Monday, June 26, 2006

DVD encoding 

I have been reading about regional DVD encoding. You know, USA and Canada are Region 1, Europe and Japan are Region 2 and so on. Apparently this is to prevent people seeing the DVD versions of movies before they are released. The more cynical amongst you might think that it is purely for price fixing but I really couldn't comment on that.

Region 1 DVDs have notoriously had more on them and been cheaper than their Region 2 equivalents so people have been buying DVD players that can play DVDs from any region. Hollywood haven't liked this much and have decided to slap something called Enhanced Regional Encoding (RCE) on top.

I can understand this for new movies but according to playusa.com, Soap, a brilliantly funny parody of soap-operas from my formative years that hasn't been released in the UK at all, has been "enhanced". If that is correct and I buy it, I might not be able to watch it. I cannot understand this. What reason could they have to stop people watching Soap? It isn't to make profits because they are not selling it in other regions. It isn't to prevent people seeing the movie because there isn't one. It's a twenty year old sitcom.

It's a mystery.

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Posting comments to your own blog entry seems wrong somehow but this is a follow-on post so it's justified.

Soap season 3 works fine on my PC at work, on my DVD at home and on David's DVD. So if it is RCE encoded then it isn't working.

So much for PlayUSA's warnings of doom and gloom.
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