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Old 01-29-2013, 08:22 PM   #41
Smigro Smigro is offline
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So since I have learned about these cool steelpack BD's a couple of months ago during black Friday (I know right...what took me so long), I have seen a lot of cool steelpack on foreign Amazon sites that I would like to get my hands on. Of course though as everyone knows some of these titles are region locked so logically my next step is to procure a region free BD player.

Reading some of the threads here I have found a couple internet based companies (220, Bombay and world-import) and wondered if anyone would post their impressions of these players. Like most I do realize these players are fairly expensive, but to get around region coding i guess you have to do what you have to do.

I guess I would also like to know if anyone had specific BD players you can buy off of the shelf and purchase the aftermarket kits to convert to region free and PAL/NTSC conversion. One in particular would be the Panasonic DMP-BDT310 since I can get this at a local Best Buy as an open box item for $75.

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:25 PM   #42
hootowls hootowls is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaybee1 View Post
Hello,

I just ordered the same player from 220 Electronics. Quick question - did you have to use an "unlock code" to switch Blu-Ray regions or does the player do it automatically? (I ordered the one with A,B, and C regions)

Thanks in an advance. First post from a new user.
Switching blu-ray regions is a multi-step manual process every time you want to change; all DVD regions will play without intervention. It involves entering menus and pressing certain buttons on the remote followed by restarting the player. For this reason I find having two blu-ray players to be most convenient - one set for region B and the other for region A. I have nothing from C but can handle it if need be.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:39 PM   #43
hootowls hootowls is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smigro View Post
So since I have learned about these cool steelpack BD's a couple of months ago during black Friday (I know right...what took me so long), I have seen a lot of cool steelpack on foreign Amazon sites that I would like to get my hands on. Of course though as everyone knows some of these titles are region locked so logically my next step is to procure a region free BD player.

Reading some of the threads here I have found a couple internet based companies (220, Bombay and world-import) and wondered if anyone would post their impressions of these players. Like most I do realize these players are fairly expensive, but to get around region coding i guess you have to do what you have to do.

I guess I would also like to know if anyone had specific BD players you can buy off of the shelf and purchase the aftermarket kits to convert to region free and PAL/NTSC conversion. One in particular would be the Panasonic DMP-BDT310 since I can get this at a local Best Buy as an open box item for $75.

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.
There's nothing special about modified blu-ray players. Search for reviews on any specific unmodified player to see what it's like. The conversion just adds the ability to play discs from different regions. There are aftermarket region kits for OPPO and Cambridge Azur players ($500 and up) if that's what you're looking for. You can read about the budget Insignia player in these forums too. For PAL conversion I'd recommend buying a player that already has that feature built in.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:01 AM   #44
rdodolak rdodolak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaybee1 View Post
Hello,

I just ordered the same player from 220 Electronics. Quick question - did you have to use an "unlock code" to switch Blu-Ray regions or does the player do it automatically? (I ordered the one with A,B, and C regions)

Thanks in an advance. First post from a new user.
I'm not aware of any mod that is able to automatically switch blu-ray regions. Everyone I've seen requires, at a minimum, a certain sequence of button presses. Others require that you enter a specific service menu to change regions.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:31 AM   #45
McCrutchy McCrutchy is online now
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[Show spoiler]Hi all,

So I've stumbled onto this thread in my searching, and I have a few concerns.

I recently bought an Oppo BDP-103 from world-import.com (here) and had a very sticky situation with them. I had previously bought players from them with zero issues, but the Oppo's region-free functionality stopped working after I updated the units firmware days after my purchase. Long story short, the CS was terrible, and they eventually stopped answering my e-mails. I had to open a dispute with PayPal, send the player back, and now I'll hopefully get the money back from PayPal.

I really do want this player, but my issue is that 220-electronics looks an awful lot like the world-import web site. A third option, Bombay Electronics, looks slightly different, BUT:

All three web sites have physical stores in Illinois, and all of them are within about 15 miles of each other, so I'm really concerned that one or more of these vendors are actually the same people.


