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DVD player region free


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Avo
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I'm a new Mac user (Powerbook G4, 1.5 GHZ, with DVD-RW) and I would need someone's help for telling me how to make my DVD-RW a free zone dvd player. I tried to look on the web, but was warned about the irreversible damage I could do to my driver if I messed up with it... As I have DVDs I bought in different continents of the world, I'd be glad to be able to watch them! Thanks for your help...
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onryou
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I maybe wrong, but from what other folks on the forums said it should just work.
No matter the region of the dvd.

onryou

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Aptmunich

 
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onryou: That isn't the case with my iBook's combodrive, so I doubt it'd be different with the powerbook's superdrive.

Avo: There isn't a way to make your drive region-free without taking the risk or irreversible damage and voiding your warranty.

You can however rip DVD's with the utility Mactheripper which strips the region code and then burn the movie as a region-free disk...
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Kokopelli
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There are software players that use DECSS that will play any regions DVDs. VLC is one.

There is a firmware hack to make the PBs drive region free but I have not tried it since I am not willing to risk tanking my internal drive.
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JSchultz
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what? I thought all apple laptops had a region free dvd player? I was looking forward to watching DVD's I ordered from the UK. I mean hey, if a dell desktop can do it, why cant an iBook?
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Kokopelli
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Most DVD drives are not region free. If your Dell desktop can do it then it is random chance, the majority can not.
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JSchultz
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Perhaps i am mistaken then? Unless I am confusing "Regions"?

I thought all European DVD's were encoded in region 2, while here in the states, we have 1.

I just find it odd that i have a random chance desktop that will play DVD's region free
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Kokopelli
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You are correct on what the Regions for DVDs are. What I mean by random is that the majority of commercial 3d generation DVD drives are not region free. Given the region free feature of a drive is not a determining factor for Dell, the odds are against them picking a region free model. Especially as you get into CD and DVD burners.

Maybe Dell specifically chose a region free DVD model, but I think it unlikely. It would not surprise me if Apple specifically chose a region lmited drive though.
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Murlyn

 
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Im pretty sure legally all drives are supposed to have a default region.
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JSchultz
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What about having an opportunity to switch? I've read about this, as you can put a region 1 or 2 dvd in the drive and switch, but after the 5th time, it stops.

Also, I've been reading about NON firmware changes to make OSX's player region free..anyone tried it?
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Kokopelli
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If it is required now that all DVD drives be able to be region locked it was not always the case, there is a page that lists known region free drives.

There are two restrictions you would need to bypass if you wanted to play DVDs from any region on OS X using the default player. First you need to flash your drive to make it region free, this bypasses the hardware restriction. Next you need to be able to change the region in the software. That is what Region X is for.

Once these two steps are accomplished you can play DVDs from any region with impunity. For me VLC works with the internal drive and any region disk. So I did not flash my drive, I just use VLC for my region 2 disks. There are reports that others are not so lucky though with recent PBs. The advantage of flashing the drive and using Region X is that playback can use hardware acceleration (or at least the low level hooks Apple's player uses) whereas VLC does everything using the CPU.

NOTE: The above is not based on experience. VLC was one of the first apps I downladed for my PB because I am used to using it on Windows and Slack. I did not give DVD regions any thought even though I do have Region 1 and 2 disks. I did research on unlocking the Mac drives and Region X basically due to this and an earlier thread. Therefore the information above is exactly as accurate as the resources I found.
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JSchultz
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VLC was what i was thinking of. how well does that work for you? on their site, it says it works well with the later G3 iBooks.
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Good point Kokopelli.

If I can get mactheripper to load the DVD, VLC should be able to read it as well.
You just have to stop DVD Player from automatically loading up, otherwise it spits out the disk if you choose not to change your region.
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Kokopelli
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VLC works fine but uses about 60% cpu at peak while running on my 1.33 GHz G4 PB. I would not expect it to work well on a G3 but it might if you were doing nothing else. At a guess a G3 above 700 MHz should be able to handle it without many skips.

I have OS X set to take no action when a DVD ioaded then launch VLC or the OS X dvd player manually as appropriate.
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JSchultz
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I too have read that VLC uses very much system resources. I will not be multitasking when watching a DVD, so maybe i'll be ok.
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