Region Free Imports

Betamax and beyond

Region Free Imports

Postby bluebottle on Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:55 pm

I live in Canada, and i've got myself a region free player.

Anyone else?

Here's the dvd's i currently own, and watch thanks to my handy "malata" (whatever the hell that is)

Spaced
Big Train
Survivors - Season 1
Alan Partridge (all incarnations)
People Like Us - Season 1
Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible

What have you imported?
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Postby John-Locke on Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:44 pm

I've Imported Shitloads in the past.

Kill Bill Volume 1 Japanese UNCUT
Renegade aka Blueberry from Canada
The Shield Season 4 (before I discovered BT)
Motorama
Badder Santa
JSA
Oldboy
Three Extremes
Volcano High
Ashes of Time
Hero
House of Flying Daggers
Cassern
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Postby Nordling on Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:47 pm

The LAYER CAKE 2-disc is both the shiz and the nit.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:46 am

Oldboy and Battle Royale were my last 2 imports. Worth every bootlegged dollar.
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Postby Pissed-Off Crawdad on Sun Sep 11, 2005 6:21 pm

I waited for the American release of Oldboy, but I also imported the Battle Royale movies. And when my friend was in Japan, I got him to pick up the region 2 Kill Bill from there. It's far better than the American release. First, it's got far better documentary footage, along with extras devoted to the anime. Then, it's got the Japanese version of the film, which has a few extra shots in the anime, a longer, full-color Crazy 88 sequence, and another shot that actually shows what else The Bride cut off. We'll probably get those here eventually, with the edited together Kill Bill Special Edition we've heard about for so long, but I'm getting a little tired of waiting.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Sun Sep 11, 2005 7:54 pm

Since I got a Region Free Player Ive been watching alot of the Region 3 Celestial Pictures DVDs and also R2 Italian Crime Classics.
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Postby Cbabbitt on Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:40 am

Last one I ordered was SEVEN SWORDS. It still hasn't arrived though, which is driving me absolutely fucking insane!

I get tons of movies from hkflix.com. Best place for imports.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Thu Sep 22, 2005 2:09 am

Cbabbitt wrote:Last one I ordered was SEVEN SWORDS. It still hasn't arrived though, which is driving me absolutely fucking insane!

I get tons of movies from hkflix.com. Best place for imports.


Man, I hope you're not disappointed. From what I've read Tsui made a flat out bomb. Say it ain't so. Please.
Personally, I'm an atheist in the voting booth and a theist in the movie theatre. I separate the morality of religion with the spirituality and solace of it. There is something boring about atheism.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Thu Sep 22, 2005 5:17 am

I have a region-switchable player out here in Switzerland... I don't really import per the classical definition... I'm more of a DVD "runner." Everytime I go home (Montreal) I pick up a bunch of stuff to watch out here.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Sep 22, 2005 6:36 am

For dumb people like me, can someone explain the region-free thing? Does it allow you to watch movies from any region? Or just special REGION FREE movies?

WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT FUCKING REGION FREE DVDS!?!?
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Postby Pacino86845 on Thu Sep 22, 2005 6:52 am

Hey burl,
region-free DVD players do not "check" for what region a disc is supposed to belong, so generally the idea is that they can play discs from all regions, and even region-free discs (which don't have region-encoding)... usually this works well but it has been known to happen that some discs are "stubborn" and don't play on region-free players.... which is why I keep a region-switchable player... which basically switches its type according to the disc you want it to play. Usually the region-freeness of a player is a hardware setting of some sort, and the region-switchability is more of a software setting. I have a German (since I live in Switzerland) player called "Xoro" which, though I'd never heard of it before, I find cool because it's like Zorro but with an X. It wasn't that expensive, to be honest, and you could probably find an American equivalent for cheap.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:25 am

Thanks. I will look into this with the filthy lucre I obtain from going to college for two years and graduating and collecting undeserved checks from near strangers.
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Region Free Imports

Postby bastard_robo on Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:58 am

THe hell do i begin......


