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Tom
New member
Username: Tomatalki

Post Number: 19
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 1:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi All, I don't watch TV but I do like videos. I'm thinking of bringing a TV and DVD player down from the US. I realize that local TV won't work but can I play local DVD's on a US system? Thanks, Tom.
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Simon Fawkes
Member
Username: Expatba

Post Number: 54
Registered: 1-2007


Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 4:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Tom

Because of Hollywood's misguided attempts to control global film releases (OK, that's a bit of an over-simplification) most commercial DVDs are region encoded. This means only DVDs that match the region a player has been manufactured for can be played on that player.

The region code for the US is 1, for Latin America it is 4. Therefore, a US player (which will be configured for region 1) won't play region 4 disks (i.e. local disks in Argentina).

However, the DVD manufacturers hate regional encoding (as does most of the general public - imagine buying, say, a book in the States and not being able to read it in Europe) as it causes them a lot more work. Most DVD players are therefore manufactured generically, and later "configured" to be a specific region. Usually, the region is configured by pressing a long, complicated sequence of keys on the remote control.

Of course the manufacturers don't put this functionality in the manual (part of the licencing agreement for the key DVD technology enforces them to provide regional encoded players), however, many of these configurability "hacks" have been released into the public domain. Once you have the hack you can change your player's region (or set it to region 0, which will (usually) play all regions).

To see if there is a hack for your particular model I suggest you do a Google search on it.

Good luck

Simon Fawkes
Author, The Complete Guide To Real Estate Investment in Argentina, ISBN 1430303980, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1430303980
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Arial
Intermediate Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 153
Registered: 10-2006


Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 10:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Tom. Simon is right. What I was told by Toshiba is that the disks turn the opposite direction here. I have two Toshiba laptops and they say my computers will reprogram themselves if I try to play a South American CD or DVD on them, but they will only reprogram 3 times. After that they are stuck wherever they are, on that reprogramming. They will not change back again.

When I finally move here, I plan to get an exterior South American player-burner that connects to a USB port and then mark everything plainly and use whichever one applies. I have too much software to replace it all with South American CDs.

I bought some music CDs at concerts here and SO GLAD I didnt try to play them before I found this out. (one good indication that it is always good to read the instruction manual, even if we think we already know how to operation the thing!
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Simon Fawkes
Member
Username: Expatba

Post Number: 55
Registered: 1-2007


Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 11:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Aerial - what Toshiba have told you isn't totally correct. I too have a Toshiba laptop which I use both in Argentina and the UK.

They will not reprogram themselves if you put in a different region disk to that the laptop is currently configured for. If you do, all that happens is a box will pop up telling you the player can't play the disk because it is set to a different region.

Using Windows control panel, it is possible to change the region the laptop is set for. This can only be done (usually) 4 times and it will tell you how many times you've got left. After you've changed regions that many times the option to change it again becomes greyed out.

It is however possible to download a patch (easily found on the internet) which will over-ride the counter and effectively give you unlimited reconfigurations. (Note that doing so may invalidate the warranty on the DVD player component on your laptop - however these units are easily replaceable).

Also, although DVD players can play CDs (and read software on CD), the CD specification does not incorporate regional encoding (i.e. CDs are not regionally encoded) and so CDs will play/read whatever the region the DVD player is set to.

On a separate note, both the High Courts of Australia and New Zealand have ruled that regional encoding is an anti-competitive practice and hardware manufacturers selling there are legally obliged to make sure their players can play disks from all regions without restriction. The EU is currently considering similar proposals.

I hope this clarifies things a bit.

Simon Fawkes
Author, The Complete Guide To Real Estate Investment in Argentina, ISBN 1430303980, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1430303980
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Arial
Intermediate Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 154
Registered: 10-2006


Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 12:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks, Simon, this is great information! My documentation for my computer says the same as the tech at Best Buy told me so of course I didnt try it. Do you think my idea of an exterior player that works for this region (Argentina) along with the one in my computer will also work? That would be my choice rather than download patches, etc.

Thanks again for the info. Yes it does clarify!

Incidentally I loved your book and certainly recommend it for new people coming to Argentina and planning to buy real estate!
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Simon Fawkes
Member
Username: Expatba

Post Number: 56
Registered: 1-2007


Posted on Monday, February 18, 2008 - 5:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks, Arial - glad you like the book.

Yes, that should work. You can buy external USB DVD drives for well under US$100 that will just plug straight into your laptop.

Simon

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