Is hacking your DVD players firmware obsolete? Some people think so. They feel if your wanting to play all video formats from any region you would like. Then it is time for you to bring your pc to the living room. But is this truly practical for everyone? While pc components have decreased in price. Setting up a home entertainment pc isn’t exactly a cheap endeavor. Your going to need most of the same hardware you would need to build a regular personal computer. So isn’t it still the best option to try and buy an inexpensive DVD player and hack the firmware?
An $80 DVD unit that will play all formats is cheaper than spending hundreds of dollars to setup a media center pc. Granted not all DVD players are hackable. Those that are sometimes can’t be programmed to give you all the features you would like. With this in mind I’m still not seeing DVD player hacking as outdated. Granted I’m to the point where I would prefer a home media center pc option. Do to the fact that I would like a DVR unit that I have full control over. One where I’m not relying upon my cable company to get the manufacturer to release a firmware update to fix things. I’d like the option to play any type of media format I want when I want on my TV. Some would argue that the cost of doing this isn’t really all that great. From my point of view I don’t agree. Others would say who wants a noisy computer in their living room? Although over the years noise concerns have been somewhat addressed. Power supplies and hard drives are much quieter than they have been in the past.
Some people might point out the hassle of security concerns. Having to keep yet another pc updated from attack. This is somewhat of a valid concern. For me if I had the money I’d build my own media center pc. At this time though I think it is still more cost effective to rent a DVR from your cable or satellite provider. And to try and buy a DVD player that supports as many media formats as possible. Many players support AVI files finally. Yet only a few support XVID out of the box as far as I’m aware. Personally DVD player hacking wasn’t of any benefit to me. My Philips unit has several alternative firmwares out there. But none seem to give full XVID support. Which is what I was looking for last night. This was the first time I’d ever given DVD player firmware hacking a try. This process started to become popular when Apex and some other low end manufacturers came onto the market years ago.
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