Multi Region DVD player and PAL to NTSC converter recommendations?
I am in the US with an NTSC TV (a Panasonic Viera Plasma 720p, TH-50PX80U) and Blu-Ray player, but have some PAL DVD9 movies from England I'd like to play.
As I only have a few movies I'd like to watch and they are in standard def, I don't think I need a Blu-Ray player. My Blu-Ray player also has streaming (Netflix, Amazon etc.) so I don't need any advanced features. However I would like one with an HDMI port.
I assume a simple PAL to NTSC video converter would be enough for my setup? For the converter also I'd like one with an HDMI port, and that can do a good job at converting the picture to my TV.
I don't really know anything about converters, and don't know if some converter/DVD player combinations are better than others. Any input or recommendations would be appreciated
I'd suggest looking for a used(or even new) Pioneer DVD player. They do a very good job of converting PAL DVDs to NTSC HDMI output and they are all self contained, IOW you don't need a separate PAL to NTSC converter, the Pioneers do it internally. You didn't say if the DVDs were region locked but if they are you may need to preform a hack on the player(AFAIK all Pioneers can be hacked) to be able to play out of region DVDs.
I just purchased another one today, a 410, for $19.99 at a local pawn shop, looked and plays like new. They come already setup to convert PAL to NTSC, the hack is only required if you want to play commercial region locked DVDs.
Another option is B&H photo out of NY. Currently they have a couple customer return Pioneer DVD players that have already been hacked for region free, starting at $46. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/DV...6/N/4294210544
Oh - and at the bhphotovideo listing for the DV-410V Overview it says:
Note! This unit may require a multi-system TV to view PAL DVDs in the US.
I doubt I have a multi-system TV.
For the DV-3032K listings it doesn't say anything about multi-system TVs, but I don't know if it applies to them as well.
So does that mean these Pioneer players won't work for me?
I'm not sure why they say that, many things from sellers of such devices say erroneous things, many of which are not true. I can say for a fact that my Pioneer 410(purchased off the shelf and not even hacked for out of region play) will play a PAL DVD and output a very good NTSC picture to a standard US TV.
On a side note, many lesser known(including most if not all?? Vizio) US flat screen TVs will display PAL(50hz) material just fine. They are not advertised as doing such and it would only be via line inputs(none have a PAL tuner) but my Vizio, Insignia and LG LCD TVs display 50hz material just fine. My Sony, Samsung and Pioneer do not display PAL but of course will if played on my Pioneer 410 DVD player and it's output is set to NTSC(50hz).
Again AFAIK all Pioneers will do a system conversion on the fly, other brands like Philips will do as well but I like the quality on Pioneers best. Oppo's also convert but are kind of hard to fine and may be more expensive.
PAL DVDs and some imported Blu-rays are 50hz, which is not generally used in North America.
Some displays will accept a 50hz video signal, but many won't.
If you have a player that converts 50hz to 60hz, that would make them compatible.
So there are two issues:
A player may accept PAL discs and be all-region, but either it or your display must also deal with the 50hz issue. That's what bhphotovideo meant by Multisystem; apparently the player does not do 50->60hz conversion.
If we're talking about a Pioneer 410 I don't know why B&H would have told you that you need a multi system TV to play PAL DVDs. My 410 and 400 and also 610 have a simple setup option for NTSC or PAL output. If setup to output NTSC and you play a PAL DVD is just converts it to NTSC(60hz) on the fly, again I believe all Pioneers have this option, at least I haven't seen one in the last 10 years that hasn't.....
Also I believe all the Pioneers sold at B&H have been modified for all regions, mine weren't as they were purchased locally off the shelf but they can be easily hacked with information on VideoHelp.com's site, I just haven't bothered as none of my PAL DVDs are commercial and region locked.