November 17, 2004
Will American DVDs play in a DVD player in England?

I happened to be the top result for the user searching for "will american dvds play in a dvd player in england" without really answering the question in my older post, so I'll write up a proper answer:

Most DVD movies contain a region code, denoting which area of the world it is targeted at. The commercial DVD-video player specifications dictates that players must only play discs that contain their region code. This allows the film studios to set different retail prices in different markets and extract the maximum possible price from consumers. With region coding, studios can dictate release schedules and prices around the world. However, many DVD players allow playback of any disc, or can be modified to do so.

These players are called region-free players, and some shops sell players that are hacked directly, others sell players that can be de-zoned with a couple of clicks.

So, to answer the question: No, by default your UK-bought DVD player will not play DVDs from outside your region (UK being in DVD Region 2, which includes Western Europe, Greenland, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Japan, Egypt, and the Middle East).

However, browsing the net a bit should reveal whether the player you own can be made region-free, or you can consider purchasing a player that will play all zones.

Additional notes:
European Region 2 DVDs may be sub-coded D1 through D4. "D1" identifies a UK-only release. "D2" and "D3" identify European DVDs that are not sold in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. "D4" identifies DVDs that are distributed throughout Europe. A player set to play Region 2 discs should be able to play all sub-regions by default.

Region 0 designates no actual region, but it is used as shorthand for a disc meant to be playable on all players. On such a disc, the actual region coding is R1/2/3/4/5/6. In the early days, region 0 players were created that would allow any region disc to be played in them, but studios responded by adjusting some regioned discs to refuse to play if the player was determined 0 (since no player should anyway). This system is known as Regional Coding Enhancement or just RCE. Buying a "Region 0" player may therefore not be a wise investment, but saying that, I set my LG DVD player to region 0 years ago and have had no subsequent problems with playing any discs (I own hundreds of Region 1 and 2-coded discs)

Sources: Wikipedia: DVD Region Codes, DVD Regions world map

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And on a related note, there are various software workarounds for DVD-ROM players in PCs which allow the regional coding of DVDs to be bypassed. One particular piece of software has identified two further regions: 7 - reserved and 8 - International venues (airplanes, cruise ships etc.)

Posted by: alkam on November 18, 2004 06:59 PM

You forgot one important thing here, which you touched upon in your old post: the video format. Here in JesusLand we use one of the many NTSC systems, while Europe uses one of the PAL systems and France uses SECAM. If your TV supports all of these formats on the input or if your DVD player converts from NTSC , there's no problems at all. I brought my DVD player from Noway when I moved here, and the setup didn't quite work as expected. I found out later that the TV that I had in Noway supported PAL/NTSC/SECAM, so this issue actually never occurred to me. It also turned out that the DVD player doesn't convert the output signal and my current TV here only handles NTSC, so all my European movies show up in annoying b&w. Well, I guess this isn't a problem with the newer players, though. (?)

Posted by: Thomas on November 24, 2004 10:55 AM

Thomas, indeed you are right; it looks like I too have grown accustomed to the multi-standard TVs and DVDs. My home DVD player can do the conversion from NTSC to PAL and my TV can play both NTSC, PAL and SECAM; so no issues there (except choosing whether to convert on the DVD player or let the TV do it...)

More information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAL
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTSC
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SECAM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcast_television_system

Posted by: Anders on November 24, 2004 03:05 PM

For completeness:

Region code 0: Playable in all regions
Region code 1: United States, Canada, and U.S. territories
Region code 2: Western Europe (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, UK, Ireland etc), Greenland, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Japan(!), Egypt, and the Middle East
Region code 3: Southeast Asia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan
Region code 4: Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Central America, South America
Region code 5: Russia, other former Soviet Union countries, Eastern Europe, Indian subcontinent, Mongolia, the rest of Africa
Region code 6: People's Republic of China
Region 7: Reserved for future use
Region 8: International venues such as aircraft, cruise ships, etc.

