Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Tools Of The Trade

Yup, the reviewing game needs some tools. And they might surprise you. Books are pretty easy, you just need light and eyes. CD's and DVD's though are a different beast. For a while I used computers to play them. But I was never happy with the quality, particularly with DVD's. It was a constant fight with Codecs, and region codes.

I'll bet you have never even heard of Region Codes. Well they are yet another insidious way that the music and movie industry control what you can and cannot do with the product you have purchased. In a nutshell it works like this:

REGION 1 -- USA, Canada
REGION 2 -- Japan, Europe, South Africa, Middle East, Greenland
REGION 3 -- S.Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Parts of South East Asia
REGION 4 -- Australia, New Zealand, Latin America (including Mexico)
REGION 5 -- Eastern Europe, Russia, India, Africa
REGION 6 -- China
REGION 7 -- Reserved for Unspecified Special Use
REGION 8 -- Reserved for Cruise Ships, Airlines, etc...
REGION 0 or REGION ALL -- Discs are uncoded and can be played Worldwide, however, PAL discs must be played in a PAL-compatible unit and NTSC discs must be played in an NTSC-compatible unit.

In a nutshell, if you buy a DVD in Europe it will not play on a US DVD player. Great system eh?

What a f'ing scam I say.

Oops I have digressed. I was talking about the weapons of the trade. Well I use a couple of portable DVD players and an old LCD Projector.

Now I know that most households have absolutely none of these devices. But they work great for watching DVD's. The one on the left has a 10 inch, and the one on the right a 9 inch screen. That might sound small, but they work great.

1 comment:

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Zoning does suck. Out here, most of the hardware comes from China or Japan or Korea...all seem to be mutually exclusive. We need a universal dvd, smart enough to recognize the hardware it is being played in.