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HD-DVD might not use region codes?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 08 Oct 2005 20:32 User comments (26)

HD-DVD might not use region codes? At the DVD Forum Japan Conference 2005, it was indicated that Toshiba's HD-DVD discs might not use region codes at all like DVD does. The main focus of the conference in Japan was of course HD-DVD. Toshiba's Hisashi Yamada made one quote that will be of interest to most of you. "Weve gotten a variety of opinions about region controls. Even in the Steering Committee, they are extremely unpopular; we decided to not put them in. HD DVD probably won't contain any region playback controls."
Of course, as Engadget pointed out, that "probably" word is still in there. However, the possibility that region codes wont be a feature of HD-DVD is good news for now. Region codes on DVD discs are designed to ensure that DVDs made for a certain region are only sold in that region. The region code on the disc, if it conflicts with that set on your DVD player, will result in failure to play back the DVD.

For this reason, you can't just import DVDs from other countries (unless you use a region free hack, if one is available for your player). Of course you can remove region codes from DVDs during a backup process, but even that has it's complications; DMCA in the United States and EUCD in Europe which both make circumvention of copy protection illegal.

I wonder how content providers such as the main Hollywood movie studios backing the HD-DVD format will feel about the lack of region codes. Will there be another method to do the same trick as region codes did for DVD implemented?

Source:
Engadget

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26 user comments

18.10.2005 20:44

i no those studios that supported HDdvd must be piss off right now.

28.10.2005 21:48

This is just one more nail in the HD-DVD coffin. With only Universal and New Line still exclusive to HD-DVD, how much you want to wager that Universal makes an announcement on duel format support soon?

38.10.2005 22:40

I'm gonna be glad for the time being but I bet they're gonna find a way to do something similar to region codes when HD-DVD becomes mainstream. I mean, hypothetically, if you really could import and play then you'd have so many problems with release dates, different versions (i.e. special editions) and all that jazz. I'm thinking they're gonna pull some crap like "incompatabile firmware and disc recognition" or some other crap that does the same thing region codes do but are just titled differently. Or maybe they'll just keep region codes. Be interesting to watch this thing go through if they decide to do away with region codes. I wonder what the Blu-Ray camp is thinking when it comes to region codes too?

48.10.2005 23:14

No region code is definitely a good thing, but something tells me the movie industry will find some way to botch it up - they're good at putting an end to a good thing.

59.10.2005 5:01

I say forget all this. We need some sort of DivX hd format. These files for hd and blu ray are going to be massive. Look at DivX, near dvd quality, 1/4 the file size. Also look at p2p file sharing has moved almost all to DivX. To bad there was not more DivX dvd players, I think it would not have a bad change to catch more of a following.

69.10.2005 5:48

you stated some very good reasons why we'll NEVER see Hollywood support DivX. I would like to see DivX players and discs also, but Hollywood might as well give away their movies for free if that happened. By the way, I was in Best buy the other day, and saw a DivX compatible DVD player. =-)

79.10.2005 6:02

OH......... I bought a DivX comp dvd player years ago. I love DivX becuase I can get a fully dvd looking DivX movie for 700 megs! I have fit 4-5 movies on one disc!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I bought the godfather trilogy on dvd and converted all 3 movies on to 1 disc!!!!!!!! DVD IS just hollywoods lame format! DivX IS THE FUTURE OF THE ONLINE COMMUNITY! Sorry got a little carried away there but when the current file format is so overbloated and there is a better one... it just gets me aggrevated.

89.10.2005 6:15

I suspect they are not concerned about region codes because they are planning to address copyright enforcement through the firmware in the new HD players. It could be possible they intend to have the player scan the disc for authenticity before it will play, and this time they may get it right. This could work hand in hand with the HDMI interface they have been pushing but not really telling the consumer much more than "Just one cable to install, no more messy wires". In the next generation of DRM (digital rights management) big business whether it be the movie industry, software companies or MS itself will be looking much more seriously at this problem of theirs, now that they can see their loss of revenue to DVD burners and P2P sharing they understand what is at stake. Lets face it, if they can't secure their product they may as well be handing it out for free.

