I last bought a DVD player at about the time the Java programming language was invented. Finally it gave up the ghost so I’ve just got another – and this one runs Java. How times change.
When I got my first one, I paid quite a lot for the vendor to do some soldering to make it region-free, and that was so long ago that I’d almost forgotten the ridiculous DVD region system. But back then, when I started buying DVDs, they were more plentiful and noticeably cheaper in the States, so I have a few region 1 discs.
Fortunately, it turns out that there’s a relatively straightforward hack for the Sony BDP-S350 to disable the region checking. So, to help make sure the details remain widely available, here’s a copy of what worked for me.
First, you need a programmable remote control for which you can specify the infrared codes numerically. In my case, the easiest thing was to buy a One For All URC 7730 from Amazon for about £8. Then you do the following, which I found on AVforums. Don’t skip any stages.
Region free BDP-S350 for DVD playback only, BD untested.
Based on instructions originally posted by kingfats
The full procedure for a OneForAll remote is below.
Here’s a list of working remotes and another, plus another remote.
Pronto codes advice.
Full set of Pronto codes with included region hack.
Region Free Hack using a Nokia N95
Sony BDP-S350/S550 DVD Region Hack for Nokia N95
Harmony remote hack.
One For All
We need to send five codes to the player, so we’ll program them into keys 1 to 5:
1. Press DVD
2. Hold the magic button until the DVD button flashes twice.
3. Press 0533
4. Hold the magic button until it flashes twice.
5. Press 994
6. Press Magic Key (don’t hold)
7. Press 00189 (if your oneforall remote uses 4 digit or 3 digit codes, use less leading zeros)
8. Press 1 ( this sets it to key 1 – it flashes twice )
9. Hold the magic button until it flashes twice.
10. Press 994
11. Press Magic Key (don’t hold)
12. Press 00255
13. Press 2 ( this sets it to key 2 – it flashes twice )
14. Hold the magic button until it flashes twice.
15. Press 994
16. Press Magic Key (don’t hold)
17. Press 00095
18. Press 3 ( this sets it to key 3 – it flashes twice )
19. Hold the magic button until it flashes twice.
20. Press 994
21. Press Magic Key (don’t hold)
22. Press 00221
23. Press 4 ( this sets it to key 4 – it flashes twice )
24. Hold the magic button until it flashes twice.
25. Press 994
26. Press Magic Key (don’t hold)
27. Press 00079
28. Press 5 ( this sets it to key 5 – it flashes twice )
The remote is now programmed and ready to use.
Now to make the BDP-S350 region free:
1. Make sure there’s no disk in the player and that it’s in standby.
2. Use the remote that came with the player to bring the player out of standby.
3. Press 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 on the oneforall remote. If you did everything above correctly, the 24p light will start flashing.
4. Put the player back into standby with the Sony remote.
5. Next time you turn on the player it will be region-free for DVD playback
Note – It’s not known whether doing any firmware updates on the player could invalidate this, or require it to be re-applied. But it worked OK for me on a new player bought in Dec 2008.