So I came home after a stressful day ov work, with the full intention ov sitting down with the rest ov the shrimp-fried rice and watching my copy ov Vidocq, right? I went up to the guest room where my telly is, set the steaming half-filled bowl ov rice down, and fired up my trusty & beloved CyberHome CH-DVD-500 player. Open disk tray, set disk in, close tray, wait for LOADING screen to finish. And wait. And wait. And wait. ?? I eject the tray, waited a couple ov seconds, and loaded it again, only to wait another couple ov minutes. Hrrm.
Okay, maybe I need to reset the region-free hack, I figured, as I really haven’t used the player since I moved back into my parents’ — I set it up for the first time since moving only a week ago; I’d been watching my R1 DVDs on my PlayStation 2, and watching my other region disks on my folks’ computer. So I redid the hack, and, for good measure, threw in my R2 copy ov Twenty four hour party people. Once again, the fecker refuses to play. Desperate / fuming, I grab a VCD and drop it in.. and that plays just fine. Okaaay, time to try another R1. No dice. Jesus. My player’s fucked.
You have to understand my love affair with my CyberHome player. When my circle ov friends gets together on Sat eve, 90% ov the time, we watch a film or two, and since our tastes run far, far away from the mainstream, most ov the DVDs we view aren’t R1 disks. Last year, Jeff, purveyor ov most ov the filth that we watch, had passed along info that he’d read on one ov the DVD forums that he frequents about the CyberHome CH-DVD-500 player, as he was, at the time, the only one in our group that owned an all-region player. This player was the stuff ov legend. Progressive scanning, Dolby 5.1 sound, aaand the ability to play not only DVDs from all regions, but to instantly convert PAL and NTSC?? Sweet baby James, how is that even possible?? They originally retailed for a little over $100, which wasn’t bad, considering that Jeff’s Malata cost over $200, but still, at the time, the asking price was a little steep.
Then, round Xmas, BestBuy had the bastards on sale. It was like a dream! They were stacked in the aisleways four feet high. We were like, ‘they’re here?? At BestBuy?? But.. they’re region-free! That naturally goes against anything that corporate America stands for!’ Mike was the first to have a go; he bought one at the startlingly low price ov $80. After he frothingly informed the rest ov us, Tomas & I went to the same location the very next day, and each bought one for $70. A week later, Marika bought hers at a different location, for $60. We couldn’t believe it; they did all they said they could do, and more. It was like a dream! Our respective DVD collections grew exponentially, and personally, I’d say that a third ov my disks are now non-R1s. I managed to get The Italian Job (the good one with Michael Bloody Well Caine, not the shitty remake) from England, when it looked like there wasn’t going to be a domestic release. I picked up Trainspotting – the Definitive Edition, with the better-looking case, almost a year before the R1 version appeared. I bought Ichi the fucking Killer. Sure, everyone has a copy now, but back when people were like ‘You’re itchy what?’ I was the coolest kid on my block. Or at least the weirdest..
So now what? Luckily Amazon still stocks the Player ov the Gods; oddly enough, when we bought ours, Amazon had them for like $90, now they’re $70. Ugh. O, well. That’s money I’d have liked to spend elsewhere, but for something like this, the choice is clear