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Buying dvd's from other regions

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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 OFFLINE   ElevSkyMovie


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Posted February 27 2004 - 01:03 AM

I've noticed in several threads that people are buying discs from koreandvd.com and other places, mostly because the discs have a dts track.

All their discs are R3, I assume. Does that mean everyone here has bought a separate dvd player that is set to R3 to play these discs? If not, how are you playing them?

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Joel Vardy

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Posted February 27 2004 - 01:21 AM

I have picked up African Queen R2 since I now have a multiregion player (picked up for under $50 @ Radio Shack) and was tired of waiting for a release that is yet after all this time nowhere on the horizon. Likewise I am now going to start looking for a non-R1 release of Bringing Up Baby. Does anyone know how I can find it?


#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Brian Thibodeau

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Posted February 27 2004 - 01:38 AM

Does that mean everyone here has bought a separate dvd player that is set to R3 to play these discs? If not, how are you playing them?

Close. I suspect a very great number of the people here are set up with "all-region" or "region-free" DVD players. These are readily available on-line and often in stores, particularly if you have access to a bustling Chinatown. Buying a player for each region would be a bit much, but buying one that's set to all-regions really opens up the possibilities. You can then buy discs from virtually anywhere in the world without having to worry about region blocking.

It's also a great way to get into foreign cinema rather than waiting for American studios to decide what foreign films we get to see, when we get to see it (see: Shaolin Soccer, Hero), and in what truncated form we get to see it.

There are lots of places to get all-region players and sometimes the prices are unbelievably low for a pretty decent machine (if you're willing to go off-name-brand once in a while). A lot of online DVD retailers seem to sell them, and a good place to start for info is

#4 of 12 OFFLINE   AlexBC


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Posted February 27 2004 - 01:44 AM


there are actually lots of possibilities. Many could be buying multiregion players, as they're getting quite cheap. But there's also the fact that lots of these discs are not region coded, especially the Hong Kong discs, but that does happen on R3 Korean and R4 Brazil too (all three of them are NTSC). And finally, maybe it's the main reason, most players can be (easily) hacked to region free (though PAL-to-NTSC will still be a problem). You can find a much more information about this on the Regional forum.
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#5 of 12 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted February 27 2004 - 02:03 AM

Likewise I am now going to start looking for a non-R1 release of Bringing Up Baby. Does anyone know how I can find it?

The French R2 is showing out of stock here, but either keep your eye on amazon.fr or try a search at www.kelkoo.fr

Also part of this UK released box set.

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#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted February 27 2004 - 02:13 AM

The typical place to look for more answers on this topic is the Regional DVD Area. Which is were I will move this thread to now.


#7 of 12 OFFLINE   JonZ


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Posted February 27 2004 - 02:37 AM

My G/F got me the Pioneer 363K for Xmas for under $200.

Highly recommended player.

Its plays all regions.

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Mark_Wilson



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Posted February 27 2004 - 03:27 PM

Yep, in fact I have five region free players.

African Queen is great and cheap. The commentary by Jack Cardiff is pretty good.

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Tanja



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Posted March 17 2004 - 04:32 AM

Likewise I am now going to start looking for a non-R1 release of Bringing Up Baby. Does anyone know how I can find it?

the german dvd has been on sale for 9€ the last weeks, but now is 20€ again.

i can recommend it, quite good quality and a nice documentation about hawks (about an hour). one of my fave movies ever


#10 of 12 OFFLINE   david_shy



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Posted March 17 2004 - 02:02 PM

I've often wondered why "region-free" players are not that common in USA...

is it beacause players that output PAL or can convert PAL are rare and that TVs are not PAL Compatible?

Or is it more to do with copyright laws?

judging from Brian's comments about no-name brands, I suspect maybe it's the latter?

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   Ronn.W


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Posted March 18 2004 - 03:17 AM

It is more of a legality issue than anything else. True, not many TV's here have anything to do with PAL, but the Digital Millenium Copyright Act makes it illegal to circumvent electronic security devices. That's interpreted as region coding on DVD's. Mainstream manufacturers cannot make them for the US, and the big electronics stores will not carry them knowingly.

However, in the last year or so more and more players are hitting the market from big name manufacturers that actually are region free, they're just not advertised that way and you won't it anywhere in the manual. People who are going out and spending $300 on a $50 player at some specialy shop because the player has been hacked for region free play could actually go to their local Best Buy or Target, spend $100 or less and take home a name brand machine that can be made region free with a few button presses on their remote or by downloading and running a new firmware on it.

Unfortunately the more widespread this knowledge becomes, the quicker it gets pulled from retail shelves or the manufacturer changes the specs. The Toshiba SD3900 is a good example of this. It's a great player that has received great reviews for its picture quality. It also converted PAL/NTSC, and would play most all region discs just by pressing PLAY when the 'Wrong Region' screen came up. Not to long ago a 3rd party firmware was released to change the region code on it permanently. Toshiba has since discontinued the 3900, and replaced it with the SD3950, an identical player except for the fact that region coding has been hardcoded into it and it cannot be changed from R1.

Check out www.dvdrhelp.com 's DVD Player section. A few years ago only a very small handful were able to be region hacked, now it seems it's almost harder to find a player that can't be hacked in some sort of way.

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Brian Thibodeau

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Posted March 18 2004 - 09:30 AM

I'd be willing to bet that half the people who actually own region-free players are not even aware of it.

Many's the time I've been in a Wal-mart or Future Shop up here in Canada when they have some no-name DVD player selling for around $50 - $70 and the damn things are selling at a decent clip (as evidenced by the increasingly smaller stacks of them in the aisle and on the walls) and the people buying them don't exactly reek of cineastes.

How can I tell? Well, I can't. I'm only guessing, of course. But each time I've picked up one for myself (for a total of four now), I'm met with puzzled looks from the salesguys (and at least a couple of bystanders) when I mention I'm planning on hacking it to I can watch discs from all over the world. One customer in Future Shop who overheard my discussion politely interrupted and asked me if DVDs were really coded for different parts of the world as he'd always assumed they were the same everywhere. Au contraire, my friend, I said, and then launched into my DVD geekspeak about regions and internet retailers and censorious studios and fascism and why the world would be a better place if everyone would just learn to enjoy Hong Kong movies and even though he wasn't a big DVD purchaser, he liked the concept, and asked me to write out the hack for the same DVD player I was buying because he decided to get one too! The salesguy wrote it down to so he could pass it along to anyone else who was interested (don't know if he ever bothered, though).

Around my neck of the woods, though, the whole concept of region-free is a lost cause. I used to have a film review column in the local paper and I've often wished I still had it so I could get the word out there that people don't need to be beholden to the practises of a few American movie companies.

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