Question: If I buy a region free BD from the UK, will it play on a US BD player?

Michael Allred

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Apologies in advance if I put this in the wrong forum but I recently came across something confusing.
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds is releasing a Blu-Ray of one of his concerts next month in the UK but as of yet, there's been no US release date announced. I've posted on his own forum and they said I could buy it since it's region free but then I asked about PAL/NTSC and was told that those formats have no bearing on Blu-Ray whatsoever, as long as it's region free, I'll be able to watch it just fine sooooooooooooooo I figured I'd come here and ask the resident experts if this is indeed true.
 

Billy Batson

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I don't have an answer for you. I know HD is a world-wide standard, but do Americans have trouble playing things shot at 25fps? We don't seem to have a problem playing 24fps Blu's in the UK.
 

svenge

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Actually, it all depends if the video content of the disc is encoded in 1080i50 or not. Most US BD players can't handle 50hz content, regardless of region coding. Some examples of this kind of disc are the UK releases of BBC's Human Planet and Frozen Planet documentaries.
However, if the video on the disc is 1080i60 or 1080p24, it'll work just fine. In this case, you'd probably be best served waiting until the disc is out in the UK and then finding out its technical specifications before buying it.
 

Michael Allred

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svenge said:
Actually, it all depends if the video content of the disc is encoded in 1080i50 or not. Most US BD players can't handle 50hz content, regardless of region coding. Some examples of this kind of disc are the UK releases of BBC's Human Planet and Frozen Planet documentaries.
However, if the video on the disc is 1080i60 or 1080p24, it'll work just fine. In this case, you'd probably be best served waiting until the disc is out in the UK and then finding out its technical specifications before buying it.
Ah, always a wrinkle! I posed this issue to the mods at the official forum in the hopes they could find out the tech specs. Thanks for the info.
 

Ernest

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Region-free only means the Blu-ray will not be blocked from playing based on the region code. Blu-ray can be scanned at 1080P/24, 1080i/60 and 1080i/50. PAL only is relevant for DVD. Some players made for North America can play 1080i/50, but unfortunately many can't. Strike Back is a perfect example of a region-free Bu-ray that would not play on many North American players. If you are interested in Blu-ray regions B and C buy a region-free player like I did and you won't have to worry about the Blu-ray playing.
 

David Weicker

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svenge said:
Actually, it all depends if the video content of the disc is encoded in 1080i50 or not. Most US BD players can't handle 50hz content, regardless of region coding. Some examples of this kind of disc are the UK releases of BBC's Human Planet and Frozen Planet documentaries.
However, if the video on the disc is 1080i60 or 1080p24, it'll work just fine. In this case, you'd probably be best served waiting until the disc is out in the UK and then finding out its technical specifications before buying it.
I'm curious, where would you find the 'technical specifications'? I have a few region-free discs from the UK, and nowhere on the package or the discs themselves does it mention whether they are 50hz or 60hz. Some do say 1080p, but other just say 'Full HD'.
Fortunately, all of them have played without problems, but if I had tried to find out prior to purchase, where would I have looked?
 

svenge

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David Weicker said:
I'm curious, where would you find the 'technical specifications'? I have a few region-free discs from the UK, and nowhere on the package or the discs themselves does it mention whether they are 50hz or 60hz. Some do say 1080p, but other just say 'Full HD'.
Fortunately, all of them have played without problems, but if I had tried to find out prior to purchase, where would I have looked?
Unfortunately, there's really no way of finding out prior to purchase. If your video equipment can't handle 50hz material, it's better to let someone else be the guinea pig and go off of their report of it. BDInfo scans are great at giving detailed information regarding a given disc's specifications, but someone who already has the disc has to make a scan first.
However, one thing I've noticed is that most current British television productions shot on video are released on BD in their domestic market using 1080i50, as their broadcast TV system natively uses a 50hz interlaced signal (which is a legacy from the old standard-def PAL format). Theatrical films should still be released on disc in 1080p24 or 1080i60 format, however.
 

David Weicker

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svenge said:
Unfortunately, there's really no way of finding out prior to purchase. If your video equipment can't handle 50hz material, it's better to let someone else be the guinea pig and go off of their report of it. BDInfo scans are great at giving detailed information regarding a given disc's specifications, but someone who already has the disc has to make a scan first.
However, one thing I've noticed is that most current British television productions shot on video are released on BD in their domestic market using 1080i50, as their broadcast TV system natively uses a 50hz interlaced signal (which is a legacy from the old standard-def PAL format). Theatrical films should still be released on disc in 1080p24 or 1080i60 format, however.
I do have a few US releases of BBC programs (Doctor Who), which are released as 1080i. I've found that that tends to confuse my BD player. I have to change the settings from AUTO to 1080i, and it fixes things.
 

JohnS

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This is why of my three bluray players, I own a region free bluray player.
There are some blurays I own from other regions I prefer over our region.
Time Bandits being one of them.
I hate being locked just to our region.
 

David Norman

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svenge said:
Unfortunately, there's really no way of finding out prior to purchase. If your video equipment can't handle 50hz material,.
Other than reading any number of the review sites which often mention such information I guess.
 

Ernest

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A general rule would be region B movies on Blu-ray would be scanned 1080P/24 and TV shows 1080i/50. If you are buying from Amazon read the reviews they may spell out a compatibility problem. Again using Strike Back as an example the reviews were full of many US buyers that purchased the region-free series from Amazon USA and experienced problems with playback. During playback all that displayed on their TV's was a blank screen. They did not receive a message the region code was blocking the play back unbeknownst to them their player was unable to process 1080i/50.
If you are interested in region-B Blu-ray titles not available in America purchase a region-free player. They are not very expensive the 3 I have were all under $140.00 an are from big name manufacturer.
 

Worth

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Ernest said:
Blu-ray can be scanned at 1080P/24, 1080i/60 and 1080i/50. PAL only is relevant for DVD.
Not exactly. Some region B discs have things like menus, trailers and extras in PAL, even though the feature is 1080p/24.
 

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