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I use a Dell Inspiron 565 desk PC operating on Windows 7. I use Windows Media Player but because of some factory configuration I am only able to play Region 4 (Oceania) DVDs. I would like to be able to play DVDs from all regions. Can you assist me please?

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  • Graham Buckett Sep 14, 2010

    I disagree with your general introduction. In fact all DVD players and computers are capable of playing DVDs from all six regions. However, they used to be restricted to playing DVDs from only one particular region (being that in which the new appliance was destined) under some some agreements between film and music publishers about licensing and royalty shares. For most modern appliances, such restrictions no longer apply (the freedom originating I believe from BlueRay competition) and DVDs from all regions can be played on the one appliance.



    When used, the restrictions were created only through software programming ("locking"). The appliance itself has always been capable of playing DVDs from all regions. Therefore, "unlocking" is also possible with programming. I know how to unlock older-style DVD players (Fixya taught me) and I am confident that there will be a simple unlocking programme that can be used with Windows Media Player to enable DVDs from all regions to be played on my PC without fear of permanent locking after five or some other region changes as you describe. I just need to know that programme code.



    Should I ask for a second opinion from Fixya, or can you consider this problem further? Thank you,

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Hi.

Some DVDs are encoded for playback only in certain regions. Therefore, if you bought a DVD in one country or region and then try to play it on a DVD player or computer that was bought in a different country or region, that DVD may not play, due to the region coding for the DVD.

To change region code follow the steps mentioned below:

1. Click Start, type devmgmt.msc , then press enter
2. Open internal CD\DVD driver , right click on the sub item and click Properties and then click DVD region.
3. In DVD region, select an area and then select Ok

Note: You can change the DVD region settings at most 5 times, then the code will be locked.

Posted on Sep 13, 2010

  • Ginko
    Ginko Sep 14, 2010

    Re:"I disagree with your general introduction. In fact all DVD players
    and computers are capable of playing DVDs from all six regions.
    However, they used to be restricted to playing DVDs from only one
    particular region (being that in which the new appliance was destined)
    under some some agreements between film and music publishers about
    licensing and royalty shares. For most modern appliances, such
    restrictions no longer apply (the freedom originating I believe from
    BlueRay competition) and DVDs from all regions can be played on the one
    appliance."

    That is mostly true about computers, that is completely untrue in case of stand alone DVD player units, particularly blue ray.
    Computer units are not firmware or internal software locked. It is Windows that locks them up at the 5th time. After that you need to change system registries, do a system restore or reinstall Windows.

    About "the freedom originating I believe from
    BlueRay competition", between Fixya and my job I have litterally seen thousand of region locked unit. Things have got worsening, and many blue ray units are litterally unlockable and can be made region free only by replacing the internal chip.
    This is what I have seen in daily practice, I am not going to do an academc research on the topic, ans since regional restrictions are still in place, I do not have great interest in knowing general state on manufacturer relaxation.

    Just to satisfy your curiosity, here a google search listing several (new and old-BRD and DVD) units that have no hacks.


    LOL, I thought I was giving technical indication and not participating in a debate. :)
    Please follow the instructions given.
    If you want to start a discussion on region hack topic, you are welcome in joining the Fixya expert group and posting the topic in the lounge.

    As said, in Windows, the region restriction comes from system managment. Do the unlock above, it will work five times. After that you will need to operate on Windows system to roll back changes, change registry values, or reinstall Windows.

    Regards.

    Ginko.

  • Ginko
    Ginko Sep 14, 2010

    I also wanted to answer to your question to unlocking software with some reference. The ones below are the first articles randomly pulled down using Google. I wanted to ad that some software promising DVD unnlocking is malaware:

    There is software that can act at low level, playing region locked disks by working at lower level. This software DOES NOT UNLOCK DVD, and will not make WMP REGION FREE. It simply play DVDs or BRDs from all regions making the system ignore that the disk is a DVD or BRD and accessing it as DVD ROM. This software will play region free only using the software enclosed player.

    Here an example: DVD Region Code Free Software

    Thi will not work on Windows Media Player, to change WMP region follow instructions in first post.

    Here more material on the topic

    How to Unlock DVD Regions on Your Mac and PC

    I also quote opinion of a different tech from: dvd region free unlock code on vista - Club MyCE

    "No. There isn't. And there is no hope there will be some region free firmware in future.


    I don't know if this would help, but woth trying: Use only VLC media
    player for watching your videos. Also use an user account, that has
    restricted permissions for this.


    Another option:

    There are some software tools available (DVD region free or something
    like that), but I don't know if these are working with Vista.


    Further option:

    Get an external Liteon drive. These can be set region free using just some piece of software (Kprobe or LTNrpc).


    Michael"

    About things that you learn on Fixya or on the Internet, beware, this may be personal opinion, sometimes provided by a person that is not even a tech expert in the specific field.

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