Originally posted by tweaq:
quick question, if i get a season 3/4 dvd (i live in usa) could i play it on my apex 1110w dvd play, (i also have an apex tv)
thanks, i don't get the whole region/ pal stuff
OK... There are two things here that are important:
(1) TV system
(2) DVD region
They are different and (essentially) unrelated. One by one, they are as follows:
(1) TV system
A Black-and-White TV signal is rather straightforward to send. Colour TV, now, is a horse of a completely different ditto
When colour TV was invented, new ways had to be developed that would allow the colour information to be sent along with the brightness information of the picture.
The first colour TV system of any practical use was NTSC, developed in the US. In the beginning, it had defects and glitches, which took some time to iron out.
The glitches of early NTSC were the reason why in Germany they began developing their own system to transmit colour information on TV. It ended up becoming the PAL system. It is completely different from NTSC, uses a different frame rate, encodes information in a totally different way... They are incompatible. TVs that can display both NTSC and PAL broadcasts have, essentially, two sets of circuits.
There is yet a third colour TV system, called SECAM, developed in France. This one is somewhat similar to PAL.
NTSC is used in North America, Japan and a few other countries around the world. PAL is used in Western Europe (except France), China, most of South America, Oceania and quite a few others. SECAM is used in France, Russia and some other East European countries.
NTSC signals will not be visible in a PAL TV, and viceversa.
(2) DVD regions
When the DVD standard was being defined, movie companies got scared of it. Let's take a Hollywood movie... Those movies usually premiere in the US some months before the rest of the world. If DVDs were freely available to anybody, then people outside the US would buy DVDs with the movie, see it in their own home, and when the movie in question would arrive to their countries to be shown in the movie theatres, attendance would be lower, eating into the profits of the movies.
That is why the movie companies forced the "DVD region code" into the standard. The world was divided into regions, so that DVD players from a given region would not play DVDs from outside that region.
The regions are the following:
Region 1 - 1: U.S., Canada, U.S. Territories
Region 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, and Middle East (including Egypt)
Region 3 - Southeast Asia and East Asia (including Hong Kong)
Region 4 - Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean
Region 5 - 5: Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union, Indian subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia
Region 6 - Peoples Republic of China
Region 7 - Reserved
Region 8 - Special international venues (airplanes, cruise ships, etc.)
There are rumours that DVD regions go against the rules of the WTO. In any case, practically any DVD player can be reset to "region 0", meaning "no region code checking", which would allow you to play DVDs from any region. It is not clear whether that kind of thing is legal or not (although, for instance, in New Zealand it seems that region-coded DVD players -that is, DVD players that enforce region coding- are illegal
). It may well be, however, that changing the region code in your DVD player will void your warranty.
(Incidentally, some DVDs are made "region 0" DVDs. They can be played anywhere in the world).
Some movie companies (Miramax, Buena Vista, Universal and some others) have released DVDs that include code to check that the DVD player is not set to region 0. If they find that it is, then the DVD refuses to play. However, those DVDs can be played by manually resetting the region in the DVD player to the proper value.
Anyway, after all this, you can see that, when dealing with DVDs from other places, you have to take into account both aspects: (1) Type of colour coding for the TV signal, and (2) DVD region.
If your DVD player connects to your TV via an antenna cable, what you have is a digital signal coming from the DVD (DVDs hold inside only digital information) that is being passed through a special circuit (a modulator) that transforms it into a NTSC or PAL signal to feed to the TV. If this is the case, both aspects (1) and (2) are important. The DVD must be of the proper region for it to be played by the DVD player, AND the TV signal being generated by the modulator in the DVD player must conform to what the TV set will accept.
Some DVD players will be able to generate both an NTSC and a PAL signal. They will have some kind of switch (either a physical switch or a menu option) that allows you to select the proper one for your TV. Alternatively, dual-system TVs will have a switch that you can put in the proper position to make your TV set and DVD player compatible.
If your DVD player connects directly to your TV via a digital interface or RGB cables, the first aspect becomes meaningless, because you are bypassing the modulator. You only have to "worry" about the DVD region.
I hope this makes things clear to you
Any questions? I will be glad to answer them!