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Other Region DVD FAQ-Beta Test (1 Viewer)

Jeff Kleist

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
11,267
It's still raw, missing some model numbers etc, but this is my current working version. Please feel free to post additions and corrections
Why buy discs from other regions? Because you’re getting screwed on many huge titles here on the US. Your favorite TV shows are released in other countries while we are forced to wait forever for a US release just for syndication purposes. Sometimes the US distributor of a film does not have access to good materials, or they just lack the capital to do a film properly. This FAQ is designed for the beginner, as well as the veteran
THE BASICS
1-Why can’t I play these DVDs right now?
Because in their infinte wisdom, the studios separated the world into 6 regions, so that they could release movies when they feel like it, instead of in a timely manner. That and to make sure that their foreign divisions make big money on their books, instead of just caring about the company bottom line. (I’m not bitter  ) Discs from other regions are locked out from working on players not in their home region, necessitating purchasing a new player or modifying existing ones. Buying a modchip kit for an existing player in the US is virtually impossible, and very expensive, so you’re better off just buying a new deck.
One of the big obstacles to watching these discs is that many countries, including most of Europe (UK, France (TVs are SECAM, but DVDs are PAL, Australia also uses PAL as well) are using the PAL TV standard, while North America and Japan use NTSC, and. 99% of Hong Kong DVDs are in NTSC even though the local standard is PAL
Thanks to most American’s indifference to the world around them, 99% of US televisions only support 1 standard, while a large percentage of foreign sets support NTSC and PAL.
2- So if they’re in PAL, AND a different region code, how can I play them anyway?
Well, if you’re looking for a set-top player, you have 2 good choices
1- Malata N996
This player is progressive scan, has Dolby Digital and DTS decoders built in, and features virtually flawless PAL to NTSC conversion. It also has some wonderful tweak modes for the hard-core user. On the downside, menus are somewhat in “Chinlish” and sometimes hard to decipher
Available from
http://www.avdeals.com -$289 shipped
2- JVC ??????
Not as tweakable as the Malata, but a well-known manufacturer and contains the same PAL/NTSC conversion chip as the Malata.
OPTION 2
Home Theater PC
You will need a program like DVD Genie(http://) or Region Killer (http://), and if your DVD-ROM drive is newer than the year 2000, you will need to download a new firmware for it. A good site that deals with putting together an HT PC is Link Removed
Another side benefit of an HTPC is that you can run DVD Subber (http://www.dvdsubber.com), this program is mostly used for watching anime, but anyone can create a subtitle script for a film. This opens up a whole new world of foreign DVDs that you don’t have to depend on the studios for English subs.
If you’re looking for an HDTV and a multistandard set, you might look at the Sampo ???????? ($999). It is basically a 27” computer monitor, and supports all formats, the 16:9 squish, progressive scan, AND has a VGA input for an HTPC.
SPECIAL SECTION ABOUT HONG KONG MOVIES
In the US, most of these films are released by Disney and Columbia Pictures. Columbia has figured out that these movies need to be done properly, and has started their “Destination Films” line to release Asian media properly
Meanwhile, Disney (through Miramax and Dimension) continue to butcher these films in the extreme, releasing them severely edited and with totally new, dubbed soundtracks. To top this off, they are actively threatening exporters both domestically and in Hong Kong(where they have no rights to the films) with lawsuits if they continue supplying the US with DVDs.
HONG KONG LEGENDS
Think the Criterions Collection for Hong Kong film. Great transfers, extras and proper, original language tracks and subtitles. Link Removed
SPECIAL SECTION ABOUT ANIME
Many anime shows and movies are available on DVD, however most do not have English subtitles on them. You may find tons of these shows on Ebay, but be very, very careful. Most legit anime discs have “NOT A BOOTLEG” somewhere in the listing. If an anime DVD is region free, and has Chinese and English subs, do not purchase it. You’ll be getting a horrible disc, usually defective, and a bootleg to boot. You can buy and watch many shows in English by using the aforementioned DVD Subber.
