In your quest for a regionless DVD player, you may have thought that only expensive units could have their regions changed. Not so! Wal-Mart offers a continuing lineup of region-hackable DVD players for under $100.
A recent purchase caused smiles in our house! The Durabrand PDV705 portable player turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. It is compact, rich in features, and in a few seconds with a few remote control clicks, it transforms into a Region 0 (all-regions) player.
The unit will play a number of DVD and CD formats, including: DVDs, audio CDs, CD-R/RWs, MP3 CDs, photo CDs, DivX, XviD, and JPG.
Don't let its size fool you! The screen may be small (7 inches) but it packs a lot of features into a tiny bit of space. Many options that are only available on competitors’ players by going into Setup are accessible via buttons under the player's pop-up lid.
On-board buttons include: Power switch (right hand side of player), Brightness, Color, Audio, Display, Subtitle, Forward, Backward, Volume, Next, Previous, Stop, Play, Pause, Setup, Directional (arrow) buttons, OK (Enter), and Open.
If you have your own S-video or coaxial cable, you can use the corresponding jack to connect the DVD player to your home TV or entertainment system.
Although the Durabrand PDV-705 doesn't include earphones, it does come with several accessories - including a battery that appears to be of much higher quality than those in more expensive units.
Accessories include: AC adapter, car adapter, TV connection cable, remote control, two AAA batteries, rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, user's guide, and product registration/warranty card.
If you would like to set up an audio program to fall to sleep to at night, use the ‘programmed play’ function and queue up to 16 tracks from a regular audio or MP3 CD. An added bonus: your songs can be stored in separate directories, rather than in one large root directory.
Unfortunately, the sound is flat and metallic when using the external speakers. Switch to earphones or earbuds, however, and you will enjoy good stereo sound.
How to Make it Regionless
- Switch on the power.
- Open the player's lid.
- Enter the following numeric sequence via remote control: 9 7 3 5
- Use the remote control's arrow keys to select ‘0’ for all regions.
- Exit setup.
Now you will be able to play DVDs from all over the world on your newly-configured player.
More region hacks for other DVD players can be found at videohelp.com.
There is a link at the end of this article to a page with hacks for two more inexpensive units sold through Wal-Mart.
Although entering numbers via a remote control is unlikely to void your warranty, the same sequence may not work on similar units manufactured on different dates. Use at your own risk. Remember that if you buy hacked chips or install non-manufacturer firmware, your warranty will be invalidated.
Now - grab some foreign DVDs, prop up your feet, and relax . . .
Check out this article for a couple more hacks (scroll to the bottom of the page). Kathy writes regularly for 1st Rate Articles - 111 Travel Directory - and other websites.