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Tell us about your first DVD player / discs...

Brian Elliott (Reviewer) posted this on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 01:09

We must have had this discussion before, but searching for "first DVD player" was not helpful. ;)

I think it was Chris Gould who mentioned his old Samsung 709 in the Cheap Blu-Ray Player thread, and that got me nostalgic for my own DVD players of the past, and indeed all the info we used to dig up to make informed decisions about our next purchases, whether it was new hardware or new movies.

For my own part, my first DVD player was an LG47 10, purchased in 2001 (details: It was a great little (erm... rather big) player, which I`d already worked out could be made region free. It would`ve been handy had it played CD-Rs, but it wasn`t that big of a deal to me.

For some bizarre reason, I bought insurance with this player - god knows how much that cost, considering the player itself was £150. Perhaps it was a premonition, though, because about four-and-a-half years into a five-year warranty, it started to spit out occasional CDs (never DVDs). The local Dixons store from which I`d bought it was closing down imminently, so I took it over there, expecting them to try to push a dirt-cheap player on me, but they refunded my entire £150! Result!

Still, like many tech geeks, I had a sadness at leaving the 4710 with the store, no doubt securing it a one-way ticket to "the other side". I moved on to another LG player, the model number of which has escaped me.

Looking back through some records, it seems my first DVD was the R1 The Princess Bride DVD - no doubt because the R2 at the time had no extras! I can`t even bring myself to tell you how much it cost; maybe when some people make their own admissions. ;)

Brian Elliott is a British journalist, covering soccer, MMA, and pro wrestling. He has written for the likes of the Associated Press, the Canadian Press, and Sports Illustrated. He is currently the editor at

This item was edited on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 01:11

RE: Tell us about your first DVD player / discs...

Mark Oates (Reviewer) posted this on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 03:20

My very first DVD player was a Matsui from Dixons which went back within a day or so because it stuttered playing back my first DVD - Tomorrow Never Dies.  Well, stuttered is possibly the wrong term - it would pause momentarily at each chapter mark on the disc.  Drove me bananas in moments, and (I think the same day) I was on the bus back into town with it tucked under my arm.

My first proper DVD player was the Grundig 210 that I traded and upgraded it in for.  Now that machine was a tank and it lasted a good while - it even multiregioned without any problems and would run the dreaded RCE titles Columbia put out.

When the Grundig started to have problems I went through a patch of getting multiregionable budget machines from ASDA, Argos and the like.  I went through a bunch of Pacifics and Albas that were fairly good but not brilliant, and then I hit on a Sony.  I think it was a bundled job with a widescreen telly.  I had to get an All-for-one remote control to multiregion it, but once that was done it was obvious you pays for quality.  That really was a tank - it would run anything I threw at it.  As would its upscaling replacement purchased from Amazon that lasted me up to the Blu-ray era.

First Blu-ray player was (and still is) the original fat PS3 - a 40Gb one.  When the Sony DVD gave up the ghost a few months back I had a hell`s own time finding a decent multiregion replacement.  First I got a Sony BDP185S Blu-ray from Blockbusters.  Easy to multiregion, but it just stopped working one day after eight months service.  Blockbusters wouldn`t give me the time of day, claiming the problem was the manufacturer`s problem.  Rather than fart around I went to ASDA and picked up a Toshiba Blu-ray that was supposed to be multiregionable.  When it turned out not to be, I took it back for a refund and chased down a 3D compatible Samsung from Amazon that was also supposed to be multiregionable.  That also turned out to be not the case as Samsung was apparently tightening up on its compliance.  Finally I picked up a Toshiba DVD (not a Blu-ray) from ASDA which is multiregionable so I reserve that for the R1 DVDs while running R2s and Blus on the Samsung (or the PS3).

J Mark Oates

It`s Grand To Be Daft

This item was edited on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 03:35

RE: Tell us about your first DVD player / discs...

Chris Gould (Elite) posted this on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 03:24

My first player was a Matsui DV-110, because it was the only player I could find for a little over £100 at the time that could be made multi-region via a handset hack (I paid £110 for mine). Like a lot of players it had playback issues with a number of discs, including The Matrix, so after a few months I took it back and upgraded to the 709. That was better, but still flawed as the transport had a nasty habit of locking up and clicking, and layer changes took a couple of seconds. Again though, easy to make it multi-region.

After that I think I had  Wharfedale DV-750, which went back ASAP as it was worse than the 709 (although again easily hackable). After that I think I had a Toshiba SD-100E, which was the first hardware modified player I bought and it was leagues better than anything I`d had before. That was eventually upgraded to a Pioneer DV-444, which was another hardware modified player and a huge leap up from the Toshiba. I got it because the Tosh couldn`t handle RCE titles (remember those?) properly. That was stolen in 2002 while I was at the cinema watching Blade II, so I ended up getting another one (unfortunately in silver as it`s all they had) which is still at my mother-in-law`s and going strong to this day.

