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A sad story about blu-ray player/recorders in Canberra.

farnarkler 8 September 2011 47

If I didn’t laugh, I’d cry. A week ago we had an MTV set top box connected to an old cathode ray tube tv and a pretty old rabbit ear antenna. It all worked pretty well despite the set top boxes inability to tune in some of the newer digital channels; Go and Gem come to mind.

So it was time to upgrade. Out goes the old gear and in comes a Samsung 40inch 3D LED tv and a Panasonic twin tuner recorder blu-ray player. The TV picked up all the channels available but the blu-ray picked up all but the SBS channels.

Back went the Panasonic to be replaced with a Samsung twin tuner recorder blu-ray player. How many channels do you think it picked up? None, zero, nada. Strangely it had a BBC channel in there somewhere.

I’ll now be getting an antenna person to come and sort it out.

So be warned, if you’re going to buy a new everything in the box blu-ray player recorder, you may need to upgrade your antenna.

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47 Responses to A sad story about blu-ray player/recorders in Canberra.
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eily eily 7:50 pm 13 Sep 11

magiccar9 said :

Amethyst said :

farnarkler said :

Johnboy I would have bought a Dick Smith product but, according to the sales staff in the Canberra Centre DS, if it doesn’t make the signal better, they won’t refund so if it doesn’t work I’d be stuck with a useless product.

That’s BS. They have a 14 day money back guarantee for whatever problem/change of mind. If they won’t refund it, take it to another one of their stores for the refund and (if you want to go this far) shoot off an email to their head office. I hope you just got a newbie and they’re not telling all their customers this!

Actually may I correct you in the error of your comment. Working at DS I can tell you with certainty that as of September 1 we have removed the 14 day change of mind policy. Now, before you go jump to the assumption that we can’t do that, and decide to try your luck with Consumer Affairs, let me tell you that the 14 days change of mind is a privilege that we offered you, not a right.

So we now recommend that when you purchase a product, choose carefully because generally we can’t accept it back. That’s the same rule for EVERY store, so I wouldn’t bother trying to return the product to another store.

But its not ‘change of mind’ that could require return but not doing the job it is supposed to.

Ozhair Ozhair 6:57 pm 13 Sep 11

Also be aware that any region-free hacks will only apply to freeing up the machine for playing DVDs.

Blu-Rays have a separate zoning system (A, B, C) that aren’t currently hackable. But as has been stated, the majority of Blu-Rays these days are region free, and when purchasing from overseas http://regionfreemovies.com/ is your friend.

On the plus side, the new zoning puts us in the same region as the UK, so feel free to buy from there 🙂

farnarkler farnarkler 6:33 pm 13 Sep 11

Unfortunately according to http://www.videohelp.com/dvdhacks?dvdplayer=bdd8500a&hits=50&Search=Search there isn’t a hack (yet) for the BDD8500A.

So I’ll buy a cheap region-free DVD player and wait until the hack is published.

The Antichrist The Antichrist 5:34 pm 13 Sep 11

dtc said :

I agree with the antenna issues – its one thing to tell people to buy a STB, but then to tell them they have to fork out $350+ for an antenna is going to upset people. Plus once you have an antenna installed you cannot move your TV

Anybody who pays $350 for an antenna is getting ripped off to the hilt. A good digital external antennae is far less than that. In any case, it always depends on your location as to whether or not rabbit ears work well, or you need an external antennae.

Stevian said :

So Dick Smiths have decided that all those cutomers were cluttering up the place and getting in the way of more important matters? A pity, but I’m sure there are other stores that actually want customers

This is what happens when Woolworths buys out Dick Smith. That store is now nothing more than an expensive Harvey Norman clone. This is also the reason that I will never purchase anything in there again – it is a travesty of its former self, and a joke compared to real electronics retailers.

Waiting For Godot Waiting For Godot 4:12 pm 13 Sep 11

qbngeek said :

p1 said :

farnarkler said :

Second update. I’ve now found out that the Samsung BDD-8500A is NOT region free for either DVD or Blu-ray. I assumed all DVD players are now sold region straight out of the box. Not so. The unit wouldn’t take a region 2 DVD.

I wonder is this is the case with other brand Blu-ray players???

I haven’t yet found a hack to make it multi-region.

Mmmm, some random googling on this topic has left me no better informed. I was under the impression that some ACCC ruling in the past had required DVD players to be region free or come with unlock codes. It was certainly the case for several years that many came unlocked from the shop.

It appears that this was more or less the case, but it also appears that this may have changed at some point in the last few years (possibly as a result of changes made to copyright law, and possible related to a “free” trade agreement with the good ‘ol US of A).

Does anyone actually know the current legal status of this?

In my experience, the best way to get a region free DVD player is to buy a $20 chinese one. These are normally region free adn in my experience seem to last longer than an expensive unit.

