C2D iMac - any way to make the Superdrive DVD region-free?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ascender, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. ascender macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    #1
    I did a search but couldn't find this one anywhere.

    I know that you can change the Superdrive's region a limited number of times, but is there any way to circumvent this? Someone mentioned VLC would do the trick, but this doesn't seem to work for me. What happens there is...

    I put a disc in and get the option to change region. If I select cancel, the machine just ejects the DVD so I can't then open it through VLC.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,


    Mike.
     
  2. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #2
    You need to either set OSX to do nothing when a DVD is inserted or set OSX to open VLC instead of DVD Player when a DVD is inserted.

    You can find these options in the CDs & DVDs section of System Preferences.
     
  3. ascender thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    #3
    Thanks for that but still no joy. I just get read errors in VLC now. Bizarre.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Check out some of the discussion on this page. It also explains the most likely reason why VLC isn't working for you.
     
  5. Carniphage macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    #5
    Firmware to make DVD drive Region-Free (RPC1)

    Region encoding on computer optical drives sucks. Especially since regular DVD players all circumvent this stupid DRM-like technology. I say stupid because it only penalizes those who actually buy DVDs.

    With the latest generation of DVD drives. VLC cannot work around the problem, you are stuck with your 5 changes. Then the region coding is permanent, meaning that your legally owned computer will not play your legally owned DVDs. I can feel a vein throbbing in my temple.

    HOWEVER....

    ....the firmware in some DVD drives can be re-programmed. The firmware needs to convert the drive to RPC1 (region free) This is not particluarly dangerous but does invalidate warranties. Creating such firmware is not easy, but there are teams who create "alternative" firmware and release it for free.

    Some machines have available RPC1 fixes , some do not.
    The Matushita drives in the Mac Mini ( the one machine which really needs it) does not yet have available firmware updates.

    But many Macs do have drives which can be upgraded. The Mac Pro can - and my old TiBook superdrive has been region-free for years. Even the G3 iMac can be fixed (although you'll need OS9 to do it)

    Find out the make and model of your particular DVD drive. Start with System Profiler. Then Google for sites which offer the RPC1 firmware patches. (frinstance) http://forum.rpc1.org/portal.php

    Don't be too scared by names like Dangerous Brothers and Mad Dog.
    Don't post messages asking for updates - read to see if an update is available for your machine. Read about the process, and look to see if there are any problems before risking it.

    C.
     
  6. ascender thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    #6
    Thanks guys, but it looks like there's no way round this given the model of drive they've used in the latest iMacs. Bit disappointing really given the times in which we live. Like someone said, its annoying to yet again be punished for actually owning the original DVDs.

    I realise that ripping the DVD to the HDD will get round the problem, but that's a major pain to go through every time. Maybe that'll be practical when external HDDs are available in the hundreds of terabytes.
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    Yeah... it's a tradeoff. The next generation of products may use less region encoding, but they'll use much more aggressive copy protection. *le sigh d'inevitabilité*
     
  8. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    #8
    My solution is to use a USB DVD-RW drive to watch movies so I won't waste my region changes.
     
  9. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #9
    Would using MTR/handbrake to rip and reencode the disc help him work around this? Not a great solution, but might at least get you up and running.
     
  10. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    #10
    Mactheripper won't help you get the data on the DVD read out if your region code doesn't match. The damned drives used by Apple do not even return the raw data for your software to brute force, it just plain returns nothing.

    There is really no reason why Apple would use such drives, they help nobody.
     

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