(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD#Region_codes)

Posted by: Anders on December 8, 2004 08:06 PM

does anyone know if my pc can play dvds from all regions? it was bought in england just last year so it has windows xp and everything. if anyone knows can you email me at bigbrotherisnotwatchingyou@hotmail.co.uk

thanks

Posted by: erin on January 1, 2005 06:04 PM

I too have an LG DVD player - how do Iprogram it to region '0'?

Posted by: Yuzz on January 7, 2005 08:17 AM

i am trying to unlock my dvd player ....it is a Mintek mdp 5860...i am in the uk ...but purchased it in the usa....it is at region i ..but ineed region 2......HELP PLZ

Posted by: MALLEY on January 15, 2005 11:54 PM

Help
I wish to purchase an american dvd but will it play on my panasonic S27 dvd player?

Posted by: Eddy Spink on March 19, 2005 11:38 AM

Hi,
Im wanting to buy a dvd or vhs called Desrt Hearts but can't seem to find the correct region for my dvd player as its all region 2 does an ing-36 portable dvd player play only on region 2 as it does not specify or a hikona tdvd-1002 or just a list of dvd types that will play with region one disks,i know im asking a lot but i realy want this film pls can u help me
thanks emma

Posted by: Emma on March 19, 2005 06:26 PM

When my DVD Player locked up with a european dvd inside that wouldn't load, nothing would work, I finally unplugged it, plugged it back in, then hit 'eject' and the disc came out. Good luck, if you haven't retrieved it by now.

Posted by: Sandy on March 26, 2005 09:43 PM

Hi, I'm 12yrs old from Australia and last year when mum took me to Disneyland, I bought a Cyberhome portable DVD player model CH-LDV 700B in the USA, but I didn't know about the region zone codes and its zone 1 for Amercia & I live in zone 4. I went to the manufacturer website and they state they are unable to assist. Can anyone help me as to how I can change the code to play all regions?? signed Kid from Down Under

Posted by: Amea on April 2, 2005 04:43 AM

Anyone know how to change the windows dvd playing capability between zones after the limited number of permitted changes have been used. I travel between N America and the UK and want to be able to use both formats of DVD. However I can no longer change the settings in the DVD players that I was using?

Posted by: mvt on May 26, 2005 09:19 AM

I have an extensive library of computer programs and am moving to the UK in a couple of months. I plan to buy a new computer in the uk. Will my programs work on a pc with windows xp purchased in the uk? Also will my cds play on cd players purched in the uk.

Posted by: Sandy McCann on June 4, 2005 01:06 AM

Hi my dad just bought me a portable DVD player from hong kong and little did he know about the regional codes. on the bottom it has regional code 3 and because im living in australia i need number 4.
The make of this player is an LG model: DP8811P
it would be great if you could help me =)

Posted by: Jordo on June 22, 2005 03:26 AM

Great site! Two questions if you please.
I'm in the US, would like to share some home DVD's with friends in the UK and generally burn them with no region code at all. Will they play there? Would they be the same as "region 0"?
Secondly, I once tried sharing some 8mm tapes and of course that failed miserably as my cameras shoot in NTSC but now I noticed the jackets on some commercially produced movies state: "NTSC"..,?
Thank you for your time and space.
jm.

Posted by: John Maszka on July 14, 2005 10:08 PM

Mintek MPD-5860

Power on with No Disk in player.
Open player

With the remote control:
Press "SETUP" button
Select "PREFERENCES" and press "ENTER"
Input the password "2 2 2 4 4 3"
Press the "LEFT" and "DOWN" button

The screen should now show "REGION CODE X"

Press the number button 1-6 to change zone 0=(REGION FREE)

The screen should now show "REGION CODE 0"

Press "SETUP" button to exit

Now simply slap in your favorite movie from any region and ENJOY!

