The News Archive

February 27th, 2000.

To bring some life into the new Tips section, I have decided to run a little DVD Giveaway contest, press on the contest link above for more details.

February 26th, 2000.

I have been working on a new site section for the past 72 hours, it's almost 100% ready, but could use some more content from people in-the-know.

So check out the new Tips & Tricks section here. And if you can, submit a tip or two.

February 24th, 2000.

Announcing the release of DVD Genie v3.31.

Yet another attempt to cure some weird G400 bugs. Don't ask me what Matrox does with their drivers. It would have been A LOT easier to fix these issues if I actually had a G400 card, ah well.

For the complete history list go here.
To download DVD Genie v3.31, click here. To download French DVD Genie v3.31, click here.

February 23rd, 2000.

As you may know, the U.K. region status has became more strict over the last few months, and this has been causing a lot of issues for the little people, and inhibiting the growth of DVD in the U.K.

As a sort of counter step, a major U.K. retailer has released instructions on how to make a certain DVD Player they were selling region free, which gave them a huge increase in sales. I even believe they are suing over this in the U.K. supreme court.

Even my own site somehow got involved a bit in the mix, and has gotten a mention on The-Register. Check out the story here.

February 21th, 2000.

Announcing the French release of DVD Genie v3.30.

ZaTi has done it again. A new translation of DVD Genie, this time for version 3.30.

To download the French DVD Genie v3.30, click here.

Stay tuned, I am in the process of designing a new DVD-Prize contest in the next few days.

February 20th, 2000.

Announcing the release of DVD Genie v3.30.

OK, here it is, version 3.30 is all ready to go. Hopefully no more crashes on Windows NT/2000 if you have a Matrox card (let me know if it still crashes), and many-a-tweaks for WinDVD. And more!

For the complete history list go here.
To download DVD Genie v3.30, click here.

February 16th, 2000.

I missed a letter in the link to the Reel Coupon list. It's now functioning once again.

February 15th, 2000.

Work on DVD Genie 3.30 is progressing nicely, there will be quite a few new WinDVD tweaks in the new version. And here is some important tip for you TNT owners who use WinDVD. Set the GeForce mode in DVD Genie 3.29 to Weird Interlace mode, it's in fact a sort of special TNT mode that makes WinDVD smoother on TNT cards. Highly recommended.

Also, I forgot the add the French flag to the DVD Genie on-line docs, this has been fixed.

February 13th, 2000.

Updated the Reel Coupon list with updated coupons.

February 12th, 2000.

Been a bit quiet with the site as of late, as I've been working on a bit of a side project which I really can't discuss. However, I am working on a few enhancement for DVD Genie, and a new version may get released next week or so if I manage to spare the extra time.

Beside that, I've been working rather hard at my other job, which hasn't left me as much time.

Also, I've been trying to gather up sponsors for future contests, and so far no one is biting, it's a shame really as the exposure could have been rather good for these sponsors. At worst, I'll sponsor another contest myself next yearly quarter.

Have a good weekend.

February 8th, 2000.

More information is coming forward on the Windows 2000 region situation. I've got one confirmed success with resetting the region code, and I am posting newly discovered information I've gathered from the Internet.

So check out the Windows 2000 region page for the up-to-the-minute information.

The 1,000,000th Visitor Contest

The 1,000,000th Visitor Contest has been won!.

The proud winner is Bernardus Robin from Indonesia.
As his prize, Bernardus has chosen the following Movies:
Batman Beyond The Movie, Dogma and Pokemon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back.

I am afraid my permanent Amazon purchase record will now have a Pokemon title in it. The Horror!

Click here for the final result and the winning movie list.

February 7th, 2000.

Here are some of the DVD Movies being released this month at
DVD Name:Date:Price:Discount:
Blue Streak 8th$17.49(30%)
Sailor Moon R 8th$20.99(30%)
The Astronaut's Wife 8th$17.49(30%)
Casablanca 15th$14.99(40%)
The Maltese Falcon 15th$14.99(40%)
Double Jeopardy 22nd$17.99(40%)
Stargate SG-1 29th$14.99(40%)
Stigmata 29th$14.99(40%)

And for for a Rant:

As some of you may know, I live in Israel, which is considered a rather forward country (in most fields), today I felt some of the "backwardness" of it all. I finally recieved a DVD disc I ordered (The 13th Warrior if anyone is wondering) , and when I open it up, I find out the freaking custom agents slashed the keep case with a sharp knife.

