Making a $42 Region Free DVD Player - RCA DRC247N

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Apoptosis
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Making a $42 Region Free DVD Player - RCA DRC247N

Post by Apoptosis » Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:08 pm

Over two years ago I bought the Apex Digital AD-1100W DVD player from Walmart and just recently it's been acting funky. Back in 2004 it was hard to find a DVD player that was region free and supported things like DIVX, was able to play burnt DVD's and has S-video out. The other downside on this player is the fact it sucks on HDTV's as it doesn't have progressive scan. When i used the Apex AD-1100W on an HDTV it was found to have have horizontal lines flickering across it as a result of not being progressive scan.

I did some research on the Internet and now in 2007 I found myself back at Walmart picking up one of their cheapy $40 DVD players...

Image

This time I picked up the $42 RCA DRC247N progressive scan DVD player... It's just a few more bucks than what I paid for my old Apex and has tons of more features. Both the Apex and RCA models are pictured above... This one has an LED display, progressive scan and component outputs for higher image quality over S-Video. It also can be turned off with a remote unlike my old Apex AD-1100W could. The downside of this player is that it isn't region free. Since I have picked up DVD's from overseas this sucks... Well there is a small hack to make the RCA DRC247N region free...
Turn the player on and open the disc tray. Press [CLEAR] followed by [1][3][6][9] and one of the keys [0]...[8] corresponding to the region you want to set the player for (press 0 for Region 0 or Region Free). Turn the player off then on again for the changes to take effect.

To verify the region code, press [SETUP] followed by [1][3][7][9]. A screen will then pop up with the firmware info and the current region code setting. If it says 0 it worked and you are done!
If you did it right when you check the region code you should see this:

Image

After this five second hack my $42 DVD player was now region free and a big step up from my old Apex model in terms of features. The flickering is gone thanks to progressive scan and it's no longer a Region 1 only DVD player thanks to the five second region hack mentioned above. The only downside to the whole player is the remote. I've never seen such a crappy and ugly remote in all my life. Now if I just had a Logitech harmony remote.... hehe

Hope someone finds this helpful... My original APEX DVD player post has over 3,000 views on it, so maybe over time this one will too!
Last edited by Apoptosis on Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by bubba » Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:34 pm

Cool, need a new DVD player too. I have a couple cyberhome and an apex. all are starting to flake out in way or another, the most anoying is chapter skipping on burt DVDs, even on my home movies.

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Post by tomato » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:40 pm

Apoptosis,

does the new RCA dvd player support DivX? If so, I may have to make a stop at Wal-Mart this week ;)
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Post by Apoptosis » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:57 am

tomato wrote:Apoptosis,

does the new RCA dvd player support DivX? If so, I may have to make a stop at Wal-Mart this week ;)
Yup, the RCA DRC247N does indeed support DIVX...

Here are some details on it from Walmart. I did find out that it lacks DTS output capability, so it will not play back DTS soundtracks.

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Post by tomato » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:19 am

Excellent, thank you very much ;)

I can live without DTS, especially with those specs.

One last question... I assume that the dvd player came with the regular RCA cables, especially given the price point? :P
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Post by Apoptosis » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:54 am

yup, but remember if you need progressive scan only component cables can be used. These can be picked up for under $9.
On DVD players, the progressive scan signal is sent via component video connections, which are labeled Y, Pb, Pr. Component video connections labeled Y,Cb,Cr transfer only interlaced signals. Standard AV and S-Video connections do not transfer progressive scan video images.

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Post by dgood » Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:23 pm

can't you just get a universal remote or something and program in the same remote code for apex so you can replace the crappy remote with something with more options and that can control all of your entertainment center at once? then you could get rid of that remote or at least store it somewhere else. nice hack btw I have an apex like that at home I should check to see if its the same model. its the same shape / look.
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Post by pcrobot » Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:42 pm

I wasn't aware that you could get a a region free player that cheaply. And since we could use a new DVD player...

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Post by Xanlamin » Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:42 pm

pcrobot wrote:I wasn't aware that you could get a a region free player that cheaply. And since we could use a new DVD player...
It is the same produced player that is sold overseas, the manufactor uses the same firmware to save on money for programming, if the unit is to be sold overseas they just use the code to make it to whatever region they are selling it in. It can be done with any DVD player if you know the tech codes.

