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International DVD compatibility

 
 
littlek
 
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 01:13 pm
Not sure this is in the right forum....

Would a DVD produced in/for australian DVD players be compatible with U.S. DVD players?

Anyone have any idea? Or a way in which to find out?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 26,246 • Replies: 32
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Craven de Kere
 
  2  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 01:23 pm
DVD regions are defined as:
Region 1 - 1: U.S., Canada, U.S. Territories
Region 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, and Middle East (including Egypt)
Region 3 - Southeast Asia and East Asia (including Hong Kong)
Region 4 - Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean
Region 5 - 5: Eastern Europe (Former Soviet Union), Indian subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia
Region 6 - Peoples Republic of China
Region 7 - Reserved
Region 8 - Special international venues (airplanes, cruise ships, etc.)

http://www.dvdadept.com/images/DVDRegionsMap.gif

On some DVDs you will see Region 0 code, which means that these DVDs are "region free" and can be played on any DVD player.

Movies are released on DVD at different times around the world, typically America and Canada first, Australia and Japan 6 months later, and Europe 12 months after US release. In some instances, DVD movies are available for purchase in America and Canada before they are released in European cinemas.

According to OpenDVD.org, DVD players with region codes are illegal in New Zealand. Additionally, DVD regions are rumored to violate certain World Trade Organization laws.

What all this means to average consumer?
When you are buying movies on DVD or DVD player always check what region it is for. There are several companies that sell "code free" or "region free" DVD players, so you can buy one. If you are using your computer to play DVDs, you probably know that software DVD decoders allow you to change DVD region but, usually, limited number of times.

-------------

There are also ways to disable regions in your player (if you know electronics) and there are region free players.
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fishin
 
  2  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 01:23 pm
You would have to look at the DVD in question. (I'm assuming you are meaning a Movie DVD here...)

Somewhere on the case it should state whether the video is encoded as "NTSC", "PAL" or "SECAM".

NTSC is what is used in North America. PAL is used in most of Europe and Australia. SECAM is used in France and a lot of the MiddleEast. If the Disc says it is "NTSC" encoded then you can play it. Some discs ship with multiple versions so it may have both NTSC and PAL versions on it (especially films made for export). It may also say "No Regional Encoding" in which case it should work fine.

For a country by country breakdown of Video Formats you can look at:
http://www.sphereproject.org/pal_ntsc.htm
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 01:27 pm
LOL We both posted at the ecxact same time Craven!
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 01:57 pm
That's all very helpful! For a aussie DVD, we have to wait a full year (I think) before we can buy one. I thought maybe I could bypass the long wait, but if I got one sent from Oz directly, I wouldn't be able to play it. So odd, they do this on purpose?
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 02:00 pm
Yes, it's done to combat piracy. Since some asian countries have lax laws on piracy most pirate discs come from there. If their encoding is not functional stateside it compartmentalizes the problem.

Since most 3rd world countries don't have the resources to combat piracy (they try but it's not easy) this setup only causes frustration and does little to prevent piracy. In 3rd world countries and on the net you can find or buy ways to bypass the encoding.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 04:15 pm
Interesting!
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 05:36 pm
I think there is a legal battle going on about whether DVD players with no encoding chip can be sold, so I don't know the legal status on this.
0 Replies
 
quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2002 10:10 pm
Very interesting, never knew!
Must keep this in mind when the gent who comes into the local bar starts selling DVDs rather than just pirated Cds Smile
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 03:30 pm
I was just out cruising the web looking for something and ran into some interesting pages that you might find of interest lil k! Find your DVD player model number and enter your DVD player maker, model number and the word "hack" into Google.

Mine for example is a "Classic" brand (el cheapo!) MOdel "DVD-102" and when I enter "Classic DVD-102 Hack" I get back 5 or six different sites that list the steps for me to change the Region code on my DVD player. (I can choose Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6). All of this is done from the front panel (although the steps are hidden from the user) so there is no worry about damaging your DVD player and it's completely reversible at your whim.

Try it and see what you get. You might be able to "hack" your DVD player too and then you could play movies from downunder...
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 04:05 pm
Not only are "Hacks" available, there exist Region-Independent playback decks. I don't know about current availability, but a year or so ago a relatively cheap ($100 or so) unit from Apex was known in some circles for its disregard of region. I believe it is/was available in either NTSC or PAL/Secam-capable versions as opposed to supporting both formats simultaneously. Should anyone be desirous of obtaining such a critter, e-Bay would be a likely place to look.



timber
0 Replies
 
Brian
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2003 05:43 am
The region dependency is done to prevent international theft. The video standard is a whole different ball game. Unless you order one special, the DVD player you buy in the US will not play PAL/Eurpean DVD's regardless of what region you set it too. And even if it does, your TV will either not sync up to the video output of the DVD, or play the DVD in black and white which is what you'll see playing PAL material on an NTSC Television.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jul, 2003 06:40 pm
Hi, Brian and welcome to A2K!

For those who thought it was arbitrary, Brian has clarified why the different format exist. Encoding has been thwarted by pirates so what's next?
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MissBee
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2003 02:42 pm
Wow, this is interesting and complicated...

I just wanted to ask... Is there an option for a European that moved to the US (me) to somehow avoid all this crap and enable yourself to watch your European DVDs or videos somehow? The problem is not movies, I can rent those at any Blockbuster... But what about all the non-American stuff that you can't get here, or childhood home videos for example.
0 Replies
 
princessash185
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2003 02:52 pm
Just wanted to make sure it's clear that in order for you to play an Aussie DVD, k, you'd have to have BOTH a NTSC-PAL converter AND a region-free DVD player. . .

Or you can do what I did and buy a region-free player with a built in converter. . . they're dirt cheap these days, mine was 60 and it has dolby digital 5.1 channel conversion. . .

MissBee, you could buy a PAL-NTSC converting VCR to watch your old home movies. . . those are expensive. . . alternately, if you have a very good vcr, there are some programs nowadays that will let you feed your videos onto your computer and burn them as region 1 dvds. . . techtv did a story on this, I'll see if I can find it. . .
0 Replies
 
princessash185
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2003 02:55 pm
Here ya go. . .

http://www.techtv.com/screensavers/howto/story/0,24330,3568839,00.html

This tells you how to feed analog video into your computer. . . takes out the PAL middle man and keeps those precious memories safe for years to come. . .
0 Replies
 
princessash185
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2003 02:57 pm
LW, dvd makers have started using a whole bunch of new coding methods, like the dreaded macrovision, which senses that you're using a hacked dvd player. . .

But, of course, now the dvd players are made to hack macrovision. . . oh well :-)
0 Replies
 
MissBee
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2003 03:06 pm
Thanks. Smile
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2003 04:34 pm
Comworld's CMD-850 solves the conversion problem quite satisfactorily.

A less expensive and rather more elegant solution, is Mecotek's MK-X4000 All-Region/All Format DVD player

Couple that with S-Video-dot-Com's DVD2VCR , a good VCR or a DVD burner, and a variety of counter-measure-foiling possibilities open up for you.

Of course, I use my rig only for home viewing, you understand :wink:
0 Replies
 
princessash185
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2003 05:00 pm
Haha. . . don't we all, timber :-) I have the SMC. . . hmm. . . whatever brand SMC is currently selling in the US :-) I'm quite pleased with it, actually, and I additionally have a small portable Lasertronic or something, which works very well. . .
0 Replies
 
 

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