Testing whether VLC works on DVDs from various regions

In summary: It is possible to hack a DVD player to play DVDs from any region. Be very careful about what you are doing and make sure you know what you are doing before you proceed.
  • #1
Stephen Tashi
Science Advisor
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TL;DR Summary
Are there video files that I can download to test whether my configuration of VLC (on Linux, Fedora) will be able to play DVDs from various regions?
Are there video files that I can download to test whether my configuration of VLC (on Linux, Fedora) will be able to play DVDs from various regions? Or must I have physical DVDs to test this?
 
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  • #2
The region encoding on DVD's is a DRM lock on the drive hardware. The content is identical. If you can get around the lock (which violates the license you "signed" when you unwrapped the DVD) then you can view the content. This assumes that you can view any DVD content now.

Patient: "Will I be able to play the piano after this?"

Doctor: "I don't see why not."

Patient: "Wow! That's amazing. I couldn't play before!"

BoB
 
  • #3
What's a good way to shop online for internal DVD drives that allow raw access to data? Is this fact revealed in the descriptions of internal DVD drives given on Amazon or NewEgg pages? Do the manufacturer's webpages explain it?

From https://www.videolan.org/support/faq.html#DVDS

Does VLC support DVDs from all regions?

This mostly depends on your DVD drive.
Testing it is usually the quickest way to find out. The problem is that a lot of newer drives are RPC2 drives these days. Some of these drives don't allow raw access to the drive until the drive firmware has done a regioncheck. VLC uses libdvdcss and it needs raw access to the DVD drive to crack the encryption key. So with those drives it is impossible to circumvent the region protection. (This goes for all software. You will need to flash your drives firmware, but sometimes there is no alternate firmware available for your drive). On other RPC2 drives that do allow raw access, it might take VLC a long time to crack the key. So just pop the disc in your drive and try it out, while you get a coffee. RPC1 drives should 'always' work regardless of the regioncode.
 
  • #4
This post seems to be about how to get around copyright protection.
 
  • #5
Vanadium 50 said:
This post seems to be about how to get around copyright protection.

My interest is in buying DVD sets sold for various regions and being able to play them (on computers) without having to buy a DVD player customized to that region. Region-free DVD players are already sold, but I don't want to buy another stand-alone DVD player.
 
  • #6
Vanadium 50 said:
This post seems to be about how to get around copyright protection.
Stephen Tashi said:
Region-free DVD players are already sold, but I don't want to buy another stand-alone DVD player.
Hmm, I looked it up: The region scheme was designed for digital rights management, but it seem to not be supported by law. Amazon and many other sources openly sell region free DVD players.

This Wikipedia article discusses both the legal status of DVD region codes, and methods of circumventing region codes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_region_code#Criticism_and_legal_concerns

I also see claims that there are "simple hacks for thousands" of models of DVDs. But searching for hacks can bring you to dangerous regions of the Internet.
 

Related to Testing whether VLC works on DVDs from various regions

1. How can I test if VLC works on DVDs from different regions?

To test if VLC works on DVDs from various regions, you can follow these steps:

  1. Insert a DVD from a different region into your DVD drive.
  2. Open VLC media player on your computer.
  3. Click on the "Media" tab and select "Open Disc".
  4. In the pop-up window, select "DVD" as the disc type and check the box next to "No disc menus".
  5. Click on "Play" to start playing the DVD.
If VLC is able to play the DVD, then it is working on DVDs from different regions.

2. What are the regions that DVDs are divided into?

DVDs are divided into six regions: Region 1 (US, Canada), Region 2 (Europe, Middle East, Japan), Region 3 (Southeast Asia, Hong Kong), Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, Latin America), Region 5 (Africa, Russia, India), and Region 6 (China).

3. Can I change the region code on my DVD drive to play DVDs from different regions?

No, the region code for a DVD drive is set by the manufacturer and cannot be changed. However, there are software programs, such as VLC, that are able to play DVDs from different regions without changing the region code on your DVD drive.

4. Why do DVDs have region codes?

DVDs have region codes to control the distribution of movies and to prevent DVDs from being played in countries where they have not been released yet. This also allows movie studios to release movies at different times in different regions.

5. Are there any other media players besides VLC that can play DVDs from different regions?

Yes, there are other media players that can play DVDs from different regions, such as Windows Media Player, PowerDVD, and WinDVD. However, VLC is a popular and free option that is available for multiple operating systems and is known for its ability to play DVDs from different regions without any additional settings or plugins.

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