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Old May 24th, 2003, 12:19 PM   #1
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DVD Regions?

I have purchased a Pioneer A05 DVD writer and it works well. In the setup there is an option though, to set the DVD to certain regions in the world. Options 1 to 5 are available.
Firstly, my option should be changed from the current 2 to region 1, but it will not accept the change.
Secondly, if it is on region 1 (South Africa), and I want to burn a DVD for a client in the USA, will he be able to play the DVD there??
What then is the reason for the various region options?
Could someone help with this.
Appreciated.
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Old May 24th, 2003, 01:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
if it is on region 1 (South Africa), and I want to burn a DVD for a client in the USA, will he be able to play the DVD there??
Yes, the USA is region 1 also.
Quote:
What then is the reason for the various region options?
There are at least two answers to this...the cynical one and the one espoused by the movie companies and distributors. I believe the cynical one.
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Old May 25th, 2003, 05:25 AM   #3
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Thanks Nigel
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Old May 26th, 2003, 07:42 AM   #4
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You cannot (in fact you can, but not with the software out now)
burn a region protected disc yourself at this moment. So if I burn
a disc in my region 2 burner here you can read it just fine in any
DVD player anywhere in the world that can understand the DVD-R
or +R format. So yes, you can read it on region 1. Home burned
discs simply are region free.

Region protection was added because movie release dates
are way off all parts in the world (although the gaps are closing
rappidly here in Holland it seems). When a movie came out in
the US it would be at least 4-6 months before it came out here.
By that time rentals would already be out and you could probably
buy the DVD as well. With this in mind studios were afraid that
people from Europe and other parts would simply buy the DVD
from the US instead of watching it in the theatre.

However region protection was quickly hacked (far faster than
the encryption that tries to prevent a digital copy) so people
(including myself, I have more region 1 discs than I do region 2)
buy other regions a lot here (although it is getting less because
finally the region 2 releases are getting op there with their
region 1 counterparts).

Most players here are from the factory already region free (or
have a hidden menu to set region options etc.) or can easily
update or changed. Multi region players are the norm here, so
basically it really only exists for the region 1 world. The rest of
the world doesn't do regions anymore :)
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Old May 26th, 2003, 07:47 AM   #5
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I understand that newer regional encryption cannot be broken, so that some retailers will now advise that such-and-such R1 disc cannot be read on a multiregion player. Another reason for preferring R1 over R2 is that often there are better extras, since the disc doesn't have to carry extra languages.
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Old May 26th, 2003, 08:16 AM   #6
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The only people affected by this ridiculous regional system are tourists and people who live overseas and who don't want to buy pirated copies of things.

I wonder if they've considered calculating the loss of sales to tourists annually. Think of how many people load up with CDs when they travel...it would be the same with DVDs too, I'm sure. When you add to that the fact that it doesn't stop pirates at all...what's the point?

Luckily, I have an all-region player...and DVDs from a mixture of countries. If they increase the encryption so that I can't play all regions on it anymore, I'll throw in my "honest stance" and start buying pirated copies. It'll serve 'em right.
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Old May 26th, 2003, 08:40 AM   #7
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Nigel,

What they are referring to is RCE (Region Code Enhancement).
Some older region free players might have troubles with this
but newer ones don't. They cannot really make the protection
any more robust because they have to work within the defined
standards because otherwise players won't accept the discs. It
is that simple.

Whay they did with RCE however is the following (they can do
this because you can put small programs on a DVD inside the
VOB files that get executed -> this is how they can make menu
navigation and little games etc.):

1. they ask the player for its region code. If this returns as "I
support all regions or more than one" the disc jumps to a video
file that displays a screen stating you cannot play the disc and
it ends there (in theory you could jump straight into the movie
and still be able to watch it)

2. if it passes the first check it will try to fool the player by giving
the menus a different or multiple region codes. The players that
automatically select a region might choose the wrong one and
then stop on the movie playback itself because that would be
a different region.

This is more or less how it works (I can't remember all the exact
details).

It might not be a problem if:

1. you can select region codes manually in a setup screen on your
player. If you can just select the correct region for the disc and
you are good to go

2. your player doesn't guess wrong

3. your players knows about RCE and has some other checks
built in to make sure it can play the discs

Most people haven't had a problem with those RCE protected
discs.
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Old May 31st, 2003, 02:37 PM   #8
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I might be wrong but I though that to create a R2 DVD all you have to do is create the material in NTSC and for R1 PAL?

All the best,

Ed
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 11:37 AM   #9
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That is incorrect Ed. Your NTSC or PAL footage just makes it an
NTSC or PAL disc. I can make a region 1 disc with PAL footage.
Region coding is stored differently and to my knowledge no
simple authoring packages understand it. There are tools to set
it though, but it will be of no use to us "indepedent" movie
makers.
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Old June 3rd, 2003, 03:37 AM   #10
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OK thought it might be. I heard it from someone who I thought new about this. Oh well.

But will the NTSC disc still play in a PAL DVD player. Or does it not matter with DVD's compared to TAPE. If thats the case why do DVD authoring packages have an NTSC and PAL template?

Thanks again,

Ed
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Old June 3rd, 2003, 06:52 AM   #11
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I think almost all DVD players support PAL and NTSC. Then it's up to the TV to handle the signal. Some DVD players will convert the color signal to the prefered format and some will even change the framerate, others just output the signal as it is.

The whole deal of PAL and NTSC seems pretty silly in this day and age of digital video.
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Old June 4th, 2003, 02:36 PM   #12
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All players here in europe understand both NTSC & PAL. I bet
most of all DVD players on the world can at least process it.
As Benjamin correctly replied, it is up to the TV to display the
actual signal and here is where it gets tricky. Some DVD players
can convert NTSC to PAL (not very common, but it exists) or
PAL to NTSC (much more rare).

The video information on a DVD disc is very similar to your DV
stream (only more compressed). It also uses 720x480 for NTSC
and 720x576 for PAL. It also is 30 (29.97) and 25 fps. It also
offers a special storage way to get 24 fps with less bandwidth.
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Old June 9th, 2003, 08:16 AM   #13
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Thanks for the interesting discussion!
It seems that I do not need to worry about the region-issue when sending a DVD to the USA (from South Africa, which is PAL) - BUT, from what I hear locally, the PAL/NTSC format is still an issue. NTSC DVD players in the USA cannot play back PAL format DVD's.
That leaves me back to square one: I have to put the production on NTSC tape and supply it that way.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 06:31 AM   #14
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That is correct Ewald. You might also convert your PAL footage
to NTSC and then burn a DVD(-video) NTSC disc.
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Old June 15th, 2003, 03:17 AM   #15
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Re: DVD Regions?

<<<-- Originally posted by Ewald Hayward :
What then is the reason for the various region options?
Could someone help with this. -->>>

It's called capitalism.

Yes, standardisation is a *good thing*, but doesn't really allow you to make much money. Or at least, not as much you can.

On another note, does anyone know why the US chose to use NTSC as opposed to PAL? It just reminds me of the whole beta/vhs competition.
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