Why are there different DVD Disc regions?

Motion picture studios in the USA wanted to control the release of movies around the world using DVD region codes.. Movies are released on DVD at different times around the world, typically America and Canada first, Australia and Japan 6 months later, and Europe 12 months after US release. In some instances, DVD movies are available for purchase in America and Canada before they are released in European cinemas. Due to the high quality of DVD and the movie release system used by Hollywood, 6 regions were establish to prevent people from watching Region 1 movies before they were released on Regions 2-6.

DVD Region Locking is a system used to control which DVD movies play on which DVD Players. The regions are broken down as follow:

Region and Code Free DVD Players Map
  • Region 1 - The U.S., U.S. territories and Canada
  • Region 2 - Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Egypt, South Africa, Greenland
  • Region 3 - Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong
  • Region 4 - Mexico, South America, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Caribbean
  • Region 5 - Russia (okay, former Russia), Eastern Europe, India, most of Africa, North Korea, Mongolia
  • Region 6 - China

What does this mean to the end consumer?

This means that movies from Region 1 (USA & Canada) WILL NOT play on a DVD player regions 2-6. Effectively Region 1 discs play only on Region 1 DVD players, Region 2 discs play only on Region 2 DVD players and so on.

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