Are Regional DVDs more expensive than American DVDs?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Stan Rozenfeld, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 27, 2000
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hello, everyone!

    I am researching the viability of getting a multi-region, Pal/NTSC player. I've checked through various sites, and there are plenty of DVDs, even of American films, that are not available in USA (El Cid, African Queen, etc.) So I am interested.

    The thing is, I've been collecting DVDs for a while, and I've learned a trick or two about picking them up for relatively large discounts. For instance there was a 20% off coupon recently from deepdiscountdvd which was a discount off their already discounted prices. Are there such opportunities in buying DVDs from other countries?

    I mean, even if a Pal version of a movie is somewhat better than NTSC region 1 version, but it costs twice as much, I don't think I'll buy the Pal version.

    Thanks,
    Stan
     
  2. andrew markworthy

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    4,762
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Why do you think we Europeans buy so many American discs? We're not all obsessed with 'PAL speedup'.

    Generally speaking, Europe is more expensive than the USA. There's a whole host of reasons for this, including economies of scale, higher taxes (inter alia, to pay for free health care), etc. Plus, many retailers know that they can charge higher prices because of geographical monopolies (where else are you going to shop and get products in the same language?).

    UK retailers have had to bend to pressure of people importing R1 discs en masse by releasing discs at the same time as the USA and with the same extras, but generally prices haven't fallen all that much, and the tremendous deals you guys seem to get with ease in the USA are largely unknown here.
     
  3. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Messages:
    992
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As someone who has been region free for several years now (undoubtedly like many forum members), I can say that the pros outweigh the cons, but the methods you use to save money on R1 product will come in handy when you're scouring the globe for deals.

    The main reason to go region-free, of course, is selection, but not just for American movies. If your aim is to soak up as much international cinema as you can, then region-free is the only way to go. If you're just looking to get current or special editions of American movies that are presently unavailable in Region 1, then you might want to be cautious. The best alternate and special editions of R1 movies seem to emanate from Region 2 these days - Europe and Japan - and as such, they're usually more money once you factor in exchange rates and shipping. Of course, you'll likely get extras you may never see on the U.S. discs (like the British editions of PRINCE OF DARKNESS, THEY LIVE and THE HITCHER, to name but three of many).

    If you live in or near a big city, and are interested in uncovering more cinema from around the world, it's always good to check out ethnic communities for DVD rental and retail stores. Often, older product gets marked down to unbelievably low prices, but it's safer to have a region-free player since many of the discs might be region-coded.

    One popular and cheap online place is Hong Kong's www.dddhouse.com, where they actually have a section called "Western Movie" in which you can find a rather large selection of R3 and R0 versions of recent European and American films for as little as $5-$6 each. They're usually pretty barebones, with trailers at best, but are almost always OAR with the appropriate English digital soundtracks. I've built up a good chunk of my American film collection from this site. They may not have all the classics, but there's a lot of good stuff there.

    The greatest thing that can be said about region-free is that the players are almost always cheaper than the brand name players, yet work just as well. You just have to do your research at places like www.nerd-out.com, where they have forums discussing nearly every make and model of region-free player and recorder.

    Hope some of this is a start.
     
  4. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Messages:
    1,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  5. Roger_R

    Roger_R Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Play - is a great store for R2 movies. It also has free international shipping.
     
  6. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Messages:
    4,670
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    I like HMV. They allow you to sign up for newsletters to alert you of sales, and they have titles as low as 6.99 (roughly US$14.00). I have never paid VAT (value added tax), so that savings usually covers the shipping. My last order arrived in six days! Recommended.
     
  7. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Messages:
    1,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Roger: Play is a great site, but doesn't deliver to the US.
     
  8. Roger_R

    Roger_R Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry about that. I mostly order from playusa and they deliver to the US.
     
  9. Steven Brent

    Steven Brent Extra

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've never used Play.com, but they do claim on their web site to deliver to the US and that S&H is free.


    Steve
     
  10. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Messages:
    1,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    http://play.com/play247.asp?page=delivery




    quote:PLEASE NOTE: we only deliver to the following countries:



    Andorra

    Austria

    Belgium

    Cyprus

    Denmark

    England

    Finland

    France

    Germany

    Gibraltar

    Greece

    Greenland

    Guernsey

    Iceland

    Ireland

    Italy

    Jersey

    Liechtenstein

    Luxembourg

    Malta

    Monaco

    Netherlands

    Northern Ireland

    Norway

    San Marino

    Scotland

    Spain

    Sweden

    Switzerland

    United Kingdom

    Vatican

    Wales
     
  11. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    4,375
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    "on a little street in Singapore"
    Real Name:
    Yee Ming Lim
    It depends. About 18 months ago, it was a lot cheaper to me to buy the R2 versions of ST:TNG, and later DS9, after factoring in exchange rates, rather than R1 (whether online or in a B&M shop here). Then the pound shot up from around S$2.6 to nearly S$3.2, wiping out all savings and actually making most product R2 prohibitively expensive. I was stranded for a while with only S1-4 of DS9, but since then amazon.co.uk has dropped the prices significantly of DS9 and I've since ordered the remaining seasons.



