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PC DVD/CD-Rom Drives And DVD Region Codes

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Mods, please feel free to move this to another section. This was my best guess about the proper section based upon the content of the post.

I have a number of region code 0 DVDs which obviously don’t play on my DVD recorders (Magnavox MDR513H and Panasonic DMR-ES45VS) because those machines only play region 1 DVDs. What surprised me however was that all of the region 0 DVDs played on both my Vista Dell Inspiron computer DVD/CD-ROM drive and my Windows 7 Inspiron without any problems at all.

The Vista machine is 4 years old and the Win 7 machine is one year old so I would expect both of them to have RPC-2 DVD drives and not be able to play my region 0 DVDs without a firmware patch. Furthermore, I have not applied any firmware patches to either machine so it is a mystery to me why these machines play my region 0 DVDs. Is it possible that both drives were set to region 0 during manufacturing? By the way, the two computer DVD drives in question were made by two totally different manufacturers.

Also, I am considering purchasing a Dell laptop running Windows 8 and which will have a DVD/CD drive as well. Based upon my experience with these other two computers, can I expect this machine to also play my region code 0 DVDs as well or am I likely to need a firmware patch for that drive? If I do need a firmware patch, is there likely to be one available yet for a machine this new? Thanks in advance for any feedback.
post #2 of 6
I'm afraid this forum discusses stand-alone DVD recorders, modern versions of the old VCR. The whole AVS site handles audio/video equipment.

Some people here may know computers, but it's not exactly the main aim of these forums.

Maybe someone here can help you, but this isn't exactly the right website.

Have you considered getting in touch with the manufacturer(s)?
post #3 of 6
Short Answer:
Any North American DVD player/recorder will play a Region-0 disc as long as it’s in NTSC format. Your Region-0 discs are most likely in PAL format and most North American DVD recorders will not play PAL or convert PAL to NTSC. Most PC drives (with the right software) will play PAL and or convert PAL to NTSC.

Most JVC and Pioneer players out of the box will convert PAL to NTSC on the fly – as long as they are flagged as region-1, region-0 or region-all. If the discs are marked for another region R2, R3, R4, etc – then most American DVD players that handle PAL need to get hacked to handle the different non R-1, R-2 or R-all region discs.

Long Answer:
Do not confuse region flags with NTSC or PAL formatting. I’m guessing that your discs are in fact all-region (flagged as all-region but marked as region 0) but in PAL format.

For
PAL Disc with all region flags (on the cover marked as region 0) in America.

1) Your DVD players must be able to convert PAL to NTSC on the fly in order to be playable on an American NTSC TV.

2) If your American TV can play PAL then your DVD player must at the very least playback PAL signals as PAL.

For
NTSC disc with all region flags (on the cover marked as region 0) in America.

1) Any DVD player/recorder will play these.


The region codes are just silly digital flags that most major film studios insist on putting in to prevent consumers from purchasing out of region DVDs. Think of it as a password for your DVD player. If you live in North America, your DVD player is factory set to play discs that send a password that states “ONE” “ALL” “ZERO”. If you live in the UK your DVD needs a password “TWO” “ALL” “ZERO” all other discs with the wrong password (region code) will be rejected unless you hack your DVD player to be able to play discs that accept different passwords (region codes) AND your player must be capable of playing/converting the format of said disc if the format is not standard for you country IE PAL format in America).

NTSC and PAL are hardware based formats dating back to the analog days when power cycle (Hz) was a very important factor that affected frame rates.
Your player must have the hardware to be able to play PAL and convert to NTSC. Regardless of region code.
Edited by Super Eye - 1/10/13 at 5:41am
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post

Short Answer:
Any North American DVD player/recorder will play a Region-0 disc as long as it’s in NTSC format. Your Region-0 discs are most likely in PAL format and most North American DVD recorders will not play PAL or convert PAL to NTSC. Most PC drives (with the right software) will play PAL and or convert PAL to NTSC..

Thanks for your response. It is quite helpful. As you surmised, my DVDs are in fact PAL.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_111 View Post

Thanks for your response. It is quite helpful. As you surmised, my DVDs are in fact PAL.

I can provide you with more helpful information. Your Magnavox MDR513 will play play and convert PAL dvds on the fly to NTSC, just not the ones you've tried. What you have are original store-bought, commercially pressed dvds and these will not play, regardless of a region.

However my MDR515 (MDR513 just has smaller HDD) does play copies. So if you rip your dvds on a computer using AnyDvd, DvdFab, DvdDecryter etc. and burn them on a DVD +/-R/RW they will play in MDR513 on NTSC tv. Additionally the Magnavox does play original, commercially pressed PAL Vcds if you happen to have any.

PC dvd drives (or any dvd drive) don't care about NTSC or PAL (dvds discs are NTSC or PAL only). They just read the information on a disc and a PC monitor will display (no conversion) PAL or NTSC through a software video player. A computer sofware video player may or may not obey region codes. For example the VLC ignores region codes but PowerDVD will set the drive to the region of the disc, except all regions.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_111 View Post

Thanks for your response. It is quite helpful. As you surmised, my DVDs are in fact PAL.

I can provide you with more helpful information. Your Magnavox MDR513 will play play and convert PAL dvds on the fly to NTSC, just not the ones you've tried. What you have are original store-bought, commercially pressed dvds and these will not play, regardless of a region.

However my MDR515 (MDR513 just has smaller HDD) does play copies. So if you rip your dvds on a computer using AnyDvd, DvdFab, DvdDecryter etc. and burn them on a DVD +/-R/RW they will play in MDR513 on NTSC tv. Additionally the Magnavox does play original, commercially pressed PAL Vcds if you happen to have any.

PC dvd drives (or any dvd drive) don't care about NTSC or PAL (dvds discs are NTSC or PAL only). They just read the information on a disc and a PC monitor will display (no conversion) PAL or NTSC through a software video player. A computer sofware video player may or may not obey region codes. For example the VLC ignores region codes but PowerDVD will set the drive to the region of the disc, except all regions.
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