Posted by: _oho_ on August 4, 2005 08:31 AM

Im wanting to buy a dvd or vhs called Desrt Hearts but can't seem to find the correct region for my dvd player as its all region 2 does an ing-36 portable dvd player play only on region 2 as it does not specify or a hikona tdvd-1002 or just a list of dvd types that will play with region one disks,i know im asking a lot but i realy want this film pls can u help me
thanks jean

Posted by: jeanfron on August 29, 2005 10:36 PM

Anyone know how to change the windows dvd playing capability between zones after the limited number of permitted changes have been used. I travel between N America and the UK and want to be able to use both formats of DVD. However I can no longer change the settings in the DVD players that I was using?

Posted by: mike on August 30, 2005 12:02 AM

You forgot one important thing here, which you touched upon in your old post: the video format. Here in JesusLand we use one of the many NTSC systems, while Europe uses one of the PAL systems and France uses SECAM. If your TV supports all of these formats on the input or if your DVD player converts from NTSC , there's no problems at all. I brought my DVD player from Noway when I moved here, and the setup didn't quite work as expected. I found out later that the TV that I had in Noway supported PAL/NTSC/SECAM, so this issue actually never occurred to me. It also turned out that the DVD player doesn't convert the output signal and my current TV here only handles NTSC, so all my European movies show up in annoying b&w. Well, I guess this isn't a problem with the newer players, though. (?)

Posted by: calra on September 1, 2005 01:05 AM

Region 0 designates no actual region, but it is used as shorthand for a disc meant to be playable on all players. On such a disc, the actual region coding is R1/2/3/4/5/6. In the early days, region 0 players were created that would allow any region disc to be played in them, but studios responded by adjusting some regioned discs to refuse to play if the player was determined 0 (since no player should anyway). This system is known as Regional Coding Enhancement or just RCE. Buying a "Region 0" player may therefore not be a wise investment, but saying that, I set my LG DVD player to region 0 years ago and have had no subsequent problems with playing any discs (I own hundreds of Region 1 and 2-coded discs)

Posted by: maria on September 2, 2005 06:02 AM

Mintek MPD-5860

Power on with No Disk in player.
Open player

With the remote control:
Press "SETUP" button
Select "PREFERENCES" and press "ENTER"
Input the password "2 2 2 4 4 3"
Press the "LEFT" and "DOWN" button

The screen should now show "REGION CODE X"

Press the number button 1-6 to change zone 0=(REGION FREE)

The screen should now show "REGION CODE 0"

Press "SETUP" button to exit

Now simply slap in your favorite movie from any region and ENJOY!

Posted by: lira on September 4, 2005 06:36 PM

The screen should now show "REGION CODE 0"

Press "SETUP" button to exit

Now simply slap in your favorite movie from any region and ENJOY!

Posted by: morena on September 7, 2005 10:04 PM

nenes

Posted by: edonkey on September 8, 2005 11:27 PM

SONY DVP NS 360

Can anybody help me please to crack the region-code for this model?
I'v been looking everywhere (feels like it though) and cant seem to find it ..

Posted by: camilla on September 29, 2005 03:23 PM

I think I have just read too much information on the question I had. Can anyone simplify this for me? I have a collection of DVD's bought in the US. I will be moving back to the UK next year. How do I get them to play on a DVD player bought in the UK? Do I have to be on the lookout for a certain type of DVD player or what? Help.

Posted by: Rachel on October 20, 2005 04:27 PM

Rachel: Yes you need to either bring your DVD player from the States with you or look for a so-called multi-region player when you get here. They exist and aren't particularly expensive. Shop around and search a bit on the net. Cheers, Anders

Posted by: Anders on October 20, 2005 06:48 PM

I am trying to purchase dvds from the UK but the BBC will not ship to the US. Many of the remastered DVDS here are terrible. I don't want to purchase a region free player if I can't make region 2 purchases.

Would love some help. thanks, terry

Posted by: terry on November 24, 2005 05:33 PM

Will a dvd purchased in England play in a dvd player purchased in Canada?

Posted by: Brian Jackson on December 8, 2005 07:41 PM
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