Bombay has the best price on the player by a large margin, where after 5% off, it's only $584.25 shipped. 220 has it for $630.45 shipped, but I e-mailed them to see if they would price match (EDIT: They say they will, but they don't specify the shipped price or the item price).
Just FYI regarding this situation: I had contacted both 220-electronics and Bombay Electronics about the Oppo BDP-103. Both were very nice, and 220 did offer to beat Bombay's price by 10% if I called them and ordered. in the end, however, I ended up going with Bombay for the $584.25 price, as I couldn't find any warranty info on Blu-ray players (nor could I find a lifetime guarantee on the multiregion capabilities) on the 220 site.

Bombay provides a two-year warranty and a lifetime guarantee on the multiregion capabilities, right there on the product page:

http://www.bombayelectronics.com/Opp...regionfree.htm

I also went to the Better Business Bureau site and looked up all three companies: 220 (AKA International Video & Electronics Co.), Bombay and World Import.

Notice that World Import has had many more complaints than either of the others--26 in the last three years, and 11 in the past year--many related to product/service issues--and while I will freely admit that I purchased players from them before with no problems, I also never had to request service on those units. Knowing this now, I would stay away from these guys, unless their prices ever go way, way down.

The BBB site also shows that there are different people running the three businesses.

So, fingers crossed that my purchase from Bombay Electronics works out...


Last edited by McCrutchy; 01-30-2013 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:08 PM   #46
Chaybee1 Chaybee1 is offline
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Thanks so much for the response! Good idea actually, I was initially just going to replace my Region A with the multi region but now I'll keep both per your advice.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:16 PM   #47
Smigro Smigro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCrutchy View Post
Just FYI regarding this situation: I had contacted both 220-electronics and Bombay Electronics about the Oppo BDP-103. Both were very nice, and 220 did offer to beat Bombay's price by 10% if I called them and ordered. in the end, however, I ended up going with Bombay for the $584.25 price, as I couldn't find any warranty info on Blu-ray players (nor could I find a lifetime guarantee on the multiregion capabilities) on the 220 site.

Bombay provides a two-year warranty and a lifetime guarantee on the multiregion capabilities, right there on the product page:

http://www.bombayelectronics.com/Opp...regionfree.htm
Damn man, where did you get that price. I just went on to both sites and Bombay is $615.00 and 220 is $649.00.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:31 PM   #48
McCrutchy McCrutchy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smigro View Post
Damn man, where did you get that price. I just went on to both sites and Bombay is $615.00 and 220 is $649.00.
There is a 5% off code on Bombay's site: BARGAINOFFERS.

EDIT: Bombay just shipped my package via UPS--not bad for free shipping. Things are looking good so far...

Last edited by McCrutchy; 01-30-2013 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:08 AM   #49
rdodolak rdodolak is offline
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My BDP-93 is using the external installation of a kit that can also be installed internally. The external mod consisted of plugging it in to the serial port and a USB port on the back panel. Does the 103 not have that option too? My kit was acquired via eBay.
Apparently that type of mod does exist for the 103 now.

http://www.onlybestrated.com/region-...o-bdp-103.html

Last edited by rdodolak; 02-02-2013 at 05:24 AM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:35 PM   #50
Smigro Smigro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCrutchy View Post
There is a 5% off code on Bombay's site: BARGAINOFFERS.

EDIT: Bombay just shipped my package via UPS--not bad for free shipping. Things are looking good so far...
OK, thanks for the heads up. One thing I noticed though is that the 103 direct from Oppo comes to $517 with shipping and the conversion kit is on eBay for $75 with free shipping...so that brings you to a total of $592.

What I like about this route is you are buying the BD player direct so you still get the 2 year parts AND labor warranty. When you buy from Bombay you are only saving less than $10 but with them you get the 2 year parts warranty but only a 90 day labor warranty.

Considering that the kit for the Oppo's is so easy to install externally and you do not have to worry about cracking the case open I would rather spend the extra $8 and get the 2 year labor warranty. Just my thoughts on the case.

