What is a Code free DVD player?A Code free DVD player is a DVD player that is capable of playing DVD discs from around the world. DVD discs are encoded into 8 different regions.
Why are there different regions?Motion picture studios in the USA wanted to control the release of movies around the world using DVD region codes.. Movies are released on DVD at different times around the world, typically America and Canada first, Australia and Japan 6 months later, and Europe 12 months after US release. In some instances, DVD movies are available for purchase in America and Canada before they are released in European cinemas. Due to the high quality of DVD and the movie release system used by Hollywood, 8 regions were established to prevent people from watching Region 1 movies before they were released on Regions 2-8.
DVD Region Locking is a system used to control which DVD movies play on which DVD Players. The regions are broken down as follow:
U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada
Albania, Andorra, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, European Union, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Iran (Islamic Republic of) Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (the Former Yugoslav Republic), Malta, Moldova, Principality of Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia,South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Kingdom (Channel Islands) Vatican City State, Yemen, Yugoslavia
Southeast Asia, East Asia (including Hong Kong)
Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, Caribbean
Former Soviet Union, Indian Subcontinent, Africa (also North Korea, Mongolia)
Special international venues (airplanes, cruise ships, etc.)
What does this mean to the end consumer?This means that movies from Region 1 (USA & Canada) WILL NOT play on a DVD player regions 2-8. Effectively Region 1 discs play only on Region 1 DVD players, Region 2 discs play only on Region 2 DVD players and so on.
I currently have a DVD player. How do I know if mine is Code free?If you purchased your DVD player at any large electronics chain store like The Good Guys or Circuit City, then you have not purchased a Code free DVD player. If you're still unsure, simply attempt to view an overseas DVD to see whether it will play or not.
How do you tell what region code a DVD disc is?The Region Code is usually specified on the back of the individual DVD packages, either with a Regional Coding logo of a globe with the region number superimposed over it, or specifically spelled out. For example, while currently-released New Line and Warner DVD titles use the globe logo & number scheme, MGM/UA titles state: "This disc has been encoded for Region 1: The United States, U.S. Territories and Canada." In the cast of Lumivision's discs, they are labelled "Available worldwide," which means that the discs contain no regional coding and will play on any player in any country.
Can I modify my own DVD player to be Code free?It is possible, but unless you're an engineer, it's not recommended. Far too many people attempt to do this and end up damaging their DVD players. Also, by attempting to modify it yourself, you void any manufacturer's warranty.
Is it legal to use or own a Code free DVD player?Yes, it is legal. You are legally allowed to own a Code free DVD player, but you can not use it for illegal purposes. Please check your State and Federal copyright laws for details.
What is RCE?Recently, the Motion Picture Association of American (MPAA) has developed a new system called RCE (Regional Code Enhancing) which will be included on almost all new region 1 DVD releases. This new technology was created to prevent consumers with Code free DVD players from watching DVD discs purchased in North America. From now on, most region 1 DVD discs will be including this technology. As such, you may find in the future that some DVD discs bought in the United States will not work on your Code free DVD player. Currently, there is no word on whether or not this technology will be included on other regions.
Most of our DVD Players can play RCE discs but you will have to change the region with the remote control on most DVD players, see the individual DVD player specifications for more information.
NTSC / PAL Information
- What is PAL, SECAM and NTSC?
- Are DVD discs PAL or NTSC?
- What is a multisystem DVD?
- What video standard does my country use?
What is PAL, SECAM and NTSC?
NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) is a standard used in North America and Japan. It has the ability to display up to 525 lines of resolution. PAL (Phase Alternating Line), a standard used almost everywhere else in the world, has the ability to display 625 lines of resolution. SECAM (Sequential Color Memory) is used sparingly around the world and can be found in France, parts of Greece, Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa and a few other parts of the world. However, any SECAM country can display PAL tapes in full color, but not all PAL countries can display all SECAM tapes in color. Only if they are true SECAM and not MESECAM can those VCR's display SECAM.
Are DVD discs PAL or NTSC?
DVD discs are still either PAL or NTSC standard. Also, similar to multisystem VCRs, most DVD players will not convert video standards. When you're playing an NTSC-standard DVD, it will output an NTSC signal. When you're playing a PAL-standard DVD, it will output a PAL signal.
There are two ways to watch both PAL and NTSC DVDs. You can either view your DVDs on a multisystem TV, or purchase a NTSC/PAL or PAL/NTSC DVD Player.
What is a multisystem DVD?
Different areas of the world use different video standards. North America uses NTSC, Europe uses PAL and SECAM, South America uses PAL-M, PAL-N, PAL and NTSC. Almost every area of the world has a mixture of video standards. Unfortunately, none of these standards are compatible with each other. A multisystem DVD has the ability to play dvd movies of different video standards.
What video standard does my country use?
If you're in North America, Japan, Korea, the Philippines and parts of South America, you use NTSC. Most other areas of the world use PAL or SECAM. Half of Brazil uses NTSC while the other half uses PAL-M. Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay use PAL-N. The rest of the world uses mainly PAL. If you're unsure what your video standard is, contact your local cable or broadcast company. Also, on the back of most video tapes is indicate what video standard the tape is. This is a good representation of what your video standard is.