    Note that amazon.co.uk will deduct VAT off the list price when shipping to non-EU residents, so that generally makes them the cheapest UK retailer when buying relatively pricey individual items like season boxsets (since shipping is still counted as one item, unlike many others who charge shipping by the disc). Also note that the listed price on most EU sites is actually inclusive of tax, so read the fine-print in the help section carefully to find out exactly where you stand. In effect, the "free shipping" at Bensonworld, for example, is really "subsidised" by the full-price you still pay which is inclusive of the tax which is not actually payable.
     
  12. andrew markworthy

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    4,762
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Mark, I love the distinction made between Scotland, Wales and the United Kingdom. As far as I'm aware, we haven't gained independence yet.[​IMG]
     
  13. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 27, 2000
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Belatedly, I want to thank everyone for their replies. I've been very busy researching and buying components for my new home theater, and I didn't have a chance to answer the messages here.



    I am still not sure about how many international DVDs I will actually buy, but just in case, I decided to buy Momitsu 880 with its DVI connection, upscaling to 720p, and proper aspect ratio control, I figure it's a perfect match for my Samsung 61" DLP TV, and as a bonus, it reputedly is multi-region, plays rce DVDs, and does a perfect PAL/NTSC conversion.



    Since I am not a big fan of extra features, I will probably be buying international DVDs of movies that are not release in USA. A superficial search has revealed to me that there are at least several films worth having or seeing that are not available here in USA: El Cid, African Queen, Kagemusha, widescreen version of Chariots of Fire, and Abel Gance's Napoleon.



    One poster mentioned local ethnic video stores. I am originally from Ukraine, and speak Russian fluently. I have been interested in sampling some of Russian films. Several times, when I was at Brighton Beach, I walked into some of their video stores to see if I could get good bargains on Russian Imports. I haven't seen a single DVD below $19. There were some movies there that looked very interesting, but I can't justify buying it blind for $20; if it was $10, it would be great. It used to be that Brighton was where you got Russian stuff cheap, but now, everything is very expensive. I am wondering if it's true of other ethnic neighborhoods as well. Fortunately, my wife is going to visit her family in ex-Soviet Georgia, and she promised to scour some of the stores there for Russian films on DVD. The funny thing is, last time I was in Soviet Georgia, most movies they sold was russian dubbed versions of American blockbusters. I don't remember seeing a Russian movie anywhere.



    Another question: it looks like dvdbeaver might be closing its website. Are there any other informational sites dedicated to international DVDs?



    Thanks again everyone!

    Stan
     
  14. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    3,594
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Try Australia. [​IMG]
     
  15. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Messages:
    992
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  16. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 27, 2000
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I forgot to ask one more question regarding relative costs between international DVDs and region 1 DVDs. Part of the appeal of Region 1 DVDs for me, is that if I buy a DVD at a good discount, watch the movie, don't like it, and want to get rid of it, I can ebay it and lose very little money... sometimes I even make something on it. So I don't even bother to rent movies. The secondary market for DVDs in USA is excellent.



    I am wondering if anyone has experience reselling their international DVDs, and how is the market for those.



    Thanks,

    Stan
     
  17. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    4,375
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    "on a little street in Singapore"
    Real Name:
    Yee Ming Lim
    quote:Try Australia.

    I used to, but the Australian Dollar has strengthened tremendously in the past 2 years: it used to be AU$1 = S$0.95, now it's more like S$1.25. Since the S$ has remained more or less constant against the US$, this suggests to my non-financially savvy head that the US$ also took a beating against the AU$.



    Stan makes a good point: R1 has a certain cachet, and generally commands a premium above the local official R3 version, even if content-wise they are identical (we have to contend with censorship, although this has recently been relaxed).
     
  18. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Messages:
    992
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    quote:I am wondering if anyone has experience reselling their international DVDs, and how is the market for those.



    When selling to used record and DVD stores, I've had mixed, but generally favourable, results. Most places will take my Region 1 and Region Free discs, but are pickier when it comes to my Region 2 (Japan & UK/Europe), Region 3 (HK/China) and Region 4 (Australia) discs. Some places won't touch these, while others will since they are more aware of the growing availability of Region Free players on the market. Normally, I just take a backpack-full with me when I venture to the nearest metropolis (Toronto) and hit three or four trusted places until almost everything is gone.



    Can't speak for unloading stuff online as I don't have the patience, and a staggering amount of stuff on places like ebay is bootleg product, often of the same legit discs I'd be trying to sell.
     

Share This Page