View Full Version : Why do DVD regions exist?

03-05-2005, 11:09 AM
Hi all,

I use my Powerbook which is preset at Region 2 to play DVDs. I've borrowed some DVDs from America (Region 1) to watch for a few times and when I was in Asia, I bought some DVDs there (Region 3).

You can see where the problems begins, I have 3 regions of which I am legally allowed to use on my Powerbook but I can only change the region 4 times.

Any solutions to this problem? I would really rather not spend more money buying the 'correct' region DVDs. Region-locking is such a pain.


03-05-2005, 12:32 PM
dvd burning etc isnt exactly my scene but if you set the region to 0 it means the drive is region free and you might be able to play them all.

03-05-2005, 02:40 PM
You can not set computer dvd players to region 0. There are region free dvd players as stand alones but you will have to find a firmware hack to disable the region encoding. I haven't run across this problem so I can't give you a link anywhere.

As to why region's exist it is because release dates are different in all parts of the world. For instance Harry Potter is released in the UK much earlier than it is in the US. Without region encoding it would make it much easier for piraters to sell Harry Potter DVD's in the US where they would be in large demand since it doesn't come out in while

03-05-2005, 02:42 PM
If you Google for it, you can find it.

The idea was, certain areas of the world (for example, poorer Asian countries) are more likely to engage in piracy than others. If the same DVD was sold everywhere, it could by copied by the pirates and sold all aroound the world. So, sell different DVDs to them, and nobody would ever pirate anything again.

Hasn't quite worked out that way.

03-05-2005, 02:44 PM
here's a link about how to set via firmware the region code to our DVDROM. They said its more complicated to set the drive to region free that just changing to a different region. If you figure it out I'm sure you could post a FAQ/how-to thread. BTW: altering firmware voids warranties from Apple and can damage the drive :closed:

03-06-2005, 11:10 AM
Thanks for all the replies. The Powerbook is new so I would really rather not void the warranty by messing about with the firmware.

I don't suppose there's an easier solution to this?

03-07-2005, 04:59 PM
It will take a little bit of extra time but you can rip the dvds and re burn them region free.... Or just start buying the same dvds!

Mr Bobbins
03-07-2005, 06:09 PM
You could use VLC player, so far as I know it region free. Just change the settings in the system prefs to open VLC player on insert of a DVD in place of DVD player.

Have a look at www.macupdate.com and type in DVD to the search field. Loads of programs and players for DVDs.

03-07-2005, 07:35 PM
I would second VLC which will play DVDs from any region. It is more CPU intensive since VLC has to do all the decoding in CPU but a new PB should be able to handle it fine. I have a couple Region 2 DVDs of things that are not available in the U.S. and VLC handles them fine.

Mplayer is another option. I have not tried it on the Mac but it works well on Linux. Downloading it now just to compare with VLC.

03-08-2005, 12:11 AM
DVD regions exist so the companies owning the rights can decide where and when they release their movies in theatres and DVD.

When I was in France I ordered Region 1 DVD because over there we have a law that states a movie cannot be released on DVD before ONE YEAR after its theatre release.

Also movies come out later in Europe, meaning some movies are released in DVD up to a year and a half after USA.

I have had DVD imports and watched them home before they were even released in theatre.

That's what they want to avoid.

Personally now that I live in USA I buy lots of DVDs but I also like French movies so I need to be able to play both, which I already do with DVD region free on my windows computers, so I can rip them, burn them region free and play them on my home player.

I will even try to add english subtitles to a couple of them so I can share them with my friends here...

As far as getting around it, I just got my PB 17 today and I asked here a couple weeks ago:

I will try to find it and will post how it turned out...

03-21-2005, 02:05 PM
Mactheripper says that it automatically set the dvd to 0 for "region free"...

03-28-2008, 03:02 PM
Try http://forum.rpc1.org ben11 has been able to make almost all DVD Superdrives and Drives Region Free

04-09-2008, 12:10 AM
dvd burning etc isnt exactly my scene but if you set the region to 0 it means the drive is region free and you might be able to play them all.
When you burn a dvd its the disc that is set to region zero not the drive. A region 0 disc will play in any player not matter the region.