Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Bravery and persistence award

I have always been annoyed by Region Coding of dvds. Although I understand the theory that a company doesn't want people in say, Australia to be able to buy a dvd of a film that has not yet been released here by purchasing it over the internet, it seems to me that so many people have access to pirated copies that this plan is not successful. Also, so many people seem to either have multiregion dvd players or to know how to dezone them ... except this little black duck.

We've had a dvd player for about 7 years, but have not been able to play the odd dvd that is Region 2 [basically UK] or Region 1 [USA]. And if we had bought a dvd over the net from overseas, we couldn't be sure it would play on our Region 4 [Australia] player.

Until today, that is. I have had instructions on how to dezone my player but have never been successful in doing it. I've tried and given up several times. Today, I read and re-read the instructions and persisted.

Each time I tested it, I got the message Check Region Code, but I kept at it. And eventually, we have a dezoned player [at least I hope I haven't set it so that I can now only watch two dvds!]

In November, a friend loaned me a copy of Christopher Hogwood's book on Handel and his dvd of Messiah, with Emma Kirkby, Simon Preston and the Academy of Ancient Music. But when we tried to play it, we got the dreaded Check Region Code.

It is wonderful to be able to watch it at last. The performances are excellent, though the sound quality does not seem to be quite as good as in the Australian version of Messiah with Anthony Walker, Cantillation and the Orchestra of the Antipodes, which was recorded over twenty years later.

This region coding is somewhat akin to websites which advertise free magazines or recordings, and get you all excited and then have a disclaimer at the bottom:
Only for USA residents.

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