Talk:DVD region code

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/Archive 1

Added "Criticism" section[edit]

In addition to the legal issues, which are very interesting, there should be a section on general criticism. Many criticisms have been voiced on this talk page without taking this appropriate step. The section could definitely be better developed, so I invite editors to contribute to it. (talk) 18:18, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Yabut, you're duplicating information already found in the article. The ACCC paragraph is fine. Your ref simply makes it better (now with four, instead of three, Australian refs). The "Legal concerns" section could legitimately be retitled "Criticism", however section titles should not be changed for "light and transient reasons" as they are linked to off Wikipedia. My point is: These are all about the same organization that has the concern: ACCC. These references should all be kept together in the article, for the reader to understand that this one org has four separate cited concerns. —Aladdin Sane (talk) 18:56, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback. The information was not redundant, because that section is still limited to "legal concerns," a very specific criticism. Many voices on this talk page have voiced other criticisms, yet there is no space to include them. I am not aware of any guideline where sources should be confined to one section. Yes, let's find additional sources- shouldn't be too hard. The problem is the section now is so narrowly focused as to discourage developing it. I agree, let's either retitle the section or have a new one, but the old version does not make sense. Either solution is better than just reverting. (talk) 03:28, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I found some additional sources (Washington Post article, etc.) and expanded the section into a "Criticism and Legal Concerns" section. I hope this solution finds consensus. Also the discussion of legal concerns includes the situation in Australia, New Zealand and the European Union - all with refs. (talk) 04:38, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
For the record: I agree with's concerns about "the legal concerns" section, and I agree it should be widened (with sources). The current changes I agree with, as they contain cited sources. I am not against adding info, I am only against redundancy for the reader of the article. Now that the section is expanded to "Criticism and Legal Concerns" I say, "Have at it", just give me a source. —Aladdin Sane (talk) 17:01, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Delete this sentence?[edit]

In the article it says "On Feb. 7, 2001, NASA sent two multiregion DVD players to the International Space Station.[26]" While true it's neither informative, illustrative or actually all that interesting. Unlike the former sentence "In March 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown received a "wrong region" message on a screen when attempting to watch a DVD set of classic American movies received as a diplomatic gift from US President Barack Obama.[25]" which clearly illustrates a criticism. Why is the NASA sentence there? RamdomWolf (talk) 18:49, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

What DVD region is French Guiana?[edit]

is it "part of France" and thus Region 2, or is it part of "South America" and thus in Region 4? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:40, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

According to the article, as a French overseas territory, French Guiana is presumably region 2, although the DVD region information listed on lists French Guiana as Region 4 (See: Jammycaketin (talk) 18:48, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I noticed someone has written that South America except French Guiana is Region 4. Is there a reference for this? As I wrote above, I found French Guiana specifically listed under Region 4 on, although I don't know if there are any sources to suggest otherwise. Please add a reference if you can, otherwise I would suggest that the 'except' be deleted and a reference to the Amazon page added. Thank you. Jammycaketin (talk) 10:13, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Please read the article you cited more carefully. The "French territories" categorization is for BluRay region coding and not for DVD region codes. The article you reference specifically lists French Guiana as region 4. Also, the term "French Overseas Territories" has a very specific meaning and is not correctly used here. That refers specifically and solely to [French Southern and Antarctic Lands]. While "French territories" is generally used to mean France plus all of its "overseas departments and territories." Those other members of the list are not Territories but are Departments and presently the only remaining member considered to be an "Overseas Territory" under French law is the one I mentioned. Though since even the correctly named or described categorization is not wholly placed in any one region, I suppose the semantic point is moot.
It may be best just to copy the more complete lists found in the reference sites or at least linking to one. France is particularly hard to pin down since it has so many categorizations for so little kinds of departments and territories. Here is a much more specific breakdown than I have been able to find elsewhere (see: - but be sure not to mix up BluRay and DVD regions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:16, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

All French overseas territories and regions, as well as all British overseas territories, non-European parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands are in region 2, the same region as their respective nations main base. See here: Could someone please change any discrepancies on the map as well to reflect this. --Lemonade100 16:50, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

New Caledonia?[edit]

The map shows it as region 2 (probably due to being French), while the article implies (being part of Oceania) that it's region 4.