At times packages are opened to check for terrifs, bombs, drugs, etc... But instead of being gentle with my precious DVD keep-case, rather than tearing the shrink-wrap they slashed it to pieces cutting the DVD cover and box.

The movie itself wasn't harmed, but im a collector, I like my collection to look good!

So, here's a big SCREW YOU to custom agents in Israel!

February 6th, 2000.

The DVD Contest is going strong with Dice Pearlstein in the lead with 19 movie matches. The only way he can be beat at this point is by identifying all 20 movies.

However, I am confident it can be done, so give it a try.

I have moved the Windows 2000 region code information into a separate page. I will try to gather any information I receive regarding the state of the Windows 2000 regional code at this location.

February 5th, 2000.

Announcing the release of DVD Genie v3.29.

As promised, here is the release of DVD Genie v3.29. Quite a few fixups, several new features, and even a sort of Easter Egg feature, enjoy.

For the complete history list go here.
To download DVD Genie v3.29, click here.

As many of you know, quite a few TV series are currently being converted to DVD. However, what some of you have missed is, that most of these episodes are being seriously over charged!

Just look at the poor value you are getting for say, the South Park series. Very expensive compared to what you actually get in return.

And then there is the other side. The entire NBC show Friends is being sold on DVD in Europe. They actually stuff 8 episodes on a single disc, more than double what other TV series are sold in the U.S. for.

However, as far as I can tell, the show is only sold in Europe. So I did a bit of bargain hunting, and I actually found a nice deal for Spawn: The Ultimate Collection. On 4 discs, it holds 3 seasons of the animated series and actually costs only $48.94. That's about $16 per season, now that is what I call value for money. Hopefully paramount (Star Trek) would do the same when they release the upcoming Star Trek: The Next Generation series on DVD.

February 4th, 2000.

I am putting the finishing touches to DVD Genie v3.29.

Barring no special delays, I will be releasing it tomorrow night.

The Contest is still going strong with Bernardus Robin still in the lead on his second entry in the last 72 hours. He has currently matched 17 of the 20 movies contained in the clip, keeping him one movie in the lead.

February 3rd, 2000.

The 1,000,000th DVD giveaway contest seems to be heating up, with a person from Indonesia currently matching 15 movies already. And all this in under 24 hours, impressive. Make sure to challenge your movie experience by downloading the clip and identifying the movies it contains.

Match all 20, and win. For more details head over to the Contest Page.

As you may know, the current contest is coming from my own pocket. However, I would like to have a similar weekly/monthly event. If any sponsor would like to step-up and provide a free DVD+Shipping for future events, please Contact me.

The French translation of the DVD Genie On-Line documentation is no up. Thanks goes to Emmanuel Desaint for the translation.

February 1st, 2000.

Inmatrix News The 1,000,000th Visitor Contest

Ah, a new month, and with it, I present to you the 1,000,000th Visitor contest I was writing about late last week.

The contest is fully under way and you can have a chance at winning some free DVDs by clicking on the small graphics above.

In Windows 2000 news, an Anonymous user sent me this:

" It appears that the multi-hash techniques previously discussed may not have been implemented due to some other issues (however, they may be restored in later service packs). If you DO have a region free drive, then the following is true :

When you install clean Win2k Pro you have region 1 set and 1 change left...After one change - that's it... locked.

However, load REGEDT32 and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft. You should see a strange looking key (e.g =jjl) as the first entry... Delete the entire key. Reboot machine and.... you're back to region 1 with 1 change left.... Works every time...try it and see.

This may or may not work, and if it does, it's only with unlocked drives. Use this information at your own peril.

January 31st, 2000.

Boycott RPC2 drives

Arzeno fabrice is setting up a "Boycott RPC2 drives" campaign. I am going to try helping out, and have designed a small banner for it. However, I am a bit overworked at the moment so I won't be able to put my all into it just yet, but be on the look out soon.

For more information, visit Arzeno's page.

January 30th, 2000.

Ever since that joyous day, October 4th 1998, This site has received nearly 1,000,000 visitors. To mark this occasion I will be sponsoring a DVD Giveaway competition within the next two weeks.

The contest will be one of DVD knowledge consisting of a video file containing 20-One Second sequences from my personal DVD collection. The first person to name all the movies in order of appearance will win. If no one guesses all the movies correctly, the person with the most matches will win within 3-4 weeks from the contest start date.

