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Will B5 TLT be available for Region 2

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  • Will B5 TLT be available for Region 2

    I am delighted to learn that there are some more B5 tales on the way.
    Well done JMS and all who are involved.
    The important thing for me is WILL THEY BE AVAILABLE for Region 2? and when?

    Kind regards

    johnb uk
    johnb uk

    A UK based B5 enthuiasist

  • #2
    We haven't gotten any details on availability from JMS other than what he said at Comic Con San Diego, that it would be in the second quarter of 2007.

    Given that the support for the show was always huge on the part of the UK fans, I can't imagine that the DVDs wouldn't be made available there but we don't have any details.

    Be assured, if we hear anything, we'll post it here.

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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    • #3
      I cannot imagine they are not planning to do so. The only thing that might interfere is if they would try to sell TLT to European TV stations first, in which case they sometimes hold back local releases of shows on DVD. But with such a specific project as TLT, I'm not sure how much interest there would be from stations over here, and if they would even bother to try and sell it all.

      For me personally, I have a region free dvd player, and a Dutch credit card that I can use with amazon.com, so that's probably the way I'm going to acquire it.

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      • #4
        Region free

        Originally posted by Shabaz
        For me personally, I have a region free dvd player, and a Dutch credit card that I can use with amazon.com, so that's probably the way I'm going to acquire it.
        I agree I can do the same, BUT I found out recently about the Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE) which is supposed to be used by Warners and Columbia on their DVDs to defeat region free DVD players
        johnb uk

        A UK based B5 enthuiasist

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        • #5
          I never heard about those before. But I just did a bit of searching on google and Wikipedia, and that does sound a bit annoying. Not sure if my DVD player can handle those, maybe with a firmware upgrade or not. Guess I should check.

          I believe I can switch the region coding of my player manually instead of using the region free setting though, which would get around the RCE restrictions from what I understand, but doing that everytime I would want to watch one of these discs could get tiresome.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Shabaz
            For me personally, I have a region free dvd player, and a Dutch credit card that I can use with amazon.com, so that's probably the way I'm going to acquire it.
            That's odd. Amazon refuses to sell me (in Belgium) region 1 DVD's! Only one ever managed to get through (Shadowlands). And region free players are illegal in Belgium.
            Understanding is a three-edged sword: your side, their side and the truth.
            John Sheridan

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            • #7
              I know this isn't exactly the right place to ask this question, but what the hey. Why does regional coding exist in the first place?

              Secondly, couldn't you buy the movie legally, rip it on your computer and then burn it again with out any regional restrictions. Not the best solution, but if all fails.


              Dip

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DeMonk
                That's odd. Amazon refuses to sell me (in Belgium) region 1 DVD's! Only one ever managed to get through (Shadowlands). And region free players are illegal in Belgium.
                That's odd. All it does with me is give me a warning that the disc I'm buying is region coded for a different region than where I'm shipping to, and basically, don't come crying to Amazon if it doesn't work. But it ships fine for me.

                And are you sure that it is illegal? Since I know it is perfectly legal in most countries; including my own and the US. They are a way to enforce trade agreements and such for distributors, but since the consumer, and most retailers, are not a party to such agreements, there is no real legal basis in existing law to forbid it; a special law dealing with region coding in specific would have to be made, or you would have to redefine a region-free DVD player as some sort of copyright infringement device (which would require some legal contortionism, although I'm sure some creative lawyers or lobbyists would try). Did they do this in Belgium?

                And Dipper, like I said, it exist to make it easier for them to have region specific pricing, distribution partners, and the like. It's basically trying to enforce a status quo where free trade was or is overtaking a business model. But as long as you pay your appropriate import taxes and the like, it is perfectly legal to get around it, at least as far as my country is concerned.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shabaz
                  And are you sure that it is illegal?
                  It was when I last bought a DVD-player. The seller took me aside and told me he could refer me to a technician who could make it region-free. But the price asked was too high and I didn't.
                  Maybe things have changed by now and I should look around a bit.
                  On the other hand, if they're inventing new ways of restricting even region free players, what's the use?
                  Understanding is a three-edged sword: your side, their side and the truth.
                  John Sheridan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dipper
                    Secondly, couldn't you buy the movie legally, rip it on your computer and then burn it again with out any regional restrictions. Not the best solution, but if all fails.