Also for Blu-ray regions, New Caledonia is indicated as A in the map, shouldn't it be B? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:19, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

According to this PDF it's region 4, but I don't know how accurate that is -- it's just something I found in 20 seconds of googling. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:41, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Made changes because of numerues errors[edit]

Had to make several changes in the article, because of almost 10 errors spotted. First of all it's not true that a country or territory can be in two regions at the same time. (In the same way that for example the state of Maine cannot belong to both USA and Canada at the same).
Also it's not true that european DVDs has been further coded for the countries they are intended used, making them impossible to play outside these countries. These codes are just internal codes used by Warner, and any DVD bought in UK will play OK in Norway, and vice versa no matter what D or Z lettering that are printed on the cover.
The only extra coding possible in addition to the regions, are the RCE system used on a few USA, Can and Jap discs to create problems for people buying discs outside their region.
It is staten that R0 disc are common in China and Phillipines. As far as I know they're common in all DVD producing countries of the world. At least 40% of my very international DVD collection is Region 0. All countries are richly represented.
The main thing causing confusing is the territories of USA, UK, Fra and Hol laying thousands of km away from the mainland in a different region. (All of them islands, except French Guyana). US territories are counted into R1, and french territories are counted as R2 'cos they're ruled from Paris with very limited independence. But what about UK and Hol territories? Some are goverened tighly from London and Amsterdam, while others, especially those laying in the Caribbean are almost ruling themselves as own countries. Not even bothering using their "motherland's" currency.
Also there are no such thing as SECAM DVDs. All SECAM countries (except Cuba) changed to PAL, when DVD was introduced. (SECAM was a video system made in France 1965). There is just two systems on DVD: NTSC and PAL.

Best regards

Stein S., Oslo, Norway

P.S. I come back and make further changes, when I have time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:05, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Please discuss your changes first; the material you have (repeatedly) added introduces numerous errors into the article. There are some spelling errors, you have added uncited opinions, and there is no real need to change the country names in the way that you have. --Ckatzchatspy 23:46, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
It is not correct to say that countries that used SECAM changed to PAL with the introduction of DVD. DVDs are neither SECAM nor PAL as both terms refer to two different methods of adding colour information to an analogue television signal. The term 'PAL' is usually incorrectly used on DVD packaging to signify a 720x576 pixel format picture (equivalent to the analogue 625 line system). Note that the same argument is not quite so true of the term 'NTSC' which also refers to the 525 line television system as well as the colour system frequently employed with it, but not to any digital format including DVD. Although DVDs sold in France (for example) are marked as being in 'PAL' format, France's analogue television broadcasts nevertheless remain in SECAM. (talk) 17:38, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Bermuda is NOT in Region 1 etc.[edit]


Instead of looking at all these listings written off each other all over the internet. I went straight to the source itself, Hollywood. (They must know since they invented the system). Out of my ca. 90 DVDs bought from USA Hollywood companies, 23 is genuine R1 discs (found it out on my PC drive). And by reading on the backcover of these DVDs all of them "are inteded for use in USA, Canada and US territories". Not even 1 out of 23 mentions "Bermuda". That must count as some sort of proof.

By the way, why would they bother to take Bermuda in? It just don't make sense. It's a british colony getting the supplies from the "motherland".

Also, all regions maps on the internet shows not only Russia, Belarus and Ukraine as in Region 5. But in fact the entire Former Soviet Union. Meaning that also Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (the Baltic states) and Moldova are included too.

There's no such thing as SECAM DVDs. To prove this I suggest you go to Ebay, and search for russian or french DVDs. And no matter how many backcovers you maginfy it will always say PAL. (All countries that used SECAM videos (except Cuba), changed to PAL with the introduction of DVD).

Lastly Hong Kong does NOT use both R3 and R6. I've got ca. 60 HK DVDs at home and when examing them on my PC drive, ca. 40 has R3 and NON have R6 or R3+R6.
The article has a number of issues, that has to be sorted out.

Best regards

Stein S., Oslo —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:30, 3 February 2011 (UTC)


This article has no clear explanation on how this sistem was born, or about who created it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:30, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

The very first paragraph has the why and certainly implies the who. (talk) 16:38, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Any Disc can be played worldwide ...[edit]

The article has a fundamental problem. It does not separate between technical possibilities and the laws and licences. It is no problem to buy a player for any desired disc-format in any country (region) of the world and to buy the discs fit for exactly that player in the same country. The player does NOT register when it is moved to a different region (no "GPS-detection" of the locality or such features). Most players can have their region/region-code changed between one and ten times before they keep to it. Some players can play every disc/region and some (code-free) discs can be played on all players. The film industry has always wanted to make it worldwide unlawful to play a disc with a region code that does noct fit the place. It is currently (to my knowledge) not (directly) the case in any country (no law against the playing exists). The problem is the licence. Most discs come with a licence to play that does not allow the playing in countries not belonging to the region and some local laws (not all) declare those regulations valid and thus the playing in those countries is unlawful (other laws declare these regulations/restrictions in the licence unlawful). This (a little bit complicated) fact should be represented in the article. The sentence indicating, a disc can not be played (technically) in any country should be removed and be replaced with a sentence indicating "it can always be played in the appropriate player in any country worldwide - but it may be unlawful in countries not belonging to the region the disc was made for due to licence regulations". This applies to ALL types of discs whether blue ray or not. In some countries it is important to have a TV-set with the appropriate colour-system for the player and the disc (NTSC or SECAM players or discs have problems with a PAL-TV and vice versa). These problems do not depend on the region code itself but depend on the colour-system of the country the player (and the discs) were made for. --PhChAK (talk) 11:58, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

