Region Free Blu Ray Players with (S)VCD playback - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 01-13-2011, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I am starting this thread as there doesn't seem to be much information on Region Free Blu Ray players that have (S)VCD playback capability. These are features very important to me as one of the reasons I took so long to adopt Blu Ray was my attachment to my Region Free DVD players that played everything I threw at them.

I am going to give a small list of Blu Ray players that perform some of these functions with my own personal user comments. Please do the same if you are like me and feel the need to have that one unit that plays all the discs you want.

HITEKER TLBD-02. This is a very mysterious player that I picked up at ShopRite in July on sale for $69.99(Supposedly $90 off.). It claimed to be able to play VCDs on the box, so I took a chance. After hooking it up to my projector, I was elated to find that it played VCDs, as well as SVCDs. The much nicer surprise was that it was Region Free right out of the box. I tested it with Region 2 dvds of "Dune" and "Tommy". I also played a UK Blu Ray of "The Fog". My search for the ideal player should have ended here but sadly I began having trouble with this unit as it started having overheating issues in my video cabinet. The lack of it's own eternal fan plays a big part in it but even with the glass cabinet door open it has happened again so maybe a case of you get what you pay for. For those interested however, this same player is on sale in ShopRite again for the same low price.

INSIGNIA WBRDVD-2. This player I bought from Best Buy for $129.99. I used an online 12% off coupon to lower the price a little more. This unit was amazingly Region Free out of the box as well. I tested it with the same discs I used with the Hiteker. I was very disappointed that it was unable to play (S)VCDs however, thus my search continues.

PANASONIC DMP-BD10. This is the unit I am currently using in my video cabinet hooked to my projector as I search for my ideal player. It plays (S)VCDS but doesn't play out of Region DVDs. Like the other two units, the image quality is quite excellent. Still my quest continues.

PANASONIC DMP-BD70V. The most interesting of all these Blu Ray player which currently resides in the family room. This was a modified Region Free player that bought for $300. It is actually a BLU RAY and VCR(not a misprint) combo unit. Since I have gotten rid of any and all VCRs and all but one of my Region Free DVD players, I thought I needed to have a unit that could play all three formats as I still have plenty of VHS and DVDs(out of region ones as well) while I still build my Blu Ray library. As you have probably guessed, it doesn't play my (S)VCDs so I didn't but a second unit.

Again I started this thread to give my own personal experience with these players and ask that any and all owners of Region Free Blu Ray players that have (S)VCD payback to please give their accounts. It is my hope that we can all find that elusive "plays everything" player that all of us(or maybe just me) ar looking for.
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post #2 of 36 Old 01-13-2011, 06:41 PM
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The Oppo players handle (S)VCD .
http://watershade.net/wmcclain/BDP-83-faq.html
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post #3 of 36 Old 01-13-2011, 10:56 PM
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Just about every BDP can be made region-free one way or another, with hardware mod if necessary. You won't find them in mainstream chain stores. So the issue of being region-free is irrelevant to (S)VCD support. You are really looking for (S)VCD support in a player in the first place and that is the main concern here and there aren't that many current models around.

You mentioned the PANASONIC DMP-BD10 which isn't region-free but plays (S)VCD but it's so old it's not readily available so it has very limited usefulness. The functionality is so outdated I can't image anyone would want to look to buy one for (S)VCD.

You also included the PANASONIC DMP-BD70V which doesn't play (S)VCD. Again that is irrelevant. If you're going to list some players that can't even play (S)VCD that is going to add unnecessary clutter to the thread.

Very few people here are still interested in (S)VCDs. Even the major Japanese and Korean brand BD players in Asia don't play them. It is just as easy to keep an old DVD player for that. I'd rather get other BDPs that I like for other reasons without necessarily worrying about (S)VCDs.

A player that "plays everything" means different things to different people. Some would include SACD, DVD-A, Dual Discs, AVCHD, mkv, avi, wmv, DivX media files etc.

FYI this player plays (S)VCD too (and easily region hackable).

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #4 of 36 Old 01-14-2011, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses.

Scanspeak, unfortunately the Oppo Blu Ray owners I have spoken to cannot play(S)VCDs on their units. Oppo's own site doesn't list these discs as supported media either. If you, or anyone you know, owns an Oppo and has had success playing these discs, I would love to hear about it.

