region 2 dvd in region 1
January 10, 2006 1:10 PM   Subscribe

I wanted to watch seasons 2 and 3 of the fine British comedy 'Black Books.' I live in New York (region 1). I think I can play these region 2 DVDs on my iBook G4, but also wondering if perhaps they could be played through Sony Playstation 2? I wasn't sure if PS2 was region specific in each country ...
posted by jgballard to Technology (12 answers total)
You can change your region on your DVD player OR you can download a program like VLC to run any sort of region DVD on your iBook.
posted by k8t at 1:29 PM on January 10, 2006

I don't know for certain, but it's a very good bet that the PS2 is region-locked to the particular area in which it was purchased. Region-free DVD players (usually after some 'hack') are typically from off-brand companies, and the big companies, like Sony, play by the DVD rules, which include region coding.
posted by Godbert at 1:35 PM on January 10, 2006

Depending on your DVD Player, you can "hack" it to make it region free. the PS2 is definetely region locked. but its a mod-chip away from being region free.
posted by xospecialk at 1:42 PM on January 10, 2006

Your bigger issue isn't region coding, it's PAL vs NTSC. A US PS2 will be localized to NTSC, and won't be able to properly display the wrong encoding format. Your PC handles this seemlessly because it's not outputting to a TV.
posted by nomisxid at 1:50 PM on January 10, 2006

Yes, the PS2 is region locked.

Yes, you can play multi-region DVDs on your iBook, but realistically you can only do it with a player like VLC, as k8t said.

If you try to use Apple's movie player on a non-Region-1 DVD, it will prompt you to change your DVD drive to Region 2--and you only get something like 5 of these change-overs (switching back to Region 1 counts)! So that feature is really only useful if you permanently move between DVD regions, otherwise it ceases to work after switching between differently-regioned DVDs a handful of times.

Finally: you can always do what I do, which is to plunk down $not_much_money for the iBook's miniVGA->S-Video adapter (and I think iBooks come with these; my fiancée's G3 iBook did, although my G4 PowerBook did not) and a nice long S-Video cable, and plug the laptop straight into the TV. No need to hack your PS2 or buy a region-free DVD player!
posted by cyrusdogstar at 1:53 PM on January 10, 2006

Addendum, I said Region 2 because I'm used to Asian DVDs...obviously you can substitute 2 with whatever region the UK is.

And nomisxid's point about PAL/NTSC shouldn't matter if you hook the laptop to the TV, AFAIK, since it just mirrors your computer display.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 2:01 PM on January 10, 2006

There is always this program.
posted by spaghetti at 2:02 PM on January 10, 2006

I think regioning on iBooks is done at the hardeware level -- I recall trying to insert a region 2 dvd when my PB was locked to 1, and it spit it back out.
posted by o2b at 2:33 PM on January 10, 2006

The PS2 is region locked. A PS2 can be made to play DVDs of any region using Datel's "DVD Region X" (also included in some Action Replay bundles) or Blaze's "DVD Region Free":

I know my PAL PS2 happily plays NTSC discs, I don't know that NTSC PS2 happily play PAL DVDs, and many American TVs can't display PAL.

Most MOD chips will also region-free-afy a PS2.
posted by krisjohn at 3:13 PM on January 10, 2006

Without pissing anyone off, you could rip the DVD to your PC (you a PC user right?) using DVD Decrypter which doesnt even care what region your drive is, and then watch it in your choice of DVD software.
posted by lemonfridge at 4:08 PM on January 10, 2006

Oh gosh, I love that series. I wish they had them on region1.
posted by Radio7 at 4:55 PM on January 10, 2006

I recall trying to insert a region 2 dvd when my PB was locked to 1, and it spit it back out.

Not so. What happens is it loads DVD Player and asks if you want to change the computer to Region 1. If you click Cancel, it ejects the disk. So what you do is ignore the dialog and switch to VLC.

Just to double check, I'm currently playing a Region 1 DVD of "Bedazzled" using VLC on a completely unhacked Region 2 iBook G4.
posted by cillit bang at 8:10 PM on January 10, 2006

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