Region Free DVD Players

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Author: A Johannesson

For those of you that are clueless about region free DVD , let me get you up to speed. Have you ever paid attention to that little region number that’s printed somewhere on every movie DVD that you buy or rent? Well, it seems that Hollywood, and other major film producers around the world, cooked up this little encoding scheme that’s supposedly designed to protect the studios from having DVDs sold in countries where the original film hasn’t been released in the theaters yet. But there’s more behind the birth of the region free DVD player .

If you think about what the movie industry is claiming, it kind of makes sense from their point of view. If Shrek II is done playing in North America, but it hasn’t even opened in Australia, then it would make sense that the producers wouldn’t want the DVD being offered for rent or sale in the land down under until they’ve cleaned up on selling movie tickets there. However, there may be a more ominous reason behind these DVD region codes and people are starting to investigate claims of price fixing based upon which region is encoded on the DVD. It remains to be seen if consumers are getting ripped off and what role region free DVD players will have in thwarting that..

Anyway, regardless of who is ripping off whom, the DVD region code barrier is starting to crumble under a direct assault by the electronics industry and their latest weapon in the war against Hollywood henchmen : The region free DVD player. .

How the region free DVD player works

The region free DVD player let’s you select from among the world’s DVD regions so you can play any DVD regardless of which region it was encoded for. There are 8 separate regions and each one has their own DVD code so, unless you have a region free DVD player, you’re stuck playing DVDs that were meant for release in your particular country or region.

If you live in the U.S. or Canada, and you never go anywhere else, then you probably couldn’t care less if you have a region free DVD player or not. Unless, of course, you have a taste for foreign films which may never be released in your region. Here’s the problem that the rest of the world faces:

I’ve already told you that the movie industry sees the region code as a protective measure to offset the fact that the movie studios do not release a DVD into all regions at the same time. Sometimes they don’t even release a DVD into another region at all! Region coding makes it impossible for you to purchase a DVD on the Internet and play it in your home, if both the Internet store and your home are not in the same region. So, as loudly as Hollywood is screaming that region coding protects them from loss, the DVD aftermarket sales and rental industry is screaming that it’s killing them.

And that my friends is what motivated some major electronics manufacturers to come up with the region free DVD player. You simply set a switch to match the region setting on the DVD that you’re about to play and that’s it. Your region free DVD player handles everything from there so you can enjoy DVDs from anywhere in the world.

The whole region free DVD thing isn’t just about the forces of good vs. the forces of evil… I mean consumers vs. the film industry, There are some business and scientific reasons why region free DVD players are a good idea and one of them has to do with some really sci fi stuff.

Is there a need for interplanetary region free DVD players?

Well, almost. NASA has been making some serious inquiries about the availability of region free DVD players and that makes a lot of sense. With residents of the International Space Station slated to come from practically all of the DVD regions, they are either going to have to buy multiple DVD players from each region, or grab themselves a bunch of region free DVD players. You can imagine the entertainment role that watching DVDs on a region free DVD player will have when you’re part of a team that can’t drive out to the local theatre or down the street to DVD Rental World.

Like all good ideas, the movie industry is dead against region free DVD players. And while they haven’t struck a blow against them yet, they have tried to kill an offshoot known as code-free DVD players. These are modified DVD players where the entire code sensing circuitry has been removed. These modified players are usually sold on the gray, if not black, market and are looked at by the movie industry the same way that the cable industry views cable descramblers. In an effort to fight the code-free DVD players the movie industry has come up with Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE), which is a scheme that stops Region 1 DVDs from playing on code-free DVD players. I’m thinking that it’s going to be a bit more difficult for the movie honchos to stop the region free DVD player since all of the circuitry remains intact and the DVD just decides which region code it has to emulate.

So, if you travel to other countries; if you have people from other countries coming to see you; if you’re headed off to live on the International Space Station; if you like foreign films; or if you just want to give Hollywood the digital finger for yet another attempt to stick their hands even deeper into your pocket, then check out the latest line of region free DVD players. They’re worth it.

About the author: Webmaster: - a resource for Region Free DVD information.

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