What are region codes?

A DVD/Blu-ray can be set to be playable in single and/or multiple regions during the authoring stage. DVD/Blu-ray players sold in a particular region will only accept DVDs/Blu-rays authorized for that region. Computer drives operate the same as DVD/Blu-ray players except the region code may not be pre set. The code must be set by the owner and may have a limited number of changes allowed.

Region codes exist for the benefit of the owner or distributor of a DVD/Blu-ray title, and they protect the rights of a distributor in one region from encroachment by a distributor from another region. The region code is an entirely separate issue from the NTSC/PAL video standard which can also affect playback. As a final note on the subject, it is important to remember that region codes can only be set during the authoring process, not during manufacturing. Be sure to consult your author prior to completion of your master. 

Below is a chart outlining the 8 region codes defined in the DVD specification and the 3 for Blu-ray.

DVD Region codes
Region # Countries included in region
1 U.S., Canada, U.S. Territories
2 Japan, Europe, South Africa and Middle East (including Egypt)
3 Southeast Asia and East Asia (including Hong Kong)
4 Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean
5 Eastern Europe (Former Soviet Union), Indian subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia
6 China
7 Reserved
8 Special international venues (airplanes, cruise ships, etc.)


Blu-ray Region codes
Region # Countries included in region
Region A Americas, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia
Region B Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand
Region C Russia, India, People’s Republic of China, Rest of the World

*NOTE: the video standard (PAL/NTSC) can also restrict playback.

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