4 Best Multi Region DVD Player UK – [BEST IN THE UK 2019]
Best Multi Region DVD Player UK
The humble DVD is still very much alive and well and for the foreseeable future at least, it’s very likely to stay that way. There are three main reasons for this.
Film studios have worked out that DVD releases, if possible featuring bonus extras and high-quality art work, are an effective way to get people to part with cash for legal copies of films and TV programmes.
There is a huge quantity of existing content which is unlikely to be released in any other format any time soon, if at all. DVD is the de facto standard for new releases of classic film and TV programmes.
DVD is great for storing and sharing home video footage, which is in no shortage now we all have smartphones with video cameras. Not everyone wants to put their private footage on the internet and even if you do, it’s generally best to have an offline back-up of anything which really matters.
All of this (and more) means that DVD players are very probably going to be around for a long time yet and if you’ve decided you need a DVD player, then it generally makes sense to get a multi-region DVD player so that you can just pop in a DVD and have it play, no questions asked. Otherwise, you’re stuck finding DVDs which will play in your player.
DVD jargon 101 – multiregion versus multiformat
When DVDs first arrived on the scene (way back in the mid 1990s), content creators were still able to exercise a large degree of control about what content was released where and when and under what conditions. The DVD industry realized that they would have to get content creators on board if their new product was to be a success, so they invented the region system to keep them happy. The regions are as follows:
Region 1: USA and Canada
Region 2: Europe, The Middle East, Japan, Egypt, North Africa, South Africa
Region 3: The Philippines, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia
Region 4: South America, Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands
Region 5: India, North Korea, East and West Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe
Region 6: China
You may occasionally see Region 0, which basically means region free. It tends to be used for non-entertainment DVDs, for example safety demonstrations or for content where the creator expects there to be only a niche audience and doesn’t want to make their life more complicated than they have to.
In one of life’s beautiful ironies, the arrival of broadband internet made the regioning system obsolete very shortly after it had been introduced, since it made it easy for people both to download computer software, which would allow them to play DVDs through their computers regardless of region and/or to hack regular DVD players to ignore regional coding. DVD manufacturers then decided to go with the flow and create a selection of multi-region DVD players which allow people to watch DVDs from different regions (although not necessarily all regions) through a TV rather than a computer screen and without the risk of damaging their DVD player by getting a hack wrong, especially since hacking a region-encoded DVD player usually voided the warranty.
You can expect a multi-region DVD player to be a multi-format DVD player for the simple reason that pretty much all DVD players on the market today are multi-format DVD players. DVD formats go back to the early days of DVDs when there was something of a format war in this exciting new market. This was not so much a battle between the forces of good and evil as a battle between manufacturers, who all wanted to be the new dominant force in DVDs in the way VHS had come to be the dominant force in the home video market which preceded DVDs. As a result, there was a short skirmish between DVD-R,DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD-RW (and a few more), which ended in a no-score draw decided by the DVD manufacturers, who started creating machines which played DVDs in multiple formats.
Choosing a multiregion DVD player – features to look for
Number of regions covered – Multiregion itself just means that a DVD player can read DVDs from more than one region, it doesn’t necessarily mean it can read DVDs from all regions.
Upscaling – Basically this means that if you connect the DVD player over HDMI, it will use technical wizardry to improve picture quality on lower-resolution pictures, like old films. This can make a noticeable difference to your viewing experience.
Sound quality – How important this is to you will depend on what type of content you like to watch. Any decent DVD player should be able to produce dialogue accurately, but if you’re into films with scores which are worth listening to on their own, then you will probably want a DVD player which can do them justice.
Connections – Make sure that any DVD player you buy has the appropriate connector for the TV with which you want to use it (or be prepared to pay for an adapter). You will need a true HDMI connection if you want to use upscaling, but if you’re not too bothered about that then adapters can be an affordable workaround.
Ease of use – As always, be careful of the very cheapest DVD players as they can be real pains to set up and use. It’s generally worth paying a little extra for a DVD player with a menu system which can be understood by someone without a degree in electronic engineering.
The top four multiregion DVD players
Here is our pick of the top four multiregion DVD players. All the players on our list are capable of playing DVDs from all regions (rather than just some regions). They are all multiformat and will play CDs and read content from USB drives as well as playing DVDs. At a more basic level, we’re also happy that they’re straightforward to set up and use.
Denver DVH-7784 Small Multi Region DVD Player
We like this little player because it’s small but mighty as well as very affordable. Its compact dimensions (22.5 x 23.2 x 4.6 cm), mean you have to sacrifice a display screen, but we really don’t see this as a major issue. The other point we need to highlight, is a quirk rather than a result of its size and that is the fact that it is set to switch to standby after 2 hours and 45 minutes. This means that if you’re the sort of person who loves to binge-watch DVD box sets or enjoys epic films, then you’re going to need to go into the set-up menu (which has its own button on the provided remote) and turn this off. On the plus side, in spite of its tiny footprint, this DVD player incorporates both upscaling technology and a stereo Dolby Digital Surround Sound decoder and optical audio output socket.