I am actually thinking of going this route if I get a region free BD player as I have a hard time paying $300 for an $85 player that is modded like the Sharp's, Samsung's and LG's.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:18 PM   #51
McCrutchy McCrutchy is online now
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Considering that the kit for the Oppo's is so easy to install externally and you do not have to worry about cracking the case open I would rather spend the extra $8 and get the 2 year labor warranty. Just my thoughts on the case.
Yeah, the only reason I would avoid the external mod is because the ones that I have seen have 6-8 button presses involved to change regions, whereas with the internal ones, you usually just hit 1 (A), 2 (B), or 3 (C) and then the power button. It makes testing discs a lot less cumbersome.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:25 PM   #52
rdodolak rdodolak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCrutchy View Post
Yeah, the only reason I would avoid the external mod is because the ones that I have seen have 6-8 button presses involved to change regions, whereas with the internal ones, you usually just hit 1 (A), 2 (B), or 3 (C) and then the power button. It makes testing discs a lot less cumbersome.
Have you seen documentation on their mods? I haven't been able to track down the actual documentation from places like 220, Bombay, or World Import. I'm curious how their mods work but don't want to have to purchase first just to find out how they actually work.

Bluraychip's standard mod for the 83 worked with a single button press. However, their later standard mods for the 93 and 103 now require multiple button presses. If you want that single button press functionality you now have to purchase their PRO mod. Guess they learned they can charge more for that feature.

I'm curious what these other companies are offering but they don't seem to offer much info.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:55 AM   #53
McCrutchy McCrutchy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdodolak View Post
Have you seen documentation on their mods? I haven't been able to track down the actual documentation from places like 220, Bombay, or World Import. I'm curious how their mods work but don't want to have to purchase first just to find out how they actually work.

Bluraychip's standard mod for the 83 worked with a single button press. However, their later standard mods for the 93 and 103 now require multiple button presses. If you want that single button press functionality you now have to purchase their PRO mod. Guess they learned they can charge more for that feature.

I'm curious what these other companies are offering but they don't seem to offer much info.
Well, I had taken a look at the PDF manual for Bluraychip's mods and the external one has many more button presses--not just for Blu-ray, but also for DVD regions (which has its benefits if I need to test them).

Ironically, I received my shipment today from Bombay (Geek Squad is coming tomorrow to help with the install) and it appears that this same mod has been housed internally, so that must be why they were cheaper than World Import. The 103 I got from them originally had the usual one button press, so that must have been the PRO model.

Not the ideal situation, but hey, if it works and survives firmware updates, I don't mind a few extra buttons to push all that much.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:46 AM   #54
fredreed fredreed is offline
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Default Region free blu rays at 220- electronics.com

First I have brought from them before and the service is great. Next not all region free blu ray players will play in regions A,B, and C. Like the toshiba 1200 unit it will only play in region A unless you specify at checkout all regions a,b, and c and that will cost you another 40 bucks. There are some that don't include a PAL to NTSC converter. Sony And Panasonic are two of them that don't include the converter. You would have to buy a converter as a stand alone device. Right now they are having a sale that if you use a code you will get 5% your order.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:07 PM   #55
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Hi, I've done business with both world-import and 220-electronics. World-import talks a lot about their lifetime guarantee and that future updates and all are covered for the life of the player. However, I had an issue with a player and they are a pain in the neck to deal with. Their website is very promising, but when it comes time to delivery they are horrible. Their website says:

"Other companies that sell you a region free Blu-ray player will tell you not to upgrade the firmware in the player. This is because they use cheaper modifications which disable the region free functionality of the player after the firmware update. Our players are fully firmware upgradeable players. So don't be fooled into buying a player from a company that tells you not to firmware update the player!!"

Well, I ended up buying the Oppo BDP-103 region free Blu-Ray player from them since the other websites I researched did not say any of this. I also paid them more money. As soon as I got the player, it says it needed a firmware update. I updated the firmware while thinking how I wish this had already been done for me. It turns out that after I upgraded the firmware the player was not region free anymore. I called their customer service hotline and they informed me that I'd have to pay to send the player back to them, then they will fix it and send it back to me. The guy also had the nerve to tell me that I should not have updated the firmware. First of all I just got the player so I wasn't about to pay for shipping back to them. Why would you send me a player that needs an update as soon as it is delivered? And finally, why on earth would you say I should not have updated the firmware when the website explicitly says that I can safely update the firmware. I sent the player back and paid for the shipping. Then, after the the repairs, they wanted me to pay another $20 return shipping fee to get it back. It took 3 phone calls to get someone to call me back because the "repair manager was on vacation".

I finally decided to give up, and so I disputed the charge with American Express. I ended up getting all of my money back except for the $20 return shipping fee, but what a bad experience. These guys explicitly lie on their website. I would not recommend that anyone buy from them.

