Region free DVD

Beej

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Original poster
Jan 6, 2002
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Buffy's bedroom
My sister has a new iMac with a Pioneer 104 SuperDrive. Does anyone know if there is a firmware patch for the drive that will allow here to run it region-free? (I know one exists for PC).
 

britboy

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Nov 4, 2001
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Kent, UK
The guy who does most of the patches for macs has had technical problems with the pioneer 104 drive. It doesn't look like there's going to be one ever.

That's a shame, because usually he's able to do them all. The only one he's been unsuccessful with is the Pioneer 104. Sorry for you.:(
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
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VA
Re: Region free DVD

Originally posted by Beej
My sister has a new iMac with a Pioneer 104 SuperDrive. Does anyone know if there is a firmware patch for the drive that will allow here to run it region-free? (I know one exists for PC).
Ok, excuse my ignorance, but what is region-free?
 

palala

macrumors member
Jan 16, 2002
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Long Island
What it is

Region free means that you can play a DVD from anywhere in the world. All DVD players (and discs) are encoded with regions. North America is region 1 for example. So a DVD player purchased in North America can only play region 1 discs (generally sold in North America). This is to prevent DVDs being released in areas of the world before other areas. Like when a movie is released on DVD in the US, and will not be released in Europe for months. People could sell them over there for serious cash. There are a few "region-free" DVDs, but they are usually like public service DVDs and the like.
 

britboy

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Nov 4, 2001
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Region-Free is where your dvd player is capable of playing dvd's from any region of the world.

Going really basic, you've got 8 regions. DVD players can normally only play DVD's from one (for example, a player bought in the US will only be able to to play region 1 DVD's). With computers, you've got two types of drives: RPC-2, and RPC-1. RPC-2 means you can change the region on your drive up to 5 times, and then it's locked on that region forever. RPC-1 means that there is no region lock, and you change it as many times as you like. Region-free hacks flash the ROM on the drive, changing it from -2 to -1. It can be a little risky, as any interruptions would destroy the drive, making it unusable.

I risked it on my tibook, and haven't had any problems at all. Works just fine.

ed: sorry palala, didn't mean to basically duplicate your post.
 

Mr. Anderson

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Nov 1, 2001
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Damn, so if I went to Europe and brought my TiPB, bought a DVD it wouldn't work unless I hacked it? That's nuts and pretty silly if you ask me, but I can see the reasoning behind it. I'll have to remember that when I do travel outside the US with my TiPB.

Where can I go to learn about how to hack the DVD? xlr8yourmac.com?
 

britboy

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Nov 4, 2001
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DVD producers say they have their reasons for doing this, but it seems to me as though they just have to go to extra expense to implement this. Surely it makes more sense for them to just do one product, which can be used worldwide? Then again, i'm a cynic, and believe it's so that they can keep prices higher for europe... still, not a problem for me anymore :D

A forum dedicated to flashing which you might find useful is http://forum.firmware-flash.com/

irmongoose and beej~ there won't be any firmware flash until apple release an official upgrade to the ROM, which won't be anytime soon as it's still a relatively new drive which hasn't had problems. When they do, there's a good chance a hack will be available shortly afterwards.
 

Mr. Anderson

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Nov 1, 2001
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Originally posted by britboy
DVD producers say they have their reasons for doing this, but it seems to me as though they just have to go to extra expense to implement this.
Thanks for the link.

Well, think about this. StarWars EP2 comes out on DVD in America months ahead of other countries. This prevents some idiots going and buying cases of them and selling them in their home country before they released outside the US. I agree its silly, but it makes sense.

But I'd actually prefer them just releasing the movies all at the same time, it would solve the problem. Why is it that you have to have different release dates?
 

britboy

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Nov 4, 2001
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Originally posted by dukestreet
Well, think about this. StarWars EP2 comes out on DVD in America months ahead of other countries. This prevents some idiots going and buying cases of them and selling them in their home country before they released outside the US. I agree its silly, but it makes sense.
If i purchase a DVD from america (and believe me, i often do :)), then i've paid for a license to use it. All the companies involved get their fee, and everyone's happy. What difference does it now make if i use that DVD, for which i've paid, in a different country? I should be able to purchase a DVD from any country i wish, just like i can get an item of clothing from america (jeans are cheaper there too), i should be able to do so with DVD's, i feel.

Sure, you might get some idiot who takes a container-full of DVD's and sells them in another country before they're released, but that same person is just as likely to rip that region 1 DVD, and sell it as divx cd's.
 

Beej

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Jan 6, 2002
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Buffy's bedroom
My sister got the Harry Potter DVD shipped from the UK. She got it yesterday, and it's not released until the end of the month here. :D
 

kiwi_the_iwik

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2001
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London, UK
I was thinking about multi-regioning my Cube, but then I thought - who gives a rat's? I can pick up a multiregion DVD player for around £100 that does Dolby Digital, and can connect to a nice 32" Widescreen TV. Just what I want...

