Well, despite my reluctance I’ve finally gone “Blu”. The reason why is simple, and that is that finally we have players that are the right price and most importantly are multi region for BD discs.
There are a number of multi region options about now. Some are very expensive, in some cases doubling the price of the original player to get the hardware ‘mod’ that’s soldered on somewhere.
In other cases we are starting to get cheap and cheerful players from the far east that are (like DVD players before them) of course easily hackable for multi-region, out of the box.
And fitting my requirements perfectly (price and multi-region), along comes the Tevion 1100UKT Profile 2.0 Blu Ray player!
“The what?” you say?
It’s actually a rebrand of similarly unknown Curtis and Momitsu players (in fact the support for Tevion is provided by Curtis). It should be noted that a lot of these brands that are unknown to the west actually make the components that go in many big name western brands.
Anyway, the big thing about the Tevion is it is multi region, via a handset code that allows you to change between A, B & C and also set DVD to multi-region.
It is also a bargain price of Â£120. Less if you’re lucky. And sold by… Aldi. Yes, Aldi! And you get 3 years warranty with it, which is far more than you’d get with many big name brands for twice the price and still no multi-region.
Yes, it’s no looker. It’s a little noisy when starting up and slow loading a disc (much like many BD players though), and for BD Live you do need a USB stick plugged into the USB socket as there’s no built in memory for it. Oh and the handset IR angle is very small so you have to point it directly at the player (easily resolved by using a learning remote). I can’t really find much other fault with it though.
Bonus features are that it supports playing media (including DivX/XviD (not HD), MP3, WMA) off USB sticks and most recordable format discs. It bitstreams DTS-HD MA, DD True HD etc. If you only have an older amp with coax/optical inputs, it can either bitstream DD/DTS or it can even convert everything to DTS.
Home Cinema Choice has a hands on review. It knocks it for a few things, and in particular the reviewer had problems with HDMI handshaking. I can’t confirm that on the amp side as I don’t have an HDMI amp, but handshaking with my Samsung LCD is no problem.
Exclusive hands-on with budget Aldi Blu-ray player, is Tevion DVD1100 UK’s best BD buy?
The codes by the way are as follows:
973500 = multiregion DVD
973501 = region A Blu Ray
973502 = region B Blu Ray
973503 = region C Blu Ray
Has to be entered on the handset with no disc in the player. A bit of hassle vs a mod that auto detects, but it’s more robust protection as the player can only be seen as that region when the disc loads. Being out of the box, BD+ systems will see the firmware as unmodified from the original (and note this is a fully licenced Blu Ray player).
In my opinion, for Â£120 (some have got it as cheap as Â£80), multi-region Blu-Ray player, it’s really not bad at all if you’re prepared to accept an unknown brand and limited support (by all reports the 0800 number they provide is either unanswered or links to a monkey who has no clue what you’re talking about. Though they have a web site with various firmware downloads, manuals etc, although no firmware for the 1100UKT yet, only 1100UK which is the Curtis version and apparently incompatible).
P.S. Aldi do a 14 day no quibble return also. Do remember though that they don’t accept credit cards but do take debit cards, and once these are gone, they are gone so they may not be available in all stores. I’m sure these players will turn up as another brand/model though.