What Are DVD Region Codes?
Every DVD you put in your player has a region code associated with it. Whether it is a region 1 disc or region free, it is something to consider when purchasing a DVD player or disc. Today, almost all devices that have the ability to play a movie will have a region number including PC’s, standalone DVD players, car stereos, video game consoles and Blu-ray players.
What Is The Purpose?
You are probably wondering what a region code is, and more importantly what purpose they have. DVD region codes restrict playback of movies that come from geographical locations outside of your residing place. For example, you cannot typically play a DVD on a United States DVD player if that disc is distributed in Australia. The purpose of these restrictive codes is so the Digital-Rights Management can control aspects of a movie release such as content, price, and the release date. There are 6 official region codes that separate every country geographically into their associated market.
Why Are They Important?
DVD region codes are important because without them, distribution agencies would have a very tough time controlling the market. If there were no codes, one could simply call their friend in a different country and have them send a DVD to them in the mail before the release date of their own region. With regions in place, consumers have no choice but to pay the set price for their movie at the time of release. Manufacturer’s can demand a higher price for their product depending on the allowances of the market at that time. This results in more profit for the movie industry that produced it.
DVD Region Breakdown:
- Region 1 – The U.S., U.S. territories and Canada
- Region 2 – Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Egypt, South Africa, Greenland
- Region 3 – Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong
- Region 4 – Mexico, South America, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Caribbean
- Region 5 – Russia (okay, former Russia), Eastern Europe, India, most of Africa, North Korea, Mongolia
- Region 6 – China
How This Affects You?
When shopping for a new DVD player or car multimedia player, it may be wise to choose one that has a worldwide region associated with it. Region ALL and region 0 players will either have all region flags set, or they will mask the region of the disc before attempting to play it. Some players will even allow you to manually set the corresponding region of the disc before attempting to play it. Be sure to do your research before you purchase any video related product to be sure it is compatible with the types of discs you are looking to play. If you are purchasing a product from outside of your own country, this is especially important. Region ALL and region 0 DVD players are the way to go in today’s industry if you are at all worried about compatibility.