It's nice to watch movies on the Mac, but it's not worth screwing your drive for, or worth voiding the warranty over.
 

mac15

macrumors 68040
Dec 29, 2001
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Originally posted by Beej
My sister got the Harry Potter DVD shipped from the UK. She got it yesterday, and it's not released until the end of the month here. :D
harry potter....hehe
its a good movie....I can get DVD for $10...full versions
I have like 45+ DVDs and most aren't out over here yet
 

britboy

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Nov 4, 2001
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Kent, UK
Originally posted by kiwi_the_iwik
It's nice to watch movies on the Mac, but it's not worth screwing your drive for, or worth voiding the warranty over.

For a desktop i'd agree completely. However, i'm using a laptop which comes with me whenever i go on holiday, or travel anywhere. For that, it's useful to me as not everyone i'm with is going to have region 2 DVD's. Besides, it's gives me a nice warm feeling inside, being able to watch dvd's on the go...
 

Tokyo

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May 7, 2002
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The DVD Region plan sucks, and is as much a way to allow some regions to overcharge as it is a way to prevent people from getting DVDs early. I live in Japan, and DVD prices START at $30, and are usually $10-$20 more than in the U.S. My solution was simple: I bought a DVD player in the U.S. and shipped it over. Now I can order DVDs from the U.S. for cheaper then in Japan, and can see some movies on DVD (like K-Pax and Shrek recently) which haven't even come out in theaters here.


Tokyo
 

irmongoose

macrumors 68030
Originally posted by Tokyo
The DVD Region plan sucks, and is as much a way to allow some regions to overcharge as it is a way to prevent people from getting DVDs early. I live in Japan, and DVD prices START at $30, and are usually $10-$20 more than in the U.S. My solution was simple: I bought a DVD player in the U.S. and shipped it over. Now I can order DVDs from the U.S. for cheaper then in Japan, and can see some movies on DVD (like K-Pax and Shrek recently) which haven't even come out in theaters here.


Tokyo

Exactly. Japanese prices are waaay to high. It's just so much better to get US DVDs, but the thing is.. my dad doesn't let me use his credit card...:mad: no matter how much I tell him that its SAFE...


well? any luck, anybody? anyone with a good skill with search engines find the patch? Arn?




irmongoose

P.S. sorry for bringing this thread back up again... but I'm desperate!
 

awrc

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2002
215
1
Milwaukee, WI
Originally posted by kiwi_the_iwik
I was thinking about multi-regioning my Cube, but then I thought - who gives a rat's? I can pick up a multiregion DVD player for around £100 that does Dolby Digital, and can connect to a nice 32" Widescreen TV. Just what I want...

It's nice to watch movies on the Mac, but it's not worth screwing your drive for, or worth voiding the warranty over.
Region-free/multi-region DVDs aren't nearly as readily available in the US as in the UK, for some reason - probably because there's less UK->US importing of DVDs going on than in the other direction. Whenever I've done searches for region-free hacks on the net (for my PowerMac, for my actual DVD player) 90% of the sites I encounter are in the UK.

I recently ran across a DVD (part of a CD/DVD set) that played in Regions 2,3,4,5 and 6 - but not Region 1. What sort of sick mind decided on that, I don't know. Very frustrating, I really wanted those Propaganda videos.
 

elmimmo

macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2002
265
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Spain
Originally posted by britboy
If i purchase a DVD from america (and believe me, i often do :)), then i've paid for a license to use it. All the companies involved get their fee, and everyone's happy. What difference does it now make if i use that DVD, for which i've paid, in a different country?
Theaters. They do not want you to buy the DVD before they have made all the possible profit out of theater screenings, and pathetically, many movies around the world are realeased in DVD before other parts of the world have had them at the theaters.

Well, that is at least the premise movie companies used. However that is not always the case, since because of region blocks europeans usually suffer from having less extra features added to movies in DVD, and many of them are classics which had their time at the theaters a long time ago but have been rereleased because of the DVD new wave.

In the end, my opinion is that region locks are end up only being there to protect the inefficiency and low quality of overseas DVD authoring companies.
Originally posted by dukestreets
Damn, so if I went to Europe and brought my TiPB, bought a DVD it wouldn't work unless I hacked it?
No, region settings apply diferently for computers. While they are still there, you are usually delivered a non-region-free non-region-locked DVD drive. The first DVD you put inside the player will dictate the region that DVD is to be locked, warning you first of what is about to happen. And you usually have about 5 possible changes in case you screwed up. So you could safely buy a TiPB in Europe, just watch out for the power adaptor's voltage.
Originally posted by Royal Pineapple
is the combo drive on the iBook 500mhz region free?
No. No Apple computer including a DVD is region free un less you hack it changing the firmware. Selling regionfree DVDs is not legal due to the DVD license every DVD player manufacturer has to pay and put up with, for every single DVD player they sell, AFAIK. That is so since 1999 or 2000 or something (that did not apply to the first gen DVD players because I think the license was rewritten at some point later on, including that limitation.)
 
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