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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter, her husband and my two grandchildren (ages 3 and 1) are moving to London in the middle of September. Knowing that I am a Home Theater Enthusiast, she called looking for advice on what to do to get a new Plasma or LCD display once they get settled in over there.


Since I know nothing of shopping for this stuff in England I was hoping for some feedback on where they could look, what kind of stores they have (no Best Buys I guess) and what they might be expected to pay. Are prices pretty much the same after conversion, or are they going to have to expect to pay much more than they do in the States.


Also, I know this may not be the right place to ask this, but someone from England that replies might know the answer to this question as well. My Daughter has a ton of kids DVDs - Caiyou, the Wiggles, etc. Is there any chance that they will find a DVD player in London that will be able to play these DVDs? Or will she have to try to replace these when she gets there.


Any other advice you think would be helpful would be greatly appreciated.


Cheers!
 

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Well couldn't you just use a region 1 dvd player from the states to play that stuff? I'm pretty sure that by now there are region free dvd players if you look. You could go the HTPC route.
 

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For DVD play she should have little problem with equipment but I was under the impression England has not yet gone HD so what benefits she would receive from a quality flatscreen would be limited. No reason not to buy one...but something to consider.


Could be dead wrong on this. If so, I'm sure the corrections will come soon enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Xenfinity,


I guess it would not hurt to bring her current player (I'll have to check the brand and model). I am in Texas and she lives in Boston, so I would have to have her go through the setup menus to see if there is an output option for PAL, correct? Also, I would asume she could use an adapter for power as most players now are auto sensing for input voltage, or have an input power selection switch. Let's see what the guys in England come back with.


Thanks,
 

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Most DVD players in the UK are region free by default, just take a look on Amazon.co.uk or Dixons.co.uk


You'll pay about double for electronics there.
 

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John,

There are many places in the UK to buy electronics, but two of the biggest, and with some of the best prices are Dixons and Currys. There are many of these in/around London. Most major electronics are about 1.5 times as expensive as they are here in the US. This is going to seem even more 'painful' currently due to the strength of the GBP vs the US$. Have your daughter save all receipts from purchases, and when they return to the US they may be able to be reimbursed for the 17% VAT they'll have to pay on everything, (it's included already in the price).

Since even basic DVD players are cheap in the UK as they are here, I'd just have your family buy one there. Your daughter could take her DVD player with her, BUT then she'd have to buy a decent voltage converter to run it, and those are heavy as well as probably cost more than a basic DVD player.

When she gets ready to return to the US, there is always ebay.co.uk to sell the UK electronics they've bought.

One thing: there are several companies in the UK that specialize in 'leasing' TV's on a month to month or yearly basis. The costs for this aren't that bad, although obviously large sets will be substantially more expensive. This would be one way not to have to worry about having to sell the TV when she returns to the US. There are excellent flat panels on sale there, which work well as the rooms generally are much smaller than rooms found in housing in the US. The PAL system produces very nice images on flat panels in the UK imho; (remember it uses 625 lines vs the NTSC system's 525 lines).

Bish
 

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As mentioned above there are a lot of places in the UK to buy AV gear and the avforums mentioned above is where a lot of UK enthusiasts and experts hang out.


Personally I would avoid the Superstores such as Currys/Comets as they tend to be very expensively priced, your best bet is to check out some of the specialists.

av-sales, the media factory (Joe Fernand on the AV Forums), progressive-av([email protected] on the AV forums) are all good companies (sorry, I dont have enough posts to post the url). Also you can send MAW or Gordon @ Convergent AV (ISF calibrator and Lumagen dealer as well as the usual) etc. a PM on the above forums.

Any of the above will be able to advise on the best way to meet your requirements.


The new Pioneer 6th gen (no Elite versions over here I am afraid) hit the stores late sept/early october, as well as the PHD8 etc. so I would advise waiting a month or two before she buys a new screen.


Re. US players etc, I actually run a US 1st Gen Pioneer DV-505 over here, you just need a transformer and a panel that can accept NTSC signals for Region 1 material (and of course the player needs to support PAL 50Hz for Region 2 discs). However the transformers are pretty bulky and ugly so depending on what she has already it may be better to buy new.


Re. existing DVDs. There are plenty of UK multi-region players that support NTSC, so as long as the panel does (and if it is Plasma/HD I am sure it will) her current collection will be fine.


Re. HD. Our HD satellite service (Sky HD) finally starts in about 4-6 months but it won't be a very impressive lineup for a while, nor will it be cheap. However, I find PAL discs noticeably superior to NTSC discs due to the increased resolution so it is not all bad. ;)


Got to dash.. just had my shout for dinner. :)


Rahmo
 

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Here are my 2 pennies :)


You may not need a voltage converter for the US DVD player - just check the back that the voltage is 120 - 220


I'm pretty sure many televisions will accept NTSC as well as PAL if you did want to use your US DVD player


Your best bet would be to buy a multi region DVD player. go to www.amazon.co.uk and in the DVD section search for multi region - you will find there are many (even low priced) options


The TV rental option may be good. The two major electronics rental places are Radio Rentals and DER, neither of which I could find online!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
All,


Thanks very much for all the feedback. This is why I love this forum. One could spend hours, if not weeks trying to research this stuff. It's great to have the opportunity to feed off the experience of others.


Cheers!
 
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