There is a lot of entertainment out there and it’s hard to keep up with all of it. With the amount of television shows and movies that dominate the airwaves and movie theaters in the United States, it’s sometimes hard to remember that other countries are producing top-notch work as well. For any true movie fan, television connoisseur or lover of great stories that are well told and well-acted, a multi-region DVD player is a must-have.
Distributors like to be in control of their products and that’s where “region locking” comes in to play. If a DVD is region locked, it will only play on DVD players available in that area. DVD’s are divided into 6 regions depending on which part of the world the country is in. Most DVD players available in the United States are Region 1 players, which means they’ll play all DVD’s distributed by U.S. companies, but none that are coded for another region. This helps the distribution company keep control of the price, the content and the release date.
A lot of popular shows and movies in America are based on or adapted from existing properties popular in other countries. Martin Scorsese’s Oscar winning film “The Departed” is an American remake of a movie called “Infernal Affairs” that was released in Hong Kong in 2002. “The Killing,” a popular AMC TV show is an adaptation of a Danish show of the same name, but called “Forbrydelsen” in Denmark. The list of remakes and adaptations goes on and on. Shows like the original “Killing” or “Infernal Affairs” are both available on DVD, but they’re only available in their respective countries on region-locked DVD’s. Acquiring them usually isn’t that tough with eBay, Amazon and the Internet in general and most of them come with English subtitles. With a multi-region DVD player, watching them is no problem either.
It’s not just remakes and adaptations that face this problem, though. Maybe after you discovered and became obsessed with “Downton Abbey” you started looking around for other British shows and discovered a bunch that looked good. Some aren’t available on DVD in the U.S. and they aren’t found on Netflix or Hulu. The only possibility of seeing some of these shows is by buying the DVD.
Some DVD players are capable of being modified to become multi-region DVD players, but not all. If you’re dedicated to watching great entertainment, a fully legit multi-region DVD player is a must have. The price usually isn’t all that different from a regular DVD player and they’re also available with Blu-ray capabilities. Having a multi-region DVD player makes it easier for you to enjoy that rare DVD you might stumble across at a yard sale, an anime convention or comic shop.
It’s also entirely possible that you want to watch the basis or first incarnation of every adaptation so you can tell your friends that “the original was better” without lying. Since you have a multi-region DVD player, you’ve seen it and have the facts to back up your claim.