Back in December I posted about my quest to find a multiregion capable HD DVD or Blu Ray player.
It was a very frustrating quest, but not nearly as frustrating as the entire HD DVD vs Blu Ray format war. As a consumer I felt like "piggy in the middle".
However, in the last couple of weeks the format war between HD DVD and Blu Ray seems to have almost drawn to a close, as Warner Brothers decided to drop HD DVD later this year.
So that means that investing in a HD DVD player now would probably be a really bad idea.
A couple of people suggested that I get a Sony Playstation 3 and "chip" it ie. open the "black box" and get "down and dirty" with a soldering iron.
Anyone who knows me personally would know that giving me a soldering iron probably isn't a good idea. While I used to dabble in electronics (and other things) when I was a teenager I am not to be trusted with such things in general.
So what are my options?
With my "normal" DVD player I was able to find a simple code hack that allowed me to render it region free very easily, but if such codes exist for Blu Ray players they aren't "in the wild", or at least I haven't been able to find them. And believe me, I have been looking!
Fortunately people more adept with soldering irons have come up with a couple of solutions.
A Swedish company is offering a couple of pre-hacked models, though their site is in Swedish! A quick conversion shows that you'd pay over 650 euro for the cheapest one exclusive of shipping costs.
Another solution lies with a company in Holland that has a number of models available 600 euro upwards.
The Sony BDP-S300 comes in at EUR599, while the Sony BDP-S500 is EUR899.
Checking out the two models (unhacked) on another site which has a comparison tool wasn't particularly illuminating.
Both machines seem to do exactly the same thing, or maybe I'm missing a subtle but significant difference?
I'm leaning towards the BDP-S300 simply because it is EUR300 cheaper.
Of course I could live without a HD movie player, but I'd really like to be able to take advantage of the higher definition and extra features on the discs.
Oh what to do??