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  1. #1
    Tom125's Avatar Tom125 is offline Mactastic

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    Default Multi-region external DVD player?

    Hello MacTalk...

    After years of watching television on a really old iMac via an EyeTV Tuner, I've finally bought a Cinema Display so that (as well as using it for work, boring boring) I can watch TV on it through my MacBook.

    The only issue I have is that unlike the old iMac my MacBook's internal DVD player is region locked. I've done a bit of research online and to unlock it is either impossible, hard, or just a pain in the arse, depending on whose opinion you listen to. Frankly I'm also a bit scared to start fiddling around with firmware etc...

    If I bought an external USB dvd player do you think that would work? Finding it really hard to find information online about whether particular brands of external drives are region unlocked or not - they're obviously mostly designed for data. The obvious answer would seem to be Apple's external DVD player designed for the MacBook Air, but apparently they only work on Airs and not MacBooks... :-(

    Wondering if any MacTalkers have any experience of this...

    Thanks


    Tom

    Edit: Actually I don't need the external player to be multi-region, just set to Region 2 so it's different from my Region 4 internal drive.
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  2. #2
    gehenna's Avatar gehenna is offline Big things have small beginnings

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    Locking is device specific so if you got a new drive it would be subject to the same 5 change rule before becoming fixed to the last set region - that is unless the drive is multi-region.

  3. #3
    Byrd's Avatar Byrd is offline Moderator

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    I'd say that all computer DVD drives are region set; to make region free you will need to patch the firmware of the drive. Some models come with OS X utilities which make it very easy, while others require you to be natively running Windows and run a patch from there. Noting your Macbook's internal DVD drive, like you I had a friend ask me to make theirs region free, and also like you I noted it was a plain pain in the arse to do (install Bootcamp, install Windows, run patches, argh). So I ended up getting her a slimline external firewire DVD drive to watch movies off, and patched the drive under Windows PC. What model is yours?

    The MBA DVD drive doesn't work as it pulls a much higher power draw off the USB port, which the MBA can pull off. Macbooks etc. do not have this feature.

    JB

  4. #4

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    go onto system settings and turn off auto action when dvd inserted.

    play dvds with vlc, and not apple's dvd player - frontrow.

    i think this was how i previously got around same issue, though i could be full of shit.



    okay so that doesn't work anymore.
    bugger.
    Last edited by natakim; 25th February 2011 at 03:35 PM.

  5. #5
    Byrd's Avatar Byrd is offline Moderator

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    Hey natakim,

    by all means that works with older model DVD drives, but the newer bastards prevent this sort of stuff

    JB

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Byrd View Post
    Hey natakim,

    by all means that works with older model DVD drives, but the newer bastards prevent this sort of stuff

    JB
    yeah, i googled after i posted.

    actually i was curious why you didn't suggest it in your first post. then it occurred to me, i searched, and bingo, it don't work no more.

    i should search before i post. thanks for rubbing it in jb. hehehehe

  7. #7
    limpboy's Avatar limpboy is offline Evil Overlord

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    The VLC trick works with some external DVD drives. It depends on the manufacturer. I have most success with external LG drives. I would avoid Matsushita drives. Which are the drives already inside macbooks etc.
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  8. #8

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    VLC never worked with my Toshiba slim external drive until I region-freed it.

    The only 'slim' USB DVD+/-RW drive I've been able to 'multi-region' so far is a Toshiba/Samsung based external drives, as far as I know "TSS"(Toshiba-Samsung Storage) products are the most commonly 'fixed' firmwares by the region-free community. TSS drives are found in Rosewill and some 'store-brand' slim USB DVD+/-RW drives. If you plan to use a desktop drive with a 5.25" FW400/USB 2.0 enclosure, TSS desktop drives can be reflashed with region free firmware using the same TSS firmware tool used for normal firmware updates.
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  9. #9
    Tom125's Avatar Tom125 is offline Mactastic

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    Thanks everyone, I'll see how I go. I'm off to the mall this arvo so I'll check out Dick Smith etc for a cheap drive...

    Do drives tend to come out of the box region locked to 4, or will it ask which region you want to lock it to like the MacBook does the first time you turn it on? Hopefully I'll be able to set it to region 2 - even if I can't get it to be multi-region.
    Current  stuff:  iPhone 5 |  MacBook Air 11" |  iPad | Old  stuff: various MacBooks, iPhones, iPods and a PowerBook Titanium

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