Many Blu-ray movies are region free anyway. try here http://regionfreemovies.com/

Go onto the Net, Google your machine’s model number and “region-free hack” and you will discover a way to make your machine region-free. Usually it involves entering a series of numbers on the remote control which brings up a secret menu onscreen (which is usually only accessed by workers in the assembly plant or technicians) and changing the region designation from 4 to 0.

Deref Deref 4:11 pm 13 Sep 11

farnarkler said :

Second update. I’ve now found out that the Samsung BDD-8500A is NOT region free for either DVD or Blu-ray. I assumed all DVD players are now sold region straight out of the box. Not so. The unit wouldn’t take a region 2 DVD.

I wonder is this is the case with other brand Blu-ray players???

I haven’t yet found a hack to make it multi-region.

Probably too late now, but Kogan have a region-free DVD player that looks pretty good. I ordered on on Frugal Friday for $120.

qbngeek qbngeek 3:45 pm 13 Sep 11

p1 said :

farnarkler said :

Second update. I’ve now found out that the Samsung BDD-8500A is NOT region free for either DVD or Blu-ray. I assumed all DVD players are now sold region straight out of the box. Not so. The unit wouldn’t take a region 2 DVD.

I wonder is this is the case with other brand Blu-ray players???

I haven’t yet found a hack to make it multi-region.

Mmmm, some random googling on this topic has left me no better informed. I was under the impression that some ACCC ruling in the past had required DVD players to be region free or come with unlock codes. It was certainly the case for several years that many came unlocked from the shop.

It appears that this was more or less the case, but it also appears that this may have changed at some point in the last few years (possibly as a result of changes made to copyright law, and possible related to a “free” trade agreement with the good ‘ol US of A).

Does anyone actually know the current legal status of this?

In my experience, the best way to get a region free DVD player is to buy a $20 chinese one. These are normally region free adn in my experience seem to last longer than an expensive unit.

Many Blu-ray movies are region free anyway. try here http://regionfreemovies.com/

p1 p1 3:01 pm 13 Sep 11

farnarkler said :

Second update. I’ve now found out that the Samsung BDD-8500A is NOT region free for either DVD or Blu-ray. I assumed all DVD players are now sold region straight out of the box. Not so. The unit wouldn’t take a region 2 DVD.

I wonder is this is the case with other brand Blu-ray players???

I haven’t yet found a hack to make it multi-region.

Mmmm, some random googling on this topic has left me no better informed. I was under the impression that some ACCC ruling in the past had required DVD players to be region free or come with unlock codes. It was certainly the case for several years that many came unlocked from the shop.

It appears that this was more or less the case, but it also appears that this may have changed at some point in the last few years (possibly as a result of changes made to copyright law, and possible related to a “free” trade agreement with the good ‘ol US of A).

Does anyone actually know the current legal status of this?

farnarkler farnarkler 1:56 pm 13 Sep 11

Second update. I’ve now found out that the Samsung BDD-8500A is NOT region free for either DVD or Blu-ray. I assumed all DVD players are now sold region straight out of the box. Not so. The unit wouldn’t take a region 2 DVD.

I wonder is this is the case with other brand Blu-ray players???

I haven’t yet found a hack to make it multi-region.

farnarkler farnarkler 6:13 pm 10 Sep 11

Update. The Samsung unit went back and was replaced by another of the same model. A signal amplifier and a new set of rabbit ears were also bought.

Result; all channels are now tuned. The faulty unit must’ve had a fault with the antenna jack.

qbngeek qbngeek 11:30 am 09 Sep 11

Stevian said :

magiccar9 said :

Amethyst said :

farnarkler said :

Johnboy I would have bought a Dick Smith product but, according to the sales staff in the Canberra Centre DS, if it doesn’t make the signal better, they won’t refund so if it doesn’t work I’d be stuck with a useless product.

That’s BS. They have a 14 day money back guarantee for whatever problem/change of mind. If they won’t refund it, take it to another one of their stores for the refund and (if you want to go this far) shoot off an email to their head office. I hope you just got a newbie and they’re not telling all their customers this!

Actually may I correct you in the error of your comment. Working at DS I can tell you with certainty that as of September 1 we have removed the 14 day change of mind policy. Now, before you go jump to the assumption that we can’t do that, and decide to try your luck with Consumer Affairs, let me tell you that the 14 days change of mind is a privilege that we offered you, not a right.

So we now recommend that when you purchase a product, choose carefully because generally we can’t accept it back. That’s the same rule for EVERY store, so I wouldn’t bother trying to return the product to another store.

So Dick Smiths have decided that all those cutomers were cluttering up the place and getting in the way of more important matters? A pity, but I’m sure there are other stores that actually want customers

Or they may have gone with the same policy that almost every other business in Australia has. Change of mind does not equal refund.

