But DVDs are also becoming major factors in the profitability of movie releases. If the DVD of a movie reaches a country before the movie has been released in the theaters, it is going to seriously affect its profitability for Hollywood serrure à code studios, who release the same movie in different countries at different times. To prevent a DVD making it before the movie hits the theater in a particular country, the studios have devised a coding technique; there is a digital flag on the DVD that conveys to the hard-coded DVD player about where the DVD originates from.
When the disc is loaded, the software in the player compares the codes on the disc with the one set in the player’s register. If the codes do not match, the disc won’t play. For instance, a Code 4 DVD cannot be played in a Code 1 DVD player. In this way the DVD of a movie from a country where the movie is released cannot be played in a country where it is yet to be released. This not only enables studios to release the same movie in different countries at different times, but also enables them to practice price differentiation between countries for movie tickets as well as DVDs, thus adding potential revenue to the studio coffers.
The codes are decided according to the six regions into which the world has been divided for the purpose: the first region is USA and Canada, the second has Europe, South Africa, Middle-east and Japan, all of Asian Pacific is the third, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America combine to form the fourth, the fifth is Africa, Russia, India and Eastern Europe grouped together and last but not the least, the sixth is formed by China and Hong Kong. A DVD from one location is coded not to function in another: the player and the disc should belong to the same region in order to work with each other.
But this code system can be surpassed through modifications, and players can be designed with modifications to run DVDs from all the six regions. Such specialized players are known as code free or region-free DVD players, as compared to normal DVD players which are able to play DVDs only from their own region. These specially modified players play DVDs from all parts of the world, thus thwarting restrictions imposed by the studios on audiences the world over.
Though this does bite into the profits of Hollywood studios, it is certainly not against the law. In fact countries like Australia make it mandatory to remove code locks from the DVD players. In other cases, regional coding may prevent the legitimate enjoyment of a product that a consumer has legally bought in a different territory, especially in the case of people who emigrate and then find that their entire collections, which they legally own, cannot be played in their new country of residence. A codefree DVD player is the only option for such people, whose consumer rights have been infringed upon.
DVD players bought across the counter from malls are not usually code-free, as this a modification done especially through the use of technology. The area code is usually mentioned on the back of each individual DVD package, either with a regional coding logo of a globe with the region code superimposed over it, or actually spelled out. Check this code in order to run a disc from a different region on your DVD player. If the player does not run it, it is not codefree.
Any attempts you make by yourself to modify a normal DVD player may not always succeed because of insufficient technical know-how, and by tinkering with a player you run the risk of rendering it inoperable or making the warranty on that particular piece void. Moreover, most of these modifications may be easily detectable, especially with the movie companies spending millions on detection mechanisms.
Some modifications may also require specialized and expensive extra hardware like special remote controls, for instance. Once detected, the player will not allow you to play DVDs from incompatible regions. On the other hand, a specialized manufactured device like the Coby Worldwide Region-free DVD Player is an actual codefree DVD player, which is able to play DVDs from all the regions equally well, without any loss in image or audio quality.
We manufacture all our codefree DVD players to our individual high standards, and each set comes with a lifetime warranty that the player will work with every DVD from anywhere on earth irrespective of country, area or video standard , as long as you own the player. It can function on any voltage wall outlet from 100-240 volts worldwide, even in the absence of a transformer. All this comes with a standard USA Factory Warranty from Coby for 60 days, which you can extend up to three years with the payment of a nominal additional charge.