Guide to DVD Regions

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What are DVD Region Codes?

The region code is an encoding added to the DVD disc when the movie is recorded on it that allows that DVD disc to be played only in DVD players in the region that the disc is made and distributed. There are different DVD region codes for different regions around the world and unless your DVD player is multi-region, also known as region-free, then it will only play DVD discs made for your region.

Why DVD Region Codes?

You've probably heard reports or read articles about Apple charging more for it's iTunes music in some countries than they do in others. For example, songs on iTunes in Australia usually cost more than they do on iTunes in the United States.
Why?...  Some will simply argue that it's because they can!...
However, Apple has a different reasoning for it: They claim that Australia is a smaller market and therefore they need to charge more per song in order to get the same reasonable return on their investment.
There is also the argument that any service will cost more to provide in a country like Australia where the minimum wage is around $17 per hour compared to the US where the minimum wage  is under $10 per hour. And many will say that this  a very valid argument and difficult to disagree with.

And it is for a similar reason that we are stuck with DVD region codes.
Movie studios and film producers argue that they invest substantial amounts of money when they make movies and therefore are entitled to protect and maximize the return on their investment. They have always insisted that they are entitled to charge a different price for their movies in different regions relative to the cost of manufacturing and distributing the discs it each region. After all, and for that same reason, cinema ticket prices vary around the world, and movie studios argue that the pricing behind DVDs in each region should not be any different.

As a result, when DVD technology was developed they enforced this by dividing the world into 6 different DVD regions each with their own region code, meaning that DVD players generally can only play DVDs made and distributed in that region.

Some DVD player manufacturers got around it by manufacturing DVD players that are multi-region, or region-free, and which play DVDs from anywhere in the world.

Each DVD Region Code Explained.

The 6 different DVD regions are:
Region 1 - The United States and it's territories, Canada, Bermuda, Caribbean;
Region 2 - Europe (except Russia and some Eastern European countries), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland and French territories;
Region 3 - Southeast Asia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau;
Region 4 - Australia, New Zealand, South America, Central America, Mexico, Papua New Guinea and most of Oceania;
Region 5 - India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Africa (except South Africa, Egypt, Swaziland, Lesotho), Central Asia, Mongolia, North Korea;
Region 6 - China;

Region 0 - While this is not a region code, some DVD players are marked Region 0 - Multi-region or region-free (these players play DVDs from anywhere in the world).

Know Your DVD Region.

It is highly recommended that you know the DVD region of your DVD player.
While some sellers, OZeShopping included, will generally accept returns under strict conditions relating to the condition of the returned item for DVDs purchased from wrong DVD regions, other sellers will not accept returns for DVDs purchased by mistake from wrong DVD regions.

We strongly recommend that you make yourself familiar with the DVD region code of your DVD player so that you know which DVDs it will play and which DVDs it will not play as this will avoid any unpleasant shopping experiences.

On the back of your DVD player there is usually an image of the globe with a number in it (similar to the examples on the image below). That number is the region code of your DVD player. If that number is 0 then your DVD player will play DVDs from anywhere in the world (and sometimes instead of 0 some manufacturers also use the word ALL or FREE). If that number is not 0 then your DVD player will only play DVDs from the region shown on your DVD player and you should only purchase DVDs listed as being that Region as  they are the only ones your DVD player can play.

Don't let that bargain purchase be an expensive exercise!
Use this guide to avoid any disappointments when your DVD arrives.
Remember the old saying: "Prevention is better than cure"...
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