More details will be released once I finish making out all the details and compilation of the contest clip.

January 28th, 2000.

Due to some eMails I got about people being confused about the hardware required to view DVD movies, I have written an article reviewing the minimum requirements for DVD playback, and a bit of background information on the technology used for decoding.

You can find the DVD Minimum requirement article, here.

January 26th, 2000.

As you may know, the PowerDVD 2.55 trial currently available on 3DSL does not have any support for motion compensation, thus the extra GeForce acceleration most people wanted to try out wasn't even in there.

3DSL only found about this after the fact, and after talking with Cyberlink, they have announced that a new trial version supporting Motion Compensation will be available for download "by the end of the week".

In other news, several days ago, the author of DeCSS was arrested and questioned for several hours. What bugs me is the fact that not only have they arrested him, he wasn't even the first person to reverse engineer the CSS encryption used by DVD. In fact, there were perfect digital copies of DVD discs being sold in the far-east and Russia well before DeCSS was released. And not only that, DeCSS wasn't even the first program to remove the CSS encryption from files. DOD Speed ripper was there first, and there were 2-3 other programs that did it prior to this. Perhaps they weren't as user friendly or publicly available, but they basically did the same job.

DVD Protection is a 40bit encryption code. Such a code can be brute forced in several days by a $100 CPU now days, expert were surprised that it took this long, I believe the only reason why they are going after DeCSS is that they want a scape goat to vent their impotence at stopping the actual video pirating scene.

It saddens me that in the disinterest of open source and support for alternative operating systems, the MPAA is trying to ruin this kid's life. Frankly, I wish him the best of luck.

January 24th, 2000.

Tom Berrodin has sent me this registry file that adds DVD Genie into that ATI system tray. It assumes a specific location for DVD Genie, edit it if you installed DVD Genie elsewhere.

January 21st, 2000.

Some of you new DVD fans have probably never even heard of DIVX.

DIVX was a technology to designed to make DVD-Quality movies with limited viewing capabilities. It was pushed hard by Circuit City. The DIVX player contained a modem which would call a DIVX center and ask for permission for viewing the movie. You would get a certain amount of viewing time with the purchase, and if you would like to view the movie again after that, you would be charged extra money.

DVD users wanted to own their movies, but because of DIVX, certain studios (*cough* Disney *cough*) would not release their titles on DVD, only on DIVX. Even worse, none of the DIVX features had any special additional materials as found on DVD discs today.

There was a big user uproar and eventually DIVX became a multi-million dollar write-off (loss) for Circuit City and it's financial backers.

Without DIVX dead we thought we had a good future laid out for DVD, but now a new company is trying to revive the DIVX theme. Instead of using special devices to play movies, they are using normal drives, but they coat the DVD disc itself with material which is sensitive to the DVD Laser and eventually (within 3 days) the disc becomes unusable.

For more information on this, read the discussion.

January 18th, 2000.

Right on schedual (sort of), PowerDVD v2.55 was released.
3DSL had this to say about the new features:

  1. PowerDVD now works with Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000. However, Service Pack 3 or above must be installed for PowerDVD to work under NT 4.0.

    To maximize the performance of PowerDVD under NT 4.0, a bus master driver must be installed. In general, the driver can be found in the main board or system support disk/CD-ROM. You can also reach the web site of the system or motherboard manufacturer to download the driver.

    For different chipsets from Intel, VIA, AMD and SiS, they require different bus master drivers. Please read the system or motherboard manual for identifying what kind of chipset your system is using.

  2. Backward play is now supported (1x, 2x and 4x speed)

  3. DTS pass-thru is now supported on major sound chips which provide S/PDIF interface.

    The following sound chips are tested under Windows98 and Windows98 Second Edition :

    • Aureal Vortex Advantage 8810
    • Aureal Vortex2 8830
    • Cirrus Crystal CS4624
    • CMedia 8738
    • Creative Labs SBLive!
    • Creative Labs SBLive! Value with option Digital I/O kit from Creative Labs or other vendors
    • Creative Labs SBLive! Platinum
    • ESS Canyon3D

    Yamaha YMF724 and YMF744 are not supported yet.
    DTS pass-thru under Windows95 is not fully tested yet.

