Buying Guide

Region Free Blu-ray DVD Buying Guide

Still not sure what you need? On this page you’ll find all of the information you need to choose exactly which features and options you will need for your specific application. Whether you’re moving overseas, living abroad, constantly traveling or just want the ability to purchase and watch movies from other regions – this guide will help you make a proper decision on what suits you the best.

There are many different options to consider aside from just which region you live in. Various brands and models offer unique features, while general features are usually available across all brands. Regardless, it’s important to understand what’s available to you as it’ll help you decide if specific options will enrich your personal user experience. We will start this guide with answers to some very common questions, then we’ll move on to explaining the different features that are available with certain brands and models.

Common Questions about Region Codes and Region Free Players

Which region do I live in?
What should I do if I decide to move outside my region?
What do I need in order to watch movies from other regions?
Aren’t region-free players more expensive?
Where and how can I get movies from other regions?
Do I have to worry about voltage differences if I move/travel overseas?
Are region-free Blu-Ray DVD Players compatible with foreign TVs?

What Options/Features are Available to Me?

1080P Full HD
Video Up-Scaling
2D to 3D Conversion
HDMI Output
PAL to NTSC Conversion
Worldwide Voltage
Streaming Media
USB Port
Smart Remote Capable
DLNA Network

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Answers to Commonly asked Questions

Which region do I live in?
To determine which region you currently reside in, use our region code guide maps. This will tell you which Blu-ray and DVD region codes are local to you.


What should I do if I decide to move outside my region?
If you decide to move outside your region you have a two choices. You can take your normal player with you, or you can purchase a region-free player

If you take your player with you and is NOT region-free, you will only be able to watch the movies that you already own. To be able to purchase and watch new movies in the future, you’d have to purchase them from the region you initially moved from because your player only recognizes discs with that region code. Also, depending on where you are moving, you might need a voltage converter and possibly a video converter in order to be compatible with the video standards (PAL or NTSC) of your new country.

The other choice is to buy a region-free player because:

  • It will allow playback of discs from other regions.
  • Most are equipped with worldwide voltage capability
  • Most models can be purchased with an internal PAL to NTSC converter


What do I need in order to watch movies from other regions?
All you need is a region-free player that is compatible with the region code of the movies.


How do I find out what region a movie is from?
Typically, discs are only coded with the region code that is local to them. If you buy a Blu-ray Disc or DVD in region 3, it is always encoded as region 3 unless otherwise stated. If you’re buying movies online, the region codes are nearly always local to the region where the store is located or has originated from. Russian websites will typically sell only Russian movies (region C for Blu-ray/region 5 for DVD), Australian sites typically sell Australian movies (region B for Blu-ray/region 4 for DVD), and so on.

Before ordering movies online, you’ll want to be sure to verify the region code of the movie. If the information isn’t available on the website (it usually is, somewhere) than it should be verified by phone or email prior to making a purchase.


Aren’t region-free players more expensive?
Usually, the cost of a region-free player is just a small amount more than a player of the same exact model that is NOT region-free. By a small amount, we generally are talking about $20 – $30. However, due to manufacturing processes, size restrictions and/or supply and demand, some region-free players cost a considerable amount more. Our best advice is to find a model with the features and options you need, then compare the price from a major electronics store to the price of the region-free model. If the difference is far too much to justify, find a different model/brand with the same or similar options.

While you can always expect to pay a small amount more for a region-free version, it’s well worth the additional cost.


Where and how can I get movies from other regions?
Movies from other regions are typically only produced and/or sold in other regions. While there are definitely a few shops who sell Blu-Ray and DVDs from other regions, these are few and far between. Your best bet for a wide selection of movies from other regions is to shop online and buy direct from the source – the region where the discs are sold. If you’re looking for somewhere to begin and don’t know where to start, we have created a small list of websites that sell discs from other regions. All of the sites on the list ship internationally and some offer very competitive pricing!


Do I have to worry about voltage differences if I move/travel overseas?
Depending where you travel, yes.

Luckily, most region-free Blu-ray DVD Players have worldwide voltage capability. Since certain countries have different electrical standards, worldwide voltage capability is a big help and ensures you can use your player anywhere. Without worldwide voltage capability, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter should you decide to travel or move to an area with different voltage standards.

Also, don’t forget that even if you DO have a player that is global voltage capable, the actual plug itself might not be a match for the electrical outlet or wall socket. If you’re not sure what type of plug is standard, be sure that you have a set of plug adapters so you can use your device.


Are region free Blu-Ray DVD Players compatible with foreign TVs?
Not always. There are two standard formats that TVs, Blu-ray and DVD players use for video/color display – PAL or NTSC. If your player wasn’t manufactured for the same format ads the TV, the device will be unusable. In this case, you’d need to purchase an external video converter. Luckily, however, many brands and models of region-free players have internal PAL to NTSC converters and can play on TVs from anywhere in the world. If you’re not sure of your destination or plan to travel to many different countries, it would be ideal and economical to have a model with an internal PAL to NTSC converter.


