Region-Free DVD Drive Conversion Experiences?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by IJ Reilly, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
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    Palookaville
    #1
    I'm considering flashing the combo drive in my PowerBook to convert it to a region-free drive, using the patches found here:

    http://xvi.rpc1.org/

    I'm aware of the risks. What I'd like to know is whether anyone has tried this and can report either success or failure with the process.
     
  2. slughead macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #2
    Screw that, just use Mac The Ripper and rip everything that gets in your way, then use video LAN client to play it.. If it's under 4.7 gigs, you can even re-burn it region free!

    .. or am I missing something...
     
  3. MacFan26 macrumors 65816

    MacFan26

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    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, California
    #3
    I don't know how big of a risk doing that would be. It seems like in most cases it would be fine, but if something goes rock, it would totally suck. I only have a few DVD's that aren't my region, so all I did was change the drive setting, copy them to the hard drive, and then change the drive setting back. I believe you only get 5 times to change the setting, but it was safer than changing the firmware.
     
  4. stylum macrumors member

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    Jan 19, 2002
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    SoCal
    #4
    I did it 4 months ago and it has worked all right...across a few system updates and the like, no problem at all.
     
  5. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #5
    Yes, you only get five changes of region -- four, actually, because the first DVD you play on the drive sets it the first time. I'm not sure how you change the drive's region once it's set, actually. I suppose some software exists for doing that.

    Ripping and reburning is another option I guess. Does anyone have any experience with ripping a Region 2 PAL DVD, reburning it to Region 0, and then playing it on a consumer Region 1 NTSC player? What about encryption?
     
  6. arf macrumors member

    arf

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    What drive have you got?


    Hi. I changed the firmware on my Rev A 12" pbk a few months ago now, it makes it region free and burn dvd's at 2x and cd's at 16x (instead of 1x and 8x).

    Here is the link.
     
  7. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    I've got the Matsushta CW-8122 Combo Drive (otherwise, same PB). I found the flasher for this drive at the location I cited above.
     
  8. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

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    Jul 22, 2002
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    Almere, The Netherlands
    #8
    I remember that in os 9 there was a program that reset the counter back to zero. Don't know if you got this for os X.
     
  9. MacFan26 macrumors 65816

    MacFan26

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    #9
    For changing the drive region, all you have to do is put in a DVD of a different region, and a box comes up asking if you really want to change the setting, and informs you how many changes you have left. I successfully ripped a Region 2 PAL, and it works fine on my Mac, but it's a little over 7 GB, so I couldn't burn it to a new disc.
     
  10. heyadol macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Location:
    coastal
    #10
    xvi's homepage will link to wormintheapple and they have the os ex version of region, the software that lets you reset how many changes you have left.

    i ripped an r2 (pal) disc but i'm just not skilled enough to change it from 25fps/50hz to 24fps/60hz or 30fps/60hz so everytime i went to burn it it automatically switched to pal. making it r0 was no problem but the sync made it incompatible with my tv. r2 (ntsc/j) was a complete success.
    (in both cases it was tv shows, btvs and nge respectively, so i didn't run into the space issue that MacFan26 had)

    if you're not missing something then i sure am. i couldn't get any ripping program to do anything but give me errors with any disc that was of a different region than meine powerbook. i was going to change the region then use xvi's regionx to change it back but it only works on rpc-1 (region unlocked) drives. many forum posters said i should be able to play different region discs back by simply using vlc. well, not on my mac apparently. after months of trying to figure out another way xvi (or somebody) finally cracked the powerbook drive and i flashed mine and haven't looked back since, it's great. of course, my warranty had already been previously voided so i said what the heck.
     
  11. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #11
    So let me see if I've got this right. I can flash my drive to be region free, which will allow me to play any DVD on my Mac, but if the DVD is PAL, I'm not going be able to use the PB's video out to watch it on my (NTSC) TV?
     
  12. MacFan26 macrumors 65816

    MacFan26

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    #12
    I wasn't able to use VLC either, although, if you change the system prefs to open VLC instead of DVD player when you put in a DVD, it will bypass the "this is the incorrect region" popup, but it most likely still won't play.
     
  13. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey USA
    #13
    The firmware you suggest works fine on a Pioneer 107D.

    I have used it on three drives. I choose it because of the rip speed and ignore media features. So I can burn good quality 4X at 6X or 8X now. Or more importantly, I can burn 1X at 2X, as i got a 100 spindle of 1X I need to use up.

    I have installed that update on 3 drives with no issues at all.
     
  14. GUSTO macrumors member

    GUSTO

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    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    Scotland
    #14
    I falshed my pioneer 107D 8X DVD writer, with a flasher from the same site and it works great. You still got to use a software hack so that apples DVD player does not set itself after 5 changes. This app can be found here http://xvi.rpc1.org/region.html
     
  15. Mr. G4 macrumors 6502

    Mr. G4

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    Mar 29, 2002
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    Rohnert Park, CA
    #15

    You don't even have to rip the dvd....just use VideoLan Client.
    Make sure to change your system preference to lunch VLC whenever a DVD is load in your drive.
     
  16. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #16
    According to everything I've read (including above), VLC is not a complete solution to the regions issue. Region compatibility is stored in the drive firmware itself and can only be switched a limited number of times. I presume the reason why some people think VLC is solving the regions issue is because it switches regions on the drive without notifying the user. Eventually the drive will lock onto a region and that will be that.
     
  17. MacFan26 macrumors 65816

    MacFan26

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    #17
    VLC doesn't change the region itself. I've put in different region DVD's multiple times, but if I open it in DVD player, I still have the same number of region changes. If VLC changed the region setting every time, I'd be angry.
     
  18. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #18
    I'd like to see an explanation of what VLC is doing. From what I've read, the region has to be set properly on the drive or it simply will not read the DVD.
     
  19. MacFan26 macrumors 65816

    MacFan26

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    #19
    Right, that's what I believe. I've tried using it without changing the region setting, and it does not work. That's why I'm confused when people say to just "play it in VLC without changing anything." Has anyone used VLC without changing the drive setting? I'd love to know.
     

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