regionset: This I can attest to

It’s funny to think, but I had my first experiences with regionset about six years ago. And believe it or not, I’m still a little bitter.

Not because of regionset, but because of the entire swirling morass around DVD region codes.

kmandla@lv-r1fz6: ~$ regionset -h
regionset version 0.2 -- reads/sets region code on DVD drives
Usage: regionset [device]
       where default device is /dev/dvd

For someone like me, who sometimes lives in a country beyond their “home” region, and with a small collection of DVDs from several regions, it’s absolutely asinine to prevent cross-region use.

And considering it’s tripped me up more than once, and friends to an even greater degree, it’s equally asinine to expect anyone to actually buy the same disc again just to watch a film on a machine of a different region. Or worse, buy a new player to watch specific regions.

All of which is really just a syndrome of the larger industry myopia that has been around since the late 1980s, at least. It took forever for the music industry to realize the potential in online music sales, and now it’s completely eclipsed the traditional album model.

How long before the movie industry wakes up? Like I could care. Truth be told, there’s no reason for me, as a multi-region customer, to bother buying their product any longer. Six years ago, I was better off downloading a pirated copy than dumping more money into a corrupted sales model. I daresay that hasn’t changed.

But I wander from the purpose of this post. If, in this day and age, you find you can’t use a particular DVD, and you’re fairly certain it’s because of region settings, I can attest to regionset as a potential solution.

If I recall correctly, you only get to change the region five times before the drive is fixed upon the last setting. After that, it won’t let you change it again.

After that, if you’re still not sure what region you want, then I think you really should move away from DVDs. πŸ˜•

1 thought on “regionset: This I can attest to

  1. darkstarsword

    Fortunately in Linux it is rarely necessary to set the DVD drive region because the DVDs are simply decoded in software if the hardware refuses to do it. Basically playing a DVD from a different region will just take an extra second or two to start playing πŸ™‚ Some of my partner’s friends just stood around gob-smacked when I put their Canadian (region 1) DVD in my player (region 4) and it just worked πŸ˜‰

    It’s still kinda ridiculous that DVD players are sold in Australia (where I live) that enforce region locking at all, given that the ACCC declared that the region locking is illegal here. The excuse from the manufacturers is that it would be too difficult for them to special case the ones sold here which is just BS given that they ALREADY special case them when they set the region code in the first place – that’s kind of the definition of a region lock…

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