Many commercially-produced DVD movies contain regional coding to prevent the playback of the disc in a geographical area other than the one in which it was released. DVD movies released in one region may only play on DVD players manufactured for that same region. This is done because many studios and home video companies want to control how and when DVD titles are exported to other countries. However, some DVD movies are not region-coded and will play on any player in any region.
The message Playing Of This Disc Prohibited By Area Limits will appear when attempting to play a region-coded disc on a DVD player coded to play discs from a different region. For example, if you try to play a disc manufactured for release in China (Region 6) on a DVD player meant to play discs in the United States (Region 1), you will receive this error message.
NOTE: If your player suddenly starts displaying a region code error when you try to play discs from the appropriate region, service may be required. Go to Product Repair.
Selling multi-area discs is not a common practice. However, some DVD movies are not region-coded and will play on any player, regardless of the region in where it was sold. These discs may be labeled Region 0 or All . Many discs created with home video capture software are coded as Region 0 and should play on your DVD player.
DVD players sold in the United States are coded to play Region 1 DVDs. They also will play discs labeled Region 0 or All. There is no way to override the region code.
These are the DVD region codes:
- Region 1 - Canada, the United States and U.S. territories
- Region 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, the Middle East (including Egypt) and Greenland
- Region 3 - Southeast Asia, and East Asia (including Hong Kong)
- Region 4 - Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean
- Region 5 - Eastern Europe, Russia, the Indian Subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia
- Region 6 - China
- Region 7 - Reserved for unspecified special use
- Region 8 - Special international venues for air and oceanic travel
The region number of your disc or player can be determined by looking for a small, standardized globe icon with the region number superimposed on it. If a disc plays in more than one region, it will have more than one number on the globe. If a disc does not have any regional coding it will say 0 or ALL for all regions.