Erk DVD region code and 10.1 !!?

Crunchy in milk

Journey Agent
I watched a DVD movie (I bought from a computer swap meet) in the os9 DVD player, and it ran fine, it was pretty shonky but it worked.

Today I got hosed by my local apple shop, where the philistines saw fit to charge me 20 bucks for a self burnt copy of 10.1 (no special manual, no box, no nice cd, just a DIY silver eyesore). But to stay on topic, I wanted to try out the dvd player in 10.1 to compare. Upon incerting the same DVD that I had run in os9 just fine, it now gives me a 'region mismatch' warning saying that the DVD movie has a region code on it that does not match that of my drive.

os9 dvd player did not complain like this, why does 10.1?

Where can I get a list of what each region means? The list of 'drive choices' is just region 1, region 2, region 3 etc etc... very descriptive. About the only information provided is that I can change the drive region of my dvd Drive 5 times before it wont let me change it anymore!!!?? (Is there a way around this pointlessly pathetic money grabbing banilty?)

I can not even tell on the DVD movie case or disk what region number it belongs to, so I could be sitting here guessing 5 times what region to change my dvd drive to, and still get no fricken where. The day DivX encoded movies become as common place as the MP3 I will be happily laughing my arse off at DVD distribution companies :mad:


Scratch & Sniff Committee
I had a lot of questions about DVD regions a few months back, and have figured out this much:

- Under some ridiculous and unfathomable license agreement, the DVD region code can only be changed five times. That means you can really only play DVD's from one region (I have ended up stuck with region 4, Australia, which is okay, but I have a couple of region 1 discs that I just can't play)

- Early DVD equipped macs used a software counter to tell how many times the user had changed code. This was easy to beat using software cracks that stopped the counter ticking over.

- Most DVD drives since 1999-ish have a hardware counter built in that cannot be back-stepped or bypassed in software. Perhaps there is a hardware solution, such as a reset jumper or something. Either way, they don't want to make it easy for people to play discs from other parts of the world. This nonsense certainly hasn't stopped the pirates, though, only the legitimate users! Pirates can still copy discs, there's nothing stopping them, but if I were to take my iBook to the US, I'd have to source all my DVDs from Australia!
This is not Apple's fault, it is the fault of the alliance of distributors who implemented the region code system to protect their profits. Some DVD-Player manufacturers are making "multi-region" players, so there must be a legal loophole there for them: why doesn't Apple find it for us?

- Jumpy video can usually be beaten by de-activating virtual memory. This also helps with MP3 playback. As I see it, if you can't do it in RAM, you need more memory. (Go to the "Memory" Control panel) Also, scrathed discs jump like merry hell.

If you have one of the older "software" region code counters, you can find a crack for it by searching on "apple" "dvd" and "region". There are a few out there, but they won't work on hardware counters.


Simply Daemonic
hehehe --
I was looking around the net to hack my DVD player to have unlimited changes -- I bought a few german DVDs (well english movies but region 2 with more subtitles and dubbings to practice my language skills) and I ran into a site that had DVD firmware ;)

I upgraded my DVDs firmware to a region free setting (RPC2) and then I got software that lets me reset how many times I have left to change the region ;) so... I can watch any DVD I want ;) Its really cool.

search under yahoo for region free dvd mac and you will get sites BUT I caution you like the site cautioned me, playing with your firmware is risky business. I installed a couple that did not work (broke my DVD read capability) but then found the right firmware version


PS: this is in OS 9


For more info on region codes go here. I also find region codes to be a royal pain in the @$$. Basically, the reason they exist is for a couple of reasons. First, let's say a movie is released in the US. Well, this movie will not be released at the same time all over the world as the is supposedly too costly for the movie folks. Region codes allow the movie industry to release DVD's shortly after a movie has had it's time in the theaters in the US. The movie is then shown in the UK in theaters while the DVD(region 1) is selling in the US. Basically, a Brit will have to go to the theaters and see the movie. He won't be able to buy it online and play it in his (region 2) player. He will have to wait until a region 2 disc is released. The movie industry is afraid that box office sales will suffer if the DVD can be bought and played in any player. Thus, you have reason number one for region codes.

The second reason, and one that is truly sneaky, is that of price fixing. The movie industry can charge Europeeans more than Americans and they can charge people in India much less for the same movie. This prevents someone from doing a mailorder to save money and it also prevents them from watching the movie before it hits their local boxoffice. (see reason 1)

Basically, this all boils down to control and maximizing profits. They want to control the distribution of their movies, how and when they are played, and by who. One would think that in todays global economy, things should be much simpler and that these artificial restrictions should be done away with. Sadly this is not the case. If I go to Japan and want to purchase a film which is not out on the US market, and may never be, I am basically screwed. I'm subtly being told to watch western films and not become too interested in foreign films because those films aren't going to bring in any money for Disney, Warner Bros., or Hollywood Studios. The message is very clear to me. American dollars go to American movie studios.