I then bought a Pioneer DV-370 because it was cheap and offered component output (I`d just bought a Toshiba CRT that offered prog scan for NTSC material via component). I eventually retired that to the bedroom and up until last year it was still in use. I managed to blag an Oppo DV-981 for review purposes when I got an HDTV and that became my main DVD player; it is in fact still in the living room, although these days it barely sees any use.

Around this time I moved to HD with the Samsung BD-P1400 BD player and the Toshiba EP-35 HD DVD player. The Samsung was retired in favour of a Sony BDP-S550 after a year or so, which I used until fairly recently. I have since gone to a Sony BDP-S590, which isn`t anywhere near as well built but wipes the floor with the older model in terms of performance for half the price. I still have the EP-35 for the odd HD DVD title, as a few are superior to the BD equivalents (The Thing being a prime example, although I`m currently trying to convert some of my HD DVD titles to BD).

I also had a Curtis DVD1100, which was a Momitsu/Sherwood Blu-ray clone that could be made multi-region via the handset. It was crap from day one and died in less than eight months. It only cost £50, but luckily I managed to return it for a refund. I started using the PS3 in the bedroom for a while, but then I got my hands on the Toshiba BDX1200 for £50 from Richer Sounds. I flashed that with an Aussie firmware and the DVD/BD region can now be changed via the handset. It`s not the best player I`ve ever used, but it was cheap and it can play back most formats via USB (and it accepts NTFS hard drives) without Cinavia protection.

I think that covers all of the players I`ve owned, apart from DVD-Rom/BD-Rom/HD DVD drives for the PC etc.

First discs I owned... Well for DVD it was Criterion RoboCop and South Park: BL&U on R1 and The Matrix and Austin Powers: TSWSM on R2 (back when Virgin were doing 2 for £30 on new releases). I actually had R1 discs before R2 because I ordered from Play247 before I bought the Matsui. Blu-ray wise, well I think it was something like the Spider-Man trilogy, but I got a bunch of check discs at the same time (stuff like RoboCop, The Host, Wolf Creek etc). HD DVD, well that was 300 and The Bourne Supremacy as they came in the box.

My Blu-ray Screenshot Site

This item was edited on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 03:36

RE: Tell us about your first DVD player / discs...

Pete-MK (Elite Donator) posted this on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 07:20

First player, like many others, was a Samsung 709. Had to be sent back to the shop, as they all did, to be retro-fitted with a chip that would let them play There`s Something About Mary and The Matrix. I still have it upstairs. Still slow, still clunky, still bloody huge, but still working perfectly.

First disc was The Negotiator. Best of a limited selection on offer at the time. First region 1 disc was x-men, but was a bit of a leap of faith as I hadn`t been able to hack the player by that stage. The only hack available was via the use of an Alba/Aiwa remote, which I`d gone through the process of ordering for an extortionate amount. It`s at that point I came across this place and realised I didn`t need one anyway. One awkward phone conversation later...


Writer`s Release

RE: Tell us about your first DVD player / discs...

ste_p0270 (Elite Donator) posted this on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 09:49

first player - LG DVD-3200 (found Reviewer whilst looking for a MR hack :) )
first disc - Mission Impossible 2 (bought weeks before i bought the player)

My Flickr Photostream

RE: Tell us about your first DVD player / discs...

Robee J Shepherd (undefined) posted this on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 10:46

I forget my first DVD but I'm sure bladerunner was one of them. Maybe even brought it back from the states with me.

First player was a Pioneer 405 I think it was? Invalidated the warranty within 24 hours by opening it up and soldering a joint to make it multiregion. Cost 350 I think, which for me was the ballpark figure that when they came down to I'd get one.

That was a budget player when I got it. :)

Not sure what original thread you meant Brian, but I found this from 2002:

The search engine on MyReviewer is better than the one on DVD Reviewer, I find.


My Flickr Photostream

This item was edited on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 10:48

RE: Tell us about your first DVD player / discs...

Blue John (Elite) posted this on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 11:14

First DVD was Highlander (now that was a bad transfer...)
Can`t for the life of me remember what the brand of my first player was. It was an Asda own-brand and I think it started with S (not Smart Price!)

First Blu-ray, I think, was Spiderman 3, because it came with my big fat 40GB PS3, that I still use to this day.    



My Collection (including the ones that belong to the kids!)

RE: Tell us about your first DVD player / discs...

