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DVD Regions Unlock: How to Bypass DVD Region Codes?

By Kelsi Gillan

Updated on October 02, 2020

Considering streaming services are popular nowadays, some people may think DVDs are obsolete and redundant. Needless to say, some DVDs are given a unique region code relative to the geographical area where the DVD was produced, making DVDs difficult to be played on your DVD player.


In other words, if you are located in an area other than the one noted on the disc, you may need to bypass DVD region code beforehand as long as you want to view the contents of these discs. And the process of unlocking DVD region codes can be time-consuming but still necessary.


Perhaps the DVD region code indeed deters consumers from purchasing it. Yet for moviegoers, DVDs are compelling products. The advantages of collecting DVDs are obvious. For one thing, DVDs are affordable. Take the DVD version of the top-rated movie Mad Max: Fury Road as an example, it only costs $3.16 on Amazon and you can rewatch this movie multiple times. Some DVD releases even include digital copy allowing you to watch on different platforms and devices. For another, DVD releases often come with bonus content. This is always fun for DVD collectors to purchase an exclusive DVD edition of their favorite movies from different areas of the world.


But if you don't own a DVD player that can play DVDs around the world, this doesn't mean you're out of luck. In fact, with the right tool, there is no need to purchase a new DVD player manufactured for that same region. And these discs will not remain unwatched and forgotten on your shelf.


If you don't know how to bypass DVD region codes, this article covers all the information on DVD region codes you need to know.


CONTENTS


Part 1. What are DVD Region Codes?

Before we introduce some feasible solutions to bypass DVD region codes, here is some background information you need to know.


DVD Region Code Explained

Essentially, DVD region code is a digital rights management technique that is designed to allow film distributors and television companies to control aspects of a release including content, release date, and price according to different regions. By setting region codes, region-locked DVD players can only playback DVD discs encoded in the same region. For instance, you may find that the DVD discs sold in Canada can't be played with a DVD player sold in Asia countries.


DVD Region Codes: The Good and the Bad

Just like other copy protection technique, the main goal of placing a region code on a DVD is to combat piracy. As we all know, movies are released in the cinema in different regions and countries at different times. Therefore, in order to preserve the financial integrity of the theatrical distribution of new movies, production companies turn to this simple and effective method.


Besides, movie distributors pay heed to regions with high market share and often release DVDs with exclusive content in these regions to boost DVD sales. Even though these DVDs can be region-locked, the additional exclusive contents are appealing to DVD collectors, especially when these extra contents are some valuable behind the scenes documentaries.


Another possible reason that doesn't stop DVD collectors from buying region-locked DVDs is that there can be a director's cut version of a DVD movie only available in specific regions. Anyways, distributors can profit from these DVD releases, and collectors can receive a movie that is different from theatrical releases and even bonus contents such as director's commentary, deleted scenes, and the making of the movie documentary all in a DVD with different artwork design.

Blade Runner DVD Collections Display

Image Source: Instagram @music.and.film.enthusiast


However, when it comes to the downside of the DVD region code, it can be a nightmare for people who lack a suitable playback device. For example, if you want to see a movie that is available on DVD in your relative's or friends' country, things may become tricky because not only the DVDs but also DVD players have region lock. This means your DVD player’s region code must be matched with the DVDs’ region code for playback smoothly. Otherwise, playback errors may occur.


Luckily, it is possible to fix the problem. Changing the region code for your DVD drive or getting rid of the DVD region can work. Keep reading and later in part 3, we’ll teach you how.


Part 2. DVD Region Codes Map: Find Out Which Region Your DVD Are Made

As it is mentioned above, both DVDs and DVD players are labeled for use within specific geographical regions. And they are divided into 8 different regions, with 6 used and 2 remained for specialized use. If your DVD drive region matches with your DVD collections, it should save you a lot of time and energy.


And the following is about how DVD regions are assigned:

Region 1

Canada, the United States, and U.S. territories.

Region 2

Japan, Europe, South Africa, the Middle East (including Egypt), and Greenland.

Region 3

Southeast Asia, and East Asia (including Hong Kong).

Region 4

Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean.

Region 5

Eastern Europe, Russia, the Indian Subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia.

Region 6

Mainland China.

Region 7

reserved for unspecified special use.

Region 8

Special international venues for air and oceanic travel.


DVD Region Code Map


If a DVD disc is uncoded, it will say Region 0 or Region All and can be played worldwide. But considering DVDs are also formatted for use on two conflicting regional television systems, which in analog contexts are commonly known as PAL and NTSC, be aware that you should play PAL discs in a PAL-compatible unit and NTSC disc in an NTSC-compatible unit.


Where Can You Find the Region Code of a DVD or a DVD player?

To determine the region number of your disc or player, you can check if there is a small, standardized globe icon with the region number laid over it. Sometimes, the region code numbers can be on the back of each DVD package. If a disc plays in more than one region, it will have more than one number on the globe.


Part 3. How to Bypass Region Codes from DVDs?

It is annoying to know the fact that the region code of your DVD player doesn't correspond to the DVD discs you purchase. Luckily, we here provide you one of the easiest tools – TuneFab DVD Ripper to help you effortlessly bypass DVD region.


Highlighted Features of TuneFab DVD Ripper

* 6X Faster to rip DVD to digital files

* Unlock DVD region codes and decrypt copy-protected DVDs

* Keeps high quality as the original DVD

* Preserves original audio tracks and subtitles

* 100+ pre-configured conversion profiles that is compatible with multiple online platforms and devices

* Useful editing features to improve your output DVD video files


Here is a detailed guide to unlock DVD region codes using TuneFab DVD Ripper.


