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Old September 21st, 2008, 05:46 AM   #1
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playing PAL on NTSC computers

A long while ago, I was told that if you played a DVD on a computer, it didn't matter if it was PAL or NTSC, it would play ok. There was only a compatability problem if you played it back on a regional DVD player.

Now I've been told that if you have a NTSC DVD you can only play it five times on a PAL computer, and vice versa.

This doesn't make sense to me, but I thought I'd ask just in case.

Anyone know?
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Old September 21st, 2008, 06:58 AM   #2
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Annie,

I play non-UK DVDs all the time on my computer. You are limited by both your DVD player and (sometimes) your playback software. It's all down to regions, just like the DVD player in your living room.

My DVD playing software (Power DVD) only allows me to change regions 5 times, then it sticks on the last region you chose.

My Pioneer DVD drive in my PC also limits me to a small number of region changes, but I have set it to region zero (multi-region) using a BIOS reprogram. I just put the model number of the DVD drive and "region free" into Google.

The DVD playback software is separate, and yours may not be affected. If it is, you can always get something else. For example, I use Power DVD to play back region free and Aussie DVDs (of which I have a lot). If I want to watch another region I use the free VLC Viewer software - you could use other software if needs be.

This is all separate from the NTSC/PAL issue - my experience is that computers don't care. They're all playing back MPEG files from a data disc.

** Note that my experience is with PCs, not with Apple Macs.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 09:08 AM   #3
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I don't think it will matter whether you have a Mac or a PC. If your DVD is region-free (such as video you burn to a DVD yourself), then it should play on any computer, regardless of the region setting. As Mike says, the computer could care less whether it's an NTSC or PAL DVD. But if it's a commercial DVD (like a movie) then you will be limited as to how many times you can change the region setting.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 07:08 PM   #4
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I don't think there's any reason you couldn't have more than one drive in the PC - they're pretty inexpensive - and use one for each region of interest. Or play some on a laptop and others on a desktop. We have DVD's from 3 regions but play them on different PC's most of the time.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 07:21 PM   #5
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Hi Annie..............

Can't really see why you need bother watching DVD's on yer PC when this sort of thing:-

Mini MPEG4 HDMI DVD Player with USB and Card Reader > Maplin

is available, cheaper than chips and does everyting but make the coffee and is multi region to boot.

Much rather be in my favourite armchair than sat at a desk for entertainment.


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Old September 22nd, 2008, 04:15 AM   #6
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Thanks for all your replies.

I have previously sent a couple of home-made DVDs to friends and relatives in the US just telling them that the discs should play ok on a computer even if they don't play on a regular DVD player. So far, no-one has said they have had a problem. However, when I was told about being able to play a DVD only five times, I thought I'd better check it out just in case any of my friends suddenly find they can't play the disc.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 08:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie Haycock View Post
...However, when I was told about being able to play a DVD only five times......
No, that's BAD mis-information: an interesting mangling of the following fact:

DVD drives (in a computer) can only have their Region *changed* five times, after that the drive's Region stays fixed at the last setting. Doesn't apply to set-top DVD players which have been set to Multi-region.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 11:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie Haycock View Post
Thanks for all your replies.

I have previously sent a couple of home-made DVDs to friends and relatives in the US just telling them that the discs should play ok on a computer even if they don't play on a regular DVD player. So far, no-one has said they have had a problem. However, when I was told about being able to play a DVD only five times, I thought I'd better check it out just in case any of my friends suddenly find they can't play the disc.
Home-made DVDs will be region-free to begin with so it won't be an issue anyway. It's the region coding that's applied to commercial DVDs, not the video format, that matters.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 01:33 PM   #9
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The correct info

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Home-made DVDs will be region-free to begin with so it won't be an issue anyway.
Sorry Steve, that's not quite right, at least not with all sofware; you can make DVDs for a specific region OR region-free. Most DVD authoring software allows you to choose what you want.

Other misleading info in this thread: xyz DVD player software allows you to change the region 5 times; it's not the player soft, it's Windows, built-in DRM (Digital Rights Management).

Jim, I have not tried this, but installing multiple players should not solve the problem either; as I just said, it's a Windows thing.

For $40 you can buy software that makes (among other things) Windows close a blind eye on the region, for ever. See DVD Region Free. Put in any region DVD, change any number of times, and no matter what the player soft, it will play no problems.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 04:46 PM   #10
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Ervin,

Thanks for the update. I knew it was Windows that was behind it all, but thought it might be keeping track in connection with the player itself.

I run Windows in a virtual machine on my Mac, so I'm probably still OK as long as i watch the right DVD on the right "machine".
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