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How important is it to worry about region-free?

Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 & 11.2 Speakers

singh_mp

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Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
34
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8
Location
Mumbai, India
I am looking to add a player / source my setup. I read some ongoing discussions here and based on my understanding, I believe (and let me know if I am wrong here):

a. While BD players are region locked, all Blu-ray Discs are region free and hence should play on any BD player irrespective of which region it is locked to
b. All players in India are region free for DVDs. Hence if I am picking something here, again most of the DVDs should play nevertheless

If both of these are true, then why is so much focus of making players region free? I am sure its not so straight forward but what am I missing. Would love some education here. I am down to Panasonic BDT220, provided I can source that. I dont own much content and most of what I will play will be rented BDs / DVDs and borrowed BDs/DVDs from friends (purchased both in India and abroad).

Thanks in advance for sparing your time and thoughts.
 

spirovious

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Apr 10, 2008
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You need to have to worry as long as you get regionfree Bluray disc.By chance you happened to get another region's,then it wont play.
 

thebanik

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Joined
Mar 31, 2011
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230
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Delhi
a. While BD players are region locked, all Blu-ray Discs are region free and hence should play on any BD player irrespective of which region it is locked to
b. All players in India are region free for DVDs. Hence if I am picking something here, again most of the DVDs should play nevertheless

I guess both the statement are wrong (though not too sure about Point b). Though many/most BDs are region free but there are quite a few BDs which are region locked, which means an Indian bought BD Player would not be able to play region locked BDs from US or UK (and many of us buy BDs from abroad, simply because they are much cheaper)
 

technobhatt

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Mar 1, 2012
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NCR
Here is my take on your question.
(It has been already written many times on this forum)

1. If a BD Player is Region Free; it will be very convenient to the user. You will not have to worry about playing any DVD or BD in the player.
Whatever you buy, it will play and you're not restricted to buy any particular BD/DVD. No need to worry about Region Code on discs before you rent/buy any disc.

2. If buying a Region Free BD player is not possible; I would highly recommend, NOT to buy a Region C BD player.
Always buy a Region A or B player.
Almost all the discs manufactured in India are Region Free, so any region A/B player will play Indian discs without any hassle.

3. I have purchased many Bluray discs from Amazon UK and US and most of the popular items are Region Free. All the Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal releases are Region Free.
As far as I know; Sony, LionsGate etc. releases Region Coded discs.
Even most of the popular Sony releases are Region Free. eg. Lawrence of Arabia
All the Criterion Collection releases are Region A coded.

4. One more point, I could realize during my purchasing experience. Few of the US releases which are Region A coded, have region free or region B release in UK. However all such releases may not have lossless Audio in UK release. For example: The Prestige, Trainspotting etc.

Look for any Region A or B player, in case Region Free player is not in scope. Avoid purchasing Region C player.
 

shankarcams

Active Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
339
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43
Location
Chennai
1. Many, perhaps even most players play all region DVDs, but it is important to verify this while buying.

2. Most BD players are NOT region free. Making a BD player region free is fairly expensive if at all possible.

In both cases I guess it is a function of where you will be sourcing most of your media from. Needless to say all media sold in India will be compatible with players sold in India. If you plan to get media from abroad, please make a list of countries in India's DVD and BD region codes and media purchased from those countries will also play without issues.

Blu-ray Disc - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Region Code Map - Find out which region DVD are made and used on your country!

Only if you plan to source media from countries NOT on India DVD/BD region you will have to consider multiregion as mandatory. Most releases of English movies happen in India soon enough after the foreign release so I for one have stopped worrying about multi region functionality.

Hope that helps.
 

baijuxavior

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Mar 7, 2011
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Kerala
Most Indian BR disks are region free. But imported BR disks are not region free in many cases. For example I have LOTR extended BD and it is region locked to B and so it won't play in Indian players. If you are importing BR disks from UK or US then you will definitely need a region free BDP.
 

just4kix

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Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Messages
5,024
Points
113
Location
Pune, India
I am looking to add a player / source my setup. I read some ongoing discussions here and based on my understanding, I believe (and let me know if I am wrong here):

a. While BD players are region locked, all Blu-ray Discs are region free and hence should play on any BD player irrespective of which region it is locked to
b. All players in India are region free for DVDs. Hence if I am picking something here, again most of the DVDs should play nevertheless

If both of these are true, then why is so much focus of making players region free? I am sure its not so straight forward but what am I missing. Would love some education here. I am down to Panasonic BDT220, provided I can source that. I dont own much content and most of what I will play will be rented BDs / DVDs and borrowed BDs/DVDs from friends (purchased both in India and abroad).

Thanks in advance for sparing your time and thoughts.

It is true. All BD players are region locked. All BDs are not region free but most (85-90%) are. I have 157 title and 18 of them are region locked. There is a very definite pattern with regards to a BD title being region free or not:
  • TV serials and documentaries are usually region free (99%)
  • BDs from studios such as Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony/Columbia/Tristar, Universal, Disney, Dreamworks, Pixar, etc. are almost always region free
  • Studios such as 20th Century Fox and its affiliates release a mix - about 50% are region locked
  • Studios such as Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment, etc. are usually region locked (90%)
There is no hard and fast rule. So you must make sure whether the BD is region free or not. The best way to verify is visiting bluray.com and choosing the country of origin.

Indian BDPs are NOT region free for DVDs. But their DVD region code can be changed by special codes (hacks) and it requires a special remote known as "AllForOne" remote. DVD Region code cannot be unlocked (usually) by manufacturer provided remote.

Finally, tech junkies hate any "locked" potential.

That is reason for the clamour and noise about making a player region free. All Panasonic BD players can be made region free via a special firmware update from an independent developer. In this case, (as long as the firmware is not updated by official update), the region code can be changed (for BDP and DVD) by official factory supplied remote by entering some codes. There is a donation required to get the firmware. For Toshiba BDX-3200GB, there is a free firmware update downloadable from various sites; but this BDP is now out of production and only old stock is available. For a minority of the rest, the method to make region free is via a hardware chip mod. The final option is to buy an already modded player.

There is also another option that I advise sometimes - buy two BDPs - a Region A/1 player and Region B/2 player. Since the players are not costly, this is also a good option. The cost will be same as buying a locked player and making it region free, or buying a modded player.
 

AnkurShahi80

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2012
Messages
147
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0
Location
Mumbai
I am looking to add a player / source my setup. I read some ongoing discussions here and based on my understanding, I believe (and let me know if I am wrong here):

a. While BD players are region locked, all Blu-ray Discs are region free and hence should play on any BD player irrespective of which region it is locked to
b. All players in India are region free for DVDs. Hence if I am picking something here, again most of the DVDs should play nevertheless

If both of these are true, then why is so much focus of making players region free?

As shared by others in this thread, you'll need the player and disc to support the same region. The only relief is region free discs, which works on all players.

Inspect the player for region lock before finalizing the purchase. It may be region locked for DVD too.
 

Thad E Ginathom

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Oct 11, 2009
Messages
6,381
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113
Location
Chennai
I am not very familiar with TV/Video/DVD. I bought a DVD player from flipkart, without ever thinking about regions. It was a stupid thing to do! My DVD collection is mostly natural history series from the BBC, sourced in UK. This DVD player will not play them. It is not easy to hack this particular model to make it region free.

It is not the end of the world: someone on this forum was kind enough to point out that, although it will not play the original DVDs, it will play copies, and to instruct me as to what software to use. Hassle factor, of course, and one that could have been avoided with forethought and google.

I don't know if my experience will ever include Bluray ... no plans to do so. But I have learnt this region lesson. The hard way!
 
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