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Make Your DVD or Blu-ray Player Region-Free

February 22nd, 2015

Unlock DVD Blu-ray RegionThis one is a lot of fun: You borrow a DVD from a friend, or you buy one online somewhere.

You stick it in your player.

And then, disaster strikes!

You get a message like “Region not allowed”, and the movie won’t play.

WTH?!

Welcome to the glorious world of Region Codes!

Sometimes, it’s possible to bypass this restriction, but it depends on your DVD/Blu-ray player.

Region codes explained

Region codes are basically DRM (digital rights management) techniques that allow studios to control the release of films in various regions. So, for example, they can release a new movie in the USA first, and then the UK, and then elsewhere.

If you’ve ever looked for movies on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, you’ll notice that DVD and Blu-ray movies are usually released in the USA first, and then a month or two later, they’ll appear for sale in the UK.

Region CodesWhy the movie studios do this is anybody’s guess, but mine is that they’re trying to make as much money as possible. Shocking, I know.

Now, let me just say that I don’t support pirating movies. But, here’s the thing: If I want to buy a movie in another country, I’m still paying for it. It’s not piracy. If I want to buy a movie in another country, in another currency, and if they’ll ship it to me, then what’s the biggie? There isn’t one, except that Uncle Hollywood says, “No!”

Well, screw you, Uncle Hollywood. I’m a rebel. You’ve got enough money, I’m not shortchanging anyone, I’m not pirating anything, and goddammit, I wanna watch my movie! 🙂

The following is a color-coded Region map for DVDs:

DVD Region Code Map

Blu-ray discs also have region codes, but most studios don’t enforce the region code restrictions, which are way more lax than for DVDs. There are a few exceptions to this rule, so there are no guarantees. Also, hacks that exist for Blu-ray players usually don’t turn off the region code setting for Blu-ray discs – it usually just makes playing DVDs a region-free experience. Sometimes, it also unlocks the Blu-ray region code, also.

As for DVD players, some are hackable, and some are not. Some are hackable until you update the player’s firmware (via ethernet, WiFi, or an update file on a USB stick). Then, the player is no longer region-free. YMMV (your mileage may vary), so be careful.

Hacked Off

Right, so: How do you hack your player?

That depends. Some manufacturers basically don’t allow it. Toshiba is kind of famous for having non-hackable players. Sony usually requires downloading a CD image, burning it to a disc, and playing the disc in your player. Samsung players are often hackable, but then they’ll issue a firmware update that resets the region code and disables the hack – lame! My personal preference is Philips, because almost all of their players are hackable.

The hacking process for some players is quite simple:

  1. Go here: http://www.videohelp.com/dvdhack
  2. Search for your model number, i.e. “Philips DVP2880
  3. Go through the list of instructions, and try it out!

The instructions will usually be something like this (this is just an example, specifically for the above player):

  1. Power ON the DVD player with no disc inside
  2. Goto SETUP and go to Preferences
  3. With preferences highlighted, Press NEXT CHAPTER>|, PREVIOUS CHAPTER |<, NEXT CHAPTER>|, PREVIOUS CHAPTER |<
  4. The OSD will show the current Region Code
  5. Press the Navigation Up or Navigation Down buttons to select your desired region, or 0 for region free
  6. Press OK to confirm your region selection

Poof! You’re done.

Note that different manufacturers have different methods for hacking the region code on their players. Not all hacks will work for you. For example, you may have the exact same model number, but the Australian version of the player instead of the EU version. Like I said, YMMV. But, usually on sites like VideoHelp.com, there will be several sets of instructions, so try them all before you give up.

How do I watch movies on my puter?

SlySoft AnyDVDPiece of cake!

Buy Redfox’s AnyDVD. You can use it for a free 21-day trial by downloading it here:

https://www.redfox.bz/en/download.html

The price is now a bit steep, but I’ve used it for years, and it really rocks. Many movies also contain added copy protection so that the disc won’t play on a computer. AnyDVD conveniently disables all that nonsense for you, on the fly. It’s one of my favorite bits of software, and it’s updated regularly to remove the latest copy protection mechanisms, so you can just watch your dang movies in peace.