Known legit anime companies not in Japan, this is not a complete list)
ADV Films
Bandai Entertainment
Central Park Media
Manga Entertainment
Synch Point
Tokyo Pop
Urban Vision
Viz Communications
Pioneer Entertainment
Kiseki (UK)
Madman(Australia)
IVL (Hong Kong)
DVD Ani (Korea)
BETTER RELEASES & OTHER REGION EXCLUSIVES OF US BASED MATERIAL
The African Queen- OAR+Commentary
UK
Ally McBeal- Full seasons
Japan
UK
Armageddon
UK& Australia- Equivalent to the Criterion version in the US. Anamorphic but lacks gag reel
Japan- Anamorphic and has a DTS release
Angel- Through season 2 released as of March 2002
UK & Australia- UK has custom “book” packaging while Australia comes in Keepcases
Battlestar Galactica (releases June 2002)
Australia
Betty Blue- anamorphic, director’s cut
Australia
Buffy the Vampire Slayer- Releases are roughly 3 seasons ahead of the US
UK & Australia. UK has custom “book” packaging while Australia comes in Keepcases
Dark Angel
Japan
ER
Japan
Escape from LA- anamorphic
Japan
Eyes Wide Shut- uncut
Everywhere but the US
Family Guy
UK
Farscape- through season 3
UK & Australia
Friends- through season ?
UK
Australia
Japan
Futurama
UK
From Dusk Till Dawn- Special Edition-anamorphic
UK
Japan (?)
Jackie Brown
Japan
UK (?)
Karate Kid-anamorphic and widescreen
Australia
Planet of the Apes movies –anamorphic
UK
Australia
Japan
Pulp Fiction
Korea- Anamorphic
Canada- Contains extras
Scream- director’s cut
Japan
South Park
UK & Australia- Proper in-order and all of them releases. Season boxes or singles
Stargate
Japan- Anamorphic DTS release (OOP)
UK- Anamorphic director’s cut
Stargate SG-1- Through beginning of season 5
UK & Australia
True Lies-anamorphic
Australia
The West Wing
UK
RECOMMENDED TITLES & FOREIGN RELEASES BUTCHERED IN R1
Only discs that are either in English or have English subs are listed. Hong Kong films have the company listed to help you avoid bootlegs
*-Falls Under Disney embargo, may be difficult to find
The Accidental Spy* (Jackie Chan)
Hong Kong- Universal Laser & Video
Avalon (Mamoru Oshii)
Japan- Bandai/Emotion
Battle Royale
Hong Kong- Universal Laser & Video
Drunken Master 2- aka Legend of Drunken Master* (US release missing the ending, soundtrack totally new)
Taiwan-Thrakal (Cropped from 2.35:1 to 1.85:1)
Fist of Legend* (Only the VCD has OSL on it, so that is what is listed)
Hong Kong VCD- Mei Ah
Godzilla
Japan- (NOTE, NO ENGLISH SUBS, but I felt it was important to mention it since it’s not available in the original form in the US)
Grave of the Fireflies (anamorphic, untranslated extras)
Japan- Warner
Jeffrey
UK
Kiki’s Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki)
Japan- (contains English dubtitles and the English dub. Best video quality)- Buena Vista
Hong Kong- (contains proper English subtitles and Chinese dubs)- IVL
Memories (Katsuhiro Otomo)
Japan- Bandai/Emotion
My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki)
Japan- (contains English dubtitles and the English dub. Best video quality)- Buena Vista
Hong Kong- (contains proper English subtitles and Chinese dubs)- IVL
Porco Rosso (Hayao Miyazaki)
Japan- (contains English dubtitles and the English dub. Best video quality)- Buena Vista
Queer as Folk (UK original)
UK- (original music) Channel 4 video
Queer as Folk 2 (UK original)
UK- anamorphic, Channel 4 video
Shaolin Soccer, aka Kung Fu Soccer*(US cut will miss 30min, and have the soundtrack completely recreated)
Hong Kong- Universal Laser & Video
Warriors of Zu, aka Zu Warriors*- (US release will be butchered)
Hong Kong
WHERE TO BUY
Argentina
Link Removed
Australia
Link Removed
Belgium-
www.dvdzone2.com
Brazil
Link Removed
Canada
http://www.dv-depot.com
http://www.northamericandvd.com
Link Removed
Chile
Link Removed
Czechia
Link Removed
Finland
www.viihdekauppa.com
France
www.alapage.com
Link Removed
www.doriane-films.com
Link Removed
www.cyberdvdfilm.com
Germany
Link Removed
http://www.dvd-station.de
-
Hong Kong
http://www.dddhouse.com
http://www.hivizone.com
http://www.yesasia.com (WARNING: I have found anime bootlegs for sale here, but they are 95% legit product)
http://www.pokerindustries.com
Italy
http://www.dvd.it
Japan
http://www.cdjapan.co.jp
http://www.yesasia.com
http://www.animejungle.com (anime discs only for the most part)
Korea
http://www.yesasia.com
Netherlands
Link Removed
Spain
http://www.mundolaser.com/ruso.htm
www.dvdgo.com
Sweden
http://www.dvdirect.net/
-United Kingdom
Link Removed
www.blackstar.co.uk
 

