Playing Foreign DVDs

I’m going to oversimplify this to the common cases I expect to see here. Most of the visitors to this site are from either Australia (about half) or the US (about a quarter). More techie info here.\n\nYou may want to watch Ryan’s work produced in another country. Like: You’re in the UK and have a US Fairly Legal DVD. Or you’re in the US and want to watch All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane and have the Australian DVD.\n\n


  1. DVDs that aren’t BluRay are encoded in PAL or NTSC. Australia and most of Europe are in PAL and US much of the Americas are in NTSC. (Yes, I know there’s SECAM too.)
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  3. Additionally, DVDs have sales regions encoded. US is 1, Australia is 4. DVDs that are playable worldwide are region 0.
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  5. If you are using the same PAL/NTSC encoding as the DVD you want to play, you can play it through a typical DVD player if it permits you playing the other region.
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  7. If you’re not, you can play it through most modern computer DVD drives with one caveat: you can only change the region five times. That said, DVD drives aren’t particularly expensive any more. When my husband and I got MacBook Airs, we bought external DVD drives for them. One of these is now set to Australia as its home region, and the other is set to the US.
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\n\nThe beauty of this approach is that it opens up so many more things to watch—so long as you can get the DVD.