Region free DVD player

This is just a quick post to help those of us who buy or borrow DVDs from different parts of the world. People are always asking me how I manage to watch my American DVDs and the British ones that the video store rents without using up all of my laptop's region switches. The simple answer is download VLC - Video Lan Client. VLC is an open source media player that can play just about any video format you would ever want to play including DVDs. The best part though, is that it can play DVDs from any region without requiring you to change the region set on your hardware (which is usually limited to a fixed number of changes). Since it is open source there are ports to most operating systems including Windows, OSX and Linux. Happy DVD watching.

6 Response to Region free DVD player

  1. brian says:

    So what kind of TV and DVD/CD player must one have in Malawi to take advantage of both kinds of formats?

  2. Mike says:

    Well we just use my laptop and VLC to play DVDs. VLC gets around the region issue and you don't have to deal with PAL/NTSC when you are using a computer. There is no region restriction on CDs (for now anyway). If you wanted to watch stuff on a TV they use the European formal here (PAL). We bought a used TV and VCR that handles both European and American versions, but I don't think they are that common.

  3. brian says:

    Thanks - B

  4. Robin says:

    Hmm... doesn't seem to work on my Vaio. I suspect the region is hardwired rather than software on this box. Plays R2's fine. But won't even open R1s.

  5. Mike says:

    Robin - what does it do? VLC should work - region DRM is almost always hardware based. It isn't the greatest UI - you have to set the DVD drive manually, etc, etc. My bet is it will play your DVDs...

  6. Robin says:

    Well, it doesn't do anything. It just starts to play (you can tell because the play button displays 'pause' instead of 'play'), then just stops. Doesn't hang or anything.

    Found a pretty good description of the issue on the wiki:

    Basically says that RPC2 will not allow you to access the raw data on the disc and that's what VLC needs to crack the encryption.

    How do you set the DVD drive manually?

    BTW the other approach I was going to suggest was to DVDshrink the DVD and reburn the film with out encoding. But first you need a region free drive.

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