Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Well, That's a Drag!

In my ongoing quest to learn new things every day, I learnt something that displeased me the other day. I was browsing through a Buy and Sell Forum here in Korea, and I noticed that some woman was trying to sell some DVDs. She mentioned that some of them were of differing regions. I didn't know what that meant.

I got curious and checked my DVDs and noted they are all Region 3. See?
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"But what does this mean?" I wondered, and so I googled my way toward understanding.

Well, what it means, Jellybean, is that I am not going to be able to play my DVDs in North America unless I bring my Korean DVD Player home with a power adaptor, and maybe a voltage transformer. (More stuff I need to learn about on another day.) Did you guys know abut this? Why didn't you tell me? Huh? Having DVDs from Region 3 means that I can only watch them in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and "parts of Southeast Asia." While I am enjoying living in South Korea, I doubt very much that I'll want to stay here forever, even though it might sound tempting to be able to watch my copy of "Spanglish" over and over. Why the hell, I wondered, wouldn't I be able to watch DVDs in Canada that I'd bought with my heard earned money over here?

From this detailed website, they attempt to answer the question: "Why does DVD region coding exist, you ask? According to what the public is being told, such coding is a tool to protect copyright and film distribution rights (in other words, movie studio profits). Movies are released in theaters in different parts of the world at different times throughout the year. That Summer blockbuster in the U.S. may end up being the Christmas blockbuster overseas. If that occurs, the DVD version of the movie may be out in the U.S. while it is still showing in theaters overseas."

Well fan-fricking-tastic! I'm glad that the folks in Hollywood can keep their fat wallets fat while I cry about not being able to watch my copy of "The World According to Garp," over and over whilst at home in Canada sucking on a Molson Canadian. As it is, I haven't really bought any new releases! I usually go for the much lower priced older releases. Now I've managed - in the last half a year since I bought myself a DVD player for my birthday, to amass about 20 movies, plus a few seasons of "The West Wing, Entourage, and Carnivale" (which I just can't seem to get through!) I've had my eye on more seasons of "The West Wing," and seasons 3 onward of "The Sopranos."

I did, in fact, buy a new release last week: "Happy Feet!" I bought it thinking I could crack it open and watch it and then mail it off to my niece for her birthday at the end of May. She would have been pretty disappointed once she found out it was unplayable on their machine. Crap! That plan is useless unless I ship her my DVD player (with converterm adaptor, and a few magical tokens and spells to ensure it works.)

Alright, I know about movies being released in different countries at different times, but what about older movies that have already been released everywhere. I wonder why I'm not able to watch them in any player anywhere in the world. Doesn't seem fair to me, and I'm too annoyed to bother trying to look up the reason now. As far as I'm concerned, it's just another example of The MAN trying to bring us down!

6 comments:

kangmi said...

While I have no personal experience with this (yet), I've read that one can download software to one's DVD player that will make it region-free, and thus able to play DVDs from other regions.

Anonymous said...

There's always a region-free DVD player (usually around 60-80 USD). They play DVDs from all regions, and of course region-free DVDs, though you'll have to buy a power/voltage adapter just as you would with any other foreign electrical appliance if you travel. Region-free DVD players are a bit difficult to find in stores (well, they are in America), but they're everywhere online.

John McCrarey said...

When I purchased my DVD player the clerk was able to program it to play all regions with the remote control (or so it appeared). Any way, my DVDs from the US and Korea play equally well...

RobinInSeoul said...

One word: BitTorrent.

Sher said...

Yeah--the man is always trying to keep us down. By the way--do you have a DVD of School Of Rock? :):)

daeguowl said...

Most DVD players (except the very, very cheap) can be unlocked by pressing a set combination of keys on the remote (like unlocking unlimited lives on a video game). Failing that you can watch them on your computer...