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Thread Starter 

There are some older threads on the topic already, but I figured getting a fresh perspective would be beneficial. My old Xbox 360 is beginning to crap out, and since I'm not really into console gaming these days and don't really care much about the new consoles, I don't plan on replacing it with another gaming unit, especially since all I've used it for recently is DVD-playback anyways. What I'm thinking about doing is going the region-free DVD player route--I've hit a wall with regards to my anime collection insofar as Region 1 DVDs are concerned, with many of my favorite series still absent from my collection, thanks to either their sky-high prices (out-of-print), or the fact that they were just simply never released on home video format in the US. (Any Australians out there? You guys have all the series that I wish I could get here! >.<) 


Anyways, long story somewhat short, I thought a region-free DVD player would be a decent investment for me, as long as I could get one that would be easy to set up and that wasn't an utter cheap-o with regards to build and picture quality. That said, with anime publishers like Funimation and non-anime publishers like Criterion really pushing the Blu-Ray/DVD packages that contain both formats, I figured it'd also be worth it to pick up a machine that could not only handle DVDs from any region but also Blu-Rays. Does such a mythical beast exist? If not it's no biggie--I lack the audio/video capabilities to fully take advantage of Blu-Ray anyways--higher priority for me would be the ability to watch DVDs from any region in a relatively idiot-proof way. Any suggestions? First-hand experience? Advice? Specific models I should look into? Thanks!