Is the quality of the transfer on multi region dvd's as good as US versions?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Jeff Adams, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    I have really never been interested in multi region dvd's until now. I just figured what is the point, I have the US version, what is so special about other regions version? Well after reading up on one of my favorite movies of the year, Kill Bill, it seems that the japanese version is going to get the more graphic version of the film. I want that version! Screw the MPAA and Disney for not letting QT give us an unrated or Directors version of Kill Bill in the US.
    My main concern is quality though. Are multi region dvd's lower in quality compared to the US version? I don't want to sacrifice quality for a different version of the film. Also what other movies are different to that of which you can get in the US? How do I go about ordering these dvd's and how do I get a region free dvd player? Thanks.
     
  2. Hendrik

    Hendrik Supporting Actor

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    ...erm... you've been a member since December 1999 and you're only now asking about "multi region dvd's"... you should know that SOME are indeed multi region, most others are NOT: the majority of DVDs from Western Europe are Region 2/PAL, ALL Japanese DVDs are Region 2/NTSC (and tend to be rather more expensive than their American - or European - counterparts), most Australian DVDs are Region 4/PAL (SOME are R4&R2/PAL)... and so on...

    ...as for "Kill Bill": personally I intend to wait for the SECOND part of that movie to arrive on US screens (next January?), and then bide my time until BOTH movies appear on DVD as a set, wait to read the reviews of the various versions that are sure to appear - in the USA, in Japan, Europe, wherever - and then pick up the "best" one...

    . . . [​IMG] . . .
     
  3. DeanWalsh

    DeanWalsh Second Unit

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    To answer your question, there is no definite answer. Sometimes the the r1 is better, sometimes it is inferior. You just have to research the particular title once it's released. I wouldn't expect them to screw up a release like Kill Bill however.
     
  4. Darren Pillans

    Darren Pillans Second Unit

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    For most new releases (especially big movies) all dvds are made from the same transfer. Usually the extras are the same too. Although, other region releases will have DTS, where the Region 1 may not.

    Most of my collection is PAL (Region 4) because I prefer the increased resolution. But, ocasionally the Region 1 is better. For instance, the Region 4 Pulp Fiction uses a terrible transfer. The Region 1 SE uses a newer transfer and is much better. I've also heard that the PAL Fifth Element uses a poor transfer, so again the Region 1 wins there. (Not sure about the PAL Superbit though).

    In summary, if picture and sound quality is your priority, you have to look at each release on its own merits. It's a quality jungle out there.

    P.S. If your TV only displays NTSC (which is most likely) then your only option is Region 3.
     
  5. Sam Owens

    Sam Owens Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    As above, you have to do your research. dvdcompare.co.uk is a useful resource for comparisons, mostly with European R2 versions, michaeldvd.com.au, as the domain suggests, compares mostly with Australian R4 editions.

    Nowadays my guess is most transfers are the same, it's legacy titles where there can be significant differences.

    However, once in a while a new non-R1 title comes up trumps in the extras comparison, the last two Bond movies (TWINE/DAD) being good examples, with an extra featurette not available on the R1 disc (as well as a tribute to Desmond Llewellyn on TWINE).

    Otherwise, the main difference is the ongoing PAL v. NTSC debate, which I don't want to get into [​IMG]
     
  7. Rick Deschaine

    Rick Deschaine Stunt Coordinator

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  8. CraigL

    CraigL Screenwriter

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  9. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    Not a big point, but I thought I'd mention it so that you don't inadvertantly buy something you don't want: "multi-region DVD" would refer to one that plays in multiple regions, such as Region 0. It is common for a region 0 disc to be a bootleg of a region coded disc, such as region 2.

    So in the case of Kill Bill, you'd be looking for the R2 DVD & a region-free player.

    HK Flix would be a good place to start shopping. They sell both DVDs and players there (I bought my Malata DVD player there). You also might want to hit DVD-r Help and/or Google to see if your player can be made region free simply by entering keypresses on the remote or via a Pronto remote code.

    -Dave
     
  10. Hendrik

    Hendrik Supporting Actor

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    CraigL: "Or Region 2 (Brazil)"

    ...erm... Brazil falls under Region 4... see this site: DVD Region Codes

    . . . [​IMG] . . .
     
  11. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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  12. Ronn.W

    Ronn.W Second Unit

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    To add to what Yee-Ming said:

    About the only time you'll find a disc that is actually coded to a region is if it is a release from a major studio that belongs to he MPAA. Like the MPAA ratings system, the region system is copyrighted and whenever a company releases a region locked disc they do have to pay the MPAA for that. Many smaller studios, independant distributors, and foreign companies do not belong to the MPAA and so are not required to distribute region locked discs. Criterion was a good example of a distributor that generally doesn't release region locked discs (I think the only time they actually do is when their distribution agreement calls for it.)

    Sure, if you see the recent Hollywood blockbuster on an R0 DVD, it's probably a bootleg. Any other time it means nothing in regards to the legality of the disc.
     

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