Got another favorite player hack site? Post it in the comments below!

Also, don’t miss:

HD Home Theater Setup: HDMI vs Optical, 5.1 vs 7.1, and everything else

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  1. Liza
    March 11th, 2015 at 13:54 | #1

    Informative post

  2. Chris
    August 4th, 2015 at 23:39 | #2

    Can you recommend some decent inexpensive current PC DVD drives which have region free firmwares available to them?

    • August 5th, 2015 at 11:39 | #3

      Nope. I just usually grab a $15-$20 Samsung burner off Amazon, and then I bought Slysoft AnyDVD to take care of the region-free-ness. It’s a bit expensive now, but I bought it back in the day when the lifetime licenses were cheaper.

  3. Alasdair Baxter
    September 10th, 2015 at 22:17 | #4

    I bought an Alba/TV combo. Model AELKDVD1988 and I’d like to play DVDs from other regions. Please, where can I find someone to open it up for a suitable fee?

  4. clive
    December 27th, 2015 at 08:56 | #5

    I want to play dvds from region 1. videohelp tells me how but with a different remote. I live in Greece and the sony dvp sr170 comes with a remote that is rmt d197p. can anyone help? PLEASE!

  5. PAUL
    December 30th, 2015 at 15:41 | #6

    They say that the reason for region coding is to stop movie piracy.But what they seem to fail to realise is that it has the opposite effect and just encourages more people to download and buy pirated movies. Like seriously wake up and smell the coffee.

  6. PAUL
    December 30th, 2015 at 16:07 | #7

    @clive
    Try buying a special multi region hack remote.I bought one for my Panasonic DVD/Blu-ray player and it worked like a charm. Very easy to use.U can buy them from ebay.

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sony-DVD-Blu-ray-player-multi-region-hack-remote-/110665303085?hash=item19c42a842d:m:mt3csbhA1CDsfv9mIdVsXwg

  7. clive
    December 31st, 2015 at 07:55 | #8

    Thanks, Paul. I’ve found a friend who’ll copy them for me. But how ridiculous it is ! ! !

  8. Dan
    February 14th, 2016 at 21:26 | #9

    “Sony usually requires downloading a CD image, burning it to a disc, and playing the disc in your player.”

    I cannot find any reference to this “CD image” to download. Has anybody tried this? Thanks

    • February 14th, 2016 at 21:58 | #10

      I once went hunting for one, and found it. But they’re hard to find and not available for all Sony players. Usually, it’s kind of a hack that somebody put together with “inside info”.

  9. SAM M
    February 23rd, 2016 at 00:16 | #11

    Hi I have a Samsung BD player. I have managed to make the DVD region free. However the blue ray still isn’t region free. I am struggling to find any codes for Blue ray. Is it possible?
    Thanks.

    • February 23rd, 2016 at 01:58 | #12

      Generally speaking, no. Blu-ray region hacks are rather difficult to find for a specific player. I’ve never found one… If anybody out there knows of a source, I’m all ears!

  10. Autumn
    April 10th, 2016 at 16:32 | #13

    Please help! I have a Sony Bdp- s580 blue ray DVD player. And I don’t have any special remotes, just the one that came with it. I can not find a code anywhere to make it region free. Please please please help, been looking for per a month. Thanks

    • April 10th, 2016 at 16:51 | #14

      Very few blu-ray players have region code hacks, but you MIGHT be in luck. See here.

      • Autumn
        April 10th, 2016 at 16:57 | #15

        I tried this one and it didn’t work either 🙁

  11. Praj
    April 12th, 2016 at 03:28 | #16

    There are some region free Blu Ray and DVD players available. Are they all really region free for both Blu Rays and DVDs? Example – Sony BDS – s1500 or S3500 or Some others who claim to be region free. Planning to buy a new one. They also claim tombs voltage adjustable, especially am located in US.

