Set The Region Code to 0 on an external _NEC DVD_RW ND-4570A DVD Player on a Mac under Mavericks

vbimport

#1

I tried to find an answer to my question on this forum, but I had no luck. So, let me relay what I have done, and what I want to do.

I have a NEC ND-4570A inside an external DVD case, attached to my Mac Mini via a USB 2 connection, and I am running the latest version of Mavericks. I did download the NEC / Optiarc Version 1.03 file for Mac OS, along with the Original NEC ND-4570A firmware 1.03 file from http://liggydee.cdfreaks.com/page/en/NEC-ND-4570A/.

I then went ahead and followed the instructions to 1) dump the firmware from the drive, and 2) flash the firmware with the command:

/.necflash -flash 103bt_rpc1.bin A:

This did successfully change the name of the DVD burner from Sony to NEC, along with the 4570A model number change. Here in fact is the System Information for Disc Burning )accessed through About This Mac):

"NEC DVD_RW ND-4570A:

Firmware Revision: 1.03
Interconnect: USB
Burn Support: Yes (Generic Drive Support)
Profile Path: None
Cache: 2048 KB
Reads DVD: Yes
CD-Write: -R, -RW
DVD-Write: -R, -R DL, -RAM, -RW, +R, +R DL, +RW
Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, CD-Raw, DVD-DAO
Media: To show the available burn speeds, insert a disc and choose File > Refresh Information"

But, I still need specific instructions on 1) how to see what the Region Code is now, and 2) how to set the Region Code to 0 (I am trying to process some Korean DVDs for my wife. On my (soon to be sold) Mac Book Pro, with a Matshita DVD-R Uj-85j DVD player, it reads these DVDs just fine)). Do I need some other files for these tasks? And, if I do, where can I get them?

I would appreciate any assistance.


#2

OK, here is an update to my post above. I downloaded the small (and, appears, useful) application entitled “DVD Info X3”, and here is what it shows for the “flashed” drive:

"Vendor: _NEC

Model: DVD_RW ND-4570A

Firmware: 1.03

Status: RPC-1 (region free)"

That’s what I want. But, the Korean DVD still does not mount and/or play in the drive. I keep getting the Apple-generated message “You inserted a blank CD. Choose an action from the pop-up menu or click ignore.”.

Even if I choose Apple’s DVD player for the action, the DVD still does not mount. Yet, when I insert the “Murder In The First” DVD (excellent movie, by the way), it plays fine.

Also, as I mentioned above, I have no issue at all with any DVD on the MacBook Pro, with the Matshita Drive.

I have another application I downloaded that allows me to change the region code on the drive, but I’m not sure that is going to work. I believe the Region Number for South Korea DVDs is 3, but no matter what it is, I’m not sure if that is necessary. As it is, since the drive is Region free, one would think it should work.

I can try and change the Region Code and see what happens, but if that does not work, I therefore wonder if it is something with the Mac OS. I guess I could connect the NEC drive to the Mac Book Pro and see what happens. If it does work, that could answer this OS-related issue: on the MacBook Pro, I am running the latest version of Snow Leopard, but on the Mac Mini, as I mentioned, I am running the latest version of Mavericks.

Any assistance would be appreciated!


#3

Try to use VLC (VideoLAN) media player for playback, just as a test. The software is fairly feature-rich, and the interface is a bit different from Apple’s software, but it usually responds well to playing region-free discs for Windows users; this will check if it’s only Apple’s software, or if there are kinks elsewhere.


#4

[QUOTE=Albert;2712674]Try to use VLC (VideoLAN) media player for playback, just as a test. The software is fairly feature-rich, and the interface is a bit different from Apple’s software, but it usually responds well to playing region-free discs for Windows users; this will check if it’s only Apple’s software, or if there are kinks elsewhere.[/QUOTE]

Good suggestion, Albert. But, it still did not work. Here are the results of all my “games”:

  1. Connecting the drive to the Mac Book Pro still made no difference. That is, the Korean DVD still could not be seen by the Apple OS (Snow Leopard), nor by VLC, nor by HandBrake. But, “Murder in the First” worked fine with all 3 applications.

  2. Back on the Mac Mini, same thing. That is, the Korean DVD could not be seen at all, but Murder In the First could.

So, I guess my “theory” about the Mac OS being the possible culprit is, most likely, not the reason. I guess I could see if there are any updated drivers for the case I have the DVD drive in (if such software exists).

