Wrestling With DVD Region Coding

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Ablang, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. Ablang

    Ablang Guest

    Wrestling With DVD Region Coding
    Christopher Breen, Macworld.com
    Wednesday, April 23, 2008 4:00 PM PDT

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,145029/article.html?tk=nl_dnxnws

    Reader Yati K. faces a disc-based conundrum in the near future. Said
    Yati writes:

    I'm about to move to South Africa, and I have a small-yet-precious DVD
    collection that I'd like to take with me. Since I purchased them for
    use in the U.S., they're in the NTSC format, and not the PAL format
    that TVs/VCRs/DVD players use in other countries, like South Africa.
    I'm on the verge of purchasing a MacBook Pro, and I know that I'll be
    able to play the NTSC- DVDs I already own on my Mac, but I was
    wondering if you had any idea if the DVD Player application (or, more
    importantly, SuperDrives themselves) support PAL-formatted DVDs, as I
    may want to purchase some once I am there.

    Your MacBook Pro will be able to play both PAL and NTSC discs, so on
    that front, you're set. Where you're going to run into trouble is with
    region coding. It's like this:

    Thanks to pressures from the motion picture industry, commercial DVDs
    are flagged with their region of origin. The majority of DVD players
    are likewise region protected. For example, DVDs sold in the U.S. are
    Region 1 flagged. When first inserting one of these discs into your
    future MacBook Pro, you'll be told that you need to set the drive's
    region coding to the same code as the disc. Do that and the region
    code is set to Region 1. You're allowed to change the drive's region
    five times--you do so simply by putting a disc with a different code
    into the drive and playing it. After that, the drive is locked to the
    last-used region.

    The discs you purchase in South Africa will be Region 2 discs. When
    you try to play one, you'll be prompted to change regions and you'll
    lose one of your five opportunities to switch regions. Play a Region 1
    disc and you have to switch regions yet again and lose another switch.

    In the old days this wasn't a terrible problem as there were a couple
    of easy workarounds. One was to use VLC (VideoLAN), a media player
    that, unlike Apple's DVD Player application, cares not a whit for
    regions. The difficulty is that the region-free stuff in VLC doesn't
    work with the Matshita drives found in most of today's Macs. Region
    coding information is locked in firmware and these drives refuse to
    discuss region coding with VLC.

    And, unlike with some earlier SuperDrives, it's no easy matter to
    strip region coding from these Matshita drives. (And, just as with any
    drives packaged with the Mac, stripping region coding mucks with the
    drive's firmware, thus possibly threatening the integrity of the drive
    and assuredly voiding its warranty).

    That leaves you with two less-than-optimal solutions. The first is
    that you can try ripping your discs with Handbrake or Mac The Ripper.
    This turns the movies on your DVDs into standard movie files untainted
    by any kind of region information. What makes this a less-than-optimal
    solution is that the copy protection on some discs makes them
    impossible to rip. Also, ripped movies can take up a lot of storage
    space that you might wish to devote to more important files.

    The other solution is to purchase an external Firewire or USB DVD
    drive and play Region 1 discs in one drive and Region 2 in the other.
    This suggestion earns weak praise because it will cost you something
    and it's inconvenient to lug around another piece of gear.
     
    Ablang, Apr 26, 2008
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Ablang

    Netmask Guest

    "Ablang" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Wrestling With DVD Region Coding
    > Christopher Breen, Macworld.com
    > Wednesday, April 23, 2008 4:00 PM PDT
    >
    > http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,145029/article.html?tk=nl_dnxnws
    >
    > Reader Yati K. faces a disc-based conundrum in the near future. Said
    > Yati writes:
    >
    > I'm about to move to South Africa, and I have a small-yet-precious DVD
    > collection that I'd like to take with me. Since I purchased them for
    > use in the U.S., they're in the NTSC format, and not the PAL format
    > that TVs/VCRs/DVD players use in other countries, like South Africa.
    > I'm on the verge of purchasing a MacBook Pro, and I know that I'll be
    > able to play the NTSC- DVDs I already own on my Mac, but I was
    > wondering if you had any idea if the DVD Player application (or, more
    > importantly, SuperDrives themselves) support PAL-formatted DVDs, as I
    > may want to purchase some once I am there.
    >
    > Your MacBook Pro will be able to play both PAL and NTSC discs, so on
    > that front, you're set. Where you're going to run into trouble is with
    > region coding. It's like this:
    >
    > Thanks to pressures from the motion picture industry, commercial DVDs
    > are flagged with their region of origin. The majority of DVD players
    > are likewise region protected. For example, DVDs sold in the U.S. are
    > Region 1 flagged. When first inserting one of these discs into your
    > future MacBook Pro, you'll be told that you need to set the drive's
    > region coding to the same code as the disc. Do that and the region
    > code is set to Region 1. You're allowed to change the drive's region
    > five times--you do so simply by putting a disc with a different code
    > into the drive and playing it. After that, the drive is locked to the
    > last-used region.
    >
    > The discs you purchase in South Africa will be Region 2 discs. When
    > you try to play one, you'll be prompted to change regions and you'll
    > lose one of your five opportunities to switch regions. Play a Region 1
    > disc and you have to switch regions yet again and lose another switch.
    >
    > In the old days this wasn't a terrible problem as there were a couple
    > of easy workarounds. One was to use VLC (VideoLAN), a media player
    > that, unlike Apple's DVD Player application, cares not a whit for
    > regions. The difficulty is that the region-free stuff in VLC doesn't
    > work with the Matshita drives found in most of today's Macs. Region
    > coding information is locked in firmware and these drives refuse to
    > discuss region coding with VLC.
    >
    > And, unlike with some earlier SuperDrives, it's no easy matter to
    > strip region coding from these Matshita drives. (And, just as with any
    > drives packaged with the Mac, stripping region coding mucks with the
    > drive's firmware, thus possibly threatening the integrity of the drive
    > and assuredly voiding its warranty).
    >
    > That leaves you with two less-than-optimal solutions. The first is
    > that you can try ripping your discs with Handbrake or Mac The Ripper.
    > This turns the movies on your DVDs into standard movie files untainted
    > by any kind of region information. What makes this a less-than-optimal
    > solution is that the copy protection on some discs makes them
    > impossible to rip. Also, ripped movies can take up a lot of storage
    > space that you might wish to devote to more important files.
    >
    > The other solution is to purchase an external Firewire or USB DVD
    > drive and play Region 1 discs in one drive and Region 2 in the other.
    > This suggestion earns weak praise because it will cost you something
    > and it's inconvenient to lug around another piece of gear.




    I suspect SA will be in much the same position as in Australia where I am -
    most of the DVD gear down here are region free and modern TV's are NTSC/PAL
    compatible. Oz is region 4 and I have no problems playing discs from any
    region. My guess is South Africa will be in the same position
     
    Netmask, Apr 26, 2008
    #2
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. tim gueguen

    Re: The purpose of dvd region coding?

    tim gueguen, Aug 31, 2003, in forum: DVD Video
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    626
    Mobutu
    Sep 1, 2003
  2. Mobutu
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    452
    Mobutu
    Aug 31, 2003
  3. keved
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    466
    keved
    Aug 31, 2003
  4. Shouse

    Re: The purpose of dvd region coding?

    Shouse, Sep 2, 2003, in forum: DVD Video
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    682
    Graham
    Sep 2, 2003
  5. Allan
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    843
    Mutley
    Jan 7, 2006
Loading...

Share This Page