—– Original Message —–
>Thanks Marianne, I am hoping for these to be released here at some point. I
>tried to buy an all region player but found it impossible to find locally.
Hi Elsie in MD
If you ask for an all region player then you will probably not get one.
Retailers may be breaking the law in your country by selling a unit and
describing it as "region free".
As I understand the situation all manufacturers agreed to sell region
specific players for the particular market zone (in your case region 1).
This is of course to protect the interests of the movie industries who don't
want certain DVDs released in some areas at the same time or for the same
cost etc. The player manufacturers agreed, but only seem to pay "lip
service" to the restrictive convention.
But the units are almost all made in the same place (China/South East Asia)
for a world market. Thus economic sense of mass production dictates most of
the machines of any particular make/model are exactly the same
electronically wherever it is sold in the world. A set of procedures adjust
the player to the intended region before it leaves the factory.
In very many cases, perhaps most of them, this procedure can be applied to a
player to reset it to any region, or all of them, by the customer.
A number of manufacturers actually have the instructions on their own
If you want a player that can play any region, you need to do some research.
1 Check the vendors available to you and make a list of the exact make and
model of players that suit your needs/cost etc.
2 Then go to this webpage and enter the details for each of your choices in
the "Search DVD Player:" box, read the comments and review and most
importantly check the "region hacking" instructions. You should find several
possible machines that will be ok.
http://www.videohelp.com/dvdhacks This is mostly contributed to by USA
members so the info should be even more pertinent to you than me in the UK.
I've helped with different makes for friend/relations, mostly they are the
cheapest available too (one as little as £17 or about $34 I'd guess) so
there is not much money at risk. Don't let the term "hacking" put you off,
almost always it is a very simple procedure that involves pressing a
sequence of buttons on the remote control with the disc tray open.
And on the subject of DVDs. I've found some issues that have actually been
region free (play anywhere) although marked region 2. So maybe someone could
stick them in a PC and use a utility such as DVD Decrypter and read off the
And that leads me to another possible solution if all else fails. "Backup"
the commercial DVD to DVD-R using your PC. To do this the discs are first
ripped or copied to the PC using an application like DVD Decrypter, this
strips away copy protection and region settings. The resulting files can
then be made into a new DVD using authoring software and burnt to DVD
This is a very neat solution, as the information on the commercial DVD is
treated as data, the PCs DVD drive is not inhibited by its region setting
(you must not play the disc in Windows media), so all the information is
extracted, turned into a region free disc "backup" and the original is still
there should you have any problems. The region free disc you made will play
on any DVD stand alone player anywhere in the world.