It is much easier to stop buying DVDs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:46, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure your overview of the situation is entirely accurate. For example, you say "it is important to have a TV-set with the appropriate colour-system for the player and the disc". This is half right, in that the video output from the DVD player must be compatible with the TV. However, DVDs do not encode a colour system, so from that standpoint PAL and SECAM DVDs are identical, while the only differences between PAL/SECAM and NTSC are the resolution and frame rate (720×576 @ 50 Hz vs. 720×480 @ 60 Hz). Additionally, most PAL/SECAM players output via RGB SCART, and some output via YPBPR component or HDMI (mostly upscaling DVD players), which like DVD do not use a colour encoding system so are the same under both/all systems; the only difference between players would be from composite video and s-video outputs.
As for the legality of playing, I don't think that actually effects consumers - it is designed to control distribution, not playback. Distribution in different regions is often handled by different companies, often due to how it has to be licensed for broadcast (mainly for TV shows) or local laws governing said distribution. As such, if a company doesn't have a license to distribute the content globally (for whatever reason), it is restricted to distribution of region-coded content so that it doesn't damage the profits of distributors in another region. It is certainly possible that some sort of EULA may be imposed on a disc, but I am yet to come across one (to be enforceable, it would have to be presented to the user at some point, probably along with piracy warnings etc). I have certainly seen licence agreements that say "only for home use, not for broadcast" etc, but never "must not be played outside of region X countries".
That said, if you can find some reasonably good source that agrees with you, then of course it should be included. Also, your point about GPS etc not being used to track players is a good one, and the fact players can be used anywhere should probably be mentioned somehow.
Alphathon /'æl.f'æ.θɒn/ (talk) 15:12, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
You are right, the situation is very complex and I did not state everything absolutely accurate. What I wanted to stress is only the fact, that there is practically no (technical) obstruction in free (western) countries to get access to content that is not meant to be there by region code. In Germany we often have the problem that the original english films are not distributed without german subtitles or translation. Some people therefore buy most of their discs in the US and import them to europe. If one does not exceed the limit of € 430 tax free import (per transport / flight and person) there is as far as I know no problem - unless you discover at home that you need a second player (US-region-coded) and possibly a second TV-set if the US-player does not "understand" the european TV and the european player can not access the disc because of the US-region-code.
The problem might arise with customs if (and that is not clear) european customs estimate the US region-code as a law-problem obstructive to importation. The film-right-owners want the law to be interpreted in a way that importing discs with US region code into europe is unlawful and the discs must therefore be confiscated if discovered by european customs. At the moment (if I am not misinformed) european customs does not follow that idea but lets the discs be imported if they are (like fashion-fakes) only used privately and not sold or given (for free) to other persons once they are inside europe. I hope you understand what I mean.
The article is very restrictive and gives the impression that US-coded discs can not be played in europe due to technical reasons - that I wanted to make clear ist absolutely wrong. If you install a US-player in europe it can play US discs. Technical problems are not relevant and can be bypassed. Problems with the law are more difficult. In countries like China the region code is very effective as it is not possible (as far as I know) to import US- or european players and chinese players can not be altered in their region coding they only play chinese coded (censored) discs. --PhChAK (talk) 22:48, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Really it doesn't matter how film companies want the law to be interpreted, AFAIK there is no law against importing for personal use in the EU (there may be in individual member states, but I doubt it). As far as I'm aware, anyone can legally import any DVD, Blu-ray etc to the UK (the same probably applies in Germany and other EU states), but no-one can sell them. Basically as I understand it importing legally works because the item is sold in the US by a US company and so is subject to US laws at point of sale. It is then shipped to the UK (or where ever) at which point the only legal concerns are whether the material is legal for consumption (i.e. if you were to import a banned film) and taxes paid on the import. However, if you were then to sell that DVD to someone else in the UK (or where ever) you would then be breaking the law as the content has not be certified by the local ratings body (which in the UKs case is the BBFC, I don't know what Germany's is). I'm not aware of the region code being an issue though, it just so happens that if the content isn't region 2 then it won't have been certified locally.
This is a quote from the BBFC FAQs:
"Can we bring back videos from abroad that are not currently classified? The Video Recordings Act 1984 makes it illegal to supply any video or DVD within the UK which has not been classified by the BBFC, unless it is exempt. Although it is not a Customs offence to import an unclassified video or DVD, it must be for your personal use only and the content must not breach the prohibition on the importation of indecent and obscene material which reflects other UK laws (eg the Obscene Publications Acts 1959 and 1964, the Protection of Children Act 1978). You are therefore entitled to purchase unclassified videos/DVDs whilst abroad, provided they contain no illegal material and are solely for personal use."[1]
China using for censorship is another matter, which may need to be expanded upon, so maybe a section on local laws regarding it may be in order (would have to be well sourced though).
Also, as you say, technically speaking, there is no reason any player won't work anywhere else as long as you can power it and can hook it up to a TV somehow (be it via HDMI/component, an imported TV or simply a local that can display NTSC images). Maybe it needs a once-over to make it a bit clearer (that what is being talked about is "players sold in that region" not "any player used in that region").
Alphathon /'æl.f'æ.θɒn/ (talk) 23:58, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't think any change is necessary. The article is concerned with hardcoded regions on discs, and the interpretation of those codes by players. Where those players happen to be, and whether people take advantage of differing codes is not important to the article, certainly not to the degree where it should be rewritten as a key point. a_man_alone (talk) 09:42, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Do music CDs have region codes?[edit]