If not, I am at a total loss.


#5

I guess you’ll have to try it out on a Windows machine (preferably something around Windows XP) to see if the mismatched disc is recognized at all in the NEC with RPC1 firmware applied.

A question: When you insert the disc with a region code matching what OS X knows, does the stock DVD Player automatically launch, or does the system simply remain idle and you have to launch the software?

Maybe OS X absolutely needs the ability for the drive to report RPC2 status, complete with a region code, and it needs for that region code to match what is stored in software somewhere within the system. Maybe something is broken with the drive itself, even though you could play a disc from a region that matches what the OS knows. Any number of possibilities exist.

Various hits on a Google search suggest that it can easily be OS X intercepting everything, but figuring out a workaround may be frustrating, since a number of the guides I stumbled across were for much older versions of the OS.


#6

[QUOTE=Albert;2712683]I guess you’ll have to try it out on a Windows machine (preferably something around Windows XP) to see if the mismatched disc is recognized at all in the NEC with RPC1 firmware applied.

A question: When you insert the disc with a region code matching what OS X knows, does the stock DVD Player automatically launch, or does the system simply remain idle and you have to launch the software?

Maybe OS X absolutely needs the ability for the drive to report RPC2 status, complete with a region code, and it needs for that region code to match what is stored in software somewhere within the system. Maybe something is broken with the drive itself, even though you could play a disc from a region that matches what the OS knows. Any number of possibilities exist.

Various hits on a Google search suggest that it can easily be OS X intercepting everything, but figuring out a workaround may be frustrating, since a number of the guides I stumbled across were for much older versions of the OS.[/QUOTE]

All good points, Albert. As I mentioned above, the software I downloaded this morning does show the drive’s status as RPC1, and being Region free. Another piece of software I have shows the region code as Not Set (on its list, it shows all the other Regions 1 through 8).

No matter which machine the drive is attached to (and, apparently, no matter which of the two Mac OSs I have), when I insert a DVD like Murder In The First, Apple’s DVD Player launches, and the movie starts to play. I thus assume the Region Number for this DVD is 1, whereas for the Korean one, it is 3. Again, for the internal DVD player on the Mac Book Pro, none of this is an issue.

It’s perplexing that even though the Region Code is 0, the Korean DVD is not recognized in the external, NEC DVD player (and, for both Snow Leopard and Mavericks). But, for the internal, Matshita DVD player, it mounts fine (even after I put the Korean DVD in, Apple’s DVD player launches, and the movie starts to play).


#7

Well, more weirdness! Using the same DVD Info X3 software on the Mac Book pro with the Matshita Drive shows the drive’s status as RPC-2 (Region locked), and the region number set to 1!

I think I’ll try and set the external DVD drive to those parameters, and see what happens. But, still why would a DVD not be able to be read with the Region Code set to 0, and the status being RPC-1?


#8

Wow, I have forgotten…

If the Korean disc is region 0, then it is set for worldwide play, which means the Matshita drive wouldn’t care. And you’re sure the disc is region 0, not region 3?

And, as for the disc in the NEC… it is probably OS X intercepting the NEC drive, seeing that it is RPC1 [=doesn’t support region codes], and not liking it [because RPC2 drives have been the standard for a very long time]…I dunno. Your best bet may be the flash back to normal RPC2 firmware & ensure it works with the Korean disc then/still.


#9

[QUOTE=Albert;2712697]Wow, I have forgotten…

If the Korean disc is region 0, then it is set for worldwide play, which means the Matshita drive wouldn’t care. And you’re sure the disc is region 0, not region 3?

And, as for the disc in the NEC… it is probably OS X intercepting the NEC drive, seeing that it is RPC1 [=doesn’t support region codes], and not liking it [because RPC2 drives have been the standard for a very long time]…I dunno. Your best bet may be the flash back to normal RPC2 firmware & ensure it works with the Korean disc then/still.[/QUOTE]

I don’t know what region the Korean disc is, nor what region the Murder in the First disc is. The Korean disc has not worked at all in the NEC (actually was originally identified as a Sony) drive, both before and after I flashed it. But, Murder in the First continues to work, no matter what.

