Why won't VLC play my Japanese DVD's??

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by TheFreshPrince, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. TheFreshPrince macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Japan
    #1
    I live in Japan but have my superdrive set to Zone 1 so that I can play DVD's ordered from Amazon USA. I thought that I would be able to watch DVD's bought here in Japan with VLC, but it refuses to play them.

    Has anyone else had this problem?:confused:
     
  2. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #2
    Some drives have the region set in firmware, and you can change only so many times (usually 5). Chances are, you'll have to flash the firmware (which will void whatever warranty is left on the drive) to read the disc.
     
  3. TheFreshPrince thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Japan
    #3
    I probably should have mentioned that I bought this mac here in Japan, so its region was originally set for Japanese region DVD's , but before I knew about VLC, I changed it to zone 1 so I could watch U.S. DVD's. I would prefer not to use up another of my 4 remaining region changes, so that is why I wanted to just use VLC for the Japanese ones.

    I dunno if I'm making any sense here. Any other mac users in Japan have the same problem?
     
  4. Porco macrumors 68020

    Porco

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    #4
    TheFreshPrince [good user name btw!], do you have the latest version of VLC? You are right in thinking that it should play your Japanese discs. Is it mounting the discs on the desktop, or is it not even getting that far?

    Counterfit, VLC [usually!] plays any DVD, regardless of what region the DVD drive is set to.
     
  5. TheFreshPrince thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Japan
    #5
    hi, cheers for the ideas, but it's weird. I re-downloaded VLC to make sure that I have the most recent version but it still doesn't work.

    I dunno what else to do. I guess I'll report it to the VLC people and see what they say.

    Thanks for the help anyway!
     
  6. TheFreshPrince thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Japan
    #6
    Oh, and to answer your Porco, the DVD comes up on the desktop but I can't get it to do anything after that.
     
  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    One thing you could try is to rip the DVD using MacTheRipper http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/14414, this then allows you to remove the region encoding and you can load up the Video_TS folder created by Mac the Ripper on your Mac, or then burn it back onto a DVD.
     
  8. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #8
    Not the easiest way, but consider using Mactheripper to rip it into a unencrypted video_ts folder?
     
  9. Porco macrumors 68020

    Porco

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    #9
    After some googling, I found This Page states:

    "The optical drives in the new iMac G5s do not allow software to read DVDs raw unless the DVD and the drive region settings match. The libdvdcss library is unable to access the DVD as a block device and is virtually unusable. This could be an issue with all new Apple hardware and there is no solution at present."

    Some further searching of the VLC forums indicates recent drives prevent VLC from playing any region.. it sucks, but looks like that's it...
    Not good! If this is the case I suppose you could try finding a dirt cheap firewire DVD drive... (or enclosure+drive)? Otherwise a firmware hack may be your only option (sorry Counterfit, looks like I have to eat humble pie here! :eek:) but that is always risky and shouldn't be attempted unless you can live without the drive if it goes wrong.

    *rants* It's insane of course, region coding is evil, and even more stupid in international computers that can run in any country than in DVD players designed for a specific market...*snip*
     
  10. TheFreshPrince thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Japan
    #10
    Thanks everybody.

    Yeh, it looks like that info you found there at the end Porco is what is causing my problem. I don't really want to go to the trouble of ripping and then burning all my DVD's that I bought and own legally anyway, so I guess I'll try finding a firewire drive like you suggested. It really is silly though how people can't even play their own legally purchased DVD's on their own computer!

    Cheers
     
  11. giffut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #11
    Those ...

    ... drives restricting playback via VLC are the newer RPC-2 drives, which do check the match of region number between disc and drive via firmware firsthand, before they start transmitting the raw data stream. VLC relies on the raw data access to decrypt the player code.

    The RPC-2 drives are mostly to be found in the most recent drive mechanisms of any hardware manufacturer, so watch out for this, if you are in the game for a new dvd drive.

    Right now VLC can´t play any region mismatching DVDs on thopse newer generations RPC-2 drives, which check the region status in firmware. There are no known firmware hacks for RPC-2 drives yet.

    Read this on VLCs FAQ: http://www.videolan.org/doc/faq/en/index.html#id278791
     

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