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Region Code Overview: Why Can I Not Play DVD Discs from Another Country?

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Introduction

The information contained within this document contains a general overview of what DVD Region codes are, why they exist, and how they affect the playback of DVDs in the DVD Writer.

What are region codes? Why do they exist?

Movies cannot be released across the world simultaneously. Region codes were developed for the motion picture industry to control the release of movies into the different countries. A disc purchased in one country may not be able to be played on a player from another country. Seven regions have been identified and assigned a corresponding number. Below is a list containing the regions:
  1. U.S., Canada, U.S. Territories
  2. Japan, Europe, South Africa, and Middle East (including Egypt)
  3. Southeast Asia and East Asia (including Hong Kong SAR)
  4. Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean
  5. Eastern Europe (Former Soviet Union), Indian subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia
  6. China
  7. Reserved
  8. Special international venues (airplanes, cruise ships, etc.)
Placing one of these region codes on the DVD movie disc is optional for the manufacturer of the disc. Discs without one of these region code designators will play in on any player in any country.

Why is understanding what region codes are important?

In order to stay with industry standards, HP has implemented region protection control (RPG-2) within the HP DVD Writer.
Why is understanding region protection control important? The HP DVD Writer can be used to watch commercial DVD movies. Most commercial DVD movie discs contain a region code associated with the region within which the disc was sold. The HP DVD Writer can alternate or change playing discs containing different region codes four times. However, when the fifth movie disc with a different region code is played, the HP DVD Writer will be set to whatever region code is contained on that disc. Once set, the HP DVD Writer will not be able to play a disc with any region code other than the one it is set to. A sample of what might happen is below:
  1. A commercial DVD movie disc is played in the HP DVD Writer with Region Code 1. The HP DVD Writer plays the disc successfully.
  2. A disc with Region Code 2 is played. The DVD disc plays successfully.
  3. A disc with Region Code 4 is played. The DVD disc plays successfully.
  4. A disc with Region Code 2 is played. The DVD disc plays successfully.
  5. A disc with Region Code 1 is played. The DVD disc plays successfully. The HP DVD Writer is now set to play Region Code 1 discs only.
  6. The next attempt to play a Region Code 2 disc generates an error stating the disc cannot be played because the region codes of the disc and player are not compatible.

Do the movie discs I record with the HP DVD Writer have region coding?

The software packages provided with the HP DVD Writer do not assign a region code to recorded DVD discs.

What about firmware to make the drive region free or play discs from all regions?

Any attempts to alter the firmware of the HP DVD Writer to circumvent the region control protection and region code review voids the warranty of the HP DVD Writer.

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