Powerbook DVD region free

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by bellis1, Apr 2, 2004.

  1. bellis1 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2003
    Why can they not make DVD players region free on powerbooks? This issue is driving me crazy. I am from the U.S., work in Africa, and have a girlfriend from Brazil. And I sometimes buy DVD's in airports in any number of places. Can I give Apple my airplane tickets and receipts for DVD purchases and rentals and get them to make the thing region free. It is just absurd that you can only change it 5 times. Is there any help? And what if it has already been changed 5x is there any hope of getting more changes? I need to sort out how to repair this on two computers an original PB 17" and PB 12". Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

  2. AmigoMac macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2003
    Get VLAN!

    I have a similar problem... Videolan.org , got it this week and seems to work... ;)
  3. spav macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    I feel you, but this it not Apple's decision. The MPAA and associated organizations have come up with this stupid requirement. They figure that's how they stop someone in England buying the latest movies from the US before they are released in their own country. We know the reasons but the alternatives are there.
  4. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    If you have a particular Mat****a superdrive, "raw" is disabled and VLC can not access the data. Therefore you can not view other region dvds without first changing your region code. At this moment, there is no firmware to use to flash the drive to RPC1. I have a Powerbook 12".

    There is nothing to repair. The MPAA sets guideline standards with the original drive manufactuers. Isn't it great what money can buy? This issue is out of Apple's control, if you have already set your region code 5x then the last region code you set it on will "lock". There is a manufactuer hard reset program that is available on the net for particular drives. Do a search on Google. However, this will only give you 5 more times to change your region code.

    The only way around this, would be to use another mac or PC to rip the "other region" dvd, and then use a program like DVDBackup (Mac) or DVD Decrypter (PC) to remove the region coding from the DVD. Then you could copy the DVD to your powerbook's hard drive and play from there. You could also size down the DVD using DVD2One (Mac) or DVDShrink (PC), and burn the compressed region free files to a standard DVD that you could play on standalone players or your powerbook. The only other issue you will have to deal with is PAL vs. NTSC but thats a seperate issue.
  5. Giaguara macrumors 6502a

    Nov 22, 2002
    it is for the regulations of the movie industry - nothing that apple can do about.

    at least you can set your region to what you want when you buy your mac, and switch it 5 times. so my US bought mac is set to region 2 (europe).

    i have the same exact problem. we have 2 macs, one set for region 1, one for region 2. and about 20 % of the movies (40 dvds ??) are region 2, mostly UK, some region 4, some 0 (universal) and rest region 1.

    solution: don't see all of them on your mac. we got a world dvd player, if you are in US you can get them e.g. from www.dvdoverseas.com (they had like 30 models, and are close to where we live so we picked one up) - if you visit UK you can get them about everywhere .. amazon.co.uk ships them in UK only but there you can get one like for 30 £ .. the US cheapest world players start at about 60-70 $ which is not significantly more than the plain region 1+ntsc.

    we have a daewoo dvdp480. it does what it needs and wasn't expensive ;)

    i definitely rather spend 100 $ on a world player than imply a firmware hack on my mac laptop. if it'd screw it - the technicians would charge over 100 $ to have a look on the drive, and with the hack you'd invalidate the warranty.

    get the player :D

    ps. suggest any good brazilian movies + where to get? i know just siciliano.com.br ..
  6. bellis1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2003
    Region-free update

    Alright, I kept doing some searching and found a patch which will make the drive region free and actually speed up burning speed and media compatibility. Of course there are a slew of warnings including permanent damage and likely void of warranty. But I think it is very interesting work created by some very resourceful people:


    Giaguara, I meant to look at what recent Brazilian movies I have at home this weekend but forgot so give me one more day. My girlfriend's family sends us quite a few to East Africa every couple of months (I assume that is legal as they were all purchased) (although possibly illegal in this country since most probably have not been certified by the national democratic dictatorship censorship board). You can imagine what a quagmire this causes for region-free (5x) switching. I'll post a list of good one's I have seen lately tomorrow.

    This issue is just so acinine for laptop computers and a globalized world market.
  7. cazlar macrumors 6502

    Oct 2, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Although I haven't tried it (I have a region-free standard DVD player and only play region 4s on my Powerbook), the source for all the firmware changes and utilities relating to making a mac region-free are at:
    and the forums at:

    I recommend reading up on your particular drive/firmware revision before you attempt any sort of flashing as some of the changes are one-way only, and an error can result in a dead drive…

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