RE: [Videolib] PAL format and conversion issues

Ben Achtenberg (
Thu, 16 Mar 2006 16:32:55 -0500

I think this may be correct, at least for some vendors. I recently bought one of these online -- a Philips model, around $100. Its packaging, when it arrived, said that it was region 1 only, but there was a sticker on the box that said "Modified to play any region PAL/NTSC." However, it seems to work fine so far, with region coded programs from France and Australia, and a region coded PAL DVD from Britain.

In looking for one to buy, I also came across a number of sites with do-it-yourself "hacks" to convert region 1 players to multi-region, and most of those I looked at are meant to be performed with a remote, NOT by any physical changes to the player. Note that I have NOT tried this, and am not recommending it, but here's one such site:


At 02:43 PM 3/16/2006 -0500, you wrote:

I have wondered the same thing about multiregion DVD players as well.  I have faculty who have asked me to get a multiregion player, but I have always resisted because I've never seen a familiar vendor selling these. 

It would be nice to have such a player since I can't afford to keep flying the faculty to Europe...


Thomas A. Ipri, MS
Media Services Librarian

Connelly Library
La Salle University
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141

"M. Claire Stewart" <>
Sent by:

03/15/2006 12:45 PM
Please respond to

RE: [Videolib] PAL format and conversion issues

Maybe someone can clarify a point for me about multiregion DVD players.

My understanding has always been that most of the multiregion DVD
players on the market have been cracked and modified by the
distributors; that they're not actually coming from the manufacturers
as multiregion.  We've shied away from purchasing them for this
reason.   Does this synch with everyone else, or no?

I agree wholeheartedly with Michael's point about fair use ... and I
know the entire works question has been hashed over several times on
this list recently but using the whole work does not necessarily
negate a fair use argument. I'm repeating the URL for Nimmer's
"Fairest of the fair..." article:
which includes a factor-by-factor analysis of 60 fair use cases. We
can clearly see that a determination that the use is unfair just on
the third factor (amount of the work) does not always dictate an
overall judgement against fair use and vice-versa. Kelly v. Arriba is
only one of several cases.


At 5:02 PM -0500 3/14/06, Evershed, Julie wrote:
>Here is what we use or have used in the past:
>Multistandard TV/VCR/DVD  Sharp VT-21DV30S  -there are issues with
>this player as it's default is region 3. See the following page:
>There is also some interesting info on purchasing region free
>players on this page.
>Portable DVD Player multi system  Polaroid PDV-0700
>Multi-Region DVD  Sony DVP-S725D
>Samsung Multistandard VCR  SU5000-W
>Multi-Standard VHS VCR  Samsung SV-5000W
>Good Luck!
>Julie Evershed ~ Information Specialist ~ Language Resource Center
>University of Michigan ~ 812 E. Washington Street ~ Ann Arbor, MI ~
>48109-1275 ~ (734) 615-8575
>[] On Behalf Of Leathem,
>Cecilia Anne
>Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 3:18 PM
>Subject: RE: [Videolib] PAL format and conversion issues
>Thanks, we are now investigating multi-format VCR and DVD players.
>Do you have any recommendations?
>[] On Behalf Of Rieker,
>Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 12:09 PM
>Subject: RE: [Videolib] PAL format and conversion issues
>One alternative to conversion is to get a VCR with multi-format
>capability these are not cheap but since that can play any format
>world wide it would make a difference in the long run plus you would
>not have to worry about copyright issues. There are also
>Multi-format DVD players.
>-----Original Message-----
>[] On Behalf Of Leathem,
>Cecilia Anne
>Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 8:17 AM
>Subject: [Videolib] PAL format and conversion issues
>I am new to the list, but have searched the archives to no avail for
>information on my issues. I appreciate any input from others.
>As a subject specialist, but not a media specialist, I have received
>requests for foreign language videos from Italy and Israel, in
>particular. The videos are often available only in PAL format and we
>currently do not have the capability for converting and using them
>in our library. As a rule, we then notify faculty requesting the
>video that we cannot use the format and cancel the request.
>Unsatisfied with our current policy, I have identified several local
>companies who can convert PAL videos. I have also queried the
>library's digital media lab and our School of Communication lab,
>neither of whom has the conversion equipment, but would buy it if we
>have a great enough need.
>My questions concern copyright issues.
>             Have other libraries converted videos from PAL to another format?
>             Have you obtained permission from the producer/supplier
>before converting?
>Does making and keeping a copy conform to "fair use"? What about
>             Whose copyright law applies?
>             Are there any other related issues that should concern me?
>Cecilia Leathem
>Head, Catalog Dept. & Foreign Languages Subject Specialist
>University of Miami Libraries
>Coral Gables, FL 33124

M. Claire Stewart
Head, Digital Media Services, Marjorie I. Mitchell Multimedia Center
Coordinator of Digitization Projects, Northwestern University Library
(847) 467-1437
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