Saturday, June 03, 2006

Hey baby, what's your region?

I have an issue.

Now I know what you're saying - Koshka, you have more than a few issues. But we're just talking about this one at the moment, so pipe down and bear with me here.

You all know about Region Encoding on DVDs by now. My DVD player is regionally locked and there's no way to change that for my particular model (I've researched and found only one but it isn't proven yet and I'm not risking it with this baby), so it used to be that I would just watch alternate-region discs on my confuser. Not as comfortable, but better than nothing.

I really love my new confuser, as you all know. The Metatron™ is a wonderful machine, sleek and beautiful and blindingly fast, nice wide screen and all that goes with that. But Apple's new models come with region-specific DVD drives (which I don't think they had before). Apparently there are two types of drive they've been installing in my particular model, and while there are ways around one of them, the drive in my particular model (Matashita, apparently) checks for the disc region in two separate ways so it can't be 'got around'. Such is my luck folks.

Generally, you know, living in region 1 all my life and not planning on moving, this shouldn't be an issue. Except there are a VERY LARGE AMOUNT of region 2 movies and tv shows I would love to be able to watch, which have never been released in region 1 and may never be. So what's a girl to do? Is it fair that a movie from ten years ago is only available to watch on another continent? It's not like it's a theatre-release-timing issue, which was the film studios' flimsy excuse for the whole encoding thing in the first place.

On top of that problem of broadcast line standard, which differs all over the world - and in particular, it's a different standard for most region 2 countries than for my own region. So even if my DVD player was region-free, I still couldn't properly watch a region 2 disc as my TV doesn't have automatic broadcast line conversion - again, my luck, how was I to know six years ago that I would need this ability?


The point I'm getting to here is that I'm going to have to BUY something to get around this issue.

So that's what I'm going to do today. I'll keep you all posted.


  1. have you tried VLC instead of the regular movie player app?


  2. that won't help with a non-region 1 disc, as the actual drive is reading the coding on the disc - it's not the app itself as far as I can see...

  3. there are plenty of DVD players that will solve those problems. I guess you've already discovered that.