    • April 12th, 2016 at 11:30 | #17

      The ones I have been able to find are usually much more expensive, and it appears they have hacked firmwares. So, not sure what happens if/when you update to a new official firmware. I don’t really know for sure, though. I have a blu-ray player (not region-free), and a DVD player (region free). That pretty much takes care of most cases – as long as I buy blu-rays locally.

  12. vassen s.
    April 14th, 2016 at 10:38 | #18

    Hello, my philips 3d bluray HTB3510/12 is region 2 and my country is region 5. So many Bluray discs that i get locally do not play – showing unknown disc. please help me with decoding system to unlock and watch my blurays. Note that it only play DVDs and not blurays. thanks

  13. Jos E.
    April 30th, 2016 at 01:12 | #19

    I have a Panasonic DMP-BD85 Blu-Ray player. I would like to make it Region free for my region 2 DVD’s. Don;t care about the Blu-Ray part.

    I could not find a hack in the link you provided. Am I looking in the wrong spot?

    Can anyone help me out?

    Thanks!

  14. May 31st, 2016 at 18:05 | #20

    SEIKI – SE24HD01UK 24″ LED TV with Built-in DVD Player
    i have tried all sources for a region code to unlock for multi region dvd`s can anyone help
    this model of seiki isnt on any site all others are

  15. Patty Marshall
    June 2nd, 2016 at 09:24 | #21

    Cool…I like what I just read. My brother just got in from Germany and brought some DVD’s that won’t play in the samsung player and had a 0 region code on the disc. We have samsung smart tv as well….Im anxious to try your suggestions. Thank you!!

  16. Rob
    June 13th, 2016 at 07:52 | #22

    If you get yourself a Lazer BD3000 blue ray player it can play all regions. Well not quite, most players are made to be able to change region 5 times, this is for manufacturers convenience. The Lazer blue ray player has no limit on how often you can change regions, so its a simple 2 button press on the remote to select and the thing is cheap.

  17. June 13th, 2016 at 11:58 | #23

    we have sorted the problem now thanks , very kind of you to try too assist

    • June 13th, 2016 at 14:35 | #24

      For the SEIKI – SE24HD01UK 24″ LED TV? How did you sort it out?

  18. June 13th, 2016 at 15:33 | #25

    he bought another dvd player from ebay that was multi regional

  19. German
    June 14th, 2016 at 11:48 | #26

    How do i make Samsung BD-ES7000 region free?
    Please help me!

  20. Graham Caldwell
    June 17th, 2016 at 10:51 | #27

    Help please, how do I unlock my SONIQ E192Z10A TV/DVD player from region 4 to region 0?

    • June 17th, 2016 at 11:32 | #28

      Well, I’m not sure, but this person got the unlock procedure from Soniq tech support for a different model. Worth a try!

  21. June 25th, 2016 at 06:12 | #29

    I bought a Philips DVp 2800, but I cannot get the ‘Preferences’ on the
    list, so I could not continue with your instructions.
    Can you suggest any other way for me to continue?
    Cavan.

  22. Graham
    June 27th, 2016 at 08:46 | #30

    @Scottie
    Thanks Scottie, but there is nowhere to enter code 1389 to unlock my SONIQ E192Z10A TV/DVD player when the Set Up screen appears. Scrolling to the “VIDEO” line, all there is displayed is “P-Scan YPBPK”, which can’t be changed. Entering 0000 on the password line does nothing when pressing enter. I’ll try contacting SONIQ Tech direct. Cheers Graham in Australia.

  23. Graham
    June 28th, 2016 at 07:03 | #31

    @Graham

    SONIQ Tech Services had the answer to hack a SONIQ E19Z10A TV/DVD player (not E192Z10A which was my typo).

    For future forum members it is…

    1. Switch on unit
    2. Press SOURCE to change to DVD mode.
    3. Press OPEN / EJECT on remote button once.
    4. Enter 5168 on remote to bring up factory menu.
    5. Scroll up to Region option and go right by pressing RIGHT arrow on remote.
    6. Scroll up to region 0 and press ENTER.
    7. Press OPEN / EJECT button once to exit.