Then, after reading this blog I ended up ordering the same player from 220-electronics.com. I also considered buying the player myself and installing the mod. I contacted Oppo and asked them if I purchased the player and then installed a modification into it if the warranty would be covered. I was told that upon installing a modification the player's warranty will be void. Oppo would know that a region-free modification was installed - even if it was external and had been removed. Apparently, the software in the player is smart enough to record what was done.

I also called bombay electronics but they seemed a little leery about my questions and overly pushy to get the sale. Their warranty was only 90 days for the labor.

I called 220-electronics and they said that firmware updates can be done with their region-free players, NO PROBLEM. They test each firmware when it first comes out to make sure it works with the player's region-free hardware modification. If there ever is a firmware update that disables their modification they would send me a custom firmware to make it region free again. Worst case scenario is if a firmware ever came out that they were unable to fix with an update, I can send them the player back and they would re-work the modification to make it region-free again at no cost. They offer a life time guarantee on that. More importantly, they also cover shipping expenses both ways for the first 30 days. After 30 days the customer is responsible for any shipping costs. The rep I spoke to was very nice and actually took the time to explain all of this to me. He said that there is no way for any company to know what the next firmware will do to any given player. However, so far all players they have modified for region-free have continued to work with all firmware updates. I got the impression that they are very conservative when making guarantees but that they really stood behind their work.

They also told me that I would have the same warranty offered by the manufacturer from 220-electronics. So basically I ended up with the following warranty and the cheapest price out there. They matched the "competitor #2" price and even knocked off an additional 5% for me.

In the end, I have my Oppo BDP-103 Region-Free Blu-ray Player with 30 day full warranty including all shipping charges, 2 years parts and labor, and a lifetime warranty on the modification. I chose this over buying the player myself and buying the mod, as it was a bit cheaper, not to mention that I get to keep the 2 year warranty.

I learned this lesson after a lot of aggravation. Although I normally don't post on the forums, I thought this information would help others. In the end, I'm very happy with my purchase. The product came in perfect working condition and I never had to use the warranty. Region switching only requires a few simple key presses takes less then 20 seconds. They use the "pro-mod".
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:28 PM   #56
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I also had a good experience with 220-electronics. See Post #18.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:36 AM   #57
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Okay, I have a question, and I hope I don't sound to ignorant by asking it, but here goes: I'm interested in purchasing an Oppo BDP-103 from 220-Electronics later this year, since I want a really good region free 3D Blu-Ray player to be my main player in my apartment. That being said, I'm curious about how it functions. How, exactly, do you go about changing the regions for Blu-Ray discs, or is it automatic? Also, does the player work for 3D Blu-Rays from multiple regions?

Thanks in advance for any and all answers and advice!

Last edited by Metallix87; 05-24-2013 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:21 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Metallix87 View Post
Okay, I have a question, and I hope I don't sound to ignorant by asking it, but here goes: I'm interested in purchasing an Oppo BDP-103 from 220-Electronics later this year, since I want a really good region free 3D Blu-Ray player to be my main player in my apartment. That being said, I'm curious about how it functions. How, exactly, do you go about changing the regions for Blu-Ray discs, or is it automatic? Also, does the player work for 3D Blu-Rays from multiple regions?

Thanks in advance for any and all answers and advice!
Depends on the mod but I believe 220-electronics uses the pro mod. In which case with the player powered off press 1 for A, press 2 for B, press 3 for C. If the player is already powered on, after pressing 1, 2, or 3 power off the player and power it back on.

No Blu-ray player is capable of automatically switching regions. You have to manually change regions.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:23 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by rdodolak View Post
Depends on the mod but I believe 220-electronics uses the pro mod. In which case with the player powered off press 1 for A, press 2 for B, press 3 for C. If the player is already powered on, after pressing 1, 2, or 3 power off the player and power it back on.

No Blu-ray player is capable of automatically switching regions. You have to manually change regions.
That sounds fairly simple. Thanks!
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:42 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallix87 View Post
That sounds fairly simple. Thanks!
That's how my Sharp, that I just got works. Hit 1 than power on for region A, 2 and power on for region B and 3 and power on for region C.
But it does automatically change dvd regions and from PAL to NTSC.
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