Region Encoding
March 24, 2004 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Determining the region/format encoding of a DVD with OSX?

I just received a shipment of DVDs in the mail and two of them won't play on my stand alone DVD player (region 1), though they both say NTSC R1 on the back. One throws up a generic "Cannot play this disc" and the other "Playing this disc prohibited by area limits."

When I put them in my Powerbook, the latter plays fine right away and works perfectly. The former will play but not automatically after putting the disc in. It just stops spinning until I hit the menu button on the software.

Any idea how I can figure out what region code and system (pal/ntsc) these discs are? All my googling turned up was "how to" defeat region codes, not determine them. (And, my mac didn't seem to need to defeat the coding...)
posted by dobbs to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Region 1, ie USA/Canada

after you've killed the coding you can also rip the dvd's (with OSeX, for example) and set the copy's region setting to 0.
there's plenty of dvd-ripping threads if you search the archives
posted by matteo at 10:34 AM on March 24, 2004

Response by poster: matteo, thanks for the response, but I think you've misunderstood my question. I know what R1 is and I am, in fact, in Canada. However, my DVD player is telling me the dvd is not region 1. I'm wondering how I can find out what region the disc is.

I don't want to rip anything or watch the discs on my mac. I just want to determine which region they are so I can speak to the company I bought them from with proper information. Or, if they are in fact NTSC R1, then I'll know the prob is with my player.

Is there a way to get my mac to say "this disc is region 4 / PAL" or whatever?
posted by dobbs at 10:54 AM on March 24, 2004

This program should be able to play DVDs from any region. Maybe it also tells you which region it is masquerading as?
posted by sad_otter at 11:23 AM on March 24, 2004

Bah! Is there any freaking reason for this region encoding Berlin wall to remain standing?! It's obviously worthless as a means to thwart piracy. What is gained by resisting a unified standard? (/rant)
posted by squirrel at 12:23 PM on March 24, 2004

sad_otter's suggestion, VLC, works a treat for playing DVDs of any region code on Macs.
posted by adrianhon at 12:26 PM on March 24, 2004

VideoLAN doesn't seem to do that. It will play anything, but it doesn't seem to show you what region it is playing. In fact I was looking at all of my DVD ripping programs and although many let you take off the region encoding or change it, it doesn't tell you what a disc is.

If when you put the DVD into your powerbook and didn't get a message saying it was a different region than 1, the PB probably thinks it is 1 or 0. If you put a verifyable region 1 in the powerbook and it doesn't tell you it is switching back to Region 1, then it thinks it is something else. With, you only have 5 times to change your region then you're stuck with it.

Perhaps someone at a Mac board might know -- like or Maybe there's something at the command line someone might know about.

You might have to throw one of the DVDs into a Windows box to get that information of the disc.
posted by birdherder at 12:39 PM on March 24, 2004

Response by poster: Hmm. Thanks folks. Yeah, I just tried VLC. No go.

The mac didn't tell me to it was swapping or anything. Very weird that my Sony doesn't seem to recognize it if it is region 1 or 0 as I never had a prob with it before.

Birdherder, any idea if it's possible that the discs ended up R1 but PAL? Would the mac play that without wanting to notify me of a switch--in which case the Sony wouldn't recognize it?

Strange strange. Thanks, all.
posted by dobbs at 1:00 PM on March 24, 2004

Best answer: You might want to look at MacTheRipper. Among it's many functions, it can display what region code the DVD has.
posted by the biscuit man at 6:47 PM on March 24, 2004

Response by poster: biscuit man, thanks! that did the trick. Rather than being set to region 0 or 1, the discs were set to All, regions 1 2 3 4 5 6 which I guess my my DVD player won't accept.
posted by dobbs at 8:01 AM on March 25, 2004

Glad to hear it. It's always great to see an Ask Metafilter question getting resolved.
posted by the biscuit man at 8:46 AM on March 25, 2004

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