Um.. Last ones i picked up were

SEVEN SWORDS and the KICK ASS!!! Tom Yum Goong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Tony JAA is the shiznac)

Of Regin Free stuff i own:

Battle Royale 1 & 2 Extended Cut Collectors box (from Korea)
Versus (An all time favoirte!)
Azumi
Aragami
Longinus
Down 2 Hell ( i like Kintamura)
Survive Style 5 (movie OWNS!)
Cutey Honey (EXCELLENT! Go Nagai would be proud)
Devilman (if Go Nagai were dead, he'd be spinning like a rotisery in his grave)
District 13 (the movie shown over the weekend at BNAT)
Ong Bak
Volcano High
Zebra Man (Miike is the man)
Born to Fight (just as crazy as Ong Bak)
My schoolmate the Barbarian
Casshern (AWESOME!)
Pyrokinisis
Tokyo 10+1

All but Devilman were worth it! God bless bootlegging!
Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everyone is gonna die. Come watch TV
— Rick and Morty

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Postby colonel_lugz on Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:03 am

All of 'Beat' Takesh Kitano's is well worth getting hold of
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Postby Seppuku on Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:07 am

Living out here in Bat Country (the U.K...trust me, there are a surprising amount of bats out here), DVD Television box-sets are pretty extortionate. The prices are getting closer to U.S. prices every year, but they're still far too much; so I import a lot of region 1 TV Box Sets (Buffy, West Wing, Twilight Zone Original Series).

Also it's always cool having a few cheap knock-off Chinese DVDs in your collection, for comedy value. I have a Chinese copy of Yojimbo that has the worst subtitles I've ever read. I'm pretty sure that they just put the whole script through Altavista Babel Fish and left it at that. "You with fight iron save people villagers in time, yes?"
Dale Tremont Presents...

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Postby DocPazuzu on Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:51 pm

Attention!

There are two things to watch out for if you want to go DVD Global (and what true film geek wouldn't?). Yes, there are region codes in effect around the world, but there are also two different video systems to keep in mind when it comes to DVD, namely NTSC and PAL. NTSC (the inferior) is the standard in the U.S. and Japan (I think) among a few other places. PAL (the superior) is the standard in Europe and Australia.
So, if you're in the market for buying a multi-region player, you want to make DAMN sure that it ALSO is NTSC-PAL compatible. If not, you'll end up with a machine that couldn't give a shit about codes, but can't read your imported discs because they are of another format.
I should add that this is predominantly a problem in the U.S. where there is virtually no such thing as a "multi-system" (NTSC-PAL) television. In Europe, 99% of all televisions are multi-system these days so all they have to worry about is getting a region-free DVD player (almost a standard in itself).
For Americans, the best course of action is therefore to buy a region-free player that can CONVERT NTSC to PAL (and back again) and display the image on any television. I therefore recommend a Malata player. They use the same decoding chip as the JVC machines but at a much lower price. Don't fall for the even cheaper-ass alternatives you sometimes see advertised at certain crap outlets, which can't reproduce the image at the correct format.
You can get a decent Malata for a $130 (plus postage) online.

DocP
Now cough.
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Postby bc1970 on Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:13 pm

The NTSC to PAL thing is keeping me from making the leap. All the reviews I've read about modified region free players that <i>include</i> converters end up being crappy, and a converter is too high for my wallet. The Filmation Flash Gordon series is available in the UK, as is Flash Gordon SE and Six Million Dollar Man. Bummer.
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Postby bluebottle on Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:23 pm

my player has a built in converter and the only time i notice anything weird in the picture is when credits roll.
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Postby Cineister Jim on Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:26 pm

I can vouch for the Malata players too, and I got one of the older models from about 3 years ago...it's the only player I've been using since.

I live in the US, so I'm going from the higher rez PAL to the lower rez NTSC standard. The PAL does play sped-up, but casually watching a film, you will never notice it.

I've been working on my Shaw Brothers library from Celestial, and a few others...

Five Venoms
38th Chamber
Vengence
8 Diagram Pole Fighter
Inframan
Descent
The Big Boss
Fists of Fury (B.Lee)
The Hitcher (2 disc)
Shaun of the Dead (UK)
Kung Fu Hustle (HK, uncut)

Just a small sample
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:35 pm

I'm looking to purchase a region free player for here in the US that will convert PAL to NTSC. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations. I see the above info about a Malata player but my quick google search seems to find alot of discontinued machines. So any other recommended brands?

Thanks.
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Postby Fried Gold on Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:38 pm

From the other thread:

Chairman Kaga wrote:I'm not sure if this topic is a no no for the Zone because I'm unaware of the legality of these players but.....

Does anyone in the US own a region free player?
If so what functions should I look for while shopping for one?
Do PAL dvds using an internal converter look odd on an NTSC tv?

Thanks.


Most modern TVs can play any NTSC/PAL/SECAM video signal as far as I know. So a PAL disc likely won't look any different.

Region free players aren't considered illegal and almost all players can be "hacked" using a code input from the remote control. The sale of region locked players was basically to reinforce price levels for different countries. (If fact I think there've been legal precidents set in various courts that suggests region coding is against free trade laws)

The region unlocking codes are available from lots of different websites.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:41 pm

I recall searching for such an unlocking code a few years ago for my old Toshiba but I think it was a no go. I will do another search though just in case.