                    Dip
                    I am no expert on this and don't wish to be, but I think that the main problem might be to get your computer to read the thing in the first place.

                    Certainly on my fairly new computer the DVD reader/writer is region coded. It is apparently possible to change the region, but you'd have to know what you are doing and it won't allow you to set it to region-free anyway.
                    johnb uk

                    A UK based B5 enthuiasist

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DeMonk
                      It was when I last bought a DVD-player. The seller took me aside and told me he could refer me to a technician who could make it region-free. But the price asked was too high and I didn't.
                      Maybe things have changed by now and I should look around a bit.
                      On the other hand, if they're inventing new ways of restricting even region free players, what's the use?
                      Over here you can buy region free players openly in most stores, or get little instruction leaflets openly from dvd player retailers that detail how to make certain models region free by using special menu options. And I don't think any of the industry copyright enforcement agencies here, in particular stichting BREIN, (Bescherming Rechten Entertainment Industrie Nederland, or Protection Rights Entertainment Industry Netherlands) has ever seriously tried to make a case that it should be illegal.

                      I remember when DVD players were new, and not everyone even knew what region coding was, that some salesmen I think said or implied to me that he could get it done for me at some guy, but that he couldn't sell it outright region free. I think that was mostly because of the fact that initially there weren't that many dvd players that were sold that were intended to be region free. If he would've modified players himself and sold them that way, he may have been in breach of supply contracts. But now you have many players that either come region free out of the box, or that can be made region free by entering a short button combination on the remote (versus actually changing hardware with modchips and the like for those earlier players where the manufacturer didn't intend the player to be made region free).

                      And I tried googling a bit, on English and Flamish pages, but couldn't really find anything about region free players being illegal or not in Belgium.

                      edit: Also, I did a bit of googling, and apparently, most newer region free players don't have that much of a problem with RCE, either out of the box, or after a trivial menu setting change or firmware flash. Apparently my model, which is already 4 or so years old, should have no problem with RCE. If one decides to buy a region free player, best to just write down the name of the model you're interested in before buying it, and checking at home on the internet if it can handle RCE, possible after a firmware flash.
                      Last edited by Shabaz; 09-12-2006, 06:43 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by johnb uk
                        I am no expert on this and don't wish to be, but I think that the main problem might be to get your computer to read the thing in the first place.

                        Certainly on my fairly new computer the DVD reader/writer is region coded. It is apparently possible to change the region, but you'd have to know what you are doing and it won't allow you to set it to region-free anyway.
                        Depends a bit on how old the drive is. With older drivers, the region control was done on the driver level, and so was fairly simple to get around with proper software. On newer drives, that use so called Regional Playback Control 2, it is done at the firmware level. It is still fairly easy to find some new region free firmware on the internet, and just flash the drive with that. But it depends a bit on the model.[edit: Actually, I think a program like DVD Decrypter might still get around region coding, even without a region free firmware. Not sure though.]

                        And changing the region coding should be fairly trivial for PC DVD drives. The problem is that, if you haven't changed the firmware to a region free one, that you only get five changes, after which the drive locks into the then current region setting and can't be changed anymore.
                        Last edited by Shabaz; 09-12-2006, 07:00 AM.

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                        • #13
                          You can always decode the DVD on your computer and burn the movie with the fitting region code... you can find all the neccesary information on the net. I had problems with the region check only once (I ordered some IMAX movies from the US), and I got around it without to much problems... (it's easy, compared to the problems one can get when "finding" movies with "funny" codecs and containers)

                          edit add:
                          Shabaz [edit: Actually, I think a program like DVD Decrypter might still get around region coding, even without a region free firmware. Not sure though.]
                          Takes longer, but works...