99.10.2005 6:29

Your right boxer... i do see some sort of backlash by comsumers on some of those points. 1. So going to HDMI for HD dvd/Blu Ray would get all those millions of people like me who have HD tv with no HDMI input. That would get a lot of people no so happy. 2. If they are going to look for encyption in the firmware...the firmware could be hacked...bottom line is they are addressing all these ways to beat what is basically the majority of users here. They way of distributing their product has changed. Also it has gotten cheaper to distribute that product. These companies in the movie industry are forgetting about 1 simple concept, supply and demand. Consumers are exposed now to p2p software and downloading something now for free. They can't compete with free, but they can give us something in low cost and make the quality great, they would make billions of dollars. Look at i tunes, but greed is even destroying that becuase they want more then a dollar a song. In the end, the consumer dictated the products. No wonder the music industry is suffering. I would not pay 13 bucks for a sheesy cd...when i know they can fit 1,000 songs on disk if it were mp3 format.

109.10.2005 6:42

will they also keep the standards dvd's i mean put movies in both hd-dvd and standard dvd's or blue ray and standard dvd or all 3

119.10.2005 6:53

Sickly that is the plan. What a waste of money. No one is going to buy Blue Ray or HD until the format war is mostly over. Looks as if right now its even or Blu Ray is slightly ahead. Tough to say though becuase HD disks are cheap to make where as Blu Ray in the test labs has up to 50 gigs per disk. In the end though HD DVD is backwards compatable...that might tip it.


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10 years in the "Scene"
Vote with Your Dollars, Don't Buy Sony Products!
Do we really want Root Kit and DRM on our Computers?
Only Your Dollars will make a difference!

129.10.2005 8:10

HD-DVD is pretty much dying on the vine. With more of the content providers who had supported it moving over to Blu-Ray, HD-DVD needed something to keep itself alive long enough to even see the light of day. Irregardless of Blu-Ray's superiority to HD-DVD ;) the creators of HD-DVD have started talking about no Region codes probably to keep HD-DVD alive. Here's the problem. If HD-DVD really were released with no Region coding, no content provider would ever release its library on to HD-DVD! They already enjoy too much extra profit from Region dipping. So, what good would HD-DVD be without content for it to play? Toshiba knows this, so, why talk about doing something they know they can't do? Simple. To get it out into the public, keep its name and concept alive, etc. Bandy as much of the public around HD-DVD with the perception that it would be the user focused, instead of content provider focused, format. Doing so, they hope to engender HD-DVD so much in the public that they'll want HD-DVD over Blu-Ray and hope to force a turn over to their format. Of course, when HD-DVD does come out and have Region coding on it, it will be "Gotcha!" time. :) And, of course, too late; the public would have bought the bait.

139.10.2005 14:38

the biggest problem in any format as i see it is this: by experience we know there are many brilliant minds working around in things such as big a$$ companys which are just not invloved with music nor movie industry and another big bunch of people who might not work in anything like that but are brilliant as well. this people are regular folks like any of us with great deal of computer wisdom, and in their free time many of them are involved in places like afterdawn or many other sites that involve technology stuff, so every time they try to put a barrier and the news goes around in sites like this is like if they`d make a world wide annoucement daring all this people to show them how selfcentered they are by trying to say they`ve made the perffect coppy protection how nobody can bypass it. I dont consider myself a computer genious but i know that if i know something that can put them in to teir place im doing whatever is necessary to do so, meaning donations, meaning cracking software meaning anithyng bottomline they`ve got to realise its not anymore them against the bad meany hackers its them against this new world wich was created by the internet this world in wich if there are just 3 people around it who can beat them, chances are they already know each other. we are united by one thing only, ending unfair practices from billionare cartels of entertainment

149.10.2005 15:38

When is a global market not a global market. When is a free trade agreement between countries not a real free trade agreement. Bottom line is corporations do whatever they want, unabated, to maximise profits

1510.10.2005 4:29

It just seems to me DVD is starting to loose some of its fizzle. Take for example p2p networks. DivX is the dominate format there. DVD while better quality, is too large to trade. Could DVD be replaced with a DivX format like cd's seem so obsolete in the face of mp3?

1610.10.2005 14:32

There is also the new player, ratDVD, which promises 66% compression without any loss of DVD quality. As far as I can ascertain this is purely a compression format and can be decompressed to bring the downloader full DVD quality file ready for burning. If it lives up to it's promis it may spell the end to DivX. I'll repost as soon as I test it out.

