Video Formats and Region Codes for DVD & Blu-Ray Discs

DVD and blu-ray distributors utilize two primary methods of applying digital rights management (DRM) when it comes to international distribution:

  • Video formats, which vary in display resolutionaspect ratiorefresh rate, color capabilities and other qualities. Different countries use different broadcast standards that apply different video formats, which include both analog and digital formats. Analog video formats were carried over to DVD’s.
  • Region codes, which is a DRM technique designed to allow rights holders to control the international distribution of a DVD & blu-ray releases, including their content, release dates, and prices, all according to the appropriate region.

Analog Video Formats Applied to DVD’s

The main types of video formats that are used in different countries based upon their broadcasting standards are as follows:

  • NTSC was named after the National Television System Committee and is the analog television color system that was used in North America from 1954 until digital conversion. It was also used in most of the Americas (except Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and French Guiana), Myanmar, South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Japan, and some Pacific island nations and territories.
  • SECAM, which stands for Séquentiel couleur à mémoire, (or “Sequential colour with memory”), is an analogue color television system first used in France beginning in 1956. It was then adopted by the former Soviet Union and used in client states and colonies.
  • PAL, which stands for Phase Alternating Line, is a color encoding system for analog television that is used by broadcast television systems in most countries that broadcast at 625-line / 50 field (25 frame) per second (576i), but variants occur due to how the audio carrier frequency is handled:
    • Standards B/G are used in most of Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand
    • Standard I in the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong, South Africa, and Macau
    • Standards D/K (along with SECAM) in most of Central and Eastern Europe
    • Standard D in mainland China. Most analogue CCTV cameras are Standard D.
  • Other PAL Variants
    • PAL-M in Brazil.
    • PAL-N in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Video Format Usage Map

Vido Format Usage Map

Region Codes

Region codes work because the vast majority of DVD and blu-ray players sold around the world are region-locked, which means that they won’t play discs that are meant for regions outside of the intended region. Regions devised for DVD’s are not the same as regions devised for blu-rays.

DVD Region Codes

There are a total of 10 region codes for DVD’s. DVDs may use one code, a combination of codes (multi-region), every code (all region) or no codes (region free).

DVD Region codes 1 through 8 are defined as follows:

  1. Canada, United States, Puerto Rico.
  2. Europe (as of 2020 will include Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and the 3 Caucasus countries), Egypt, West Asia, Japan, South Africa, Greenland, and French Guiana.
  3. Southeast Asia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.
  4. Latin America (the Americas except Canada, French Guiana, Puerto Rico and the United States) and Oceania.
  5. Africa (except Egypt and South Africa), Russia, Central Asia, South Asia, Mongolia, and North Korea.
  6. Mainland China.
  7. Reserved for future use, MPAA-related DVDs and “media copies” of pre-releases in Asia.
  8. International venues such as aircraft, cruise ships and spacecraft.

DVD Region 0 include regions 1 through 6, but do not necessarily take the video format into account. DVD Region ALL means all 1-8 flags are set, allowing the disc to be played in any location, on any player.

DVD Region Codes Map

DVD Region Codes Map

Blu-ray Region Codes

Blu-ray discs use a region-code system that is much simpler than the for DVD’s as it only has three regions, labeled A, B and C. As with DVDs many Blu-rays are encoded region 0 (region free), making them suitable for players worldwide.

  • Region A: The Americas and their dependencies, East Asia (except mainland China and Mongolia), and Southeast Asia; excludes instances that fall under Region C.
  • Region B: Africa, Middle East, Europe (except Russia), Australia, New Zealand, and their dependencies; excludes instances that fall under Region C.
  • Region C: Central Asia, mainland China, Mongolia, South Asia, Russia.
Blu-ray Region Codes Map

Blu-ray Region Codes Map

References

 

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Harry Potter Movies Hitting the Big Screen Again

All 8 #HarryPotter movies and “#FantasticBeasts and #WhereToFindThem” are being re-released in September for the big screen. The 9 films will be shown from Aug. 31 through Sept. 6, 2018 at all 141 Cinemark XD locations. Festival passes that allow viewing all 9 films will be available for $25.