Do you realise how difficult it is to sell second-hand goods in a retail store. In 14 days, boxes get damaged and instructions/packaging are gone. Then you have to sell it for $10 instead of $60 and then it is just a matter of time before you are broke.

Wake up to yourself.

Stevian Stevian 10:46 am 09 Sep 11

magiccar9 said :

Amethyst said :

farnarkler said :

Johnboy I would have bought a Dick Smith product but, according to the sales staff in the Canberra Centre DS, if it doesn’t make the signal better, they won’t refund so if it doesn’t work I’d be stuck with a useless product.

That’s BS. They have a 14 day money back guarantee for whatever problem/change of mind. If they won’t refund it, take it to another one of their stores for the refund and (if you want to go this far) shoot off an email to their head office. I hope you just got a newbie and they’re not telling all their customers this!

Actually may I correct you in the error of your comment. Working at DS I can tell you with certainty that as of September 1 we have removed the 14 day change of mind policy. Now, before you go jump to the assumption that we can’t do that, and decide to try your luck with Consumer Affairs, let me tell you that the 14 days change of mind is a privilege that we offered you, not a right.

So we now recommend that when you purchase a product, choose carefully because generally we can’t accept it back. That’s the same rule for EVERY store, so I wouldn’t bother trying to return the product to another store.

So Dick Smiths have decided that all those cutomers were cluttering up the place and getting in the way of more important matters? A pity, but I’m sure there are other stores that actually want customers

magiccar9 magiccar9 10:07 am 09 Sep 11

Amethyst said :

farnarkler said :

Johnboy I would have bought a Dick Smith product but, according to the sales staff in the Canberra Centre DS, if it doesn’t make the signal better, they won’t refund so if it doesn’t work I’d be stuck with a useless product.

That’s BS. They have a 14 day money back guarantee for whatever problem/change of mind. If they won’t refund it, take it to another one of their stores for the refund and (if you want to go this far) shoot off an email to their head office. I hope you just got a newbie and they’re not telling all their customers this!

Actually may I correct you in the error of your comment. Working at DS I can tell you with certainty that as of September 1 we have removed the 14 day change of mind policy. Now, before you go jump to the assumption that we can’t do that, and decide to try your luck with Consumer Affairs, let me tell you that the 14 days change of mind is a privilege that we offered you, not a right.

So we now recommend that when you purchase a product, choose carefully because generally we can’t accept it back. That’s the same rule for EVERY store, so I wouldn’t bother trying to return the product to another store.

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 9:52 am 09 Sep 11

montana said :

i can pick up all digitial channels reliably with $5 rabbit ears.

in gunghalin.

Have you considered using a vee shaped antennae that protudes from a plastic base and sits on top of the tv? Hard to beat the audio pickup though I suppose.

montana montana 9:38 am 09 Sep 11

i can pick up all digitial channels reliably with $5 rabbit ears.

in gunghalin.

Deref Deref 8:58 am 09 Sep 11

There’s no secret about the fact that you need a new antenna to reliably pick up digital broadcasts. IIRC it was well-publicised.

Amethyst Amethyst 3:01 am 09 Sep 11

farnarkler said :

Johnboy I would have bought a Dick Smith product but, according to the sales staff in the Canberra Centre DS, if it doesn’t make the signal better, they won’t refund so if it doesn’t work I’d be stuck with a useless product.

That’s BS. They have a 14 day money back guarantee for whatever problem/change of mind. If they won’t refund it, take it to another one of their stores for the refund and (if you want to go this far) shoot off an email to their head office. I hope you just got a newbie and they’re not telling all their customers this!

deye deye 10:00 pm 08 Sep 11

Question, how are you connecting the Blu-ray player to the TV ?
Is it through an appropriate HDMI cable and in the right attachment spot ? Are the settings correct to show the output from the Blu-ray through the tv ?

farnarkler farnarkler 8:41 pm 08 Sep 11

Next stage is taking the unit to a family friend in Weston Creek to see if it can tune there. If it can’t then it’ll be calling in Kaz or another antenna company and, probably on their recommendation, a trip to Jaycar.

farnarkler farnarkler 8:23 pm 08 Sep 11

Thanks for the interesting comments. A couple of points I didn’t mention. In the family room we have a Kogan tv with built in DVD player. It uses the same brand of rabbit ears (in fact one of them has had the top three or four extension parts (dunno if that’s the right name) torn off and that picked up all the channels.

To TrenboloneBandit, yes it is 2011 so don’t you think manufacturers should be able to give us a product that tunes in all available channels and not require a more powerful antenna than one already has???

Johnboy I would have bought a Dick Smith product but, according to the sales staff in the Canberra Centre DS, if it doesn’t make the signal better, they won’t refund so if it doesn’t work I’d be stuck with a useless product.

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