DVD Region codes - What works for my country?

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DVD Region Codes

DVD region codes are a digital rights management technique designed to allow film distributors to control aspects of a release, including content, release date, and price, according to the region.

This is achieved by way of region-locked DVD players, which will play back only DVDs encoded to their region (plus those without any region code). The American DVD Copy Control Association also requires that DVD player manufacturers incorporate the regional-playback control (RPC) system. However, region-free DVD players, which ignore region coding, are also commercially available,[1] and many DVD players can be modified to be region-free, allowing playback of all discs.[2]

DVDs may use one code, a combination of codes (multi-region), every code (all region) or no codes (region free).

PAL/SECAM vs. NTSC[edit]

DVDs are also formatted for use on two conflicting regional television systems: 480i/60 Hz and 576i/50 Hz, which in analog contexts are often referred to as 525/60 (NTSC) and 625/50 (PAL/SECAM) respectively. Strictly speaking, PAL and SECAM are analog color television signal formats which have no relevance in the digital domain (as evident in the conflation of PAL and SECAM, which are actually two distinct analog color systems). However, the DVD system was originally designed to encode the information necessary to reproduce signals in these formats, and the terms continue to be used (incorrectly) as a method of identifying refresh rates and vertical resolution. However, an "NTSC", "PAL" or "SECAM" DVD player that has one or more analog composite video output (baseband or modulated) will only produce NTSC, PAL or SECAM signals, respectively, from those outputs, and may only play DVDs identified with the corresponding format.

NTSC is the analog TV format historically associated with the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Taiwan, and other countries. PAL is the analog color TV format historically associated with most of Europe, most of Africa, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, North Korea, and other countries (plus Brazil, who uses the refresh rate and resolution commonly associated with NTSC). SECAM, while using the same resolution and refresh rate as PAL, is a distinct format which uses a very different system of color encoding. Some DVD players can only play discs identified as NTSC, PAL or SECAM, while others can play multiple standards.[8]

In general, it is easier for consumers in PAL/SECAM countries to view NTSC DVDs than vice versa. Almost all DVD players sold in PAL/SECAM countries are capable of playing both kinds of discs, and most modern PAL TVs can handle the converted signal.† However, most NTSC players cannot play PAL discs, and most NTSC TVs do not accept 576i video signals as used on PAL/SECAM DVDs. Those in NTSC countries, such as the United States, generally require both a region-free, multi-standard player and a multi-standard television to view PAL discs, or a converter box, whereas those in PAL countries generally require only a region-free player to view NTSC discs. There are also differences in pixel aspect ratio (720 × 480 vs. 720 × 576 with the same image aspect ratio) and display frame rate (29.97 vs. 25).

Most computer-based DVD software and hardware can play both NTSC and PAL video and both audio standards.[8]

^† NTSC discs may be output from a PAL DVD player in three different ways:

using a non-chroma encoded format such as RGB SCART or YPBPR component video.
using PAL 60 encoded composite video/S-Video—a "hybrid" system which uses NTSC's 525/60 line format along with PAL's chroma subcarrier
using NTSC encoded composite video/S-Video

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