Gavski (Elite) posted this on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 11:59

I`d just graduated from university in June 2000. Moved to my first own place in London and took out my first graduate loan!
Decided that I should put something in the living room so decided I needed this new fangled DVD thing and TV.
Opted for a 28" Goodmans TV (not widescreen) and matching Goodmans DVD player - 5.1 surround, I don`t remember the model numbers for either and as you can tell from Goodmans purchase didn`t know much about brands back then. Although it was a great player, great sound too in a small flat. Multi regional hacked too, from which I also found this site back in the day. The player lasted around 5 years and the TV was still going strong until August last year when I took it to the dump as I couldn`t even give it away!

First disc I think was MIB 2 disc. Oh and Sleepy Hollow. Bought at the same time...
Back in 2000 I was a runner for a film company in Soho (not that type) and two thirds of the way down Brewer Street was a video shop that sold R1 DVDs! So every day I was in there looking at their new imports and trying to justify spending £25+ on a single disc... But I did relent and my first R1 disc was The Watcher. Not a great film but one that wasn`t expensive - it think just to prove my multi region worked. I think from then on until prices dropped i imported R3`s from CDWow!


I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which i`m dying are the best i`ve ever had.

RE: Tell us about your first DVD player / discs...

Jitendar Canth (Reviewer) posted this on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 12:38

I still got the receipts...

In 2000 I got a Sony DVP S336 for £320, and paid £50 to have it chipped. Back then, I had this daft eco thing in my head that told me to switch it off at the mains every night. 18 months later it stopped spinning, and I paid about £100 to have it repaired. It lasted till 2004 after that, which isn`t great for an appliance. And the irony is that though I had it multi-regioned, I didn`t buy too many multi-region discs until after it died. I think the first Region 1 disc I span was a review disc, The Cat`s Meow in 2002, and the first non-UK disc I bought was actually a Region 3 disc, Returner.

In 2004 I bought a Sony DVP NS705V, which I had multi-regioned by remote. Far more capable than the S336, it cost me just £130, and it`s still my main SD player today, which isn`t bad going at all. Of course, the TV it`s now connected to is almost twice as old. I got City of Angels, Deep Blue Sea, and Analyse This free with my first player, back when they bundled software to shift units, but I had actually bought my first discs before hand, and I`m sure that Blade Runner and The Matrix were two prominent titles.

Then in 2008, my last VHS deck died, and I bought a Panasonic DMR-EX98VEB combi-unit, with VHS, DVD Recorder, and HDD (multi-region by remote). I spent the better part of six months copying what few videos I had over to DVD, got about 250 discs, and since then I`ve watched about 2 of them. But I have dumped all but 2 video tapes which refuse to be transferred because of copy protection (ironic cos I taped them off TV), and my Star Trek (not including TNG) video pre-recorded video collection, which I`ve decided to upgrade the next time I want to watch them, but haven`t yet been bothered to, made all the more complicated by the shift to Blu-ray.

In 2011, I finally went HD, and bought a SC-BT 330 Panasonic Home Cinema, multi-region for DVD by remote, Region B for Blu-ray. First disc was Inception, Blade Runner followed soon after. First import was The Wings of Honneamise on Region Free US Blu-ray. Ironically a greater proportion of my Blu-ray collection is imported.

Jitendar Canth

"I thought what I`d do was, I`d pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes."

Site Reviewer at DVD Reviewer & MyReviewer

Carving out a niche with a pneumatic drill at Anime @

RE: Tell us about your first DVD player / discs...

Sue Brown (Elite Donator) posted this on Saturday, 5th January 2013, 13:22

My first experience of DVD was a new PC running Windows ME that we bought in 2000. First discs I bought were imported from Canada - I still have the two that I ordered first - Hannibal and Castaway. God knows how much they cost, even from there!

For ages I mainly bought VCDs from Asia, and still have about 15, although they rarely get played these days because they look crap on a 32" widescreen TV (didn`t look bad at all on the 20" 4:3 TV that we had back then)

First DVD player, bought in 2001, was a JMB DVD-3000, which I bought from a Littlewoods outlet shop in Ashford for £180 - about £100 cheaper than its usual retail price! Not sure, but I don`t think it played the VCDs I was buying, so I gave it to my mum as a Christmas present, and it lasted her for years.

Second machine was a Matsui DVD-122. This one did play VCDs, but it was horrible. Remote was useless. I hated it. I sold it to my sister-in-law as her first DVD player.

Then in 2003, I think it was, I bought my Scan SC-2000 for £124 (still have that receipt somewhere!) and that machine served me very well for about 9 years, although it ended up in our bedroom as the tech beneath the living room TV progressed. It was a sad day when I finally took it to the scrappies last year. I could probably have replaced the disc drive but really thought it had had a good innings, and I didn`t need it any more.

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