Blu-ray Players are manufactured to only play certain authorized discs for a specific geographical region. It is very similar to that of region codes for DVD, but instead of using numbers, Blu-ray uses letters A, B and C to differentiate between regions. You can usually tell what region your player is by looking at the bottom of the player or in the instruction manual. The three different regions are broken down as:
Region A – This region encompasses almost all of North, Central and South America, as well as Southeast Asian countries, including Republic of China (Taiwan), Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.
Region B – This region consists of most European, African and southwest Asian countries, as well as New Zealand and Australia.
Region C – This region is for the remaining central and south Asian countries, including Russia and the People’s Republic of China.
In particle terms, this means if you have a Blu-ray Movie Disc that is Region Code A, you will require a Region A player to view the movie. The reason behind region codes is to allow the movie providers, the producers or motion picture studios, to regulate different content, release dates, prices and so forth for every region. However, while players are bound to support regional coding, content providers are not. There is even a current trend by movie studios to produce region free discs so it can be played on any player, regardless of their Region Code.
Movie studios such as Universal and Paramount Pictures released their motion pictures as region free. Sony and Warner Bros. have also released most of their movies region free. Walt Disney and Lionsgate tend to have a mixture of region free and region coded movie releases. While movies from MGM and Twentieth Century are almost always released with region codes.
Region Free Blu-ray Discs seem great but you do have to be aware of certain factors. Most discs have standard resolution extra features. Things like director interviews, deleted or extra scenes and trailers. These extra features may be in NTSC or PAL. So if you are located in a PAL based region, you may not be able to access any NTSC recorded features on the disc. Subtitles in your language is another thing to look for.
Multiregion Blu-Ray Players
Multiregion Blu-ray players are capable of playing all 3 regions, A, B, and C. These players do not require a PAL-NSTC TV to watch Blu-ray Discs. Any normal TV that has HDMI inputs, can display the movies without the need of a converter. There should be no issues with video standards, with 50/60 Hz, resolution, voltage etc. Some Region Free Blu-ray Players:
– Oppo BDP-83
– Oppo BDP-80
– Panasonic DMP-BD60
– Panasonic DMP-BD70V
– Samsung BD-C5500
– Sony BDP-S350
– Sony BDPS1000ES
– Sharp BD-HP21A
– Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD
– Pionner BDP-320
– Pioneer BDP-120
– Momitsu BDP-899
– JVC XVBP11
– JVC XV-BP10