- SMALL DVD PLAYER - Measuring only 4.5cm x 21cm x 22.5cm this is a very compact DVD player, perfect for small spaces
- UPSCALING DVD PLAYER - Using HDMI to connect the DVH-7784 to your TV gives a resolution of up to full HD 1920 x 1080, making your normal DVDs nearly...
- ONNECT TO YOUR HOME CINEMA SYSTEM - Built in stereo Dolby Digital Surround Sound decoder and optical audio output socket for connecting this multi...
- MULTI REGION DVD PLAYER - Ready straight from the box, no codes or adjustment needed. Play DVD discs bought anywhere worldwide.
LG DP542H HDMI/MULTIREGION DVD Player
You need to be a little careful if you’re thinking about buying this DVD player in that the same player description is used for single-region players and multi-region players, you need to look at the full description to see which you are buying. Even more confusingly, some online sites automatically add a “Region 2” tag to all DVD players, even when they’re multiregion. So to simplify, if you buy this DVD player from a high street store or its online website, then you’re probably going to get a Region 2 only player. If you buy this off Amazon and make sure that the description says it is multiregion, then you’ll get a multiregional player.
As well as being multiregion, this DVD player is also multiformat, the one point you do need to know is that if you want to play footage you’ve recorded yourself, then it needs to be in DivX format. This DVD player does not play MP4 files (although it handles MP3s happily enough). There is reliable, free, converter software on the net, which is very simple to use, so this is highly unlikely to be a problem.
The last little quirk of this player is that the supplied HDMI cable is only 1.5 metres in length so you may find you need to get another one.
All that said, this multiregion DVD player is a very impressive performer at a very reasonable price. In addition to upscaling, it also has something called progressive scan, which seems to be unique to LG and the basic idea is that it works to avoid breaks between the scanning lines thereby reducing flicker and improving the quality of the picture. Another big plus is that the machine works very quietly, so you won’t have dialogue spoiled by the sounds of a grunting DVD player. Also the sound quality is very good.
- Plays All Region DVD discs + High Quality HDMI CABLE - WATCH DVD's FROM ANYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD!
- 1080p up-scaling via HDMI - Upscales your standard definition DVD discs to near-Full HD quality when connected to an HDTV, breathing new life into...
- Progressive scan - LG's progressive scan technology projects all the colours onto the screen instantly, without any break between the scanning lines,...
- LG system will play back everything from CD to DivX movies from the internet with Multi format Playback including DivX (DVDR/RW, CD, MP3, WMA, JPEG.)
- USB Contents Playback - Just plug a USB memory stick loaded with movies, music or photos into your LG device and enjoy your content in stunning video...
MAJORITY Towers Compact DVD Player, MULTI-REGION
We’re not sure if the name is a deliberate reference to a very old TV series, but we are sure that this DVD player is excellent value for money. It’s also worth noting that while Majority may not be a major name in electronics, they have been around the industry for about 20 years, having started life as a radio manufacturer before deciding to branch out. They are also headquartered in Cambridge, which has become something of a tech hub, presumably due to the nearby university. Upscaling is present and correct and sound reproduction is good, however, this DVD player is certainly not the loudest we’ve ever heard. There is, of course, a very simple way to deal with this, which is just to turn up the volume on the TV – and remember to turn it down again before you switch back to the actual TV itself. The other little quirk of this unit is that it displays a red light when plugged in, which turns to green when you actually switch it on. If this annoys you, you can just turn the machine off at the mains when out of use. Having said all that, this DVD player is priced so affordably, these quirks are very forgivable.
- HIGH QUALITY PICTURE: Experience a high-detail spectrum of picture quality with HDMI upscaling and impressive sound from your chosen DVD
- MULTI-REGION DVDS: Play multi-region DVDs so your choice is not limited. Will play almost any disk or format including DVD, AVI, CD, CD-R/RW,...
- USB PORT, RCA, HDMI, COAXIAL CONNECTIONS: Enjoy your own pictures and video from your USB stick. Connect the DVD player to your TV via the supplied...
- REMOTE CONTROL: Control the DVD player and its settings with the supplied remote.
- WARRANTY: Majority offer full technical support for every item, as well as including a comprehensive 36 month warranty (registration required).
Panasonic DVD-S500 Multiregion
The Panasonic DVD-S500 is the only one of our top four picks which does not have upscaling and that’s because it’s the only one which only has a scart connector. If you have an HDMI TV then you could use an adaptor, but the basic idea behind this machine is that it’s a simple little DVD player which can be plugged in to older TVs and essentially used by people who just want to enjoy commercial DVDs from any region without any hassle. Even without upscaling, picture quality is very good and there is support for Dolby Digital sound. Some users have reported issues with questionable factory settings leading to poor picture quality out of the box, but if this happens to you, it can be easily fixed by adjusting the relevant settings. Most of the time, this unit is literally plug and play and not only is it simple to work, it is almost silent in operation.
NB: Panasonic also sell a unit called the S500EB-K which is single region. If you want a multiregion DVD player then you need to make sure you are buying the Panasonic DVD-S500 Multiregion.
- Plays Region 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 PAL NTSC on any TV
- Create dazzling photo slideshows to share on big screen TV
- Hear superior audio from DVDs/CDs with Dolby Digital sound
- View content from USB memory devices
- Come with Remote control and 110/240 volt to use in any country.