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Post by tomato » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:42 am

Apoptosis wrote:yup, but remember if you need progressive scan only component cables can be used. These can be picked up for under $9.
Yep, I figured as much, good thing I have a spare set of component cables laying around. Thanks for the info ;)
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Post by Xanlamin » Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:38 pm

The word on this must be getting out there, Walmart in St. Charles (Zumbehl) had 1 in stock. Unfortunatly I did not have enough this week to pick one up....Yet.

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Post by tomato » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:45 am

None at my Wal-Mart either... :( They did have a Panasonic (or was that Pioneer?) DivX player, but it was twice the price :P
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Post by Indignity » Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:59 am

You guys might have the ability to be region-free built in already to your DVD Players.

Check here:

Clicky

My Apex has been going strong for around 3 years now. Guess I'm just lucky. I also have a Philips DVP-942(DivX player $40) that would play a peanut butter & jelly sandwich (recently down pending capacitor replacement though). Oh yeah, recently bought a $25 player from Aldi's that I can't remember the manufacturer of. This one doesn't play DivX, but it is region free out of the box.
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Post by tonman23 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:05 pm

Indignity wrote:You guys might have the ability to be region-free built in already to your DVD Players.

Check here:

Clicky

My Apex has been going strong for around 3 years now. Guess I'm just lucky. I also have a Philips DVP-942(DivX player $40) that would play a peanut butter & jelly sandwich (recently down pending capacitor replacement though). Oh yeah, recently bought a $25 player from Aldi's that I can't remember the manufacturer of. This one doesn't play DivX, but it is region free out of the box.
Awesome, I never even thought about doing this! I've been buying off brand DVD players for people to replace the region locked ones! Thanks

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Post by Indignity » Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:41 pm

Oh yeah, the $25 one from Aldi is branded by GPX.

Amazon had two reviews of the unit:

Unbelievable value!, November 14, 2006

This unit is unbelievable value. Extremely easy to set up, and has RCA, S-Video AND Component output. NTSC/PAL compatible, and a 2 second google search shows how to make it multi-region too.

Great unit, unbelievable price!

A Great DVD Player at a Great Low Price!, August 29, 2006
Sears had a sale on this GPX DVD Player for a mere $24.00! I was looking for a low price DVD player to replace my CyberHome CH 300S. The GPX like the CyberHome plays all my PAL DVDs from Europe and Asia on my NTSC TV beautifully. It also plays other regions DVDs and homemade JPEG photo CDs. No complaints! This DVD player is highly recommended at this giveaway price.
In case you wanted to look for one, the model # is D1816SIL
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Post by Tim Burton » Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:52 pm

I'll need to do this when I get a DVD player in the next couple of months.


Thanks for the tips. I'll have to remember this trick to make a better DVD player.

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Post by amdme127 » Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:43 pm

Hey I need one of those

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Post by d1no » Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:04 pm

RCA DRC247N DVD Player is also the player I have, even though this is a different problem/question than the original post, I'm having an issue with the angles. I'm trying to watch Star Wars A New Hope, and i dont why, but on the screen it has this image of a little camera and it says "1/3" and when i hit the angle button on the remote, it changes to "2/3" and then one more time to "3/3" but no matter what i do, i can't get rid of this, i unplugged the dvd player, put in differnt dvds (which by the way, it doesnt do it for, only for the star wars ones) and then put the star wars dvd back in, and it still has it, its very annoying to look at and i cant find anywhere on the web a solution to this or if anyone has had this problem. since you own the dvd player as well, maybe you might have an idea how to fix it, if so, that would be great.

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Post by Apoptosis » Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:32 pm

you turn it on and the angle button is just there? I don't own that movie, but have never had that problem.

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Post by d1no » Sun Apr 08, 2007 6:31 pm

yea no matter what, with any of the three star wars movies (3-6) it comes on as soon as the first real movie chapter stars and i just cant get rid of it, i called rca, they said turn it off and unplug for 30 mins which i knew wouldnt reset it even though they said it would, and it didnt do anyhting

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