Sunday, June 14, 2015

My Panasonic NR-BW465XS 2-doors fridge

I have just replaced my Toshiba GRH-47MTV 3-doors (470 litres) refrigerator with a new Panasonic NR-BW465XS 2-doors (450 litres) refrigerator.

The main reason to finalize on this Panasonic model is because it has similar footprint with the Toshiba GRH-47MTV, and can fit into the same place without any problem.

Although the gross capacity of this Panasonic fridge is smaller than its predecessor, its net storage capacity  of 400 litres is in fact slightly larger than the 395 litres of the Toshiba fridge.

This Panasonic NR-BW465XS refrigerator is of energy saving type with inverter technology, U-Vacua vacuum insulation, and ECO NAVI sensors. It has a 5-star energy efficiency rating.

Its freezer has a star rating of 4, which means it can freeze fresh food and store frozen food for 3 to 12 months.

The design of this fridge is also "inverted" when compared with most other fridges. Its drawer-type freezer compartment is at the bottom. Its height-adjustable shelves are located on top of the refrigerator compartment, followed by a 47 litres vegetable case, then its chilled case.

However, the design of its door shelves is "normal", with 2 egg shelves on top, and then 2 bottle shelves at the bottom.

It has a Quick Freezing button on its door panel, which function is pretty well self-explained. Once pressed, it fridge will go into Quick Freezing mode for 150 minutes before returning to normal mode. Quick Freezing can be cancelled by pressing the same button again.

It has Ag+ anti-bacterial feature, which is quite common in modern refrigerators nowadays. Beside that, it also has deodorizing function, and it utilizes blue and green LED lights for fruits and vegetables to maintain vitamin C contents. The vegetable case stores the fruits and vegetables in high humidity of about 91.5% and constant temperature to keep them fresh and remain juicy.

When this fridge operates to cool down its compartments, you can hear some noise when you are near to it. The noise will reduce after it stabilized for a while.

The only drawback of this Panasonic NR-BW465XS refrigerator is that, its vegetable case is smaller than the vegetable compartment of Toshiba GRH-47MTV. Other than this, I would see it as an upgrade to the Toshiba GRH-47MTV in all aspects.

My Toshiba GRH-47MTV is still working fine, and will be moved to my apartment to continue its service.

How many hours to wait before power on a refrigerator after moving it

If you bought a new refrigerator which will be delivered from the shop/warehouse, travelling on a lorry/van to your house, unloaded and placed at your desired location, you will most likely be advised to only turn it on after a couple of hours.

The timeframe of such advice can vary from 30 minutes to as long as 24 hours.

This waiting period also applies when you move your fridge from one location to another, be it within your house, or from your house to another house.

I have done quite an extensive Internet searching regarding this power on waiting period for refrigerator after moving, and believe that the following information is pretty reliable.

The waiting period is for the oil that lubricates the cylinders in the compressor of the refrigerator to settle down to where it should reside, with the help of the gravity.

You will need a shorter period (as short as 5 minutes) of waiting time if the refrigerator is always in upright position when being moved.

If you tilted the refrigerator for less than 30 degree, there will be chances for the oil to spill over into the tubes behind the refrigerator. This kind of tilting is common when it is loaded and unloaded from a lorry/van. It is better for you to wait for 1 hour to let the oil in the tube to gradually move back to where it supposes to be.

If the tilting is more than 30 degree, or the refrigerator has been laid down horizontally, it is better for you to wait for 4 hours or more.

If the refrigerator has been put in upside down position (which shouldn't be in common sense), then you will need to wait for 24 hours or more.

If you are unsure, just wait for at least 4 hours before power it on after it has settled down in its new place.

What are the dangers of turning on the refrigerator immediately or with too short waiting period?

  • The motor might subject to damage due to lack of lubrication.
  • The oil might clog in the tube, causing malfunction to the refrigerator.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Converting Samsung BD-F5100 Blu-ray & DVD player to become region free (unlocked)

Most genuine DVD and Blu-ray movie discs carry a region code, and the movie can only be played in a Blu-ray and/or DVD player with firmware having the same region code with the disc.

Depends on the manufacturer of the Blu-ray / DVD player, certain players don't implement the region code checking and restriction, and can play the dics from all region. Certain other branded players, particularly Samsung, Sony, etc. impose the region code restriction.

For DVD, the region code is assigned as follow:

  • 0 = Playable in all regions
  • 1 = North America, Hawaii and Bermuda
  • 2 = Middle East, Western Europe, Central Europe, Egypt, French overseas territories, Greenland, Japan, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland
  • 3 = Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Taiwan 
  • 4 = Australia, New Zealand, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Oceania, South America
  • 5 = The rest of Africa, Former Soviet Union, the Indian subcontinent, Mongolia, North Korea
  • 6 = Mainland China
For Blu-ray, the region code is assigned as follow:
  • A = East Asia (except Mainland China and Mongolia), Southeast Asia, North America, South America and their dependencies
  • B = Africa, Southwest Asia, Europe (except Russia and Kazakhstan), Oceania (including Australia and New Zealand) and their dependencies
  • C = Central Asia, East Asia (Mainland China and Mongolia only), South Asia, central Eurasia and their dependencies
The problem with this region code is that, if you are staying in Southeast Asia and want to play a Hollywood DVD movie in genuine discs, the movie might not play due to this region code restriction. This actually encourages people to look for pirated copy or to download the DVD ripped copy from the Internet.

Anyhow, there are methods to hack certain Bly-ray and/or DVD players by hardware chip modification, or just by unlocking the region restriction using the remote control.

I have a Samsung BD-F5100 Blu-ray & DVD player shipped with the latest firmware version 1019.0. Its region code for DVD and Blu-ray is stated on the label stuck behind the unit.

The steps to unlock this Samsung BD-F5100 Blu-ray & DVD player to make it region free and enabling it to play DVD from all the regions are as below.

Step 1: Take out any disc in the player, and power off the unit.

Step 2: Switch it on. Wait until the Main Menu of the player appears on the TV screen.

Step 3: Press the REPEAT button (the black button under the yellow "C") on its remote control.

Step 4: Use the keypad on remote control to punch in the following 5 digits, depends on the DVD region code stated in the label (the DVD region code in the picture above is "3").

For Region 1: 2 9 3 3 4
For Region 2: 5 7 5 3 8
For Region 3: 5 6 7 3 2
For Region 4: 7 6 8 8 4
For Region 5: 5 3 8 1 4 
For Region 6: 2 4 4 6 2

Step 5: Once you punched in the above 5-digit codes, you will see your current region code shown up on the top left corner in your TV screen. Before this region code disappears, quickly punch in "9" with your remote control.

Step 6: The number on the TV screen will change to "9". Wait for it to disappear.

Step 7: Power off the player.

Your BD-F5100 player should be unlocked to region free by now. Repeat Step 1 to Step 4 above, you will be able to see your region code has changed to "0".

Test it with a DVD disc from different region. The movie should be able to play in your player now.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.