I have a DVD from the UK. Is there a legal way I can watch it on my DVD player here in Canada?

Emphasis on “legal.”

The DVD is from the European zone, something I didn’t appreciate when I bought it, and so I’ve not been able to play it on my Zone 1 (North American) equipment.

Is there a legal way I can get it to play on my Zone 1 DVD player? Any codes or workarounds which are permissible when I own the DVD and just want to watch it on my home equipment?

Try AC1116, AC1118, or AC1128.

Most computer based DVD players let you have 5 region code changes before they lock. This would seem to be the simplest solution. IE change it as needed to play then change it back. If it plays you an also possibly make a digital backup copy then encode and burn as the region you desire.

Alternatively there are software hacks that will make your PC DVD player “region free” but these are both illegal and only work with specific units.

Will using VLC on a computer work with both Zone 1 and Zone 2? Will it lead to an eventual lock?

What does that mean?

In case you hadn’t noticed from some of my other threads pleading for techno-assistance, bear in mind you’re dealing with a techno-peasant here. For me, a computer is a fancy typewriter. With pictures. Beyond that, it’s all rather hazy…

How do I do that?

At # 5 it will lock to the final region selected

See region codes

Is it a stand-alone player or a DVD-ROM?

Some stand-alone players have codes that can be inputted to make them region-free. It varies by manufacturer.

The DVD region system was established to prevent what you’re trying to do (buying a DVD in one region and watching it in another) so sometimes you’re SOL. As someone who frequently moves between regions I found the easiest solution was to buy a cheap region-free player.

Re backup copies see below. Re region changing see post 7


It’s a Blu-Ray that feeds into my tv.

I understand the logic of the zones, to the extent it applies to blockbuster movies, and different companies having the rights, etc.

But the video I’ve got is a local DVD from the UK, that as far as I know is not available in North America. If I can’t play the copy I’ve got, I’m pretty much out of luck.

All my info was re standard DVDs. Blueray specs and requirements I know nothing about. The blueray disc player in my PC does appear to allow region code changes using the procedure in post 7, but i don’t know if that is for both Blueray and regular DVDs or just DVDs.

The DVD is a standard DVD. it’s the player that’s Blu-Ray.

AC1116, AC1118 and AC1128 are flights from Regina to Toronto that have connections to London, England. :smiley:

My PC base BR drive allows region code changes so I imagine yours should too if you wish to use the PC player. The region code change applet tells you how many changes you have left.

Procedure - should work in both XP and Win 7

Go to

Control panel > System > Device manager > DVD -CD ROM Drives > select drive - double click > Select DVD region tab > change to desired region.

Reboot may or may not be necessary. Not sure.

Is it inside your computer?

no, a Blu-Ray player that’s plugged into my tv

In my experience, it depends. I have successfully used VLC player to play both region 1 and region 2 DVDs without having to switch my computer off region 1. I checked after playing the DVDs and I still had the same number of available region changes that I started with. But I’ve also had problems on another computer with VLC refusing to play a region 2 DVD when the drive was set to region 1. I’m still not sure if the problem was the software or the computer.

Northern Piper, you might try googling your player’s model number to see if you can get unlock codes like cckerberos mentions. I have a DVD player that I unlocked to be multiregion specifically so I could watch my British DVDs on it. It wasn’t hard, I just punched in a code with the remote. But I bought that player specifically because I was told it was unlockable and I’ve heard that the fancier players tend not to be…though it couldn’t hurt to look anyway.

See? I’ll bet there’s a way to look that up on the inter-webs, isn’t there?

A couple of questions of law.

First, is the DVD zone licencing scheme a restraint of trade?

Second, I realize that DVD zone licencing applies to manufacture and sales of DVD players, but does it also apply to the end users of the DVD players? When a person purchases a DVD player, is there anything in the contract that precludes that person from fiddling with the player, its firmware or its software, so as to be able to use it to play DVDs from a different zone? Similarly, is there anything in the end-user’s contract that prohibits that person from carrying his or her own DVD player into another zone and using it there to play DVDs from the first zone?