Can I watch Region 2 DVDs on my American PC?

Hi everybody,

Is there I way I can watch Region 2 (European) DVDs on my (American) PC?

The DVD drive on my Dell is broken, which hasn't bothered me because I have a DVD player hooked up to the TV where I watch all my movies.  However, I would love to be able to watch European DVDs, and would be willing to buy a new DVD drive for my PC if I knew I would be able to do it.

If it matters: I'm running WinXP, and have WinDVD installed on my computer.

My current DVD drive will let me switch to Region 2, but since it won't play anything, I can't test to see if it's working.  Is PAL vs NTSC an issue, or does WinDVD take care of that?  Is there anything else I need to know?  (I know you can only switch regions 5 times or something, which wouldn't matter, because if I could get this to work, I would only use it for European DVDs and wouldn't need to switch back to R1).

I'm not trying to get around the studios so I can get movies on DVD faster, cheaper, or better -- I want to be able to watch stuff from the UK, Spain, and Portugal that will NEVER ever be released in the USA.


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2 Replies

Re: Can I watch Region 2 DVDs on my American PC?

One issue you need to be aware of.  You can only switch regions a certain number of times (legally) on a DVD drive.  I think it is 5 total.

If you look at the Windows Device Manager for a DVD drive the Region section states "You can change the region a limited number of times.  After Changes remaining reaches zero,  you cannot change the region even if you reinstall Windows or move your DVD drive to a different computer" 


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Re: Can I watch Region 2 DVDs on my American PC?

I know that part, thanks -- if I can get it to work right, once I switch it to Region 2, I wouldn't need to ever switch it back, because I can watch all my "normal" DVDs on the player hooked up to the TV.

I'm wondering:

  • if I can actually get it to work (playing R2 discs on my computer)
  • if there is additional hardware/software I would need
  • if there are PAL vs NTSC issues

It just seems to me that if it's as simple as switching the region on your drive one time, everybody would be doing it.  Or maybe everybody is doing it and I just don't know about it!


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