Originally Posted by Dick
I'm sorry, I'm not a geek -- are you saying that if I were to order a Blu-ray copy of, say, THE ELEPHANT MAN from overseas, it would be both region-free and be NTSC compatable? I could play this on an unmodified Sony Blu-ray player here in the U.S.? I'm confused.
Forgetting about the geek part, yes, probably.
Like Craig said, NTSC and PAL standards don't apply.
NTSC and PAL were in fact broadcasting standards originally. The only reason they made it to VHS and SDVD was because of the compatility (with existing TV sets).
They have not been ported to HD DVD and Blu-ray.
The region coding was introduced with SDVD, and has been modified (but retained) on the HD formats.
HD DVD discs were region free. Unfortunately in this case, that's the format I have Last Year in Marienbad on, so I cannot tell you if this particular BD is region-free or not. (But chances are it is region-free indeed, coming on HD DVD first.)
I still don't have a Region-B player, just an imported Region-A one. I play all imported US BD discs and many EU discs on that same player, without problems. (For the few region-B locked discs I buy, I will have to get me a region-B player soon, but I'm waiting to see if I can have a modified player of one of the top brands instead.) Of one or two European bought not-region-locked BD's, I have not been able to play extras, probably because they were in a local SDVD standard not recognized by my US player.