I thought that the way to get the NEC drive to work was to flash it to an RPC 1 drive (this also set the Region code to None (0)), and that having a Region Code set to None would allow ANY DVD to be read, no matter what its’ region code is.

By the way, how can a tell what region a DVD is? Is there software that lets me do this?

Also, how do I flash the NEC drive back to RPC 2?


#10

In reverse order of your questions:

You should be able to flash a normal firmware and it be back to RPC2 status. But you can check the documentation on Liggy & Dee’s site to be sure.

Maybe the Korean disc just wasn’t any good for the NEC whatsoever…it should have at least detected the Korean disc if the other disc was detected, and if the Matsushita drive detected the disc fine.

Usually, the region is on the disc itself. Or some sort of disc identification software will work. Possibly, DVD Player.app itself will show the information if it offers a menu option to get disc information. Otherwise, maybe System Information or Disc Utility within OS X itself will help figure it out…I know they both show a lot of information. [I can’t test it out right at this moment].


#11

Yeah, in DVD Player: File -> Get Disc Info -> Regions: shows the disc region, & current drive region, plus remaining changes.


#12

[QUOTE=Albert;2712732]Yeah, in DVD Player: File -> Get Disc Info -> Regions: shows the disc region, & current drive region, plus remaining changes.[/QUOTE]

OK, for the NEC Player (attached to my Mac Mini), and for the [I]Murder In The First disc[/I], here are what the various pieces of software show:

[B]DVD Player[/B]: Disc Region: 1 Drive Region: 1 Drive Region Changes Remaining: 5
[B]Region X[/B]: (In order to “safely” use Region X, one must have a RPC 1 Drive) Region: Not Set Changes Left: 5
[B]DVD Info X 3[/B]: Status: RPC-1 (Region Free)

Region X and DVD Info X 3 match, in terms of the Drive Region (Not Set/Region Free), whereas DVD Player shows the Drive Region as 1.

Now, for the Matshita Player, here is what is shown:

[I]Korean Disc[/I]:

[B]DVD Player[/B]: Disc Region: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 Drive Region: 1 Drive Region Changes Remaining: 4 (I have never changed it)
[B]DVD Info X 3[/B]: Status: RPC-2 (Region locked) Region: 1 Changes left: 4 Video Resets left: 4

[I]Murder In The First Disc[/I]:

[B]DVD Player[/B]: Disc Region: 1 Drive Region: 1 Drive Region Changes Remaining: 4
[B]DVD Info X 3[/B]: Status: RPC-2 (Region locked) Region: 1 Changes left: 4 Video Resets left: 4

(Since the Matshita Drive is not RPC-1, I cannot use [B]Region X[/B] for it)

So, for the Murder In The First disc, and for both drives, DVD Player shows identical numbers (1) for the Disc and Drive Regions.

Also, I don’t know how “accurate” DVD Player is, showing Regions 1 through 8 for the Korean DVD. Since I don’t have another computer DVD player, I am at a loss with this.

I am leaning towards what you said, about the Korean Disc not being able to be used in the NEC (formerly Sony, before I flashed it) drive.

I am going to leave the NEC as is, that is, a RPC-1 (Region free) drive.


#13

[QUOTE=akent35;2712733]Also, I don’t know how “accurate” DVD Player is, showing Regions 1 through 8 for the Korean DVD.[/quote]No reason to distrust it.

Since I don’t have another computer DVD player, I am at a loss with this.

I am leaning towards what you said, about the Korean Disc not being able to be used in the NEC (formerly Sony, before I flashed it) drive.

I am going to leave the NEC as is, that is, a RPC-1 (Region free) drive.

Best of luck using the NEC/Sony drive as-is with other discs. :slight_smile:


#14

[QUOTE=Albert;2712760]No reason to distrust it.
Best of luck using the NEC/Sony drive as-is with other discs. :)[/QUOTE]

Thanks, Albert. The NEC/Sony drive seems to be working fine. I actually tried another “type” of Korean DVD in it (and also in the Matshita drive), and it would not play.

So, your contention about these Korean DVDs (at least the ones my wife got from some of her friends) seems o be correct.


#15

The drive being RPC1 doesnt mean the whole system is it too.


#16

[QUOTE=chef;2713164]The drive being RPC1 doesnt mean the whole system is it too.[/QUOTE]

Fine. But, I did do an exhaustive search!