DVD zones and TV formats



Why do DVDs and DVD players have different “zones”? Is the reason related to the fact that there are 2 different TV formats (NTSC versus PAL)?" If so why are there not only 2 “DVD zones” Furthermore why did the manufacturers create this system of zones then start creating multi-zone DVD players? :confused:


Cause DVDs are released at different times in different zones. They wouldn’t want someone ordering a dvd from the US when the movie is about to open in theater there.


PAL, NTSC and SECAM have nothing to do with region protection - zazonz summed up the reason for that. PAL (Phase Alternating Line) NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) and SECAM (Systeme Electronique Couleur Avec Memoire - yes its french) Is the format at which the signal is broadcast and interpreted/dispayed by your television, the differences between are: Lines of resolution, frames per second and the subcarrier frequency.

My guess is cost. Its cheaper to make a bulk universal product, so it can be sent to wherever the highest demand is. Theres Only one production line neccessary then.


I want to create a DVD of home movies I shot on my MiniDV camera in Australia to send to relatives living in Canada. I want the DVD I produce to play in their low end DVD player bought in Canada (I’ll assume they own the most restrictive player you could buy there). Do I have to consider the implications of the differing zone protection AND the differing TV formats when creating a DVD for them? I have a BenQ DW1640.
Using my BenQ DW1640 can I create a DVD in Australia for my Canuck relatives that will play in all DVD players in Canada? Any hints or references on how to do this appreciated.



It is possible to flash DVD-Rom drives in order to bypass the zone protection? How could I do that with a Sony DDU1613?

Thanks in advance


Dear Lucanica,

Welcome to Club CD Freaks. I am new to DVD burning as well, and do not understand this very much yet. I know that flashing the firmware should be no problem, if you need or want to do it.

EDIT:If anyone saw my first post before these edits, ignore it. I am trying to understand but it is hard. Are you trying to play a disc from a different region on your computer? Are you trying to make backup copies of movies?

If you cannot make the hardware do what you want, I think there is software that will ignore the region codes to play movies, we just have to look for it.

For altered firmware of DVD recorders you put in your computer, try this site:


Please let us know what you wish to do, we’ll figure this out together. Good luck, and don’t forget to let us know how it turns out for you!



I have a DDU 1612 and as yet am unable to find RPC1 F/Ware for it. RPC1 F/Ware seems to be specifically for writers not readers. It doesnt matter much anyway because even after disabling hardware region protection, you’ll need to disable software region protection. Just get yourself a copy of Any DVD. http://www.slysoft.com


Hey carpark, I can do some of your questions.

First Zone protection wouldn’t be a problem for a home made movie, you could in theory put zone protection on (why i have no idea but it’s possible) but i doubt it is the default setting in any program. So zones are not a problem for you.

The different TV formats could be a problem, you’re in a PAL region and they are in an NTSC region, the simple answer is that i don’t know if it will work on a standalone player, but i’ll be it would work on a PC. Someone else here will know more i’m sure.


Any DVD you make will not have regions unless you specifically put them there. Now, as for the DVD player, there will be a problem with the two video standards. As Bob_the_bored mentioned, you’re in an area with PAL equipment, and they have NTSC. If you make a DVD, there are a few things that could happen:

  1. “Cheap” DVD players are often the least restrictive, actually, and quite a few of them can handle PAL video just fine, so there’s a chance that there won’t be any problem.
  2. If the DVD doesn’t work, they can go ahead and watch it in their computer without any problems. There’s no such thing as a PAL or NTSC monitor.


Lucanica (and pollushon),

Here are a couple of other sites:


They have firmware for Sony DDU-1611, 1612, 1613, 1615 and others. I assume “fast read patch” and “slow-and-quiet” let you adjust reading speed. Click on “utilities” for some really interesting stuff. Flashing programs there may let you save the factory firmware to flash back if things don’t work out.

And since many Sony drives are really rebadged Lite-Ons, their program to make your drive region-free or reset the region changes may be just what you are looking for (after X changes, the drive normally won’t let you change the region any more). This may void your warranty, but save you the cost of buying a DVD-Rom (or DVD R/RW) for each region.

The “links” page has even more resources for Sony and Lite-On. Looks like these guys have definitely done their homework!

Here’s another resource:

The Firmware Page

They have forums, utilities and links as well. Very impressive.

Sorry I couldn’t get bright colored, annoying flashing URLs and smilies, but this helps me get the word out sooner. Let us know if this helps!



Thank you all for your posts.

Today, I’m 0.01 percent wiser than yesterday. Kprobe 2.4.2 solved all my truoble with zone protection, and at http://codeguys.rpc1.org/ I found a very nice “stock” patch for my DDU1613 (aka SOHD-167T).

Thanks a lot again