Killan, I'm not sure you understand what I'm asking about here so please let me clarify. The title of the thread is "Region Free Players with (S)VCD playback". I never stated, or inferred, that region-free was relevant to (S)VCD support as I know better. Also, your comment that I am "looking for (S)VCD support in a player in the first place and that is the main concern here" is misleading(as well as inaccurate) to other viewers of this post as to what I am looking for. As I said at the end of my opening post I am just looking for anyone with owner or user experience of a Region Free Blu Ray player with the capability to play VCDs or SVCDs.
As far as the players I have listed, I listed them for a very good reason. All of them were reported on a few sites on the internet as having both region free and (S)VCD capabilities. After obtaining them, I found out that this was not the case with the exception of the Hiteker. It was my hope/intent to give viewers of this thread my personal experience with these players in case they were looking to buy them for the same purpose.
Lastly, I think you're point of very few people in here are still interested in (S)VCDs is accurate only if your referring to the entire AVSForums as here. But since your posting in a thread I started titled "Region Free Blu Ray Players with (S)VCD playback. I'd have to say your satement, to use one of your favorite words, is irrelevant.
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post #5 of 36 Old 01-14-2011, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Just to touch base on this thread, I just placed an order for a Sherwood BDP-5004 Region Free Blu Ray player. I will post my findings as soon as I get it which should be the middle of next week.

According to what I've been told, it is a clone of the Momitsu BDP-899 which had gotten mostly favorable reviews from it's owners that I've talked to. It is suppose to be compatible with BD-R/RE, BD-ROM, DVD, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, VCD, SVCD, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-DA, CDI-digital, MP3 ISO, MP4 ISO.

If it doesn't support the media I'm hoping it does, it won't be the first time.
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post #6 of 36 Old 01-16-2011, 04:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGDragov View Post

Just to touch base on this thread, I just placed an order for a Sherwood BDP-5004 Region Free Blu Ray player. I will post my findings as soon as I get it which should be the middle of next week.

According to what I've been told, it is a clone of the Momitsu BDP-899 which had gotten mostly favorable reviews from it's owners that I've talked to. It is suppose to be compatible with BD-R/RE, BD-ROM, DVD, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, VCD, SVCD, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-DA, CDI-digital, MP3 ISO, MP4 ISO.

If it doesn't support the media I'm hoping it does, it won't be the first time.

looking forward to your report on the player.
as i too have Alot of this old odd stuff around and keep to players around for this stuff.
Philips DVP 642 this one was the best 6 years ago all my pal's had to have one to watch all the stuff i was collecting back then,must have sold near a dozen of them for Philips.

Philips DVP 5982 a bit newer and the usb port saved alot of the need to burn disks lol

my Mitsubishi WD-62827 DLP 8+ years now,new Lamp and mirror & lens cleaning last year and she's like new again. sweet and she has over 33,000 hours now.the most important reading you might ever do.http://www.resurrectionism.com/drgenescott.html
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post #7 of 36 Old 01-17-2011, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
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madmadworld

The Philips DVP-642 is one of those classic players that use to play everything. A Blu Ray player equivalent of that unit would be exactly what I am looking for. Like you, I still have plenty of the "old odd stuff" hanging around, and I don't plan on buying Blu Ray versions of them. Also, I just like knowing I have the option to play any of the discs I have, or may get, on my Blu Ray player.

Two of my favorite region free players were the Toshiba SD-4900 and the Yamakawa 288 VGA. The SD-4900 was the only unit, at least that I knew of, that could be code hacked to play SVCDs. Image through component was outstanding on my old DLP projector. The Yamakawa? Man, I couldn't find a disc this player couldn't play. What made it my perfect DVD player was it's VGA output which made it easier to use with my projector providing as great an image as I ever saw on my screen. I have since gotten a brand new projector with HDMI ports and no VGA. I have "loaned" this unit to my brother as he still has his old Screenplay 4800 DLP projector which has benefited greatly from my Yamakawa.