Explanation of Features and Options

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi capability allows users to connect wirelessly to the internet. The wireless connection alleviates the need for direct wiring, usually also eliminating the need for additional lengths of cable (if there is no internet connection cable in the immediate vicinity of your Blu-ray DVD Player). The connection can be used for browsing the internet (if the player has a full web browser), connecting to streaming media (Netflix, Pandora, Picasa, YouTube, and more), connecting to a home network, and connecting with other devices. It also allows users to connect with BD-Live.

Some brands and models have internal Wi-Fi connections while others may require a dongle (receiver) but are Wi-Fi ready.

3D: 3D compatibility lets you play 3D format movies in amazing life-like quality, directly in your home. Purchase a 3D Blu-ray disc, connect your player to your 3D TV, and that’s it – The excitement of a real 3D movie is right before your eyes!

1080P Full HD: 1080P Full HD is the highest quality HD resolution currently available. Enjoy deep, rich colors; clean, crisp lines; soft, smooth curves and phenomenal detail like you’ve never seen before. The picture almost looks more clear than real life!

Video Up-Scaling: Video up-scaling allows you to get the best picture possible from your older, non-HD DVDs. Up-scaling processes the frames at a higher quality, providing definition close to that of 1080P. It’s easily noticeable and quite amazing to see the significant increase in quality. This feature is a must-have for people who want to achieve high video quality from their older movies.

2D to 3D Conversion: 2D to 3D conversion, while definitely not the same as real 3D, offers an added bit of depth to a regular 2D movie. When this option is turned on, nothing is going to jump out of the screen – however the player will attempt to recognize the depth of certain aspects of each frame and intensify them for a better viewing experience. If you already have a 3D TV, this might not be a bad option to consider.

HDMI Output: HDMI Output allows you to connect your Blu-ray directly to your TV with a single cable for both high definition video and audio. Nowadays, this is commonplace. Although it’s convenient and underrated, you’ll likely have a hard time finding a Blu-ray Player without at least one HDMI output.

PAL to NTSC Conversion: PAL and NTSC are the two major video/color formats used globally for Blu-Ray, DVD, and TVs. Should you decide to relocate or travel with your region-free Blu-Ray Player, you’ll want one that has a built-in PAL to NTSC converter. If not, you’ll need to purchase an external video converter which costs more and requires extra cables. Not all region-free players have built-in PAL to NTSC conversion, so if this option is important to you, make sure the player of your choice is equipped.

Worldwide Voltage: Many areas of the world operate at different electrical standards, using various voltages. Voltage is typically 110 volts or 220 volts, however, some areas are slightly higher or lower. Purchasing a region-free player with worldwide voltage capability ensures that no matter where you go, you can plug in and play. It’s important to remember that some areas, even those operating at similar voltage, use a different type of plug and socket/outlet. To overcome this, you’ll need to be sure to have the proper plug adapter when traveling or relocating.

Streaming Media: Streaming Media is available on the majority of new model Blu-ray DVD Players. Some brands have special names for this, others don’t. Regardless of what it’s called, streaming media capability allows the user to connect their player directly to their favorite sources of live audio and video content. This includes sites and subscription services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, CinemaNow, BUDU, Pandora, YouTube, and even certain social media and photo sites like facebook, twitter and Picasa. Streaming media enhances your experience and allows your player to have convenient, added functionality. View pictures on your TV screen in HD and listen to Pandora through your surround sound. Although we may think of these services as being computer based, many of them offer a richer experience on a home theater system.

USB Port: USB Ports allow you to watch and listen to nearly any type of media that can be used on a computer. View and save photos, videos, music and more by using a USB device. This is ideal for times when you don’t want to connect wiring or a wireless networking option isn’t available. This is also an excellent feature to review high-res photography at full size.

Smart Remote Capable: Smart Remote Capability (this is also one of those options given different names depending on brand) allows you to control your region-free Blu-ray player directly from the screen of your smart phone. Not only can you see what’s playing on your TV screen from anywhere in the house, but you can use it in the same manner as the traditional remote. Turn the volume up or down from the other side of the house, pause or start a movie or power the device off. There’s only two relatively small requirements

1. You need to have a smart phone with the proper smart remote app installed
2. You need to have a Wi-Fi Connection that the TV and your phone can both use simultaneously.

DLNA Network: DLNA is the ultimate in interactive home media. If you’re into technology and have several media devices around your home, you’re going to absolutely love DLNA capability. This enables you to create a link between your devices which can be used to share, save, watch, transfer and sometimes even edit, copy, and delete certain media. DLNA is intended to work on a home network only.

If you have an android phone, a PC, a laptop computer, a tablet, a PS3 and a smart TV, DLNA could enable you to send, swap, share, watch, and listen to media between all of your devices. Want to show your friends the amazing video you took on your smartphone the other day? Instead of passing your phone around, simply use DLNA and watch it instantly on your flatscreen TV. If it’s good enough, you can upload it to YouTube from your TV as well! Digital technology for the home has come a long way and DLNA is something that will bring a plethora of interesting capabilities in the future. If you’re into technology, this is your must-have feature for a Region-Free Blu-ray Player.