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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Philips DVD Player

When we moved into our house two years and two days ago, we needed to get two DVD players that were either multi-regional, or could be decoded to make them multi-regional.

DVDs, and Blu-Rays, are theoretically restricted to play in certain regions around the world. This is to prevent free market trade across international boundaries (at least, I can think of no other good reason). However it is possible to ignore these regions, which we needed to do since the bulk of our DVDs are from the UK in region 2, and US machines are programmed to recognise only region 1 disks.

The Philips DVD player Beth chose for the job was one we could "hack" to remove the region restrictions, and for a while it gave good service. However after about a year one of them stopped working, and we were bought a replacement. Then the replacement started playing up, and by experiment we found it was the HDMI connection that wasn't working. HDMI is the one-cable interface that gives the best quality sound and picture, and thus very desireable.

Beth took that player to her craft room, as it could still work with other cables, and we replaced it with a more expensive pre-deregionalized Pioneer DVD player.

Now the other Philips player has started acting up, blacking out the screen and pausing play intermittently. Sometimes it all comes back after a few seconds, sometimes the screen stays black but the souind comes back.  We think this may be due to dust on the laser, and that a good blast with canned air may fix the problem, so we're going to try that, but I have to say I'm disappointed in these machines, and won't be buying Philips anymore. I expect things to last more than a couple of years before going wrong, and I've never had so much trouble with a DVD player before,despite being used for years in a much older and dustier house.

Until we can try the canned air trick we've moved the Pioneer into the family room, and happily it's working fine.


  1. I have, in general, had TERRIBLE luck with DVD players. I have a small, functional, basic one in the living room, but usually with the big TV we just use the PS3 which plays regular (don't know about regional issues) dvds and blue-rays. Having to use a PS3 controller can pose a problem if a guest who is not accustomed to such things wishes to play a dvd.

  2. A PS3 would almost certainly be regionalized too, and costs more than a regular DVD or Blu-Ray player, but of course if you have one to play BioShock on then it works for other purposes.

    We had to get rid of our games consoles whenwe left the UK, and have not felt the need to replace them, yet.