As I mentioned, I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Sherwood in hopes that it can carry on in the tradition of our region free DVD players. If not, I'll just have to make room for an additional unit in my video cabinet which is something I would like to avoid if possible
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post #8 of 36 Old 01-17-2011, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGDragov View Post

I still have plenty of the "old odd stuff" hanging around, and I don't plan on buying Blu Ray versions of them.
all my "old odd stuff" is music/concerts that most never made dvd and not likely ever to go Blu Ray lol.
some off of local tv or hand held cameras from many different countries. not the best PQ but rare and kinda cool stuff

my Mitsubishi WD-62827 DLP 8+ years now,new Lamp and mirror & lens cleaning last year and she's like new again. sweet and she has over 33,000 hours now.the most important reading you might ever do.http://www.resurrectionism.com/drgenescott.html
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post #9 of 36 Old 01-17-2011, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGDragov View Post
Just to touch base on this thread, I just placed an order for a Sherwood BDP-5004 Region Free Blu Ray player. I will post my findings as soon as I get it which should be the middle of next week.

According to what I've been told, it is a clone of the Momitsu BDP-899 which had gotten mostly favorable reviews from it's owners that I've talked to. It is suppose to be compatible with BD-R/RE, BD-ROM, DVD, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, VCD, SVCD, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-DA, CDI-digital, MP3 ISO, MP4 ISO.

If it doesn't support the media I'm hoping it does, it won't be the first time.
Sherwood does play everything, including VCDs, and plays quite well. In fact there are some people claiming that the quality of playback [DVD] is comparable to good OPPO players. I can say that it does play R2 DVDs very well, better than Toshiba XDE, but I think Toshiba still play R1 DVD better.

VCDs are still quite widespread in South East Asia, including Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia etc. In Hong Kong literally a third or so shelf space in specialized video stores is given to VCDs.

A2, A35, 150, 62fd, s6200, WDTV LIVE, HTPC w/ HD-DVD/BD
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post #10 of 36 Old 01-17-2011, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input jurid.

You have given me some optimism as I await the arrival of the Sherwood. Just to touch on your point about playback on R1 DVDs. Would you say that these DVDs play poorly on the Sherwood or was the Toshiba just more impressive on theses discs?

I ask because I know the two progressive scan Toshiba DVD players I had always seemed to be just a cut above in image quality over my other units. I always attributed it to their hyped Colorstream pro component output and Digital progressive cinema(3:2) pulldown.
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post #11 of 36 Old 01-17-2011, 03:56 PM
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My VCDs defintiely work on the Oppo, but I havent personally tried SVCD.
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post #12 of 36 Old 01-17-2011, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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scanspeak, what Oppo model number is that?
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post #13 of 36 Old 01-18-2011, 09:41 AM
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We are looking for a code free Bluray/DVD player that allows to play as much media from around the world as possible. If there is a European streaming Netflix (or there may be in the future, it's not there yet), I would like to at least have the capability of accessing that too, or at the very least being able to stream. In other words, I want a Bluray/DVD player that does it all, and preferrably that does not need to be plugged into a code free television set.

I have an old code free DVD player and code free television, but their capabilities are very.... limited. The TV was shipped from an Indian website a decade ago when the internet was young and doesn't have a US cable attachment, it is DVD capable only. Except for PC's which are mostly work related, (with which I am quite good) I have not purchased any electronics in about a decade, so I am not up to date with these things.

Please be gentle. I know *NOTHING* of media. I have not watched TV or movies in years. I don't pay attention; I don't even own a cell phone. I have tried a crash course, and my wife is explaining stuff, I hope to have made myself clear and not made too many mistakes.

Thanks for your help
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post #14 of 36 Old 01-18-2011, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGDragov View Post

Thanks for the input jurid.

You have given me some optimism as I await the arrival of the Sherwood. Just to touch on your point about playback on R1 DVDs. Would you say that these DVDs play poorly on the Sherwood or was the Toshiba just more impressive on theses discs?

I ask because I know the two progressive scan Toshiba DVD players I had always seemed to be just a cut above in image quality over my other units. I always attributed it to their hyped Colorstream pro component output and Digital progressive cinema(3:2) pulldown.

Toshiba XD-E500 is a very impressive player, and it's hard to beat unless you move into Oppo high-end players' territory [like BD-83]. It means that 5004 plays DVDs R1 and R2 quite spectacular, that's all.

A2, A35, 150, 62fd, s6200, WDTV LIVE, HTPC w/ HD-DVD/BD
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post #15 of 36 Old 01-18-2011, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGDragov View Post

scanspeak, what Oppo model number is that?

