Region 2 DVD question, beware-stupid question but have pity

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Patricia, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. Patricia

    Patricia Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ok, this is probably gonna be the absolute stupidest question ever posted here but I tend to be paranoid.

    Try not to laugh too much.

    Ok, buying a R2 dvd from England(amazonuk) and buying a region free player here and using it for my own personal use isn't wrong, is it?
     
  2. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Not in the least. Most web-savvy R2 users buy R1 DVDs for personal use. Region coding is the Studios' method of protecting their different markets (a hangover from the theatrical movie rental model). The Studios still get the money. All it does is complicate matters for them when it comes to cooking the books. [​IMG]
     
  3. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    467
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Kentucky, USA
    Not wrong at all. If it were, most of the British video sellers wouldn't shipping to the USA as they do now.

    Importing British VHS wasn't illegal, it was just impractical for most people due to the special (and expensive) multi-standard VCR/converter setup needed.

    DVD is entirely different. Many cheap DVD players can convert the PAL picture to NTSC with no extra equipment needed, so there's a lot more importing of British material now than in the VHS days.
     
  4. DavidofLondon

    DavidofLondon Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    Surprised to hear that multi-standard VCRs were expensive in the US. Over here in the UK they were pretty much the same price as single standard (PAL only) VCRs. You could get them to either output the NTSC signal as PAL through an inbuilt converter or just get a raw NTSC signal and get a multi-standard TV (also the same price as single standard TVS).

    For reference to anyone looking at multi-standard systems conversion tends to degrade the picture rather badly so it's always preferable to view the signal on a TV that supports multi-standards.
     
  5. Irina

    Irina Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I feel that the answer is quite simple. If we are allowed to purchase DVDs all over the world (and we are), we should also be allowed to own the DVD players that can play them.
     
  6. Steve.P

    Steve.P Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    There are two issues at hand here:

    1. It is technically more difficult to convert a PAL signal to NTSC than vice versa. The lines of resolution and the frame-per-second output are different for each format. It is easier to do with today's digital technology, but back in the days of VHS it was a little trickier.

    2. America is rather solipsistic about these things. Outside of a relatively small percentage of cinephiles, they don't perceive a real demand here in the United States for foreign DVDs. That is why multi-standard hardware is expensive/difficult to find here. Trust me, if there was money to be made, there would be a multi-region DVD player in every home.

    The real reason we have regional coding isn't to keep foreign DVDs from the eyes of American consumers, anyway. It is to prevent foreign consumers from seeing American DVDs before a new film is released in their country*. Bums on seats, it's as simple as that. The studios don't give a shit if some film buff in Manchester is buying the latest Criterion release, just as long as he's still going to his local multiplex to see Capote, or whatever.

    *Obviously, this doesn't work very well at the moment, but Blu-Ray should fix that.
     
  7. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    467
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Kentucky, USA

    As Steve said above, demand for non-US home video software (and hardware) is very much a "fringe" interest over here, whereas the opposite is true overseas, where there is a huge demand for American entertainment. That is why multi-standard equipment is so cheap and easy to find in the UK.

    I can't just go to Circuit City and buy a multi-standard television. Heck, non of the big-name electronics store have even one model of multi-standard TV, let alone several to choose from. You have to go to a specialist, and then, usually by mail order or online.

    Then, you expect to pay a lot of extra money for what is usually a smaller picture tube. Also, forget about warranty service, etc. It's usually much easier to just buy an NTSC set and if you're a videophile like me, buy the best digital converter you can afford (I opted for the Comworld stand-alone unit, which, at least, is better than the ones built-into DVD players and VCRs and is comparable to the Tenlab models, but for much less money).

    By the way, is there any truth to the rumours that some American-sold HDTV sets can properly display a PAL signal (or, at least, properly convert it up to HD), or is that all hogwash and that you'd still need to buy a standards converter?
     
  8. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    1,526
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You know, I've got a multi-standard TV which can display native PAL, and it doesn't look a bit better to me to do that than to simply watch PAL material using my Malata DVD player on my NTSC set.

    In fact....the PAL flicker makes it look worse.
     
  9. DavidofLondon

    DavidofLondon Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    Not sure what you mean by PAL flicker. PAL TVs here certainly don't flicker. My guess is the different voltages between US/UK affect the timing mechanisms of the equipment (some of which use that for synochronisation ).

    It's weird because here I get identical results on my system (Panasonic DVD player and plasma screen with Sony Sound System) regardless of whether I play NTSC or PAL tapes.

    In fact given the system switches automatically I never even look to see what the disk is that I'm putting in. The only way I can tell (other than by reading the box) is that as the DVD starts up there's a momentary flicker before the menu loads as the TV switches between PAL/NTSC if the previous DVD watched was in the other format.
     
  10. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    467
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Kentucky, USA

    Are you sure you have your DVD player set to output a native PAL picture (i.e. on most players I know, you would set the TV system in the setup menu to MULTI).

    Sounds almost like you've still got a conversion going on in there somewhere.
     

Share This Page