If you buy DVDs outside the country you reside in, you have to know about DVD Region Coding
and Video Formats
; plus you have to own a Region- Free DVD Player that converts, when necessary, to the Video Format of your TV set. For the United States and Canada, we recommend the Toshiba SD-590KA
or the older Philips DVP642
, available from Amazon.com.
The DVD region code identifies a DVD's compatibility with the players typically sold in a particular region. The following graphic shows the approximate location of each region. Region 0 DVDS (or "region free") are compatible with DVD players from any region. The majority of all current titles play only in one specific region.
Video Formats: What Are They?
PAL/SEACM and NTSC are two different television formats. These formats precede the introduction of the DVD. They actually even precede the introduction of the videocassette (Phillips produced the first VCR in 1972).
What Do They Mean?
NTSC stands for "National Television Standards Committee" and was created in 1953. It is the standard format used for televisions in most of North and Central America, and Japan. In techno-speak it mandates 525 lines of resolution at 60 half frames per second.
PAL stands for "Phase Altering Line." Adopted in 1967, it is the standard format used for televisions in most of the world (other than the US, Canada, and Japan). In techno-speak it mandates 625 lines of resolution at 50 half frames per second. PAL TVs are said to give a more consistant hue than NTSC TVs. Brazil uses PAL-M, which differs slightly (525 lines of resolution with 60 half frames per second).
How Do They Affect Me?
Because PAL & NTSC are television formats, this issue is only relevant for DVD players that hook up to a television set. Computer DVD players hooked up to computer display devices (which are commonly neither NTSC or PAL/SEACAM) will display the content of the DVD irrespective of PAL/SEACAM or NTSC format. The same goes for a VCR.
The Philips DVP642 DVD Player
DVD players may be constructed to play on televisions that accommdate NTSC format, PAL format or on both. There is no legal restriction on producing or owning a player that plays on both TV formats. However, because televisions in a particular region tend only to be either PAL or NTSC, DVD/VCR players tend only to display on a single TV format. This is why we recommend the Philips DVP642
DVD player for the following three reasons:
1) It can be easily made Region-Free.
(to do this you open the disc tray and using the remote you key in: 7 8 9 press OK and then key in the numeral zero 0).
2) It converts from PAL to NTSC format, when necessary.
3) It is Reliable and Cheap. In the United States and Canada, it is available from Amazon.com.