This guide helps buyers detect potential pirated Blu Ray discs.
Unfortunately pirated Blu Ray discs are finding their way onto the worldwide market, and as an experienced retailer, I have found more than a few on eBay.
Basically, if it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is.
How to detect a pirated Blu Ray:
1. The Price
The cost price for a new release Blu Ray from the major distributors range from approximately $29 to $39, depending on the distributor (Sony and Beuna Vista being the dearest, Warner Bros the cheapest). If you see a new release Blu Ray that is advertised as "brand new" or "sealed" for less than $29, be suspicious. Of course, it could be just someone selling a once-off copy that they received as a gift they didn't want, but if the seller has more than a few Blu Rays on sale, or if they are an eBay store seller, thoroughly check them out first before buying. ASK THEM QUESTIONS. If they're genuine, they won't hesitate to reply to you.
2. Region coding.
There is no such thing as a "region free" Blu Ray. All the major distributors deliberately region code their discs. Yes, some titles do get coded for more than one region (Warner Bros does this to save on their production costs), but they will be specified as "region A", "region B" or "region C' in the item's decription. The term "region free" simply does not exist.
3. Aspect ratio.
EVERY Blu Ray title on the market is released in their original aspect ratio. The whole purpose of Blu Ray is to exploit the latest technology, and this includes utilising a 16:9 aspect ratio. Many pirated DVDs are copied in a 4:3 ratio, as it is a lot cheaper to duplicate them at this ratio.
4. The title.
Not all titles are available on Blu Ray. I have come across quite a few titles that have been miraculously "released" onto Blu Ray before that title's distributor has released it themselves!
For a full list of titles that are LEGALLY currently available in Australia, visit
http://stores.ebay.com.au/EliteEntertainment. I stock every title currently available. If I don't have it listed, it means it's not "officially" available!
To sum up, if you encounter a product with the phrases "region free" or "all regions", and "4:3" or "1.33:1" instead of "16:9", "1.85:1", "2.35:1", etc, STEER AWAY FROM IT. If the price sounds too good to be true, QUESTION THE SELLER.
Blu Ray Piracy! Don't become a victim
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2 September 2007
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