Noah: Wait. How are my pupils doing? I mean, are — are they getting worse? Is the surgery still on?
Reid: Fine, no, yes. I’ll call to schedule our next appointment.

— Noah and Reid

Making your DVD player multi-regional (capable of reading DVDs encoded for other countries)

This is a post in anticipation of Occupant’s release on DVD. Since it’s not clear when/if this will have a theatrical release in the US, never mind abroad, for many of us abroad who won’t have access to North American download and streaming sites, DVD will be the only option for viewing the film.

As of right now, filmmakers have not announced when/if the film will be released overseas on DVD, so for now, it’s not just DVD-only, but Region-1-DVD-only. So, I thought I’d post this in case there are any other overseas fans who just can’t wait to get their hands on Occupant.

I actually learned about multi-region DVD players half by-accident when we moved to Europe. We didn’t realize that multi-region DVD players even existed until we started seeing some advertised as such. And as we started researching models, we found that people had kindly posted unlocking codes in Amazon reviews, as well as elsewhere.

Basically, if this is news to you, many (most?) DVD players are made capable of playing any DVDs regardless of regional encoding – physically the discs are identical, and data is data. However, the manufacturers then use software to disable the player’s ability to read discs encoded out of the home region (presumably both to sell more domestic DVD players, and to help protect copyrights of the content producers whose rights often only span their home market).

There’s a great background explanation at this site, information on unlocking, and some examples of unlocking codes – they typically represent a specific sequence of button-clicks on the remote (kind of like what you use to access ‘Easter Eggs’ on DVDs. They also offer a service to provided DVD unlock codes, which I have NOT tried, so I cannot vouch for how legitimate that is, though the info they provide is very good.

Rather than relying on a site that requires submitting your email address, what I would instead recommend is that you Google your make and model of DVD Player (e.g., Sony DVP-SR200P) and the words “unlocking code’.”

Here’s an example of what an “unlock code” or sequence looks like, from Amazon:

Hack 5; Samsung DVD-VR336:
To change the region on this player
1. Press the DVD button on your remote control to select DVD mode
2. Press the Menu button on your remote control
3-7. Press the 57538 button on your remote control
8. The currently selected region will be indicated on the onscreen display
9. Press the 1 button on your remote control for region 1, the 2 button for region 2, and so on, or the 9 button for multi-region playback
10. Press the Open button on your remote control to open the drive tray
11. Power off your DVD player
12. Power on your DVD player

Good luck! And happy viewing!

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