However, considering that the average American doesn't care about anything beyond our borders, this only affects those of us with broader interests. They want us to live inside the box they are creating and not even try to venture out. Wouldn't want to hurt profits now would we. Watch what we allow you to purchase and everything will be fine.

Finally, there could be a solution down the road. If you are in America, then you should set your player for region 1. There are hacks in the windows world that allow one to set the region code at will. Maybe one will appear for the mac eventually. Remember how I was telling you about the different region coded players (hardware based)? Well, that point is moot in some European countries and other parts of the world. They have started manufacturing multi-region capable players. The movie industry here in the US may not like it, but there is not much they can do about it. Anyhow, I hope that link helps you out...


Crunchy in milk

Journey Agent
Great replies!

From the information you've given me it seems that the answer here lies in something that the 10.1 installer has done (firmware update to my dvd drive), something extra in the driver for the dvd that is not present in 9.2, or something different in the apple dvd player for os 10.1

I will boot back into 9.2 now that I have a bit more info and see if the same DVD still plays in 9.2. This will tell me that the firmware on my drive has not been changed by 10.1 and that the problem and ergo solution lies in 10.1

Currently after loading the dvd while running 10.1 my DVD drive reports that the region setting is unspecified (never been set, still 5 choices left). If I can get away with os 9 playing all the dvd's I buy no matter where they are set for, I will stick to that then, while I either figure out how to trick 10.1 or someone else with the same problem as me, ( and with programming skills :D ) releases a driver/software 'dongle' that emulates firmware dvd region settings, or a less stringent player.

Thanks for the info,

Crunchy in milk

Journey Agent
Yes I have found a selection of pages and tools, and firmware patches relevent to my exact model
. After reading up on this a bit more and playing about I've discovered that

a) my drive is still in factory settings with no choices or regions locked.
b) its a rc2 drive but can possibly be modded to rc1 if I need to.
c) the DVD player in osX 10.1 refuses to play this particular DVD with no region set, while the os9.1 player does. This leads me to believe either the particular DVD movie has dual layer of some sort or is 'multi region' recorded, and 10.1 cannot see this. The only other reason I can think of as to why osX 10.1 player refuses to play is that as a default setting a region must be chosen before the 10.1 player will even try to work, and such a setting is not present in the 9.2 player.

Before taking any drastic steps, and to work out point c) for sure, I'll hit my local movie rental stores and borrow a stack of new and obscure dvd's, buy a couple more el' cheapos from the next swap meet and JB HIFI, and see if I really need to remove the rc protection, or can get by with one particular setting for now.

Thanks for all your help.



you should report that shop to Apple, because charging you 20$ is undoubtedely illegal and should be stopped...


Simply Daemonic
Did I say RPC2 ? I meant RPC1...or whatever the region free one is ;)

I love being able to see any DVD from any country :D



OS X Supreme Being
I ran in to the DVD player telling me I had a disc from a different region when I popped in my copy of Fight Club, which had never given me any problem whatsoever before, or after. I wonder if it is just a glitch in the software or what.

The DVD Player is rock solid, but it's still obviously got some quirks to be ironed out, not to mention getting hardware decoding working.

And while I'm bitchin' - am I the only one who is getting tired of looking at IE's ulgy "BROWSE" button with the white square around it on these pages? IE 5.1.2 is an improvement, but how do I wish that OmniWeb would go that last mile and fix the minor things wrong with their browser to make it usable as an everyday browser.


Just installed a firmware upgrade, and it worked perfectly. Powerbook G3 400Mhz Firewire. It's fun. Look at for more software. Has a nice selection of firmware upgrades and also software tools. Just check and double-check your firmware version and drive type by using the Apple System Profiler and the DVD toolkit's DVDInfo. OS 9 for all that stuff, except Region X, which changes the region of a RPC-1 drive in memory/software. Works fine!


OmniGroup is workin hard!! Their latest sneakypeek, 4.1 sp5, is quite nice. I forget the url for the sneakypeek dir, type omniweb sneakypeek in Fixes a lot of memory leaks, faster, etc. good stuff.


Official something...
I have heard that when the region is changed in 10.1's DVD player, the region is not saved (firmware updated) until the player is quit.

If you don't quit, but use the terminal to kill the PID (probably with a -9 as a TERM signal will attempt to let the player quit gracefully) you get unlimited region changes (as long as you always kill the player).

I haven't got any DVD's at the moment to test this. Anyone want to give it a go?