So there I was, on another board where someone was proudly proclaiming
they just ordered the complete “Dungeons & Dragons” animated series
from Amazon’s British subsidiary.
Intrigued by the idea, I went for
a look. The description called the series a “Region 2” DvD. I had just
purchased a new DVD player, and it did say it was “All Region,” so I
went ahead and ordered the set.
DVD Regions were set up by the film
industry as a way to protect their property from having a world-wide
release all at once. Instead, they want tight control on their product.
After all, a movie released on DVD in America and Canada (Region 1)
could potentially hit the DVD market in Europe and elsewhere before the
movie ever made it to the theater!
As I waited for my DVD set to
arrive. I began scanning my Player’s instruction manual to learn how it
switches between regions. That’s when I saw something that got me
really worried. “All Region” is a specific style — that’s why the “A”
and the “R” are capitalized! Apparently “All Region” means that its a
DVD type that will play on any Region player. DVD films coded “All
Region” are apparently those that have been available for a long time
or are stock films — just some old film a movie company issues to drum
up a little business now and again.
Anyway, this all had me a bit
panicked. After all, I just plunked down about $60 US to buy a DVD set
I probably couldn’t watch. Gulp!
So I started searching around on the Internet for some assistance.
I eventually landed at videohelp.com’s “DVD Player Hack List.”
forum basically told me that every DVD player is set up to play on any
region, it’s just that they are specifically altered not to do so.
Additionally, Region 2 DVDs are set up to broadcast in PAL format, not the American standard NTSC.
I searched the list for my new shiny DVD Player and there it was! Even
better, it explained how to switch my player from a “Region 1” player
to a “no-region player.” A no-region player allows the DVD player to
recognize any DVD from any region at all times. I wouldn’t even have to
switch back and forth between the two regions.
The process of
“converting” was remarkably easy. Turn it on, open the disc tray,
input three numbers and select my preferred region.
Additionally, further research in my user manual revealled that my player had a PAL-to-NTSC converter!
A few days later, my DVD set arrived and they worked!
I have been in nostalgic “D&D” DVD bliss for a week now.
only additional concern about the DVD conversion is that many sites
said that the DVD player’s manufacturer probably won’t honor its
warrantee. That’s no big deal since it only cost me $60.
DVD player manufacturers have set up some players so after so many
“plays” in a certain region, the player will stick to that region.
Again, not a big concern for me, since I’m using the “no-region” option.
there you go, your helpful tech tip for the day. If you figure out your
DVD Player’s “hack” code, you can start playing European films, films
and TV shows that haven’t made it to the U.S. market or new anime films
— whatever your heart’s desire!