STEP 0. Download and Install TuneFab DVD Ripper

Choose a suitable version, and then download it to your computer. Launch the program when the installation process is over.

STEP 1. Add DVD Files to the DVD Ripper

Insert the region-locked DVD disc to your computer's DVD drive, then click the Load DVD button from the main interface. This can help detect the main DVD movie from your disc. If you click the drop-down arrow icon, you will see three different options: Load DVD Disc, Load DVD ISO, and Load DVD Folder.

Load DVD Disc


If you want to load all contents on your DVDs, such as the navigation menu, or some behind the scenes videos, you can select Load DVD ISO. And if you've already known the exact part of the DVD that you want to save, you can choose Load DVD Folder and then locate the content you want.


STEP 2. Choose the Output Video Format

Click on the Profile icon on the right side of your DVD movie title, and then you can select the output format. You can convert DVD to MP4, MKV, AVI, MOV, and many other common video formats. Besides, unlike some popular DVD ripping software, TuneFab DVD Ripper supports extract DVD audio tracks and convert DVD to MP3, M4A, and many other common audio formats.


To preserve the original quality, it is advised to choose MPG Lossless. But if you want better compatibility, you can choose MP4, using the H.264 encoding method. This should deliver great picture quality with tolerable quality loss. And the file size is relatively smaller than the MPG format file. But if you want to preserve a lossless video while keeping the file size as small as possible, MKV format is an ideal choice.

Profile Presets

If you still have no idea of which output format to choose, you can select according to the device you use for playback. This software has profile presets for uploading to video streaming sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, and etc.


Also, for those who want to customize their profile settings, this software offers the options. Simply click on the Gear icon right at each format item, and you may edit the profile settings.

Profile Settings


STEP 3. Change Output Folder

After that, you can head back to the main page and change the output location according to your needs. This setting can also be found from the navigation menu. Click on the Menu icon on the upper right side of the program, then go to Preference > General > Output Folder to alter the output location.

Preference General


STEP 4. Start to Rip DVDs

After setting up all the adjustments, click the Rip All button, and then your DVD will be converted to a region free file, and then you can watch it on your playback device freely. To edit your DVD videos, you can click the Magic stick icon from the main page.


Notice that the free trial version only supports you ripping the first 5 minutes of each DVD. To unlock all the features, you may purchase the full version.

Converted DVD Successfully


Part 4. How to Change Region Code on DVD Drives? (Mac & Win)

On PCs, your DVD drive is automatically set to a region code the first time you play a coded DVD. Therefore, when you play a DVD on your computer, if the region code for a DVD doesn't match the current region code of your DVD drive, a dialog may pop up and ask you if you want to change the code for the drive. By changing the region code of your DVD drive, it is possible to watch your regional coding DVD on your computer.


But remember that you can set the region code for your DVD drive only five times (including the original setting). The fifth time you alter the code, it's permanently set to the last code you set. Therefore, when the limits are used up, any DVDs you play must match the last code you set.


The following will show you how to make a DVD player region free.


How to Change DVD Drive Region on Mac?

STEP 1. Insert a DVD into your Mac that has a different region code than the one your DVD drive is set to.

STEP 2. If you haven't reached the 5 maximum DVD region change limit, you're asked whether you want to change the DVD region. Then you can change the region that matches your DVD region. And click Set DVD Region and then choose Lock to confirm the settings.

Change DVD Drive Region on Mac


Note: If you're not asked to change your DVD region and the DVD plays, your DVD drive is already set to a compatible DVD region for that disc, and you can play all of your DVD collections that have the same region code as the DVD you play on your Mac.

However, if the DVD drive reaches the maximum number of changes, DVDs that don't have a compatible DVD region code are ejected. (In this situation, you may need a third-party tool such as the TuneFab DVD Ripper mentioned above to bypass the DVD region code.)


How to Unlock DVD Drive Region on Windows?

STEP 1. Open My Computer, find your DVD drive icon, and then right-click to open the menu and choose Properties.

STEP 2. Navigate to the Hardware tab, and then select Properties.

STEP 3. In your DVD Drive Device Properties window, switch to the DVD Region tab, now you can see your remaining change limits and the current region of your DVD drive. Then you can select a geographical region from the menu that matches the DVD disc region. Your selection will be shown in the New Region box. Then click OK to save the change.


Note: When changes remaining reaches zero, you cannot change the region even if you reinstall Windows or move your DVD drive to a different computer.


Part 5. An Alternative Solution to Bypass DVD Region Codes: Use a Region-Free Media Player

If you don't want to alter the region of your DVD drive or your DVD drive is already locked, you may try some region free DVD player software.


There are plenty of amazing free DVD player software that works both on Mac and Windows:

* VLC Media Player

* GOM Player

* KMPlayer

* PotPlayer


For more details of these DVD players, you may check out this article.


Summary

Now you've known all the practical methods to unlock DVD region codes. You don't have to spend extra money to buy a new DVD player to watch your region-locked DVDs.


These methods include:

* Use a DVD Ripper to save a digital copy and therefore, bypass DVD region codes

* Change DVD region code on DVD drive

* Try a region free DVD player


But instead of browsing through the Internet to find different sets of instructions to unlock DVD players regions, or getting frustrated when you've reached the DVD region change limit, using a professional tool to unlock DVD regional coding should put to bed once and for all the issue of region-locked DVD playback failure. Generally, you can easily bypass DVD region codes with TuneFab DVD Ripper and save a backup copy to your PC hard drive or any other popular device.


After converting the DVD movie to a digital video, you may even upload some exclusive content to YouTube or share the video link to forum with people who have the same interest as you. If you have any other thoughts or recommendations for unlocking DVD region codes, feel free to leave your comments.


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