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[Full Info] DVD Region Codes, DVD Hacks, Unlock DVD Regions

You may have found that you can't play foreign DVDs brought during your trip abroad. This is because the DVDs are protected by different region codes to specify the area where the DVDs can be played. For instance, you can't play a Region-2 DVD from UK in the US or vice versa. DVDs in different areas are encoded with different region codes and discs without region coding (all region or region 0 discs) can be played anywhere. In this post, we're going to learn all the details about DVD region codes, Blu-ray regions, and how to make a DVD region free.

Part 1. Why Are There Different DVD Regions?

Why are DVDs coded with different regions? The short answer is money.

Typically, movies are distributed in different areas at different time. Normally, a movie will be released in the U.S. first, and months later in Australia and other countries. In other words, the DVD version may be released in the U.S. while the same movie is still being shown in theaters. Considering the price differences across different markets, if there are no DVD region codes, people may buy a cheaper version from other region, which will hurt the profit of the film producer. The DVD regions can guarantee the greatest possible return on the movie investment.

Part 2. What Are the DVD Region Codes?

There are the DVD region codes:

  • Region 1 - Canada, the U.S. and its territories.
  • Region 2 - Japan, Europe (such as UK), South Africa, the Middle East (including Egypt) and Greenland. Check How to Rip Region 2 DVD>>
  • Region 3 - South East Asia, and East Asia (including Hong Kong).
  • Region 4 - Australia (Australia DVD Region and FAQs), New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and Caribbean.
  • Region 5 - Eastern Europe, Russia, India, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia.
  • Region 6 - China.
  • Region 7 - reserved for unspecified special use.
  • Region 8 - Special international venues for air and oceanic travel.
  • Region 0, 9, or Region ALL — worldwide.
DVD Region Code
DVD region codes map

There are the Blu-ray regions:

  • A/1 - North, Central and South America, East and Southeast Asia
  • B/2 - Africa, Europe, Oceania, Middle East, Netherlands, British overseas territories, French territories, Greenland
  • C/3 - Central and South Asia, Mongolia, Russia, and People's Republic of China
  • ABC/FREE - Worldwide
Bluray regions
Bluray region codes map

What do these numbers mean? It means your DVD player should match that of the DVD. DVD region-free/multi-region players aside, DVD players are manufactured for specific Blu-ray and DVD regions (where the players are produced). For example, most DVDs sold on Amazon are Region 1, so they can only be played on players manufactured in the U.S. or Canada. 

Part 3. How to Tell What Region a DVD Is?

If you're going to hack a DVD player or change the region code of a player, you may need to know the region codes of the DVDs you're going to play. So how to find out what region a DVD is? If you're not clear where the DVD comes from, try ways below.

  • Normally, the region code of a DVD is specified on the package cover of the disc or on the back of the DVD. The region number is superimposed on a small, standardized globe icon.
  • Try DVD info freeware like Drive Region Info, DVDinfopro, Nero Infotool, or DVD players like WinDVD, Power DVD to check the region code under Configuration.

Part 4. How to Remove DVD Region Codes - 3 DVD Regions Unlock Methods

  1. Purchase a multi-region/region-free DVD player [fee based]
  2. Make all your DVDs region free [unlock DVDs one by one]
  3. Make your DVD player region free [DVD hacks related]

#1 Get A Multi-region DVD Player

Purchase a region-free DVD player and you can play DVDs from any regions freely (as long as there is no RCE protection) and will save your hassle of DVD hacking or having to change DVD region code manually. Search on Google and you can find multi-region DVD players from Sony, LG, Samsung, Panasonic, JVC, and many other famous brands on Amazon, Best Buy, Walmat, 220-Electronics, etc. A region-free DVD player is normally priced from $30 to somewhere if you have to ask, way expensive. Be careful with the supported regions and DVD formats when you select a multi-region DVD player.

#2 Make Your DVD Region Free

There is another option to play any regions, DVD formats, protections freely without having to pay $250. Instead of DVD player region unlock, you can remove region codes from any foreign DVDs with DVD ripping software. After you unlock 1-8 region codes, RCE protection, and PAL/NTSC formats, you can play a foreign DVD movie on the DVD player, portable devices or elsewhere or burn the region-free file back to a recordable disc freely.

