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GreenCine Tech Talk
Hardware, Software, Tech.
The nuts and bolts of movie making, home theater, and DVD.
76

Watch movies with dedicated player or computer?
Topic by: HChang
Posted: December 17, 2007 - 5:17 PM PST
Last Reply: December 31, 2007 - 11:31 PM PST

author topic: Watch movies with dedicated player or computer?
HChang
post #1  on December 17, 2007 - 5:17 PM PST  
I watch movies using my old PC but I think it's on its brink. I'm debating whether to buy a region-free dvd player or invest in another PC for entertainment-use (minus Internet surfing) only. I figure I could install different movie softwares so the PC would serve as a pseudo region-free player. Does anyone else have a similar experience/preference? If dvd player, can you suggest one and a reputable/reliable retailer?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
Vanamonde
post #2  on December 17, 2007 - 10:19 PM PST  
I purchased the cheapest progressive scan player I could find and then searched on the Net and discovered a code to make it region-free.

This model is over a year old and has been superceeded about 16 times I think. sooo, many models.

BUT I have to say, I was only watching "causal" movies on the TV. When it is me, alone, I always watch the important stuff on my 20" computer monitor ----- it looks soooo much better.

I hope some of this rambling is helpful.
NLee
post #3  on December 18, 2007 - 9:50 AM PST  
I bought a "Philips DVP642 DivX-Certified Progressive-Scan DVD Player" back in 2005 for around $60. It plays practically any video format. Plus there is a patch to make it region-free. However the model is discontinued, and I do not know what is its replacement model.
Chyekk
post #4  on December 18, 2007 - 7:03 PM PST  
> On December 17, 2007 - 5:17 PM PST HChang wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I watch movies using my old PC but I think it's on its brink. I'm debating whether to buy a region-free dvd player or invest in another PC for entertainment-use (minus Internet surfing) only. I figure I could install different movie softwares so the PC would serve as a pseudo region-free player. Does anyone else have a similar experience/preference? If dvd player, can you suggest one and a reputable/reliable retailer?
>
> Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
> ---------------------------------

I have a friend who uses a Linux box hooked to a projector and has success with it. But not everyone would enjoy configuring a Linux box....

I love my Oppo DV-981HD. It costs more than a basic player, but if you've got a big HD tv, this baby does a great job with up-converting the image. (Much better than my TV does by itself.) It is easy to make it region-free and it can even play PAL movies on an American TV. I bought mine directly from oppo. (They are in Mountain View.)



troublemaker
post #5  on December 18, 2007 - 7:08 PM PST  
Insofar as your computer is concerned, all you need is VLC (do a google search for it) to play any region DVD you'd like.
HChang
post #6  on December 22, 2007 - 11:12 AM PST  
Thanks all! Since I don't have a similar dealer nearby and have read some negative reports about mail orders, I think I'll look into another pc and check out Troublemaker's suggestion.

Happy holidays!
kaream
post #7  on December 23, 2007 - 1:42 PM PST  
Slightly off-topic, but possibly useful to some readers of this thread:

I note GC does have some DVD-R discs that they warn will not play in all players, but I doubt if they do or will ever carry non-US-region discs.

For anyone who does have a region-free player, it's worth noting that a lot of importers list their catalogs at Amazon. If you have a few bucks to spare for buying a must-have movie unavailable in this country, it's a good place to try browsing. I recently had to jump for an Australian copy of 'Latcho Drom', an amazing semi-documentary about Gypsies' traditional dance and music, which may never be issued on DVD in the US.
Chyekk
post #8  on December 31, 2007 - 1:16 PM PST  
Although I almost always watch through the DVD player rather than the computer, there is one thing I like about using the computer. You get to choose different DVD player programs. Sometimes they have interesting features. I can't remember the name, but I used one for a while that allowed me to watch a film in fast-forward and yet still hear the dialog, pitch-shifted back down to normal frequencies to make up for the increased speed. That was useful when I wanted to quickly finish off a film that wasn't holding my attention at normal speed.
kaream
post #9  on December 31, 2007 - 9:37 PM PST  
InterVideo WinDVD has a feature called TimeStretch that's supposed to let you adjust playback speed within the range 0.5x to 2x while maintaining audio pitch -- assuming you can listen really fast at 2x. Some other programs probably do much the same thing.
Chyekk
post #10  on December 31, 2007 - 11:31 PM PST  
> On December 31, 2007 - 9:37 PM PST kaream wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> InterVideo WinDVD has a feature called TimeStretch that's supposed to let you adjust playback speed within the range 0.5x to 2x while maintaining audio pitch -- assuming you can listen really fast at 2x. Some other programs probably do much the same thing.
> ---------------------------------

Yeah, I think that is the program I was using. I found that feature very helpful. I don't have it on my current computer, though.

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