  4. Add Motion Compensation support for Neomagic MagicMedia 256AV.

  5. Add Motion Compensation and subpicture alpha blending support for nVidia Geforce256 DDR version.

  6. Add 4-channel Dolby Digital output and Dolby Digital/DTS S/PDIF pass-thru support for Aureal Vortex Advantage 8810, which is used in Aureal SQ1500 sound card and on many motherboards.

  7. Add Dolby Digital/DTS S/PDIF pass-thru support for ESS Canyon3D-based sound cards.

  8. Add 4/6-channel Dolby Digital output for Philips/VLSI ThunderBird Avenger-based sound cards.

  9. QSurround has been renamed to QXpander. QXpander is a technology developed by QSound Labs. This is an optional feature.

  10. Fix a bug that current 4/6-channel output implementation for Realtek ALS300+ will cause problems if the latest Realtek ALS300+ driver, which incorporates Q3D capability, is used.

  11. For Intel LX mainboard, SiS300 HWMC and GeoForce256 HWMC are enabled in Win9x.

A trial version of PowerDVD v2.55 is available at 3DSL's Cyberlink download section.

While im not really a big fan of DTS personally, PowerDVD now supports it. Also support for the GeForce motion compensation is finally in. While it was implemented in previous versions, there was no public trial version, so most people couldn't evaluate it.

January 17th, 2000.

3DSL are reporting that the Trial and Eveluation versions of PowerDVD v2.55 should be up for grabs on their site later today.

I am not exactly sure what this new version holds, but most of you probably missed the versions with the GeForce fixes and the inclusion of the rewind function.

January 16th, 2000.

ZaTi from #pcdvd @ efnet IRC has translated DVD Genie 3.28 to French.

Download the French version from the files area.

January 15th, 2000.

Announcing the release of DVD Genie v3.28.

Fixed a few bugs. Introduced support for Region-Only operation to WinDVD and Software Cinemaster. DVD Genie can now install and upgrade itself when a new version is run for the first time. And more!

For the complete history list go here.
To download DVD Genie v3.28, click here.

It looks as if the MPAA has not settled for one law suit and are filing a second law suit against sites who distribute information pertaining to the decryption of CSS code.

For the complete run-down, check out

January 14th, 2000.

I am currently putting the finishing touches on the next DVD Genie release. It will include several fixes and other interesting items.

If all goes well, I am expecting to release it some time tomorrow.

The new NVIDIA reference v3.68 drivers are out. These work for on any card ranging from the TNT to the GeForce. If you are using a driver prior to 3.53, I strongly suggest upgrading as in 3.53 a serious overlay bug issue was fixed.

You can download the latest driver off NVIDIA's Europe rep. at

January 12th, 2000.

I have something a bit weird to report:

Trifon Karamatsoukis writes "I am owner of Nec DV-5500A drive and it is not region free. Upon first insertion of DVD video disk it reports as region free, but after insertion it becomes region locked". Has anyone had this sort of experience, you need to check with Drive Info before and after inserting a disc for the first time.

In other eMail tid-bits, Roy Edenson sent me a very well written eMail regarding Forbidden Planet :

" This particular film was the prototype for nearly all of the space travel SciFi films to follow it in the 50's, 60's and later. It is a little slow going in the beginning, but has an exceptional story to tell. The Visual effects were a watershed for their time and were performed by Disney Studios (sort of the ILM of that time).

Although this movie was shown on commercial television during the 60's, it was always shown in 4/3 aspect ratio of course. Unless you were around to see it as it was displayed in the theaters, you would have missed the sides of the picture accordingly. This film provides a foundation of where modern great SciFi has begun. The film is an educational experience as well as a great story with some very famous actors, looking younger than you might imagine. You are obviously a SciFi fan, judging by your list. Please check it out, I believe it will open your eyes. It is an MGM/Warner release.

January 11th, 2000.

I would like to thank Damar Suryo for spamming my mail box (sarcastic overtone), this guy sent me an 1024x744x24bit Windows BMP Screen Capture of his display area in order to ask me how to better optimize his computer.

Lets do the math here, 1024*744*3 bytes for the image size, and the 54 byte BMP file header comes to: 2285622bytes, or 2.17mb.

Due to his eMail, my Mail-Box got corrupted and some of your eMail may have been lost (i think around 7-8 eMails were lost), and since I usually reply to all my mail (the ones that require an answer) within 72hours tops, if you were expecting a reply and didn't get one, please mail me again.

