10/1/11
9:08 pm

Forum Question: What’s up with Regions and DVDs?

We’ve rented DVD movies from a very prominent mail service with no problems for some time. The last DVD wouldn’t display for some reason on our TV so I inserted it in my MacBook Pro (latest Lion OS) and the DVD player wouldn’t play it either. I got a window with a map of the world, a statement that the DVD was Region 6 (I’m in the US – – Region 1) and I need to change the Region. And, it warned me I could only change the region 4 more times!! Could you give a quick explanation of what’s going on here? This is a new experience for me.
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John Russell

Comments: One Response to “What’s up with Regions and DVDs?”

    10/1/11 @ 9:22 pm

    Regions have been there since DVDs started. But if you live in one region, buy your DVD players there and buy/rent DVDs there, you probably never notice.
    So the idea is to cut down piracy. (Don’t know if it actually works to do that, but that is beside the point). Buy a DVD player in the U.S. and it is a region 1 player. It can only play DVDs bought in the U.S. that are region 1.
    So when you buy a computer that happens to be able to play DVDs, it needs to have a region too. But since the DVD “player” is actually a software program and because computers are bought and shipped worldwide, they can’t just preset it to one region and hope that the computer ends up in that region.
    So they give you the chance to reset the DVD region a few times yourself. This way you can make a few mistakes before you lock your computer to a single region.
    The idea is to make sure you can’t keep switching back and forth between regions to watch different DVDs. You much pick one and stick with it.
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_region_code

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