rutger_s

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 7, 2000
Messages
878
Jeff,
Here are some updates for your FAQ:
Another place to buy Korean DVDs:
www.dvdasian.com
In Hong Kong, these films are available in dts:
Angel Eyes - 16:9
Driven - 16:9
Dungeons and Dragons - Pan & Scan Only
Get Carter - 16:9
The Gift
Jeepers Creepers - 2 DVD-5 set, Pan & Scan
Rules of Engagement - DVD-10
Thirteen Days
In Korea, these films are available in dts:
Seven Years in Tibet - 16:9
heat - 16:9, dts disc is at the incorrect AR
Also, Pulp Fiction does have the deleted scenes as well as five songs from the soundtrack.
 

Jeff Kleist

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
11,267
Thanks, I updated my master file. I'll post a revised version containing the additions in a few days

Can someone provide me with the model # of that JVC deck? And a link to someone selling it?
 

DeanWalsh

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 17, 1999
Messages
390
Hi,

A few additions to the list:

Escape From L.A. : Australia - anamorphic

Pulp Fiction: Australia- Anamorphic, Interviews with cast & crew, deleted scenes with Tarantino Commentary

Jackie Brown: Australia - Anamorphic

Dungeons & Dragons: Australia DTS anamorphic widescreen

Dune (David Lynch): Full bitrate DTS 4:3 widescreen

15 Minutes : Australia DTS

13 Days : Australia DTS

Mad Max: Australia DTS (TBA 2002)
 

Petteri

Grip
Joined
Jan 3, 2001
Messages
17
Hello,
If you intend to compile a database of DVDs there are already sites that do that. The one that I use is Link Removed . They have around 4000 DVDs in their database. Good luck!
 

Jeff Kleist

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
11,267
Gregory, I don't list the Daewoo or Apex players because they don't do proper conversion of PAL to NTSC

I was more looking to just make a "highlight" type listing, that's why I'm linking to other, more complete lists
 

Ted Todorov

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Messages
3,676
Jeff,

Great job! Some of my non - R1 recommended DVDs.

Truffaut Box sets 1,2 & 3 (12 DVDs total), English subs, anamorphic widescreen, plentiful extras (MK2 - R2-France). These are ALL the movies released by Fox-Lorber in the US in bad non-anamorphic transfers, in radically better versions.

Three colors box set (Kieslowski) (Artificial Eye, R2 - UK) English subs, anamorphic widescreen, plenty extras, not released in R1).

L'appartament -- anamorphic widescreen, English subs, DTS (R2 - France). Great movie & transfer.

