Sources of DVD Region Information

There are three sources of DVD region information that work together to determine the region for DVD playback on a Windows PC.

  • DVD Title. Most DVD titles are marked for a specific region. Some titles can be played in only one region, some can be played in multiple regions, and others can be played all regions. Regions 1 through 6 were defined in the original DVD-Video specification. Region 7 is currently undefined. Region 8 was added in 1999 for special venues, such as airplanes. DVD-ROM discs (those with no video zone) should not contain any region coding.
  • DVD-ROM Drive. There are two types of DVD-ROM drives: RPC Phase 1 (RPC1) drives and RPC Phase 2 (RPC2) drives. RPC1 drives do not have built-in hardware support for region management. For these drives, Windows maintains the region change count information and the region can be changed only once. RPC2 drives maintain the region change count information in hardware and in general the region of such drives can be changed up to 5 times.
  • DVD Decoder. Some DVD decoders, hardware or software, are set for a specific region. In general, the user cannot change the decoder's region.

Related topics

DVD Region Change Support in Windows