|Digital Digest :
Digital Digest -> DVD Digest
Version 2.0 (3 July 2001)
For a Korean translation of our old region-free guide (v1.0), please refer to this page.
To navigate this guide, please either use the "index" at the bottom of every page, or use the Prev | Next navigational controls at the top/bottom right hand side of the page. Sometimes, you'll be presented with an option, for example :
You must choose the option that suits your needs (this way, you don't end up reading sections of the guide that are not relevant to your problem).
We hope you enjoy this guide.
Firmware - This refers to a small piece of software that is embedded in your hardware (eg. A DVD-ROM drive). This firmware can be usually updated through software to fix any bugs or problems that may arise.
Hardware/Software DVD player - You should know the difference between a hardware DVD player (ie. a hardware decoder card, like the Creative DXR-3 or RealMagic Hollywood+) and a software DVD player (eg. PowerDVD or WinDVD). A hardware DVD player will usually be a PCI card, and has outputs on the back of the card/your computer for connection to your TV/external sound system. A software DVD player, on the other hand, depends on your available hardware (eg. CPU, Video/Sound card). For more information on this, and other PC-DVD related issues, please consult The PC-DVD Guide
Jumper - A jumper is a small plastic plug that is place over the pins on your hardware (eg. A DVD-ROM drive) to control certain functions.
Region Counter - A counter in hardware or software that stores the number of region changes still available. Everytime you change the region settings, the counter will decrease. Counter usually starts at 4, and when it reaches 0, you'll no longer be able to change the region settings.
Region Free - Region-free can mean that your DVD device (eg. DVD-ROM drive) will not check for the region settings of your DVD movie, and will infact playback any movie from any region. Note that this is different to "automatic region detect", some standalone DVD players use - the region setting is not checked at all with these kind of region-free devices. Region-free can also mean that you have the ability to change the region settings of your DVD device (eg. Hardware/software DVD player) without decreasing the Region Counter (see above), and hence, have the ability to change the region settings of your DVD device for an unlimited number of times.
Region Locking - If your DVD device (eg. DVD-ROM drive or Hardware/software DVD player) is said to be region-locked, then it means that you can no longer change the region settings for this device. If your DVD device is said to be region-locking, then it means that while your device may not be locked yet, if you continue to change its region settings, then it will be locked after the number of changes allowed (stored in the Region Counter - see above) is used up.
RPC Phase 1 or 2 - Phase 1 refers to region-free status, where region control solely rests with the software/hardware decoder. Phase 2 refers to region-locked status, where region control rests with both the DVD-ROM drive and the decoder.
Setting a region - With some firmware, a region must be set before you can use it. "Setting" a region simply means that your drive has a region setting (as detected by Drive Info) set as the current setting - it does not mean that the drive needs to be "locked" to a certain setting (ie. you can still have a number of user changes left). Most RPC-2 DVD-ROM drives comes with a region changing/setting utility - if you don't have one, you acan use the Toshiba Region Change utility, which should work with all RPC-2 drives.
In order for a DVD movie to play, the region setting of the DVD movie must match that of the above 3 region settings (note that not all DVD players, eg. PowerDVD 3.0, checks for the Windows internal region setting). So for example, in the extreme case where your DVD-ROM drive's region settings and your hardware/software DVD player's region settings and Windows's own internal region settings do not match, all 3 will have to be changed to match the region setting of your DVD movie in order to playback that particular movie. Confused yet?
Note that you can first try the DVD Region-Free or the Pro version of DVDIdle, which claims to make all DVD-ROM drives region-free, although since my DVD-ROM drive is already region-free, I could not test for sure.