It worked on my previous BDP-83 and I confirmed this morning that VCD is fine on my BDP-93.
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post #16 of 36 Old 01-18-2011, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanspeak View Post

It worked on my previous BDP-83 and I confirmed this morning that VCD is fine on my BDP-93.

While it's not listed in the manual, this thread also notes compatibility:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...d#post19849235

I have a BDP-93, but no S/VCDs, so I can't verify first hand.
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post #17 of 36 Old 01-19-2011, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGDragov View Post

scanspeak, what Oppo model number is that?

All OPPO DVD and Blu-ray players have supported VCD and SVCD.

As for region free: the DVD players could be made region free with a remote code, but the BR players cannot. People use a third-party hardware mod for that, which works for both DVD and BR.

For the BDP-93, a third party disc has appeared which will make the player region free for DVD but not BR. I haven't tried it but people say it works.

-Bill
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post #18 of 36 Old 01-21-2011, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I received my Region Free Sherwood BDP-5004 Blu Ray player today from Buy.com for $109.99 total price.

Hooked it up and put in my region 2 DVDs, no problems. Put in my VCDs and SVCDs, no problems. At this point very happy BUT then it happened. Threw in a Blu Ray disc of Toy Story 3 to check image quality of Blu Ray playback and a "no disc" message appeared. I know that some Blu Ray players can be picky, so I threw in Halloween on Blu Ray. After a lot of whirling and twirling the disc was ejected, no message. Tried it again and same thing. Tried Terminator Salvation and it did the same thing. Took one last chance with a PAL Blu Ray of The Fog and again, no dice.

Clearly I must be missing something if a Blu Ray player will not play Blu Ray discs but I'm baffled at what it could be. I have tried it at 1080p, then HDMI auto setting and still nothing. I will post my experience on a BDP-5004 post and ask some owners if they can help me. In the meantime, I can ony confirm that this player is Region Free out of the box and plays Region 1 and Region 2 DVDs as well as (S)VCDs.
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post #19 of 36 Old 01-22-2011, 01:18 AM
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You havent mentioned what region your Blu-ray discs are ... the Sherwood will NOT be region-free for Blu-ray.

If the discs are the correct region, then the player is faulty.
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post #20 of 36 Old 01-22-2011, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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scanspeak.

I live in the States and tried four Zone A Blu Rays and a UK Blu Ray of The Fog which I don't believe is Region coded as it plays on all the other Blu Ray players I Have used.

After making any and all changes in the the player's setting menu and connections, I realized that there was something wrong with the player. I talked to a guy named Shin at Sherwood and he confirmed what you and I say, that the unit is faulty. He offered to replace it but I am sending it back to Buy.com instead.

To your point that the unit won't be Blu Ray region free, it is suppose to be Zone Changable . I do know based on user reviews about the Sherwood that the code can be changed by punching in the code 9735(XY). X is the DVD region code which can be changed from 1-6 or, to keep it region free, enter 0. I can confirm this because I did change the DVD a few times in my quest to try and resolve my playback issues. Y represents the Blu Ray Zone which can be changed to either 1(which is Zone A), 2(Zone B) and 3(Zone C). I changed this several times to see if this was my problem but it was not.

For example, if I wanted the player to be DVD region free and play Zone A Blu Ray, I punch in 973501. If I wanted region free DVDs and Zone 2 I would then punch in 973502, and so on. Again, given my players inability to play any Blu Rays I can't confirm the Blu Rays personally.
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post #21 of 36 Old 02-08-2011, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I decided to go high end and picked up the Oppo BDP-93. As you said ScanSpeak, it plays VCDs perfectly. The PQ was surprisingly good. It also can play SVCDs as well.

As far as being Region Free I decided to buy an unmodified player just to see if I liked the unit. However it did play a couple of Region 2 DVDs no problem. It wouldn't play a R2 version of Dune for some reason and displyed the wrong region message. I bought but haven't used the region free disc for this player as I am still tinkering with it.

