Avoiding region code drawbacks with DVD Player

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Peter N-H, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. Peter N-H macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    #1
    At a point when I was new to DVD (very recently, in fact) I didn't realise that DVDs are coded by region, and that to play DVDs from around the world requires a special DVD player which will play discs from any region.

    I frequently travel to Asia, and I acquired a few DVDs in Hong Kong, where legal prices are a great deal lower, and there's a wider choice of Chinese films than are available in the West.

    When I came to play these on my PowerBook G4, I discovered the region code difficulty, and that I would be able to switch back and forth between discs bought at home and discs bought elsewhere only five times.

    I'm about to go to the UK on business, and I want to pick up some DVDs of early British TV series not available in the region where I currently live. But this will give me three different region codes.

    Thinking in a Mac OS9 way, I thought maybe the answer would be to go back to the system discs, and load a fresh copy of the application. Hm. As far as I can see (not far, admittedly), OS X doesn't work like this. I couldn't find anyway of reloading the DVD Player application (in fact I couldn't find it at all). I then thought of simply deleting the application's preferences file, but again, OS X doesn't appear to work like that.

    No doubt all this is the movie industry's fault, rather than Apple's, but I do feel rather aggrieved. It's not as if I'm buying fake DVDs (which, I'm told, have no regions codes anyway). I just want to enjoy what I've legally purchased. Is there anyway to reset the count of the number of times the region code has been changed?

    Thanks,

    Peter N-H
     
  2. G4scott macrumors 68020

    G4scott

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #2
    I don't know if you can reset them, but having a set number of times you can change your region code on a laptop computer is a stupid idea. I don't know if set-top DVD players can change, or even read discs from other regions.

    We're just separating ourselves even more by doing this, limiting what we can view by our own region.

    Maybe there's a third party DVD player that you can use that doesn't worry about region codes...
     
  3. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #3
    There are a few players on the market that can play multiple regions, I remember reading reviews of some from dvd.ign.com. I also remember a glitch in early PS2 systems that allowed you to do the same by pushing a button on the controller when you played a DVD.
     
  4. elensil macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #4
    I had solved that difficulty with one of my DVDs by simply changing my location in Time Zone option in Date Time.
     
  5. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

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    Mar 13, 2003
    #5
  6. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #6
    I think you have to flash your DVD drive to get rid of region codes for good. I did it months ago and haven't had any problems since. However, I recommend you send feedback to Apple and tell them how you feel. I had an Asus DVD drive on my PC and it was region free, and so are a lot of other brands, so if they can get away with it then Apple should too!

    Mac OS X Feedback
     
  7. Peter N-H thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    #7
    Thanks to all for their replies so far.

    Changing my location seemed elegant and simple so I tried that first. Doesn't work for me, even after restarting the machine.

    The Web site quoted had some useful looking utilities for resetting the number of times the region code had been changed. But these only worked for type 1 DVD drives, and apparently mine is type 2.

    The other software on the site involves making a copy of the movie, which I'm not greatly inclined to do.

    I have written to Apple using the link kindly provided so as to express my displeasure.

    Can anyone enlighten me as to the meaning of 'flashing' my DVD player, what I need to do it with, and whether it's safe to do?

    Any other solutions?

    With thanks,

    Peter N-H
     
  8. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #8
    Flashing the drive involves updating the software stored on one of the chips in your drive. This will void your warranty, but most of the flashing tools allow you to reset the drive to its old state, so you can unflash the drive before sending the computer in for repair.

    Flashing the drive can be dangerous, if for example the power goes out while you are flashing the drive, then you'll most likely end up with an unusable drive. Installing the wrong flash for the drive can also render the drive unusable. Having said that, I've flashed several drives, including my current one, without a problem.

    For more information, take a look at this site.
     
  9. Peter N-H thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    #9
    Many thanks. Although the need to download two different pieces of software and reboot in System 9 is tiresome, this seemed to solve the problem nicely, and I preferred it to the other solution of copying the DVD to the hard drive, even if it is for personal use.

    Peter N-H
     
  10. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #10
    You only have to boot into OS 9 once. You install the flash, and it stays there (in both OSes) until you uninstall it.
     
  11. bondipete macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #11
    Have a look here.

    http://www.wormintheapple.gr/macdvd/download.html

    I haven't tried Region X as yet; but have a good read of the info - seems like it's just what you're looking for.
    Though a firmware modification makes me a little edgy. Make sure you have a surge protector, because I think that if power drops out while it's happening, you've ruined your drive and voided your warranty.

    Good luck!
     

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