Multi-Region Newbie question - can B&M legally sell multi-region player

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Paul Drake, Aug 14, 2003.

  1. Paul Drake

    Paul Drake Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I am not well versed in multi-region issues so I apologize if this is a dumb question.

    Can a brick and mortar store (including a/v speciality shops) in the US legally sell (or special order) a multi-region player? Yes, I know that e-tailers sell these players, but I would prefer to buy from a real store if possible.

    I do know that the US is a Region 1 country, but I've been made aware that a lot of folks buy DVDs from foreign e-tailers (like amazon's foreign sites) that are not domestically available.

    I did stop in one specialty shop and ask about this, but the guy thought I was trying to circummvent Macrovision, (which I'm most assuredly not) so I couldn't get a good answer on this.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    No, it's a violation of the DCMA to install hardware which bypasses region coding (which is considered a copyguard)

    Has it ever been enforced? Not to my knowlege on anything that didn't also enable the playing of bootleg copies (mostly on video game consoles)

    Honestly, you're not going to find a B&M store in 95% of America that would even consider carrying them. You might find some places in a Chinatown that have some cheap Apex-type Chinese decks.

    You will get far better selection and price online
     
  3. Kim Donald

    Kim Donald Stunt Coordinator

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    Just remember if you are in the US you need a player that will also convert PAL-to-NTSC, the Cyberhome is a very good player that will do this conversion (do a search on this board for many comments) it can be had at many B&M's as a R1 player using a simple remote hack you can change it to a multi player.
    Here's a link to a site that will tell you how.
    Multi-Region Hacks
    kd
     
  4. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    You don't necessarily need a PAL to NTSC conversion to enjoy multi-region, , as some other non-region-1 stuff are NTSC, but that said, with things so cheap now, one might as well. Cyberhome 500, from what I heard, can be had at newegg.com for $39, there are newer models available at RadioShack for not much more. CH, as with other "cheapo" players, are very uneven in terms of quality (personally, I have 2 CH500, and happy), so it's a bit of a chancy thing, but for thr price of 2-3 DVDs, what the hack. For good discussions on the CH line of products, go to www.nerd-out.com, the CH section.
     
  5. Sean Aaron

    Sean Aaron Second Unit

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    For the first time I saw multi-region players advertised in a more mainstream shop in Scotland -- I think it was something surprising like John Lewis or Debenhams. Honestly I cannot imagine that the high street shops in the UK sell many R2-only players as most people seem wise to bootlegs or the fact that many R1 DVDs come out before stuff is in the cinemas over here and they know they need to get a chipped player to take advantage of this.

    Obviously this is just gut instinct and I have no hard facts to back it up, but I don't have a single co-worker who doesn't have a multi-region player and Richer Sounds and independents seem to be the place to get them, so I wonder about the ones I see in the department stores and whether they go anywhere -- anyone more knowledgeable have an idea?
     
  6. Jonathan_E

    Jonathan_E Agent

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    Go to www.vcdhelp.com and scroll down a bit. On the left side, there will be a link to DVD Hacks. Lots of dvd players out there have ways to bypass the region restriction that the public is not supposed to know about - this way, the manufactures only have to make one model of a dvd player for all the different regions (for instance: on my dvd player, i open the tray, press "9999" on the remote followed by the number for the region I want. I just keep it on 0 which is no region, so I can play any region disk in my player -> Philips 727AT, nice cheap rhobust little player). There is a big list in there of dvd players that you can change the region on, just go through it and see if your current player is on there, or if there is a player that you may be interested in.
     
  7. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

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    Region coding has been held by several competition regulators to be a breach of anti-trust laws. Multi-region machines are perfectly legal in many countries. I'm somewhat suprised to see that they are illegal in the US.
     
  8. RexW

    RexW Stunt Coordinator

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    Countries outside of the US (mainly Asia/Pacific Rim) selling a region free player is a necessity. The hack is not done by the actual company but by distributors in those nations. It's just not talked about very much. So....there's a difference of opinions out there but if you want/need a region free player, there's always ways of getting one.
     
  9. Paul Drake

    Paul Drake Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks to everyone for their input! I appreciate it.
     
  10. William Waits

    William Waits Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    James Reader Screenwriter

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  13. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Region coding is not part of CSS, it is a still a copy system. They pick and choose their battles, and have chosen DeCSS as the greater threat. Modchipping is not an issue in the US, as 99% of the population have no interest in DVDs from other countries.

    Sec. 1201. Circumvention of copyright protection systems

    `(a) VIOLATIONS REGARDING CIRCUMVENTION OF TECHNOLOGICAL MEASURES- (1)(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title. The prohibition contained in the preceding sentence shall take effect at the end of the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this chapter.


    Just because no one has been prosectued, doesn't mean the language isn't there.
     
  14. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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  15. Ronn.W

    Ronn.W Second Unit

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    There are many retailers in the US that unknowingly sell region free players. The CH 500 is a good example, used to be available all over. Perhaps a better example is the Toshiba SD3900, currently in most major retailers. It does excellent PAL/NTSC conversion and plays any region right out of the box. Check out the nerd-out.com and vcdhelp.com forums, you'll find that there are quite a few standard players out there that have region free remote hacks, and will probably continue along that way. It's cheaper to make a player with software region encoding than hardware encoding since 1 model can service any market in the world with just a minor software code.
     
  16. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    >>The CH 500 is a good example
     
  17. Jim Blackie

    Jim Blackie Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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  19. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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  20. Ronn.W

    Ronn.W Second Unit

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