I have just purchased a new Panasonic DMP-BD75 DVD/Blue Ray player locally. I was assured that it was multi-regional for DVDs (as required by Australia's trade laws). However, it will only play...
Hi, some times regional codes does not work all the time..But it's worth trying..
The DVD world is divided into six major geographical regions, with two additional regions reserved for specialized use.
To keep it simple, this means that DVD players and DVDs are labeled for operation on within a specific geographical region in the world. For example, the U.S. is in region 1. This means that all DVD players sold in the U.S. are made to region 1 specifications. As a result, region 1 players can only play region 1 discs. That's right, the DVDs themselves are encoded for a specific region. On the back of each DVD package, you will a find a region number (1 thru 6).
The geographical regions are as follows:
REGION 1 -- USA, Canada
REGION 2 -- Japan, Europe, South Africa, Middle East, Greenland
REGION 3 -- S.Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Parts of South East Asia
REGION 4 -- Australia, New Zealand, Latin America (including Mexico)
REGION 5 -- Eastern Europe, Russia, India, Africa
REGION 6 -- China
REGION 7 -- Reserved for Unspecified Special Use
REGION 8 -- Reserved for Cruise Ships, Airlines, etc...
REGION 0 or REGION ALL -- Discs are uncoded and can be played Worldwide, however, PAL discs must be played in a PAL-compatible unit and NTSC discs must be played in an NTSC-compatible unit.
The end result is that DVDs encoded for regions other than Region 1 cannot be played on a region 1 DVD player, also, players marketed for other regions cannot play region 1-stamped DVDs.
The Reasons For DVD Region Coding
Why does DVD region coding exist, you ask? According to what the public is being told, such coding is a tool to protect copyright and film distribution rights (in other words, movie studio profits).
Movies are released in theaters in different parts of the world at different times throughout the year. That Summer blockbuster in the U.S. may end up being the Christmas blockbuster overseas. If that occurs, the DVD version of the movie may be out in the U.S. while it is still showing in theaters overseas.
In order to preserve the financial integrity of the theatrical distribution of a particular film, it is not possible (under normal conditions) to have a friend in the U.S. send a DVD copy of the film to the country where it is in theatrical release and be able to play the DVD on a player there.
Region Coding - The Good and The Bad
Depending on who you are, region coding can be considered a blessing or a curse. If you are movie studio executive, this is great, not only do you reap maximum profits from the theatrical releases, but also from the DVD releases for your film. However, if you are a consumer wanting to see a movie that is available on DVD in your relative's or friend's country but not in yours, you may have to wait quite a while.
However, another suspected rationale for region coding is beginning to emerge, possible price-fixing of DVDs depending on region. Although this is yet to be legally proven in court, if proven to be true, Australian and European courts may just put the heat on Hollywood and manufacturers to discontinue region coding as a marketing practice. New Zealand has been trying to eliminate DVD region code restrictions in that country.
In addition, for those consumers that live in Europe, Australia, and Asia, there is an abundant market for so-called Code Free DVD players, which are essentially modified versions of stock DVD players in which the region coding function has been disabled.
With the magic of mail-order and the Internet, these players are widely available, even if not totally legal. For the fortunate owners of these players, DVDs can be purchased from any region.
However, as a reaction to the popularity of Code-Free DVD players, "Hollywood" has instituted another layer of coding on region1 DVDs called RCE (Regional Coding Enhancement) which prevents selected region1 DVDs from playing even on Code-Free DVD players. However, RCE is only implemented on some Region 1 discs, and not on discs from other regions.
The NTSC/PAL Factor
There is additional hitch in this madness. Since the world is also divided into the NTSC and PAL video systems, as outlined in my previous article: Who's Your PAL? ), the consumer may need a multi-system TV to access DVDs pressed in one of these systems. Although this is difficult in the U.S. market, where all video is based on the NTSC system, most consumers in Europe and some other parts of the world do own Televisions that can view DVDs pressed in either NTSC or PAL.
DVD Price Fixing and Movie Release Dates
I can see the need for some region coding in order to protect movie release dates, but if issues such as price-fixing of DVD product is also involved, Hollywood may end up being in deep trouble on this one.
With the increase in communication and travel, information and entertainment can be accessed just about anywhere at anytime and perhaps Hollywood would best be served by releasing films and videos at the same time everywhere. Not only would consumers be better served, but the cost of region coding and the need for the aftermarket Code-Free DVD player would be eliminated.
The Consumer Impatience Factor
Also, I realize it's nice to purchase the DVD version of the latest blockbuster just six months after theatrical release. It is a minor inconvenience to wait another month or so if it means the film is still in theatrical release somewhere else in the world. If the movie is worthy, fans will wait for the DVD. I doubt if the sales of blockbuster DVD releases, such as Star Wars: Episode II, Lord Of The Rings, etc... suffer because we had to wait over a year to get it. I, for one, will always be in line for those major DVD releases.
The Real Beneficiaries Of DVD Region Coding
The only entities that seem to be really benefiting from DVD Region Coding are the movie studios and the marketers of Code-Free DVD players. Under this current system, my vote is for the marketers of the Code-Free players. Even the International Space Station has Code-Free DVD players (for obvious practical reasons).
For a list of dealers that sell modified Code-Free DVD players, check the listings in the linkboxes below this article of (Guide Note: The dealer listings are purely informational, I do not vouch for the quality of the products and services offered).
Home DVD Recording
With the advent of DVD Recorders and DVD Camcorders for consumer use, the question comes up as to how this is affected by DVD Region Coding. The good news is that since DVD Region Coding is a commercial application, any DVD recordings you make on a consumer-based DVD recorder, DVD camcorder, or even a PC, are not Region Coded. If the DVD you record made in the NTSC video system, it will be playable on DVD players in countries that use that system, and the same for PAL; there is no further region code restriction on home recorded DVDs.
For additional information on consumer DVD recording, check out my DVD Recorder FAQs
However, if you choose to implement Region Coding on your own DVD recordings, you need access to software or a service that is able to implement the region code designation.
Good luck to you...please pass your comment when your done ..
Apr 30, 2011 |
Panasonic DVD & Blu-Ray Players