We are living in an increasingly globalized world. Thanks to international trade, we are able to enjoy products, arts, ideas, and technologies from all over the world without leaving the confines of our own city, let alone the country. But for all its benefits, international trade also poses a lot of logistical issues. One example of this is region-locked DVDs.
Region-locking DVDs is a practice used by movie distribution companies to ensure that movies are available in the right regions at their allotted time. This way, cinemas, and DVD rentals’ profits are protected as people cannot watch movies from abroad before their local distributors can get a fair chance to provide them.
Luckily, we have multiple ways of playing DVDs from different regions; Region-free DVD players, DVD rippers, and specialized media players to name a few.
In this article, we will talk about region-locked DVD players and their region-free versions.
Region lock is a DRM system that divides the world into eight regions. Then, DVDs and DVD players are allocated a region and are only compatible with each other. This, in effect, means that a region 7 DVD cannot play on a region 6 DVD player, rather only on a region 7 one.
However, there are some DVD players that can bypass region restrictions.
Region-free DVD players are devices that can play DVDs from any region. They are, usually a bit more expensive but the trade-off is that they are not limited to being able to play DVDs only from one region.
How can you tell if your DVD player is region free
You can find out whether your DVD player is region-free by checking the back of it. There, you may see a number ranging from 0 to 8, or no number at all. 0 and no number at all mean that your DVD player is region-free.
If the DVD player you have at home is not region-free, you can get one for relatively cheap. To help you out in your search, we have listed below the three best region-free DVD players. And you can read further down for an alternative solution if you would rather not buy a new device.
Amazon retail price: $49
Release date: 2013
- Can upscale video to 1080p.
- Loads up DVDs extremely fast.
- Supports all DVD and CD disc formats.
- Has a frontal USB port.
- Supports JPEG and MP3.
What we like about the Panasonic DVD-S700 is that it is the perfect middle-ground option. It offers a wide range of features and solid video playback in an elegant yet robust metal case.
The downside with it is that its frontal display doesn’t offer much in terms of information and that it doesn’t support Dolby surround.
The bottom line
This is a great option for those that want a great DVD player without any of the extra fluff.
Amazon retail price: $23.99
Release date: 2013
- Has a USB port.
- Can convert CD to MP3.
- It can fit anywhere.
The LG DP132 is a compact DVD player that offers the most basic functions at a very low price. It is a region-free DVD player and can even play music and display photos which is amazing at such a low price. What is more, it can fit almost anywhere thanks to its small size.
Unfortunately, this is a budget option and it shows. It doesn’t support HDMI, something we’ve come to expect nowadays, none of the additional features its more expensive counterparts do and even its components and controller feel sort of cheap.
The bottom line
This extremely affordable DVD player is for those that want to be able to play DVDs from any region but would rather economise on extra features that they will not be using.
Amazon retail price: $69.97
Release date: 2017
- Upscales video to 1080p.
- Supports JPEG, MP3, and DivX.
- Plays Dolby digital surround audio and can even improve audio quality with its sound retriever feature.
- Has a USB port.
The Pioneer DV-3052 is a great DVD player that can upgrade your viewing experience with all its impressive features.
While it is really powerful and offers the best overall quality of the three, sometimes it can feel a little sluggish with slow response times and may create unwanted artifacts (lines) between scenes.
The bottom line
The Pioneer DV-3052 is the perfect choice for those that want the highest quality they can get out of a DVD player and are willing to pay a slightly higher price.
If you don’t have a region-free DVD player or a DVD player in the first place, you don’t have to go looking for one. With one of the two methods we recommend below, you can make your DVDs region-free instead and avoid the hassle of looking for a new device.
The first alternative we would recommend is to make region-free copies of your DVDs and play them on any regular DVD player. Thankfully, this is extremely easy thanks to Tipard DVD Cloner 6.
Tipard DVD Cloner
With Tipards outstanding product you can:
- Make DVDs from any source Disc/folder/ISO.
- Have full control of what to copy and even customize your DVDs before cloning.
- Start copying DVDs in minutes thanks to its intuitive design.
How to make region-free DVDs with Tipard DVD Cloner
Step 1: Download Tipard DVD Cloner from the buttons below
Install and run it.
Step 2: Boot and set up your DVD for cloning
- Insert the source DVD disc into your computer. If you have two DVD drives, leave the other for the target disc. If not, Tipard can store the source in a temporary cache so that you can use the same drive for both discs.
- Run the app and agree to it checking for DVDs automatically when prompted.
- If you don’t:
- Go to “File” > “Select Source” and choose your source.
- Alternatively, select the source from the “source” option.
- Decide how much of the source material you want to rip. You can choose to copy the entire disc (Full Copy), only the main movie without any of the extras (Main Movie), or your personal selection of clips (Customise).
- You can name your disc at the “Volume” option.
- Pick the “Disc” option at the “target” drop-down menu. If you haven’t inserted an empty disc beforehand, you will only get the ISO and folder options. Later you can burn the folder or ISO to a blank DVD.
- Select the kind of DVD you will copy from the “Target Size” option.
- Click on “Next”.
Step 3: Prepare your DVD
- At the “Options” tab you can remove the original DVD’s menu by selecting the “Remove Menu” option. “Skip Menu” will skip the menu altogether.
- “Remove region code protection” will allow your duplicate DVDs to play on any device and/or region.
- You can decide whether you want your computer to shut down after Tipard is done from the “Action after burning” option. Select the specific action at the “Action” drop-down menu.
- Click on “Start” to begin the process.
You will have a region-free copy of your DVD in minutes.
Another way to play region-locked DVDs is to rip their contents using a ripper like Tipard DVD Ripper, bypassing the region lock and later, watch the videos on any device.
We recommend Tipard DVD Ripper for the following reasons:
- It is the only Ripper that can handle 100% lossless conversion to over 500 formats.
- It works 30 times faster than any of its competitors.
- It makes 1:1 copies of any DVD to ISO or MPG (a strong container format that can store high-quality video and metadata.)
- It includes a powerful DVD video editor.
- It offers several additional features like a 3D Maker, a GIF Maker, a Video Enhancer and Compressor, and a Metadata Editor.
How to rip video from region-locked DVDs with Tipard DVD Ripper
Step 1: Download Tipard DVD Ripper
Step 2: Load the DVD onto Tipard
Step 3: Set up the DVD for ripping
Step 4: Rip your DVD
You may now watch the ripped video on your computer or any other device via USB or SD Card.
Locking their DVDs in a specific region is something many movie producers do to ensure their copyrights are protected. However, this can create differences in how fast certain regions gain access to specific films if they do at all. Thankfully, there are region-free DVD players that can play DVDs from any region. In this article, we saw the three best ones and even offered some alternatives.