players at

(Søren) #73

Is there any way to get a Region Free-player in Europe for less than 200 euro?

(ENNIOO) #74

If there is not there should be for that price !

(morgan) #75

Just bought an American Sony BDP-S1500 Region A Blu-Ray and All Multi Region Free DVD Player from eBay for 100 $. With shipping and customs still less than 200 euro.

(Sebastian) #76

gave this discussion its own topic.

For the record, a lot of region-free BluRay players sold only have the DVD’s region-lock opened, the BluRay portion remains region coded. Why is that? Because DVD region code is enforced on a software level and is thus easy to manipulate. BluRay region code is a hardware specification that cannot be modified, only replaced. That makes truly region-free BluRay players a lot more rare and more expensive generally.

(Søren) #77

We have a quite aggressive customs rate in Denmark :slight_smile: $22 customs fee + 25% Vat of the total amount including postage :slight_smile: So postage can’t be that much before the 200 euro are reached.

And then I would surely still need a reliable power converter!?

(Søren) #78

Ah I think I found the player you talked about and can see that doesn’t need a power converter!? But what about the plug, does it come with a European style plug?

(candela) #79

For the more technically inclined spaghetti western fans

How to help yourself

  1. Get a PC with Bluray drive (and HDMI output to connect to TV)
  2. Install freeware VLC with libaacs and libbdplus
  3. Install freeware AACS Updater to get a public database of known Bluray keys. Installation packages including VLC libaacs/libbdplus are available which also perform necessary configuration. Optionally replace libs with newer versions

=> Run AACSUpdater to download key database. Now VLC can play Bluray discs (all regions) for which keys are in the database. This excludes Bluray discs using BD+ protection (> generation 3) or BusEncryption (not sure if VLC supports this. Get a temporarily working certificate here). Luckily only major studios use these extra protections

How to help others

  1. Install a commercial DVDFab product. Currently a free Passkey licence is available. A registered version allows playback of discs with BD+ and/or BusEncryption. Trial versions can apparently be used indefinitely for the following step, if you don’t trigger the start of the trial period by actually playing a disc
  2. Install freeware FindVUK to extract disc keys from the DVDFab product

=> Run AACSUpdater to contribute your extracted keys to the public database. This lets other people use these keys without having a DVDFab product, eg Linux people. This unlocks these discs forever and allows playback of your legally bought media (and sends a big fuck you to Bluray DRM which should be illegal)

If you need more help, please let me know. It seems difficult to start but once you have it running it’s easy. Keep in mind that FindVUK exploits a security hole in DVDFab to get the keys. DVDFab may fix this at any time (or DVDFab may get defeated by AACS itself) so it’s important to get as many keys while we can

(Bad Lieutenant) #80

Thank you for this helpful information, but in my opinion this is not the handiest of options. It’s easier to buy an American player as well. I initially had some gripe with buying one myself, for the simple fact that I already had a player for a different region. Seemed superfluous to me. However, there is no easier way around this nonsensical system. It’s either that or discard a whole bunch of cool releases because of player incompatibility.