[Table of Contents] [Search]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [BKARTS] DVD imformation

On Fri, 9 Apr 2004, Signa Houghteling wrote:

> (This is partially a test since my emails have been kicked back recently.)
> I am aware that DVDs are formatted for different areas of the world.  Yet,
> friends of mine in different countries are able to play the DVDs on their
> computers without difficulty.
> Does anybody have definitive information on how this works?  Is there a
> "universal" format which could be read by any DVD player?
> As various book organizations contemplate producing DVDs of exhibitions,
> demonstrations, etc., it is important to know the distinctions and
> limitations.  But I have been unable to locate a source of such specific
> information.

There are two things that vary according to where a DVD is released: the
region code and the video encoding.  The way the region code works,
approximately, is that the programming on the disc asks the player which
region it's from (1= US and Canada, 2 = Europe, Japan, Middle East, South
Africa, 3 = East+Southeast Asia, etc.), and if the programming on the
disc doesn't like the answer it won't play.

DVD region codes are a thin technical layer over a marketing idea, and
they're fairly easy to work around; it's quite possible (though maybe
illegal) to get DVD players that can switch regions, and it's also
possible to record a DVD that doesn't ask the player about its region
(though I've heard that some of the earliest players couldn't handle

The video encoding issue is that US tvs speak NTSC and tvs in most of the
rest of the world speak PAL.  Computer DVD players have to convert in any
case because computer monitors use different video encodings, so often
computer DVD players will handle both PAL and NTSC.  Some stand-alone DVD
players will also do translation, and there are separate converters  and
multisystem TVs.

The upshot is that if you want something that just about every DVD player
can play, you have to put it out on a region-free DVD, and make separate
PAL and NTSC versions.


        See the Book_Arts-L FAQ at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>

     *Postings may not be re-printed in any form without the express
     consent of the author - Please respect their contributions & ©*

        Archive maintained and suppported by Conservation OnLine

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]