Re: DVDs

Merle Slyhoff (
Fri, 4 Jan 2002 09:29:17 -0800 (PST)

My brother-in-law lives in England and is a heavy DVD/video user for
enjoyment and in his work with the University and the Royal Shakespeare
Co. I sent him Jim's e-mail as an fyi and he responded as below. I
thought it might be helpful.


Dear Merle,
My two pennyworth:

(a) Europe, including UK, is region 2.
(2) French videos (leave discs out of it for the moemnt) are made to
a different standard from the rest of Europe, which causes
confusion. (In fact the big Paris shops have separate DVD region 1
sections - which is probably illegal, see 4 below).
(3) My DVD player is chipped for regions 1 and 2, and access to
region 1 is achieved by keying in 1-2-3-play before closing the
drawer. (For region 2 i just load normally and press play.) This is,
technically, hacking. The producers of the equipment can't admit to
the fact that their products will do this, and don't tell you the
procedures, BUT - There are websites that will tell you. Check
them out...
Our local Hi-Fi store supplied the Institute with a DVD player for
299, and I asked if it would play region 1 as well as 2. they
chipped it for 25 extra. A friend asked about region 1 at a national
retail chain and was told it was illegal and he was wrong to ask for
it! SO ask your local store.

(4) WHY??? this is done to protect the distribution strategies, and
control access to US DVDs, which come out, typically, earlier in
the US marklets. (Just as most films do). Because DVDs have
higher quality, their use for public projection is even more of a
threat than that attached to tapes. hence the paranoia, and the
warning that you'll be busted by the feds. Surely they have better
things to do? (Alas, perhaps not).

In my experience, German region 2 discs run well, but I haven't
tried buying French ones. If their attiutude to videotape is anythign
to go buy (awkward, that is), I shouldn't be surprised if there's a

Jim Scholtz wrote:
> Hi, Most DVDs released in the U.S. have a symbol stating "Region 1"
> indicating DVD playability in all of North America. There are 7 regions
> devised by (MPAA?)and the DVD manufactureres, primarily to forstalling
> copyright infringement/copying. I'm not sure what region Europe is. Most
> DVD players sold in the U.S. only play region 1 DVDs unless advertised a
> multi-regional. Some DVDs are also encoded as multi-regional and will play
> in any region. Additionally, there is one other concern - besides regions,
> NTSC, PAL and SEACAM are still used as recording industry standards - even
> digitally (at least that's what I've been told). I'm not sure how that
> plays out (no pun intended) in the useability of a foreign DVD. Please let
> me know if you find out. Jim Scholtz.
> At 01:05 PM 1/3/02 -0800, you wrote:
> >Colleagues,
> >
> >I just received a request from a faculty member for a this product:
> >
> >Robbe-Grillet on DVD
> >A double DVD, released jointly by Les Impressions Nouvelles and IMEC,
> >provides a much fuller version of these important interviews, with a total
> >running time of about 6 hrs 15 mins. It will be of particular value to
> >schools, colleges and universities, resource centres, international
> >cultural centres and lovers of literature in general. This interactive DVD
> >will enable viewers to explore Alain Robbe-Grillet's life and work
> >according to their individual interests. The accompanying booklet contains
> >details of all the topics available for search.
> >
> >The format is only described as Digital Betacam DVD
> >(
> >
> >Since this is produced in France, does anyone know if standard DVD players
> >and workstations with DVD drives can be used, or is DVDs produced in Europe
> >different (such as video cassettes and PAL or Secam formats).
> >
> >Since my primary function is selection of videos and DVds I'm pretty
> >ignorant regarding technical aspects. Thanks so much for any information.
> >
> >Margaret
> >
> >
> >
> >***************************************************************
> >G. Margaret Porter
> >Librarian, Reference Department
> >University of Notre Dame
> >Notre Dame IN 46556
> >
> >Phone:219-631-7620
> >Fax: 219-631-8887
> >E-Mail:
> >
> >
> >
> <html>
> <img src="0" width=10 height=10 alt="Emacs!"></html>

Merle J. Slyhoff	    E-mail:
Document Delivery and        Voice:   (215) 898-9013
Auxiliary Services Librarian  Fax:     (215) 898-6619
University of Pennsylvania 
Biddle Law Library
3460 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3406