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On Wed, Nov 8, 2023 at 7:26 AM Jerry Adams <midrange@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

For some reason the U.S. and Europe decided to establish different standards
for DVD formats, which means that a DVD created under the European format
will not play on a DVD player built in the U.S., and, of course, vice versa.
I figure that this limitation applies to the DVD players in PCs since they
are just components, like bricks, used to build the unit.

There are two different issues at play, and I cannot tell for sure
which you mean.

One is an actual video format difference: NTSC (mainly North America
and Japan) vs. PAL (mainly Europe, Australia, and China). These are
vestiges of the analog TV era, and were influenced by differing
electrical power standards. With modern digital technology, there is
less technical challenge to support both; it's mainly just a matter of
resolution and aspect ratio, and maybe frame rate. But even modern
devices might only support one or the other, for sheer ease and lower
cost of implementation.

The other is purely for anti-piracy and other commercial interests:
DVDs are usually coded for one of six geographical regions. There is
no technical difference between DVDs coded for one region versus
another; these are just ID bits.

I was wondering, though, if there was a way to play a European-DVD on a US
PC. Sort of like a 1401 emulator. Or maybe there is a European DVD
component that I could plug into my PC via a USB plug.

If the problem is the regional coding, the most DRM-friendly way is to
adjust which code the player device accepts. Traditionally, devices
can be reset to a different regional code some small, fixed number of
times (5 or so). A DRM-compliant device will enforce this.

The main alternatives are to find a player that doesn't enforce
regional coding (some physical devices ignore the ID bits; many
software player apps do), or to copy the data to a writable DVD or
other storage media that isn't regionally coded.

If the issue is NTSC vs. PAL, there are players that support both, and
there are also converters.

John Y.

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