DVDs, HD DVDs and Blu-ray discs are all available across the world – and due to different marketing campaigns and local requirements new movies are released at different times.
As such, a new movie out on DVD at Christmas in the USA might not be available in Australia until the following Spring, simply because the film is still in the cinema in Australia.
To aid in the prevention of the movie being made available in Japan on DVD while it is still in theaters, the discs are designed to be played on specific players, set up to play DVDs coded to a particular region. The USA is known as Region 1, the UK, Europe and Japan as Region 2, South East Asia is Region 3, South America, Australia and New Zealand are Region 4, Africa, Russia, India and Pakistan are Region 5 and China is Region 6.
So, if you travel from Washington to Hong Kong with a copy of one of this year’s Hollywood blockbusters to view in the hotel when you land, you might find that because people are currently cueing around the block for it in China, the disc won’t play without removing the region coding.
However, region coding can only be removed with a suitable DVD unlock code.
Breaking the Code
Due to manufacturing requirements, the vast majority of DVD playback devices are built to exactly the same specification. To aid in the support of the region coding system, the DVD players are programmed to playback only DVDs designed for the territory in which the player is to be sold.
As you might have guessed, by removing this code it is possible to then play a DVD purchased anywhere in the world. This means that you’re no longer restricted by region coding, and the scenario described above can be circumvented.
So, how do you remove the code? Thankfully there are several resources online that provide DVD unlock codes, the majority of which involve entering the code via the DVD remote control. You can think of this as a similar process to entering a cheat code in a console game.
Using the following websites, you can find DVD unlock codes for the majority of DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray players available:
Can’t Find the Code?
In some cases DVD unlock codes aren’t available via these sites – yet this doesn’t mean that the DVD or Blu-ray player cannot be unlocked. It might simply mean that no one has added the code to the site you’re using.
A search of Google is always worthwhile in cases like this – the search term “MANUFACTURER MODEL NAME unlock code” or “unlock code: MANUFACTURER MODEL NAME” should present any other websites that might have an unlock code for your DVD player in the search results.