The ‘D’ of DVD’s

A couple of days ago, one of my friends got a DVD from Australia. However when we tried to play it in his “India” DVD rom, it just wouldnt play. But the same would play on my DVD Player. Not understanding why this was happening, I went back to the internet to find things out for myself..

Soon after the DVD format was standardized, the movie industry divided the world into Six regions

1. USofA

2. Europe, Near East, South Africa and Japan

3. South East Asia

4. Australia, Middle and South America

5. Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

6. The People’s Republic of China

This was mainly done to stop the movement of movies across boundaries. Earlier, PC DVD-ROM manufacturers, used to make, region-free DVD drives that could play DVD’s from any region. Such drives were called RPC1 drives. But after Jan 1, 2000, this changed. The new drives (named RPC2) were region locked. You could change the region only five times, after which your drive is locked to the last selected region.

For the region protection to work, the disc itself must be set to a specific region code (which most disc’s are), and then either the DVD drive playback software must match the disc’s code to their own code for the playback to work. If the drive itself is locked, the software or hardware decoder will rely on the drive to confirm the region match. If the drive is region free, then the decoders try to enforce the region protection.

If your drive is set to a specific region, you will be unable to play a disc from a different region. This cannot be bypased without replacing the checking mechanism within the drive itself. This can only be done with a firmware upgrade..

Finding this out, I was wondering why did it play on my DVD Drive.. The reason being – it is not just a plain old DVD ROM, but is a DVD Writer.

One thought on “The ‘D’ of DVD’s

  1. Well there are RPC hacks available on the net through which you can set your DVD drive as region free. This maybe risky for the health of your DVD drive though 😉

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