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How to hack Tesco's DVD player – Register readers write

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Updated Register readers are clearly a resourceful lot -- we've had stacks of email revealing just how Wharfedale's DVD player can be hacked to support DVDs from any of the regions into which the movie industry has divided the world (see Tesco slams 'unnecessary' DVD zoning). Well, Wharfedale admitted its player was "easily hackable", and it sure is. The trick is simple: open the player's tray, put a Region One disc on the tray, press the 0, 1, 2 and 3 buttons on the remote control, and finally press Play on the remote. That closes the tray and from this point on the player will accept DVDs from any of the six main regions. Thanks to reader Patrick for pointing out that the hack also works with the Proline DVD1000, the Bush DVD-2000, the Grundig GDV-200 and the Grundig GDV-210 DVD players. And Tony D notes that you can also "press pause on an Aiwa stereo remote whilst pointing at unit. You will see a mainenance screen. Set the region, and off you go. This works on my Wharfedale". Readers Chris Dennis and Tom note that to convert the player back to Region Two only, the procedure is: open the tray, place a Region Two disc on the tray, press the Return button on the remote and finally press the remote's Play button. Of course, there's probably little point in returning the player to its original state since, as reader Rob notes, "my DVD quite happily plays Region One and Region Two without difficulty". Owners of Matsui DVD-110 player and the Schneider DVD-810 sold by Asda, there's a hack for them too, according to a number of readers. Simply press Menu, 9, Open/Close (note that the tray won't open at this point) and then 5 to call up a region selection screen. And thanks to Andy Crawford for pointing out Web site DVD Reviewer, which lists pretty much all the machines currently available with simple multi-region hacks and reveals just how effective the hacks are -- not always, it seems, particularly with older players. Kate Wolf dropped us a line to say that hi-fi specialist Richer Sounds offers an Ariston player that can also be easily hacked. And, according to Keith Kennedy and others, "90 per cent of all the DVD players sold in [Switzerland] are sold as region free". That said, this appears to be simply because stores send all their kit out for conversion before selling them on to the public. As Nick Barnes found: "Chatting to a staff member in Media Markt... he confirmed that stores buy X units from manufacturer Y and send them all to company Z that modifies them". Rob White had problems with the Wharfedale DVD-750 he bought from Tesco and took it back (he didn't say whether he tried a replacement machine). Instead, he uses his PC and PowerDVD software which "easily defeats the zoning information, by the way, just by storing the zone in the registry". DVD software region changing is tackled by DVD Informatrix (thanks to Phil Chambers for the link). Matt Rix, meanwhile, provides a little anti-spin (in the great Register tradition). "Tesco had been selling the Wharfedale player for several months before Christmas, but due to very high demand it went out of stock," he notes. "So really, they're re-launching the old product line." So much for Tesco's 'sales trial' line. ® Any more DVD region comments? Mail us here

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