1710.10.2005 18:11
diabolos
Inactive

There is a format for High Defintion with the Dvix formar! Its called Dvix-HD. They introduced it with the begining of Dvix 6. HD dvix trailers: http://www.divx.com/movies/browse.php?categoryID=3&src=movietab_h... Divx is the future. I never thought thier wold be as much support for it as it has now. There are DVD players/upconverters (ie LG) and DVD recorders (ie RCA) that support Divx. I don't think there are any DVD players that support Divx-HD yet although I could be wrong about that. I think HD-DVD will gain favor in the short term because of pricing while Blue-Ray has the most longevity (storage capacity). As far as region coding, I thing that the HD-DVD camp maybe trying to instigate World wide release dates of versions of the films that are acceptable in all countries. That would be really cool. People wouldn't need to get early imports or pirated Divx/Xvid downloads at all. Also, remmeber that HD-DVD and Blue-Ray have identical codec support namely MPEG-4 (AVC) and VC-1 (WMV-HD) which is what Divx/Divx-HD standard is considerd to be complyent with. The files should be the same size (or smaller) and also be as good or better in terms of video quality! Read the BD/HD-DVD Faq: http://www.bitburners.com/High_Definition_DVD_FAQ/ Ced

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Oct 2005 @ 18:14

1811.10.2005 4:13

I have heard alot about ratDVD...I have tried it and picture quality is not as good as DivX. I see more and more support for DivX everyday. Look at for example the file sharing sites. What is the number one video format, DivX. Eventually, people are going to want to buy into this format just becuase you can fit four times more info using DivX.

1911.10.2005 5:15

OK, so DivX is improving and technically could support a HD format, the question is , will the movie industry partner up with this "rougish bunch"?

2012.10.2005 4:05

Beta was better. VHS won. Just because DivX allows more does not mean it will win the war. It will probably remain the flavor for swapping files more than mainstream.

2112.10.2005 5:02

sort of like how it is now with cd's and mp3's. Cd's are old and out of date it makes me sick. Mp3's on a cd or even dvd can hold hundreds if not thousands of songs. I think with Ipod getting so larger it has helped...but people still buy cd's...more becuase they are not as up on technology and how far their dollar will carry them.

2212.10.2005 12:31

As I understood it, it has already been decided that MPEG-4 and AVC will be used on the next generation of HD discs, regardless of which medium is used. That would mean support for DivX, along with any other MPEG-4 or AVC compliant codec (XviD, x264, etc). Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

2312.2.2008 17:34

Originally posted by sisph:
I'm gonna be glad for the time being but I bet they're gonna find a way to do something similar to region codes when HD-DVD becomes mainstream. I mean, hypothetically, if you really could import and play then you'd have so many problems with release dates, different versions (i.e. special editions) and all that jazz.

I'm thinking they're gonna pull some crap like
"incompatabile firmware and disc recognition" or some other crap that does the same thing region codes do but are just titled differently.

Or maybe they'll just keep region codes. Be interesting to watch this thing go through if they decide to do away with region codes. I wonder what the Blu-Ray camp is thinking when it comes to region codes too?

2412.2.2008 19:18

You woke up a 2-year-old discussion to quote someone and not say anything?

2512.2.2008 19:51

Originally posted by sisph:
I'm gonna be glad for the time being but I bet they're gonna find a way to do something similar to region codes when HD-DVD becomes mainstream. I mean, hypothetically, if you really could import and play then you'd have so many problems with release dates, different versions (i.e. special editions) and all that jazz.

I'm thinking they're gonna pull some crap like
"incompatabile firmware and disc recognition" or some other crap that does the same thing region codes do but are just titled differently.

Or maybe they'll just keep region codes. Be interesting to watch this thing go through if they decide to do away with region codes. I wonder what the Blu-Ray camp is thinking when it comes to region codes too?
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Blu-ray Disc (also known as Blu-ray or BD) is a high-density optical disc format similar to DVD discs but are capable of storing far more digital information, including high-definition video.

Blu-ray Disc's name came from the blue-violet laser used to read and write this type of disc. Due to its shorter wavelength (405 nm), far greater amounts of data can be stored on a Blu-ray Disc than on the DVD format, which uses a red (650 nm) laser. Blu-ray Discs can store 50 GB, nearly six times the capacity of a DVD.

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Blu-ray is in a format war with its rival HD DVD.

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2612.2.2008 20:34

Originally posted by evilh0ly:
i no those studios that supported HDdvd must be piss off right now.
The studios that supported HD DVD already knew there was no regional coding. I'm just suprised that you didn't know it. Hollywoods main concern is about losing profit by consumers backing up the discs which is why they jumped ship to BD. No worries....soon BD is about to suffer the same fate.

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