“is there such a thing as R1 PAL discs?”
I don’t know, you’ll have to ask JVC, they put that in their manual!
As far as hacks, if you look at the link Bjproc posted, there are very, very few hacks for JVC and most are for region code. But i have not needed any I have never had a disc that the JVCs would not play (+/-R, +/-RW). I did have an older JVC (2000?) that was made before burnable discs started hitting the shelves, it would not play them.
“.i’m VERY surprised that your wal-mart palyer doesn’t play both formats. many times it’s the big expensive models that are limited and the $20 cheap-o models that will play a damn frisbee if you tried!”
I have tried 3 of them. Two were basically same thing, differnet name (Magnavox/Symphonic) and an Apex model. The Mag/Syms play most discs but there are few they choke on. I have to unplug them to get them to eject the discs. The Apex would not even play the first 3 -Rs I tried in it. I took it back. All these discs played fine in the JVCs so I gave up on any others. My last 2 JVCs I only paid $50 & $58 for.