I am curious how most of you view DVDs that come from other countries–do most of you have region-free players? If so, what?

I just purchased the comprehensive Laurel and Hardy collection from Amazon UK. It had been marked down from 100 pounds to 30. Of course, the USA doesn’t have such a thing available–it’s all the same two or three mediocre films in crappy editions. However, I can’t play these discs on any of my machines.

First I learned that one might “trick” the laptop software so that it plays all DVDs. I downloaded “AnyDVD” without success and then “Region-Free” software without success. Then I learned that my drive is notoriously resistant to this kind of software.

So what to do? The options are to purchase an external DVD drive for about $100, but I don’t know if there are any complications with the laptop software and hardware. Or to purchase a portable DVD player—10″ inch screens run about 100-150. Or to purchase a full-blown player…but from where? apparently not a single electronics store in my area sells “region-free” players. What’s the deal with that? My options are to go to JR in New York city or order online from Amazon, Overstock or 220 Electronics.

Recommendations? I have to start in on the 21 DVDs of Laurel and Hardy soon! Unfortunately the collection is not complete, though it includes most of their major films–however, it pointlessly includes colorized versions of these films? Who buys a set like this but demands that the originals are colorized?