BBC: DVD Region coding system on the verge of colapse!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Josh Lowe, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. Josh Lowe

    Josh Lowe Screenwriter

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    Excellent article on the state of Region encoding and why it's failing:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/...fe/2197548.stm
    It once again reiterates the simple truth that information wants to be free of constraint. And the more one uses asinine restrictions to keep information contained to certain areas, the more disappointed one will be when those restrictions inevitably fail. People want to see DVDs from around the world, they want as many choices as they can possibly have. It has nothing to do with copying or piracy, people will pay money as they should. It has to do with the ridiculous notion that "X DVD may only be watched in X region." Recipe for failure - and good riddance.
     
  2. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    For a link to the BBC article click here and you can click here for a related Slashdot article.
    Graham Sharpless, a member of the UK DVD Committee is quoted as saying: ...a more likely scenario is that Region Coding will be abandoned altogether.
    The article concentrates on the defacto collapse of Region Coding in the U.K.
    Ted
     
  3. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

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    I can sorta understand the company's point of why they originally instituted the region encoding, however, like Josh said, anytime you try to keep information from people, all that it will encourage is people buying multi-region players and pirated DVDs.

    Theyre worried about piracy and getting movies to areas before the theatrical release, well, as long as its a legitimate copy, what does the studio care if a disc is being bought in NY and viewed in NY, or if a disc is bought in NY and shipped to England before its theatrical run.

    I think region encoding is a stupid idea and should be removed. I think the studios will discover that if it were removed, they would only see an increase in sales from all the R1 stuff that would be in higher demand in other areas of the world.
     
  4. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    :applause:

    While I understand the concepts behind the implementation of region coding, it's clear that it has been a failure since day one.
     
  5. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    Remember that region-coding is not something that Hollywood studios uses. I know that Japanese anime companies uses it to prevent cheap Region 1 imports into Japan.
     
  6. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    The reason some care about the importing is other companies sometimes have the rights in other territories.
    Titanic was released by Paramount in the US, but by Fox in the rest of the world. So Fox might be a little mad if the region one DVD was being imported in another region.(Just an example)
     
  7. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I'm not surprised that the UK's having the problems it's having. With cuts to both the films and the extras, it's no surprise HT fans like Dan Brecher import the majority of their releases from Region 1.

    This is also good news for people in the US without multi-region players. If the Region Coding system does collapse in the UK, discs will presumably be encoded for Region 0; which means future releases of TV product that won't be released here due to syndication issues can be imported.
     
  8. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

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    Hollywood doesn't use regional encoding? That's news to me. You'ld think they'ld want people in other regions not to have access to movies that were on DVD even before they were released in the theaters...

    That said, regional encoding is pretty much useless. I think the article should have mentioned that there are much more DVD-Roms than standalone dvd-players, and defeating region encoding is even easier on a PC than a standalone player.
     
  9. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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  10. Matt Lucas

    Matt Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    What an interesting topic.

    I've got a few questions related to region coding that I've always been a little fuzzy on, so perhaps someone here could shed some light on this issue for me.

    I have a Region 1 Toshiba DVD player and a Mitsubishi widescreen TV purchased in the US. Assuming the region codes are lifted, which presumably means all releases would be "region 0," would I be able to play a DVD purchased from a DVD store in Australia and play it on my equipment without having to enter any kind of "cheat code?" Wouldn't the different video formats---NTSC in the US and PAL in the UK/Australia---also have an impact on whether I could play the Australian DVD, regardless of whether it's zone-free or not? Will the Australian PAL DVD play on my US-bought DVD player? If so, will the video or audio quality be affected?

    Thanks for any help you can offer.

    Regards,
    mattl
     
  11. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    With the purchase of the right DVD player (Malata, and others, but Malata's is the best), you can watch any DVD from any region, whether PAL or NTSC, in excellent quality.
    In other words, region coding has already been defeated.[​IMG]
     
  12. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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  13. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    all players in Fiji are multi-region modified before they are sold.

    Consumers rent R1 titles, and buy R4 titles.

    All TVs are multisystem.

    TV is PAL.

    Pirated VCDs are on the wane.

    Theatrical is 50/50 US/NZ scheduled. XXX and On The Line opened last week.
     
  14. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

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    "DVD manufacturers' cheat codes are made up of combinations of button presses on the machine's remote control. When entered correctly, users are presented with a "secret" menu inviting them to reset the DVD player to "multi-region" - to play discs from all regions."

    Is this true?

    Does anyone have the cheat code for the Pioneer Elite DV-F07?
     
  15. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Robert: Almost all DVD players have such "cheat codes." DVD players are manufactured all at once and then the DVD player company uses these menus to set the region on a player before it's shipped off to that region. It saves money by only manufacturing one model for the whole world.
     
  16. Lafe F

    Lafe F Second Unit

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    That article is from a European perspective. I think Region coding is still very strong in North America, where it's somewhat tricky to find a region-free player.
     
  17. Angsty

    Angsty Stunt Coordinator

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    Region coding has been declared as illegal in Australia by the courts as it breaches the Trade Practices Act eg: it prevents me from buying a legal title from overseas and playing it on my player ->restrictive.
    (And don't get me started on the brains trust that put both PAL and NTSC formats into Region 4!! [​IMG] )
    Angela
     
  18. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

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    Region coding has not been declared illegal in Australia. Region hacking has been held not to breach the Copyright Act, is all.
     
  19. DerrickRemmert

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  20. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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