Do music CDs have region codes? --Fladoodle (talk) 02:19, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

No. Alphathon /'æɫfə.θɒn/ (talk) 16:09, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Playing DVDs in blu-ray-players?[edit]

I noticed that the regions are different between DVDs and blu-rays. Can blu-ray-players play DVDs from all regions? --Oddeivind (talk) 18:40, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Generally, no - they have both a Blu-ray region and a DVD region. For example, a UK PS3 will only play region 2/region free DVDs and region B/region free/all region Blu-rays. Of course, like with standard DVD players there are region-free players available (although I don't know how prevalent they are). Alphathon /'æɫfə.θɒn/ (talk) 19:36, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Breaking Bad[edit]

Hello — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:53, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Logical limitations to the stated purposes for the region codes.[edit]

At this time, the article provides two stated purposes for DVD region coding.

One purpose of region coding is controlling release dates.

While the coding does protect cinemas/box office sales with new releases, the coding restriction applies way beyond what is needed for this purpose. This purpose clearly does not apply to old movies that were released long ago. The purpose would also become moot as time passed. It is unlikely that two years or five years after the release of a film in either the European or the American market the film will receive a large theatrical release in the other region.

Finally, the copyright in a title may be held by different entities in different territories. Region coding enables copyright holders to (attempt to) prevent a DVD from a region from which they do not derive royalties from being played on a DVD player inside their region. Region coding attempts to dissuade importing of DVDs from one region into another.

While region coding may generally provide some protection to copyright holders it doesn't do this very well. In legal terms, the restriction is not closely tailored to its purpose. For example, there is only one region code for all of Latin America, yet the countries all have their own copyright laws. Residents in one Latin American country would be able to view a code 4 film even if the copyright holder receives no royalties from DVDs sold in that nation. Many Latin American countries share common borders and trade among the nations is widespread, so that DVDs sold in a country that provides no royalties can be easily distributed to other countries.

Region 2 at once presents examples that tailor regional DVD protection to royalty protection and to examples where it absolutely doesn't. The former is the case for those countries in the European union. It is a big geographic area, with many countries that provide the same protection to copyright holder. However, not all European states are members of the European Union, particularly the states in Eastern Europe. However, Western China, Japan, South Africa, Egypt, Swaziland, Lesotho and Greenland are all part of this region. This clearly presents a situation where the holder of a copyright from one country is not protected from having that film viewed in a country that does not provide royalties.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the first person to point this out, and sources citing these criticisms should be abundant. Yet these are not mentioned either in this section or the criticism section.

Finally, the major downside to region coding and the reason why some countries are trying to limit region-coding is not the inconvenience of travelers. The major criticism of regional coding is that it is an anti-competitive practice. Regional coding inhibits price competition for both DVD players and DVDs themselves. This is also a detriment to those who view globalization as a positive goal. The criticism section makes it seem as if the harms of region coding are just the laws of couple of countries on competition and the inconvenience to travelers and ignores the elephant in the room - that the codes enable anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices generally. Ileanadu (talk) 20:33, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

I thought the reason for coding was to prevent people from buying from overseas sources. A $20 dvd in India would have almost no customers. The dvds are so cheap to make that selling them for far less can still reap a good profit. The $20 price is for those who can pay more with an even better profit. The case is probably worth more than the dvd. 2601:181:8301:4510:5013:295A:1001:6F91 (talk) 13:12, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

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