    Cheers Graham.

  24. kes
    June 30th, 2016 at 20:10 | #33

    Hello.I’ve got a Samsung Bluray BDH6500 bought in UK.l want to change it to region free,it’s currently region 2.
    I’ve tried all the hacks I could find,non work.
    Downgrading the fimware has been talked about on a forum or changing it somehow.
    Any ideas?

    • June 30th, 2016 at 20:55 | #34

      I used to have a Samsung Blu-ray player a few years ago, and it was region-hackable. But after that model, it seems they stopped making it easy as I couldn’t find any solution, either.

  25. Franguti
    July 10th, 2016 at 21:55 | #35

    Hello
    I have recently a Yamaha Blue Ray 3D BD S473, can you help me with code and procedure to play in region 1 and 4 please

  26. Lisa
    July 14th, 2016 at 00:05 | #36

    I’ve got at Denon DBT-1713UD, purchased in the US, which *says* it’s region free for DVD’s as well as Blu Ray. But it isn’t. I just brought home a DVD from Australia and low and behold, have received the “Invalid Region” error. I’ve tried switching the region in the Settings, still to no avail. In the manual, it actually shows all the regions are playable…

    FRUSTRATED!!! I can’t get the same version of this DVD in the US as I can in Australia. It’s “The Castle”. If you’ve ever seen it – the idiots in the US have gone and stuffed it up by removing Australian slang and dubbing it with American slang, which I’m sorry, has NO comparison and loses all of the charm of the movie!

    • July 14th, 2016 at 11:55 | #37

      D’OH!

      Yeah, I hate it when they do that. Believe it or not, many Americans have a hard time understanding Australian accents. I dunno why. Everybody understood Crocodile Dundee… 😉

  27. Lisa
    July 14th, 2016 at 00:06 | #38

    @Lisa

    I meant to post this as new…not as a reply…

  28. Tim
    August 15th, 2016 at 19:41 | #39

    Bought the slysoft thing like a year ago, then found out the company went bankrupt or something. Then they reorganized and now I have to buy a new license… Just a warning, really.

  29. Jim Evans
    August 16th, 2016 at 18:16 | #40

    Hello.

    I have a Samsung BD-JM57C Blu-Ray / DVD ” Smart ” Player, and I am trying to find a Hack, or a Multi-Region or 0 Code-Code so that I can watch Other Region DVD’s and Blue-Ray Discs through it.

    Can Anyone here hopefully Help me here with this ?

    Thanks much.

    Jim Evans in Clovis CA. USA.

  30. Ray
    October 19th, 2016 at 15:14 | #41

    Hi.
    I have a Sharp BD-AMS10 Blu-Ray3D and I am trying to find a Hack, or a Multi-Region or 0 Code-Code so that I can watch Other Region Blue-Ray Discs through it.
    Can Anyone here hopefully Help me here with this ?
    Thanks much.

  31. James
    November 10th, 2016 at 07:06 | #42

    Hi,

    I have just purchased a yamaha bd-a1060 bluray player. How can I set this to Zone 0 ?
    Many thanks

    • November 10th, 2016 at 13:54 | #43

      As I mentioned in the article, this is usually not possible. I have never found a “normal” Blu-ray player that is region-hackable. It is of course possible, I’m sure, but there is no source on the net that I know of that catalogs such hacks.

  32. November 12th, 2016 at 20:15 | #44

    Hey ,i wanted to know how to change the region on my westing point dvd player and nothing seems to work for me.

  33. Chris
    November 27th, 2016 at 23:18 | #45

    Hi, I am in the UK and have a JVC LT-32C666 Smart TV/DVD combo. Is there any way of making it region-free?

  34. Sue
    December 8th, 2016 at 20:22 | #46

    HI

    Can you change a Samsung Blu-Ray Dvd player?

    As found a dvd that is region 1 and want to know if possible to change dvd player to make it multi regional

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