                          PeAcE
                          Last edited by Harrdy; 09-12-2006, 07:07 AM.
                          greetings from austria, best known for its history and fine wine... feels like a wine cellar on a graveyard 8-)

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for clearing that up Harrdy.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dipper
                              I know this isn't exactly the right place to ask this question, but what the hey. Why does regional coding exist in the first place?
                              Oddly enough to protect European theater owners and video distributors, and to help the studios adhere to their existing distribution deals.

                              Theatrical film prints are very expensive. We're talking tens of thousands of dollars per copy. For this reason a limited number of prints are struck, and films play first in "major" markets before the used prints are sent elsewhere. (Movie soundtracks are now generally stored on optical discs, so the same print can play in multiple countries in different languages as long as it has the right disc with it. I once held a disc from the DTS English soundtrack for Apollo 13, which ships in a plastic container identical to a film reel can, in my own grubby little hands. )

                              Typically movies would open in the U.S. play for a few months, then move to the U.K. and western Europe, then (or simultaneously) to Japan, etc. Big budget films shooting for a very wides release (and expecting to make lots of money) will spring for more prints up front and cover more of the globe. But this has been the basic pattern.

                              Now the entire film industry was paranoid about DVD from the beginning. The studios feared the fact that with digital discs you could run off many copies with no generational loss - each copy was its own "master" and could be used to make more identical copies. This vastly increased the risk of piracy from the VHS days when specialized equipment and comparatively expensive tapes were needed to make copies on a large scale. So the studios refused to support DVD until a copy-protection scheme was added.

                              At the same time European film exhibitors and distributors feared what the timing of U.S. DVD releases would do to their business. If a blockbuster like Titanic arrived on home video in the U.S. before it even opened in European theaters (not an unusual situation in the VHS days) high quality imported discs could offer direct competition to theaters. Even worse the market would be saturated with U.S. discs by the time the film finally arrived in European editions.

                              The studios had long-standing distribution deals with companies in various countries and territories for handing their films overseas. In the case of co-productions one American company might have the domestic rights to a film while another took the overseas rights. (This actually happened with Titanic itself. When Paramount ran out of money, Fox stepped in and financed the completion of the film - in exchange for all foreign rights, including home video.)

                              The whole idea behind region coding was to keep cheap discs that were released earlier in some regions from screwing up the market in regions where theatrical play (and hence video releases) were later than in others. Since most of the most popular films are produced in North America every year, it became region 1 because that's where those films are typically released first.

                              Ironically the region coding system has been much more of a problem for U.S. film fans than their European bretheren. Hollywood has much greater legal reach and political clout here than elsewhere - so it is very difficult to procure a region free player here. That means people can't import the many European films released each year that don't get a theatrical or home video release in the U.S., why most Europeans have no trouble circumventing region coding or simply buying region free players in the many countries where they are legal. Also most European TVs use the PAL or SECAM video standards, which have more lines of resolution, and they can therefore properly display the slightly lower resolution NTSC images. NTSC TV cannot similarly play PAL video - that must be converted by the player or the TV to display properly. (HDTV sets which have a minimum of 720 lines and should be able to automatically adjust the refresh rate should be able to handle PAL video, but would still need a region free player.)

                              Anyway, that's the theory of region coding. Just as the studios forced copyprotection on the new format they - responding to pressure from their overseas business partners - forced the DVD consortium to accept region coding as part of the price for their support. I'll have to check this, but I don't believe that either of the newer hi-def DVD formats (HD-DVD and Blu-Ray) incorporates region coding. Interesting if true, as it seems a tacit admission by the studios that the idea didn't work out as planned and is better quietly dropped.

                              Regards,

                              Joe
                              Joseph DeMartino
                              Sigh Corps
                              Pat Tallman Division

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