Month: December 2010

Until the release of the Blue Ray Disc in 2006, DVD technology provided the most resilient and best quality medium for the distribution of motion pictures.  In order to provide a level of control over the release dates, the DVD Copy Control Association in California, was requiring the manufacturers of DVD players to incorporate the Regional Playback Control (RPC) system into the DVD players they distribute.  Since then the majority of DVD’s sold in shops are region locked.  DVD’s are rated according to the region that they are distributed in and may only be watched by players that are coded for that region. There are still older Region Code Free DVD players available on the market—usually as hardware in older model computer DVD drives.  All new computers must also incorporate Region Control into their new hardware.   Because of all these new regulations, it’s becoming increasingly more and more difficult to purchase a code free player.
The practice of restricting region sharing has been incorporated as a way of reducing pirated copies of movies being distributed, The concept of restricted regions existed in previous years with the release of movies on tapes in either the PAL or NTSC format, however, there are those  who claim that the practice is discriminatory and anti competitive.
Consumers who are determined to have the right to watch DVD’s regardless of their country of origin have created methods of turning locked region DVD players into Region code free DVD players.   Using either software or hardware modification, they modify the technology to unlock the device and enable the multi region operation of the player.  These methods are successful, but their ongoing success is variable.  It is not uncommon for a modified DVD player to revert back to its Region Coded Locked System and to display a sign indicating that a DVD cannot be played due to the region not being recognized.
It is legal to own region code free DVD players, however it is not legal to operate them for illegal purposes.   Consumers who modify their players, either by using software or hardware modifications, are encouraged to check with their state and national laws for further information about their rights.
New technology is being introduced in Region 1 DVDs to prevent them from being played on Region Code Free DVD players, and as you can imagine, this will only cause further restrictions to people who want to play region specific DVD’s.


Once you get an LCD TV, you’ll get hooked on it.  The vivid sharp images have transformed television viewing into a near cinematic experience for most folks.  Whether you get a multisystem TV or other set, you’ll want to create a set up that optimizes your experience.
People are so enthralled by LCD TVs that they are redesigning their living spaces in order to watch their favorite shows and movies in high comfort.  You don’t need a rear projector and fancy screen to create a theater-like setting in your home.  You just need a great TV and a good place to put it.   
If you want to add to your enjoyment by creating a cinematic experience, try these tips from the experts.  Read this over before you buy your television or any entertainment centers or chairs, and you’ll end up with a much better result. 
Measure Before You Buy
First figure out where your TV will go.  The viewing distances may be restricted by your room size, so consider the optimal distance between your sofa or chairs and the screen.  Figure about 8 feet for a 32 inch screen, 11 for a 45 inch screen, and 13 plus for a 55 inch screen. Measure your desired distance and then choose the appropriate size TV.  For example, I realized that my living room is just not wide enough for a huge screen, so we went for a Toshiba 32” multisystem TV that works just great for the two of us.  So consider your own situation. If you have a spacious area, you can simply decide what size TV you prefer and then figure where your seating should go. 
Now figure out your actual TV placement.  This also depends on your seating and viewing angle.  Do not place the television too high on the wall as it gets uncomfortable looking up for extended periods of time.  Put the TV so that when you are seated and looking at the screen, your eyes are directed right at the middle of the screen.
Now you have the basic measurements needed to get your TV and entertainment center or other TV stand.
Seating:  What Do You Prefer
As noted above, you’ll want to be at eye level with your television, so choose seating that complements the setup that you have created.  Do you want to sprawl on an over-sized sofa, or do you prefer to have a reclining chair or perhaps a bearskin rug for those romantic movies with your partner?  This is all up to you.
Lighting and Eye Strain Issues
Ophthalmologists, those eye experts who know all about eye strain, say that for television watch, room lighting should be 50 percent dimmer than the screen illumination.  You should make sure that lighting does not cause either reflections on the screen or glare.  They agree with what Mom always said—don’t watch in total darkness as the sharp contrast can cause fatigue, as can watching from an angle.  They suggest sitting in front of the set at a distance which is about four or five times the TV screen width, though those with poor vision might want to sit closer.
Some of my friends have gone to a lot of trouble with fancy backlighting for their plasma multisystem TV, but I am not sure that the results are worth the effort. To each his or her own, I say!  May you enjoy your own mini-theater your own way, with or without the popcorn!