Region-free DVD player

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Dr.Gargoyle, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. Dr.Gargoyle macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2004
    Location:
    lat: 55.7222°N, long: 13.1971°E
    #1
    Ok, here is the deal. My stand-alone DVD player is beginning to show its age, so I am considering expanding my Mac collection with a Mac mini. The idea is to have it hooked up with my TV and basically use it as a media player/email server.
    Since I travel frequently in my work, I have a wide collection of DVDs from different regions. Consequently, in order to make the Mini a viable option, the DVD player has to be region free.
    The problem is that all (?) Mac DVD players seem to be set to a region and you are only allowed to change the region 5 (?) times.
    My question is as follows:
    Is it possible to get the DVD player in the Mac region free or are there any specific legal obstacles in US preventing it?

    I know it is legal to sell region-free stand-alone DVD players here in Europe ( I live in Sweden) since all our Best Buy equivalences here sell region-free DVD players. Still, these DVD players are not made by Apple…
     
  2. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #2
    It's not a prohibition on the consumers but the manufacturers. They are under a contractual obligation to implement regions if they want to call their machines DVD players.

    The biggest obstacle is that in order to unlock a computer's optical drive, you need to reflash the firmware. This will void your warranty (it's irreversible because the Apple firmware is not available) and compatible region-free firmware is often not available for the very latest drives (it takes time for unofficial firmware to surface and more popular drives -- the cheaper, larger ones you won't find in minis -- get more attention).

    You can poke around rpc1.org and see if there is a solution for the mini's internal drive, but you may find it less troublesome to get a new external unit.
     
  3. m2uk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    ISTR VLC media player doesn't have that feature, but I have no "wrong region" DVDs at hand to prove this.
     
  4. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #4
    That VLC feature doesn't work properly with newer DVD drives (well, it works properly in the eyes of the DVD consortium). It will eat up the allotted five region changes and then lock you in :(
     
  5. Dr.Gargoyle thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2004
    Location:
    lat: 55.7222°N, long: 13.1971°E
    #5
    bummer

    Thanks for the answer... a bit disappointing though. Getting a separate oldish DVD player flaws the entire compact-media-centre idea.
    I guess I have to get a NAD DVD player instead.
     

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