There are many DVD ripping tools online. Similar to multi-region DVD players, different programs support different DVD settings. To make things easier, try WinX DVD Ripper Platinum ( Windows version or Mac version). It will bypass DVD region codes, RCE, and other protections like APS, UOP, Sony ARccOS, Disney X-project DRM, etc. and convert DVDs to region-free ISO image, MPEG, HEVC, MP4, AVI, etc.  

There are other similar tools like Handbrake (libdvdcss required), MacTheRipper (Mac).

#3 Make Your DVD Player Region Free

A. Change DVD player region codes

  1. Power on the DVD player
  2. Open the DVD tray and don't insert a DVD.
  3. Push Setup on the remote, select Preferences and choose Region on the screen.
  4. Select Region 0/9 using the Up and Down button. If you only see 1-8 regions, it means the DVD player won't support other regions.

Note: Changing the player's region code 5 times (including the initial region set by the customer) per machine is allowed for most DVD drives. The fifth time you change the code, it's permanently set to the last code you set.  

B. DVD region code hacks

DVD hacks mean DVD player regions unlock using the remote control code. The steps to hack a DVD player are similar among different brands, but the unlock codes required to unlock LG DVD player, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, and other players are different based on the player regions. You can go to VideoHelp where there is a specific panel for DVD player region codes hacks. Enter the brand and model of your DVD player to find a hack code. Below we take Samsung DVD-V6800 as an example (check full guide on how to make your DVD player region-free) to show you how to unlock region-free mode of your DVD players:

1. Power on the DVD player and make sure the DVD tray is shut with no disc.

2. Press the REPEAT button on the remote and enter a five digit hack code.

  • R1 - 29334
  • R2 - 38767
  • R3 - 56732
  • R4 - 76884
  • R5 - 53814
  • R6 - 24462

3. If you're an R1 Player, press 29334. And press 38767 for an R2 Player. After that, press 1-6 based on the DVD region you want. Or you can simply press 9 to make your DVD player region-free.

4. Next, open the tray and press Standby on the remote to close it. Now your DVD player is hacked and set to the new region you want.

Note: Not all DVD players are hacked and documented with an unlock code. If you can't find an unlock code for your DVD model, stay tuned on the forums and check regularly to see if anyone has shared a code.

Video Tutorial: How to Unlock Region Code from DVD Disc?

Part 5. What's Region Code Enhanced (RCE)?

Region Code enhanced (RCE) is one of the DVD protections that works as an extra measure to prevent Region-1 DVDs from playing on region-free or multi-region players. RCE is now mainly coded on Region 1 DVDs from Warner Bros and Columbia. It's a small program on the DVD that finds and checks if the region of the DVD player matches to the DVD.

  • It will first read the region of the DVD player.
  • Then play the DVD normally if the player is Region-1.
  • Or refuse to play the DVD if the player has other regions (All, 6, 5, 4, 3, or 2).

Part 6. NTSC and PAL

This is not the end of the story of DVD region codes. All DVDs are made either NTSC or PAL standard. Most PAL players should play an NTSC DVD but most NTSC players will not play a PAL disc (All computers will play both standards). To play PAL videos in NTSC regions, you can get a multi-system TV, a NTSC/PAL DVD player or a signal converter.

Note that this limit only applies to home video systems. When you watch a foreign DVD on a computer, the region code will be the only problem - the DVD video encoding standard (NTSC/SECAM/PAL) is not. To get more info, check below.

NTSC (National Television Standards Committee), 720x486, 60 fields/29.97 fps, 60 Hz, is used in North America, Japan, Philippines, Korean and parts of South America.

PAL (Phase Alternating Line), 768x576, 50 field/25 fps, 50Hz, is used almost everywhere else in the world. Note that in countries that use the SECAM broadcast standard, DVDs are encoded in PAL format.

DVD NTSC/PAL regions
DVD NTSC/PAL regions


author - Donna Peng

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Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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