Ted
 

Mark Zimmer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
4,314
The link you have for Mundolaser in Spain is for Russian import DVDs only; it'd probably be better to link to the main www.mundolaser.com page.
Thanks for the links, though. Just went to DVDGO and scored Spanish DVDs of the Orson Welles Don Quixote reconstruction + an anamorphic widescreen version of House of the Spirits. :)
 

Chris Xolotl

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 28, 2001
Messages
482
I would be hesitant to only list AVDeals as a place to get Malatas. I have heard a half a dozen complaints about there service post 11/2001.

Add nbtelectronics.com as another source (cheaper than AVDeals and their customer service is so far fanatastic). ~278 shipped to the US.

The JVC mod is by CKNA over on the AV Forums. Doesn't have the X-Y scaling as the Malata, but it's from the States and JVC is probably more reliable quality wise than the Malata.

The chip used in both players is the Mediamatics Pantera 2 and offers a true conversion as opposed to the APEX,SAMPOS,SHINCO,DAEWOOS that don't (but still a $75 APEX is still a bargain if you don't mind the vertical stretching)

I'll add more if you like.
 

PatrickL

Second Unit
Joined
May 13, 2000
Messages
426
Jeff, thanks for doing this!

I notice you list "Jeffrey" as a recommended title. Would that be the film with Patrick Stewart and Steven Weber, not yet available in R1? If so, you might want to know that the UK R2 disc is not OAR. Judging from the compositions I'd guess it's p&s rather than open matte.

I know you're looking to keep your list to just highlights, so I'll only suggest "Short Cuts" for the list, which is not getting a release anytime soon in R1 but is available anamorphic widescreen in R2 in Spain.
 

Jeff Kleist

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
11,267
additions added

I'm hoping to publish a Beta 2 early next week, and then go final by the end of March so that it can just be made a sticky thread
 

Chris Xolotl

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 28, 2001
Messages
482
Incorrect titles.

The Miramax release "Zu Warriors" is a renamed titled for the Miramax HK release "Legend of Zu" not Warriors of Zu.

For Drunken Master II, the company that released the Cantonese uncut versions is Thakral.

Fist of Legend with OSL (finally) but no English Subtitles is the new French DVD Release.
 

Jeff Kleist

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
11,267
Corrections made.

I'm only listing films (with the exception of Godzilla) that have English subtitles, but thanks for info on Fist of Legend
 

Gui A

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 25, 2000
Messages
596
Can I add a few Qs?

What's the Disney embargo? How are they enforcing it?
 

Malcolm Cleugh

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 11, 2002
Messages
362
Hi Jeff,

Excellent posting.

A few comments from a UK perspective.

Jackie Brown is anamorphic in the UK but is a flipper, was going to be reissued last year but so far nothing. Therefore current best is Australia.

Escape from LA is anamorphic as are virtually all Paramount releases. Saw posting on the Software Forum about Primal Fear and this is one of the anamorphic ones unlike US ?

The only Paramount releases which I have seen that are letterboxed so far are 48 Hours, Another 48 Hours and Days of Thunder.

Agree that Hong Kong Legends are one of the best DVD distributors in the world. My HK film library has rocketed thanks to their excellent releases.

Malcolm
 

Jeff Kleist

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
11,267
Can I add a few Qs?

What's the Disney embargo? How are they enforcing it?

It's up there in the FAQ, but basically Disney is threatening the companies in Hong Kong that ship DVDs to the US, as well as those domestic companies that sell the imports of the movies they have bought the rights to. Legally, they may only instruct customs to stop these discs at the border, and tell the domestic companies they may not sell them. They CANNOT however legally prevent these discs from being sent to the US. Of course. Most of these companies cannot afford lawsuits.

They don't want people to buy these cheap disks to watch their movies unbutchered and in the original language. Gee, most HK film fans I know would gladly buy Disney's discs, since they are always technically superior, so long as they were uncut with OSL and subtitles.
 

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