Another DVD Region Question - UK to Canada (US)

In an inspired fit of birthday shopping this morning, I bought my brother-in-law a “Best of Smack The Pony” dvd from amazon uk (it wasn’t available on local mail order). Maybe it was the early hour, but I completely forgot that UK is a different region for dvds than Canada/US. Any idea if the dvd will play in his dvd player, or have I just bought him a five pound coaster? (It was on very good sale - down from 20 pounds!)

It depends. The UK and Canada have different DVD regions (UK is Region 2, Canada is Region 1). So if it’s a region-coded DVD and he’s got a region-coded player, he’s out of luck. But it might be an uncoded DVD or he might have an all-region player.

ETA: Checking on Amazon UK, I see that DVD is coded for Region 2. So it’s down to his player being all-region.

Oh, poo. Well, he’s a computer programmer who lived for a couple of years in the UK; here’s hoping he has a solution to this.

He may know of it, but point him in the direction of AnyDVD, a fantastic and perfectly legal program that allows you to disable the region-lock on the DVD drive of your computer (Windows only).

Another barrier is that the UK and Europe use PAL instead of NTSC for TV display. The player has to be capable of interpreting PAL as well. He could probably play it in a computer though, as other posters suggested.

Not so much PAL, but the display device (TV or computer) must be able to display 50fps/576 line video. A North American TV might very well not be able to do that. Computer DVD software should be able to display it.

My standard North American TV (Sony Trinitron) plays PAL Region 2 DVDs just fine (though my DVD player is region free and has a PAL converter).

I think he has a good chance of being able to play it on a computer if he has no luck with a dvd player.

Thanks for all the suggestions - I’ll bookmark this thread for when he gets the dvd in August if it doesn’t work for him. (I bought one for us, too, so I might need these ideas sooner than that.)

Irish DVDs I’ve sent to the US I’ve had terrible problems playing on anything other than a PC.

Yes and no. I have Region 1, 2 and 4 DVDs (the region 4 DVDs come from Australia), and if you can get past the region coding on the computer’s DVD player, they are fine.

One other possibility is a portable DVD player. I have one, and got past the region coding on it by putting the right command, and it plays all regions without a problem.

However, it looks like there is a steep charge for that program. Check the VideoHelp forum for free programs that may do the same thing. Also check AVS4YOU for cheap or free video software.

I use several free programs from those sources, and have sometimes run across an message that the region code was being stripped, but I haven’t tried any DVDs from overseas to test it. So far, no problems.

VLC Player works on our Windows XP system for playing non-Japanese DVDs. The other two players that were bundled with various components kick out a region coding error. Depending on whether your DVD drive has a firmware check for the region coding or not, you might be able to play the DVD with that. It’s free, and works for just about any video format you can think of.