As far as I knew and echoing DocP's above post I thought most US tv's weren't PAL capable etc.
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Postby Fried Gold on Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:46 pm

A US TV will play a PAL video, but you might run into problems with anamorphic widescreen pictures. All depends on how capable your DVD player is.

EDIT: You might be right. I've just read some info (albeit possibly out-of-date info) that says some NTSC players won't play PAL discs like you say. It might be a trial and error thing.

Seems odd that pretty much everywhere else in the world can play any disc.
Last edited by Fried Gold on Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby King Of Nowhere on Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:47 pm

Chairman Kaga wrote:I recall searching for such an unlocking code a few years ago for my old Toshiba but I think it was a no go. I will do another search though just in case.

As far as I knew and echoing DocP's above post I thought most US tv's weren't PAL capable etc.


As FG said, google your DVD player's brand & model number.
Alternatively, if you have a ps2 you could buy one of those Action Replay/GameShark disks.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:55 pm

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Postby King Of Nowhere on Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:00 pm

This place has unlock codes & a help forum.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:03 pm

Thanks for the links all but it seems a no-go. A number of places state to throw in the dvd and wait for the region violation to come up and then circumvent it but just as many have people state afterward that it doesn't work (I should borrow an R2 disc to try this out but I'm not holding my breath). Likewise there seems to be no means of changing it once looking at the menu showing the Rom info.

That's fine no big deal. I figured replacing this 7-8 year old player in the process would not be a bad thing.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:07 pm

Chairman Kaga wrote:Thanks for the links all but it seems a no-go. A number of places state to throw in the dvd and wait for the region violation to come up and then circumvent it but just as many have people state afterward that it doesn't work (I should borrow an R2 disc to try this out but I'm not holding my breath). Likewise there seems to be no means of changing it once looking at the menu showing the Rom info.

That's fine no big deal. I figured replacing this 7-8 year old player in the process would not be a bad thing.


Apex players are ridiculously cheap and can play pal/ntsc.
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Postby CeeBeeUK on Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:29 pm

What model Toshiba is it? I have had two and both have been unlockable by flashing the firmware to region 0.

My latest one is an HDMI upscaler so aspect rations haven't been a problem.
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Postby sonnyboo on Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:19 am

I have

LEON (region 2 NTSC from Japan before it was released in U.S. as THE PROFESSIONAL and in it's full European cut of the film)

SPACED (3 disc kick ass set)

LOCK STOCK & TWO SMOKING BARRELS (director's cut also before it was released in the U.S.)

KILL BILL VOL I (Japanese cut) - with the crazy 88's battle in color and also slightly extended

DANNY THE DOG (pathetically renamed UNLEASHED in the U.S. and this is in it's original unrated form)

HERO (Chinese original extended cut)

SERENITY (region 4 Australian 2 disc version that still has a few bonus features not released in the new U.S. 2 DVD version including a 30+ minute Q&A after a screening with Joss Whedon)

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
burlivesleftnut wrote:WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT FUCKING REGION FREE DVDS!?!?


When DVD's were first coming out, a lot of the studios did not commit to releasing titles on DVD for fear of exactly what has occurred - perfect digital copies with little or no loss in quality.

Part of the worry THEN, as opposed to now, was that a film was released in the U.S. first, then it wouldn't even come out for 6 months to a year in other countries. Thanks to the Internet - and also the non-illegal aspect of being able to order a legitimate DVD from Amazon.com in the U.S. before it comes out in theatres in Spain (or wherever), that would directly affect box office in those territories.

So the manufacturers of DVD players had to come up with a way to copy guard the officially released DVD's so that each world territory would only be able to play that region's discs.

There are 8 regions. North America is Region 1, Europe and Japan are Region 2 (even though Japan is NTSC and Europe is PAL), Australia is Region 4, etc.

REGION FREE means the disc and/or player are set to play any region's DVD's. Most players, especially the cheap ones (like APEX), are mass produced for every market in the world, so they have either a physical dip switch or even a simple remote control setting to set the region for their players. Region "0" is usually saying REGION FREE.

Some companies sell players already set to REGION FREE.

Since most movies are now released simultaneously world wide, the whole region thing is becoming meaningless.
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Postby Evil Hobbit on Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:48 pm

Just ordered Cloverfield, There Will Be Blood and Dirty Harry blu-rays. All region free US releases! Like 19 euro's each including shipment from Amazon. Can't find them that cheap in Europe...
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