Blu Ray playback is awesome due to the super fast loading times. I would say the picture is a hair above the other Blu Ray players I have. The one caveat is the DVD playback. It is not terrible but I was surprised to see the image come off as very ordinary and didn't seem to match the other two units on SD DVDs.
Scanspeak, have you been impressed with the DVD playback on your unit? I have tinkered with the settings and have gotten some feedback but I'm just falling short of what I beleive the image can be. I am coming out at 1080p via HDMI 1, and since the projector and HDMI cable are the same I used for my other units, it must be something in the settings on the Oppo.
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post #22 of 36 Old 02-15-2011, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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After unsuccessfully trying a Sherwood BDP-5004 which was faulty(amazingly it played everything except Blu Ray discs), I finally got my hands on one in perfect working order. I have to say, this one seems to be THE one I was looking for.

Simply put, out of the box, this player plays everything I want/have in my library. Not only does it play my (S)VCDs, but it also plays out of region DVDs right out of the box. It can play any zone Blu Ray, but you have to enter the code if you want to play out of zone Blu Rays(hardly a big deal). If you come across an anti region free DVD, thank you "Family Guy: It's a Trap!" Region 1, you can unselect Region "0" and select your specific region.

The image quality is a good as any player you'll see, and the price(under $140) for a player that does so much is definitely worth it. Comparing it to my Oppo BDP-93 is a little unfair as the 93 is as good a Blu Ray player that there is. However, the BDP-5004 does play out of region DVDs and Blu Rays and costs less than 1/3 the price. These are attractive features to a lot of Blu Ray owners and might sway some to "settle" for the Sherwood. I can honestly say I love both players.
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post #23 of 36 Old 02-16-2011, 04:40 PM
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JG your like how i used to be about player, a FANATIC, let those SVCD's go! anything on SVCD can be found on DVD now if you know were to look, just use a good ole philip's 642 for those blurry fuzzy ole vcd's, it's so RETRO!
1990's!
You have concert's, plenty of torrents with any concert you want.
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post #24 of 36 Old 02-16-2011, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bud-man View Post

JG your like how i used to be about player, a FANATIC, let those SVCD's go! anything on SVCD can be found on DVD now if you know were to look, just use a good ole philip's 642 for those blurry fuzzy ole vcd's, it's so RETRO!
1990's!
You have concert's, plenty of torrents with any concert you want.

I'm not there yet BudMan, but I'll get there. I wouldn't argue with your asessment of me. I would have preferred to keep my old region free dvd player in the cabinet for the (s)Vcds but there wasn't any room.

As far as my VCDs, I'm just not interested in replacing them with Blu Ray or even DVD copies. I'm only buying Blu Ray moving forward, but for now, the "FANATIC" in me still likes having a player that I know I can throw any of my discs in, whether they (s)VCDs, DVDs or Blu Ray, and they will play.
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post #25 of 36 Old 03-01-2011, 12:46 AM
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thanks for the update JGDragov

my Mitsubishi WD-62827 DLP 8+ years now,new Lamp and mirror & lens cleaning last year and she's like new again. sweet and she has over 33,000 hours now.the most important reading you might ever do.http://www.resurrectionism.com/drgenescott.html
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post #26 of 36 Old 03-09-2011, 10:37 AM
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Looks like you got a steal on that Sherwood unit at 109, the best price I could find for it at this time was around 160.
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post #27 of 36 Old 03-09-2011, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zzdocxx View Post

Looks like you got a steal on that Sherwood unit at 109, the best price I could find for it at this time was around 160.

Yeah, that price was for about 1 week and they sold out. Unfortunately, the unit I received didn't work and I had to return it for a refund as they had no more units. I then bought a brand new one from an Ebay store for $149.

As I said in my earlier posts, it played everything I threw at it. Even at $149, definitely worth the purchase.
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post #28 of 36 Old 03-09-2011, 01:09 PM
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Just pulled the trigger and bought one from an Amazon affiliate for 131 plus 12 shipping.

Thanks!
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post #29 of 36 Old 03-09-2011, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Just pulled the trigger and bought one from an Amazon affiliate for 131 plus 12 shipping.

Thanks!

Good deal! Don't forget to post your experience on here once you get it.
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post #30 of 36 Old 03-10-2011, 06:17 PM
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Just got emails from Amazon and the vendor, sale was cancelled due to overselling of item, it is now out of stock from that seller.

Guess I will have to try another vendor.



Edit: Just re-ordered from Amazon, paid 147 and change.
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