Will a DVD released in Russia play on a region-free player?
May 12, 2004 9:51 AM   Subscribe

How to find a DVD that will be playable on a region-free player if it's only been released in Russia? [This is the root menu; there is more inside]

Specificially, the movie is Rhinoceros Hunting In Budapest. We've found it on a Russian website as a zone 5 disc.

My questions are as follow:

- Can a "region-free" player in the US play these? How open is "region-free", exactly?

- Does anyone speak Russian well enough to figure out how to order this? Is these an English language site that sells this?

I've Googled to no avail and would love to surprise the boyfriend with a copy of this. (He's been looking for a while now.)
posted by amandaudoff to Technology (7 answers total)
 
Some DVDs will only play on a player set to their specific region. This is the basic difference between "region-free" (actually region 0) and "multi-region" players (players that switch region based on user input or automatically based on the disc being played). This is a fairly rare problem though, and mostly seems to involve region 1 discs from what I've encountered. The other big question is what video standard is being used: PAL, NTSC, or one of those other scary ones like SECAM. Many region modded players can do this conversion on the fly, but it's best to confirm (a quick Google on the make and model should help you there). The US and Japan are on the NTSC standard. UK, Western Europe, and Aus/NZ are PAL (I think: might be wrong on the Anzacs). Not sure about Eastern Europe and the rest of the world.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:14 AM on May 12, 2004


If your player is region free and has the same format as the dvd (ie, pal or ntsc) it will play on your player. If you're not on the same system (pal or ntsc), you have to check if your dvd player will convert pal <> ntsc.

I have a Malata DVP-558 which plays all systems and all zones perfectly. If you're in the market, it's an excellent machine.

You might want to contact this Canadian company, which specializes in Russian DVD Imports. Their web site is in Russian but their help page is in english. I'd go there and email them and ask if they can import the title for you. No doubt they'll charge a hefty premium but it's worth asking.
posted by dobbs at 10:19 AM on May 12, 2004


So far as I can tell, the DVD in question is region 5 PAL. I think it should either be playable on his or my player...I guess this is more of a "help me find this" question than a "will it work". If I can get it, we'll make it work.
posted by amandaudoff at 10:19 AM on May 12, 2004


One other thing to take into consideration is that the menus are going to be in Russian, though if you're desperate for the title I guess that doesn't make a difference.

Many computer DVD players will play discs from all regions and pal/ntsc no problem, but some OS's will only allow you to switch back and forth between regions so many times (mac os x for instance is 5 times).
posted by dobbs at 10:22 AM on May 12, 2004


Dobbs - Thanks! I sent an email to the company that you mentioned and hopefully they'll be able to help me out.

I can't figure out for the life of me how a movie from the UK in ensligh ends up as a Russian release. Argh.
posted by amandaudoff at 10:25 AM on May 12, 2004


Not that this is completely relevant, but I had to track down both _Convoy_ and _The Driver_, both American-made movies, on DVD to the Netherlands. They're R2 PAL but play fine on my r1 Philips DVD724AT ever since I hit the four button combo (long forgotten) that made it region free.
posted by codger at 11:45 AM on May 12, 2004


Assuming that you have a DVD burner on your computer, you could make a region-free backup copy of the disk that'll play on your regular DVD player. I do this with all of my Region 2 DVDs, so I can play 'em on my PS2, and at other people's houses. Send me an email if you want instructions on exactly how to do this.
posted by vorfeed at 12:26 PM on May 12, 2004


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