Sunday, 14 April 2013

How to make a Panasonic S29 region free using a Raspberry Pi

After my previous DVD player stopped working, I have been extremely frustrated by the region locks on the replacements I've owned. Region locks serve no legitimate purpose whatsoever today, and simply punish me for having paid for content rather than downloading it free.

I was very happy to discover a region hack for the Panasonic S-series of player here. But annoyingly, one of the codes (00F2) cannot be entered on the standard remote control.

What I did to use this code was install an infrared transmitter LED onto a Raspberry Pi, and then wrote a script to send the code.

If you have a Pi and an IR LED, here are the instructions:

1) Follow the instructions here to setup infrared. You only need to set up the transmitter part, not the receiver. You don't need to record from the Panasonic remote, as the settings for this are given in step 3 below.

2) Fit an IR LED, in series with a 100-200 ohm resistor, between GPIO pin 22 and ground . A CD audio cable can be helpful here for connecting to the pins. (You can connect to another GPIO pin if you alter the number in the settings in step 1.)

3) Replace the content of /etc/lirc/lircd.conf with this:

# this config file was automatically generated
# using lirc-0.9.0-pre1(default) on Thu Mar  7 13:58:51 2013

begin remote

  name  Panasonic
  bits           16
  flags SPACE_ENC
  eps            30
  aeps          100

  header       3527  1703
  one           477  1267
  zero          477   394
  ptrail        476
  pre_data_bits   32
  pre_data       0x40040D00
  gap          74794
  toggle_bit_mask 0x0

      begin codes
          KEY_INFO                 0x00F2 
     end codes 
end remote

4) Make a new file  ~/ and paste this into it:

import subprocess

def send_00F2():'irsend SEND_ONCE Panasonic KEY_INFO',shell=True)

print 'Panasonic S-series unlock tool'
print '------------------------------'
print 'Please turn on DVD player, eject any disc, and point Pi IR transmitter at DVD player'
print 'Please enter the following on *remote* and then press return on computer:'
print 'Enter  6  >=10  <<'
print 'Sending 00F2 command...'
print 'Done...'
print 'Please enter the following on *remote* to complete then press enter on computer:'
print 'Audio  8  1 Subtitle  4'
5) Move your Pi close to the DVD player, and type this

sudo python

to run the script, then follow the instructions.

This will permanently make the DVD player region free.This whole process can be done over an SSH connection to the Pi, so that a separate keyboard and screen aren't needed.

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