January 10th, 2000.

The DVD Genie Italian translation has been updated to account for version 3.24.

In a follow up to the Asus Region-Free drive announcement earlier, Arzeno Fabrice from the Firmware Page has informed me that the following drives are also being released Region-Free:

  • Samsung SD-608 (8X/40X)
  • AFREEY DD-4080E (8X/32X)
  • AFFREY DD-4010E (10X/32X)

And it has also come to my attention that the NEC DV-5500A (8X/40X) firmware 1.05 is region free as well. Lets hope that more manufacturers follow suit and make the drives region-free again. It's surely hurting sales and raises their costs on customer services.

January 8th, 2000.

As you can see, this is a screen-grab directly from Drive Info, a program that reports if your DVD Drive is region locked (you can download it from the file section if you're wondering).

Up til now, all 8x DVD drives and faster, all came region locked directly from the factory. Some had firmwares that allowed them to become region free again, but this is the first time I hear of an 8x drive that is region free directly out of the box.

While Asus themselves don't actually make these drives (I suspect this drive was actually manufactured by either Samsung or Sony), this may mark a new trend by hardware manufacturers. Perhaps all the increased tech-support due to locked drives and the intense competition between the resellers have made them realize that it's easier to just ship these drives unlocked.

Credits: This drive info screen-shot was provided by Richard Pease, thanks richard.

The Coupon list has been updated.

January 7th, 2000.

I have updated the PowerDVD review to account for version 2.5.1222 or 2.5.1304 (this is the same release ...).

You can read the updated review here.

January 6th, 2000.

Cyberlink have released PowerDVD v2.5.1222 (1222 = December 22nd ... build).

This new version includes various bug fixes, improved GeForce acceleration and a fix for GeForce DDR support. For more information go to A trial version should be forecoming, but I believe 3dsl are having bandwidth issues, perhaps a nice company would offer to host it for them (hint hint). has revamped their bargain section. They actually made an entire sub-site dedicated to DVD bargains. The site is split into several sections including a 40% pre-order recommendations, Genre recommendations and a section dedicated to movies priced under $15 and $20.

The new Amazon bargain section can be found at this Link.

January 5th, 2000.

While barnes&nobles is not one of this site's associates, one of our viewers has been kind enough to give the site some internal coupon information which may be useful to some of you:

COSHARE $10 off of a purchase of $10 : expires 1/31/00
C3S6GHG $10 off of a purchase of $25 : Coupon sent out to AOL users : Expires 9/1/00
CEMPLOY $10 off of a purchase of $25 : Coupon sent out to AOL employee's : Expires 9/1/00
CZJ756Z Free Shipping off of a purchase of $25 : Expires 10/31/00

January 4th, 2000.

Here are some of the DVD Movies being released this month at

DVD Name:Price:Discount:
The Thomas Crown Affair (4th)$14.99(40%)
Andy Kaufman - The Midnight Special (4th)$11.99(40%)
The Hitcher (11th)$15.98(20%)
Lord of the Flies - Criterion Collection (11th)$23.97(40%)
The 13th Warrior (18th)$17.99(40%)
Mystery Men (18th)$14.99(40%)
Bowfinger (18th)$16.19(40%)
French Kiss (18th)$17.99(40%)
Great Expectations (18th)$17.99(40%)
Jumanji: Collectors' Edition (25th)$16.77(40%)
Natural Born Killers (25th)$17.99(40%)
Runaway Bride (25th)$17.99(40%)

January 3rd, 2000.

German translation of the on-line DVD Genie v3.20 documentation is now up, read it here.

January 2nd, 2000.

If you are having problems with DVD Genie 3.24 crashing when you press the Cinemaster "Preset" button, try downloading DVD Genie again, it should fix this problem.

ALI have released version v1.65 of their Aladdin V AGP driver.
These drivers are really important for DVD and system integrity if you have this type of motherboard.

You may download it here.
You may also download their tweaking tool here.

Make sure to install the driver prior to using the tweaking tool.

January 1st, 2000.

Welcome to the 21st Century. And a happy new-year.

Announcing the release of DVD Genie v3.24.

This version fixes numerous bugs, introduces extra features for WinDVD, including GeForce acceleration, and more!
Make sure to read the complete history list for more details.

For the complete history list go here.
To download DVD Genie v3.24, click here.

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