Cinemark XD theaters can be found in 32 states. Please note that not all Cinemark theaters are XD. We strongly recommend that you confer with a desired location to make sure that it’s an XD theater before purchasing any tickets for these showing.

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References

LucasFilm Suspends More “Star Wars” Spin-off Films

In response to poor box office receipts for “#Solo: A #StarWars Movie”, #LucasFilm is suspending work on future “Star Wars” spin-off movies to focus instead on the core franchise movies like the upcoming #StarWarsIX.

This effectively means that there won’t be Obi-wan or Boba Fett spin-offs.

After 26 days since opening, “Solo: A Star Wars Movie” has only made $343-million worldwide, which is $196-million domestic + $147-million internationally. This is a far cry from the near $482-million that the previous spin-off, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, made domestically in its first 26 days. And that $482-million domestic is $150-million more than what Solo made both domestically & internationally combined.

References:

A Disappointing Opening Weekend for “Solo: A Star Wars Movie”

In spite of being No. 1 at the box office on its opening weekend (which is also Memorial Day weekend), “#Solo: A #StarWar Story” fell far short of monetary expectations by earning a meager $148.3-million globally ($83.3-million domestically & $65-million internationally). This is unfortunate given that it’s a fun movie that most fans of the franchise would enjoy seeing.

Some factors that may have worked against the film’s opening are as follows:

  • There are 2 other recent blockbuster releases still playing in theaters: “#Avengers: #InfinityWar” & “#Deadpool 2”.
  • #FranchiseFatigue: it’s only been 5 months since the release of “#StarWars VIII: #TheLastJedi”.
  • Less than stellar reviews.
  • Changing directors midway to Ron Howard.
  • Mixed reactions to the most recent Star Wars movie: The Last Jedi.

Only time will tell if “Solo: A Star Wars Movie” can turn the tide and attract more fans to see the film. Overseas, the film has not yet opened in Japan until June 29, 2018.

solo-official-poster

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“Black Panther”: 5th Highest Grossing Movie of All Time (Domestic)

As the 5th highest grossing movie of all time domestically, #BlackPanther isn’t just the highest grossing superhero movie of all time now (having out-performed #TheAvengers from 2012), it has also out-performed “#StarWars VIII: #TheLastJedi”!

The top 7 grossing domestic films of all time as of March 28, 2018 are as follows:

  1. “Star Wars VII: The Last Jedi” (2015): $936,662,225
  2. “Avatar” (2009): $760,507,625
  3. “Titanic” (1997): $659,363,944
  4. “Jurassic World” (2015): $652,270,625
  5. “Black Panther” (2018): $635,634,080
  6. “Marvel’s The Avengers” (2012): $623,357,910
  7. “Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi” (2017): $619,999,185

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Rian Johnson Scrapped J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars VIII Script

#StarWars actress Daisy Ridley (who plays Rey) has revealed that #StarWarsVIII (#TheLastJedi) director Rian Johnson scrapped a script that J.J. Abrams drafted after he directed #StarWarsVII: #TheForceAwakens.

In an interview for French magazine Le Magazine GEEK, Daisy Ridley revealed that J.J. Abrams drafted scripts for both Episode VIII and IX before Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow jumped in to direct the sequels.

“Here’s what I think I know. J. J. wrote Episode VII, as well as drafts for VIII & IX,” Ridley said. “Then Rian Johnson arrived and wrote TLJ entirely. I believe there was some sort of general consensus on the main lines of the trilogy, but apart from that, every director writes and realizes his film in his own way.”

“Rian Johnson and J. J. Abrams met to discuss all of this, although Episode VIII is still his very own work,” Ridley explained regarding Abrams’ involvement with The Last Jedi. “I believe Rian didn’t keep anything from the first draft of Episode VIII.”

As of 2017, J.J. Abrams replaced Colin Trevorrow as director of Episode IX, but we’ll never know what J.J. Abrams version of The Last Jedi would’ve been like.

References