In regards to all the people who're asking if it's true that computer DVD drives are region free and being told it's not, that's only half the story. While it is true that out of the box, most DVD dives are region locked, it's also largely irrelvant.
The same techniques that are used to create unlicesed open source DVD playback software allow you to bypass region encoding. So, if you have a computer with a DVD drive, simply get VLC or another player that uses the libdvdcss code and you're good to go. There are lots of region free software players out there, but I recommend VLC because it plays pretty much everything and can transcode, stream, etc. It's like a video swiss army knife and it's open source, so it's legitimately free.
On a related note, just because your DVD player plays the MadMan stuff doen't mean it's region free. MadMan is cool and made region free TF releases, so they can be played anywhere, as long as your player can handle PAL.
All of that said, I really appreciate this info. While I'm pretty aware of the computer end of the DVD hacking scene, I had no idea that (some) hardware players where so easy to unlock.
I play my DVDs on a PS2 and dispite the somtimes picky behavior of the the drive, I've rather enjoyed it so far. (I love the remote.) However, NTSC PS2s won't convert PAL video even if region unlocked. So I'm looking to get a dedicated player.
I want something cheap, reliable, region free (or hackable), plays NTSC and PAL, and good looking. Can anyone give me a recommendation. Also, now that the high-def format war is over, I've been thinking about Blu-Ray, so any suggestions on that front would be appreciated as well.
Thanks in advance.