Question about regions....

topic posted Thu, November 27, 2008 - 3:21 AM by  Luna
Ok guys, I sure hope someone can help me with this!

I decided I desperately need to invest in some good dvd's! I only have about 5 now and I think we'll all agree that's just not enough :-)

So, I've been researching the internet, ebay, amazon, .... and I've seen many things I like.
Only, I'm a bit puzzled about the region 1, region 2 of DVD's....

I'm from Belgium (that's Europe, so normally region 2), but I play all my dvd's on my laptop....
Do laptops also have those region thingies going on, or can I play any dvd on it? Anybody an idea how I can find out wich dvd will play on my laptop? Or are there any region 2 bellydancers on this tribe who have successfully played a region 1 dvd on their laptop?

The thing is that I've noticed that region 2 dvd are often way more expensive - even on ebay and amazon (don't know why that is?) + there aren't so many to choose from.... (for example: about 10 region 2 dvd's on and compared to hundreds of region 1 dvd's on

Anybody who can help me out?
posted by:
  • Re: Question about regions....

    Thu, November 27, 2008 - 10:45 AM
    The world is divided into about 5 or 6 regions. Each region I beleive has a slightly different technical requirements. If its a true region based DVD, it will only play in a player set up for that region. In the US, there are at least regionless DVD players. I own one so I can watch the DVD's I buy from the UK. I don't know about computers in Europe but the ones in the US can play other regions but depending on things you may have to set the DVD player program on the computer for a specific region. Some DVD's are region free now but not all. Sorry I don't know more than this but hope it helps.
  • Re: Question about regions....

    Thu, November 27, 2008 - 9:52 PM
    I had to learn about all of this when I released my DVD this year. The older players are region specific. If you look up DVD regions then you will see exactly which region goes with which countries product.

    A lot of the new players and computer dvd players are region free so can play all.

    But if you are like me and have an older DVD player then the region does matter.

    The DVD replication house explained to me that movies and dvds were often released in one area before another...this was a way to keep dvds off the black market prior to the release in a country. But they said it really does not matter much now except for those of us with the older players.

    • Re: Question about regions....

      Tue, December 2, 2008 - 12:18 AM
      Thx for explaining!

      Well, my laptop is just a few months old, so I'm guessing the dvd player should be region free....

      Think I'm just gonna try it out!
      • Re: Question about regions....

        Sun, December 7, 2008 - 9:00 AM
        As far as I know, computers are DVD region free. I haven't tried it yet and I find that the dvd's I want aren't for my region at all (Netherlands so same region as you).

        My strategy when I finally find the money to order a lot of dvd's in America at once, because of the shipping will be: Load all the dvd's on my computer, burn them again for my dvd player in the right region, so I can play them on my tv.

        My theory:
        I've heard more stories about the new dvd players being region free, we get more of those because the players are send all over the world. So making different players for each reagion would cost more. Still gives a warning when you want a dvd from another region, probably because some company's want to earn more...
        • Re: Question about regions....

          Wed, December 10, 2008 - 11:56 AM
          The computer players should be region free...I do think that is true. The regions though are actually done with the master disc -- the one that that videographer burns. It was my understanding per my videographer and the reproduction house I used that you cannot 'reburn' a dvd and change the is format when the videographer chooses the regions on creation of the master.

          Many of the new dvd players are region free now...but some of us just cannot give up our oldtimey players that may still fuss over a region.

          There is one thing that you may be able to fix with 'reburn'. There is a glassmaster or replicated dvd format and then there a copy format. Glassmastered dvds are more expensive to produce (my isis dvd is glassmastered) but it is a good thing bc some of the older players my struggle to play a copied dvd. Have you ever put a dvd in and it takes a while to read it or cannot at is copied not glassmastered. Your player may be able to burn a better copy.

          Just an fyi.....chances are if you have a new player then it does not matter. I list my regions just to make sure that no one gets it and is disappointed but some have ordered in areas of the world and told me they have region free player so does not matter.
  • Re: Question about regions....

    Fri, January 16, 2009 - 9:46 AM
    This is something I have researched extensively.

    Yes, computer DVD players can have region restrictions. It's not just set-top ones. Even newer DVD players can have region restrictions - I have a 1-year-old Sony computer that does enforce region restrictions.

    As someone else said on this thread, the purpose of region restrictions is to enforce the movie industry's selling model. For example, if a Great Big Movie Company wants to sell its DVD's in Australia, it might grant a certain regional distributor exclusive rights to sell in Australia, and in return it would expect the regional distributor to pay it more money than what could be expected for a non-exclusive deal. If this happened, the Great Big Movie Company would use region coding to prevent consumers who live in Australia from buying DVD's over the Internet from other distributors around the world. (especially the US-based version of Amazon) confuses things by claiming that some DVD's are region 1 when in fact they are usable in all regions. If you want to buy videos from World Dance New York, Natural Journeys, or Dolphina, I know for a fact that all DVD's sold by those companies are all-region. This means they can be played anywhere in the world. How do I know this? 1) I have actually asked Neon, Veena & Neena, and Dolphina whether there are region restrictions on their videos, and they have said no, there are no restrictions; and 2) I have asked Neon about this, and she told me that there is some quirk about Amazon that does not provide a way for a video producer to state that their DVD can be played in all regions, it's a failing of Amazon's setup; and 3) I have software on my computer that can examine a DVD and identify what region it is, and in my examinations of the videos by these producers I have learned that all can be played worldwide. In other words, my personal testing matches what the sellers themselves have told me.

    Here's how the technology works:

    * A DVD player contains inside it a configuration option that states which region it is designed to be used in.
    * Each DVD sold contains a list of which regions are allowed to play it. It is possible for a DVD to work in all regions, if the manufacturer wants it to. Most, but not all, belly dance DVD's are coded to work in all regions.
    * When you put a DVD in a DVD player, the DVD player checks its own region setting, and then checks which regions the DVD says are acceptable. If the DVD's list of acceptable regions contains the region that the machine is in, the machine then plays the DVD.
    * It is possible for a DVD manufacturer to set their DVD player to contain no region at all. Some people call this region 0, but a more accurate term is region-free. Such DVD players can play all DVD's from around the world even if they have region restrictions.

    So, that's the theory.

    Here's the practical application:

    1. Many computers still contain region codes.

    2. If you have a Windows machine, you can foil your computer's DVD region by purchasing an inexpensive software product called AnyDVD. I have it, and it works perfectly. It costs about $80. You can download it here:

    3. If you want to buy a belly dance DVD from Amazon, you can check my "online video store" (which has affiliate links to Amazon) to find out which DVD's I have tested and confirmed to work with which regions. Here are the links:

    Instructional videos:
    Performances,documentaries, Egyptian movies, etc:
    Fitness workouts based on belly dancing:
    Music-related videos (documentary & how to play instruments):
    • Re: Question about regions....

      Mon, January 19, 2009 - 2:13 PM
      I do agree that Amazon makes many DVDs sound limited in regions. I actually wrote them about the way you have to list your dvd there due to my dvd. They listed it as region one only...but it actually supports a few regions and of course will play in computers and region free players. They were going to pass it on to the development department so hopefully in the future we can really show what is region free or all of the regions that it supports rather than having to just select one choice which is how amazon works now.

      Like you said Shira -- the region thing is not so much of an issue with the newer players.....just some of us still have our old ones (hahaha).

      by the the new photos...very pretty!


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