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Media Direct and Region Code

I've got an i1420 with Vist Home Premium and Dell Media Direct.  I put in a USA dvd movie, for the first time, and asked Media Direct to play it.  Media Direct said:

 

DVD Region Error

Unable to play this DVD because it does not match the region code of your disk player.

Change DVD driver's region code.

 

When I go to change it, it says:

Current region code....FREE

Regions supported by this disk

USA, Canada.....1

Number of times you may change the region code.....5

 

Farther down, it says Are you sure you want to change your DVD drive's region code?

 

What does the "FREE" mean?  Does it mean that is hasn't been set to ANY region?  If so, I guess I should say yes to changing it to the USA, Canada region.  I assume none of the 5 changes has been used? 

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8 Krypton

Re: Media Direct and Region Code

I've never seen the "free" but all the new drives I've seen require initially setting the region code for the drive in the Device Manager, as the manufacturer does not know which region it is going to be used in.  The note about 5 is that you can only change the region 5 times.  (there are ways of getting around the 5 limitation but it's against forum policy to discuss "illegal" software).


I am not a Dell Employee

Dell forum member since 2002

Dell Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS ROG Z170, i7 6700K CPU

Windows 10 64 bit Pro and Windows 10 Insider Program Beta Versions. SSD drives. Cakewalk by BandLab and Studio One 4.1 Recordng Studio Software.

Dell S2719dgf Monitor

Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

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8 Krypton

Re: Media Direct and Region Code

Some DVD drives support a "Region Free" or "No/All Regions" setting, and I think that is what you's is showing.  However, from what I remember some drives use an empty value as that "Region Free" value, which is what appears to be the case here.  The wiki article on DVD regions actually has a lot of good information.
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Re: Media Direct and Region Code

Thanks for the wiki. I found this, too.

 

http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/articles/region.html

 

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.

 

Well, in the case of Media Direct (MD), the first definition of Region Free in the above can't apply, since MD must have checked the region because it won't play until I set a region, and the second definition of Region Free also can't apply, because the Region Counter in MD will decrease if I set to USA.

 

I really don't care about decreasing the Region Counter, I'm just curious. Like fireberd said, the region, for this player, just needs to be set. This just surprised me, since I've installed many after-market DVD drives, and have never been asked to set the Region. I guess that's probably because I've always bought drives here in the US (amazon, newegg, etc), whereas this laptop could have been sold anywhere in the world. Nonetheless, it's also the first time I've gotten a Dell (and I have 8 Dells) that required this.

 

Now, I haven't installed Windows Media Player (WMP), which is required to play movies or audio in Windows Media Center, which comes with Vista HP. If I installed WMP (I'd probably get version 10, as 11 is not as user friendly for me), that may automatically set the Region Code of the drive.

 

I also haven't installed Dell's CyberDVD yet. I wonder if this would automatically set the Region Code.

 

One more thing, and this is why this subject doesn't seem to have consistent answers. I have two Dells in front of me, one is an Optiplex Desktop, the other is this 1420 laptop. When I check in the device manager in BOTH machines, the DVD Region Tabs say Current Region: Not set, and says that when I do set a region, I'll have one less change available. Here's the kicker...the 1420 won't play the DVD, but the Optiplex plays it just fine with any player I select, WMP or CyberLink DVD.

 

 

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Re: Media Direct and Region Code

I don't know how or why the one plays and another doesn't.  But, I've got lots of new DVD drives from newegg, compUSA and one from Sam's Club and ALL of the drives needed to be set.  I do part-time PC repair so I see relatively a lot of drives - both replacements and drives in customers PC's (mostly HP's and Gateway's) and they all have to be initially set. 

 

One thought, the drives I buy from newegg or CompUSA are "OEM" drives, not "Retai" drives.  But the OEM drives are usually just the drive in a plastic bag, not fully "boxed" with cables, mounting screws (although most newer cases are tooless) manuals, etc.

Message Edited by fireberd on 06-21-2008 07:35 AM


I am not a Dell Employee

Dell forum member since 2002

Dell Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS ROG Z170, i7 6700K CPU

Windows 10 64 bit Pro and Windows 10 Insider Program Beta Versions. SSD drives. Cakewalk by BandLab and Studio One 4.1 Recordng Studio Software.

Dell S2719dgf Monitor

Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

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