The Universe and Me

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Who's your PAL?

At a boot sale in England, Bo happened upon a bunch of Britcom dvd's selling for a pound a piece, and was dismayed that she couldn't buy them because they're incompatible with US systems. We got to wondering why there are different systems to begin with. In searching around, the answer seems to be: to make Hollywood richer and us poorer. Apparently the movie studios didn't like non-US markets importing dvd's from Amazon before their release date. Instead of choosing to release movies simultaneously across the world, they decided to make Regional Codes. The US and Canada are in Region 1. If you look at the back of any dvd box, you'll see an icon resembling a globe set in a squarish shape with a 1 in it. Sometimes there's just a squarish shape around a 1. The UK are in Region 2. And presumably have a 2 in their squarish shape. The good news is that with a bit of free software, computers here will play Region 2 discs. The other good news is that more multi-regional dvd players are being made. Time to send Bo back to that boot sale.


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