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  1. Member
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    Hi everyone,

    Not sure if this topic belongs here...
    I would like to dezone my Apple Power book's DVD player, in order to watch DVD from around the world?

    Does anyone know how to do it?
    If so, can I do it myself (I am only moderately IT literate)? Or is it very complicated?

    Thks for your help,
    Romain
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  2. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    See https://forum.videohelp.com/viewtopic.php?t=306831
    And try google search for regionfree or region free and mac.

    And nope, it doesn't belong here. Moving you to the Mac forum section.
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  3. Member
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    If you check this Sticky on ripdifferent, they list sources for an external firewire drive that can easily be made region free. You will have to register and login to view this forum. The Pioneer 110 and 111's are favored for externals, but may be hard to find.

    http://www.ripdifferent.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=3803


    If you flash your internal (if it's even possible) then you would void the warranty with Apple. Powerbooks are expensive. The latest dvd drives in Apple laptops suck. Many are rpc-2, which means you can't even play an out of region disc with VLC.

    This page has a fairly complete list of what is possible and what is not and has links to region-free flash software and instructions. It's not hard to flash an external firewire drive now on a mac. I've done two Pioneers and gotten excellent results.

    http://www.powerbook-fr.com/dossiers/dvd_region_free_en_article30.html
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  4. Member
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    thanks guys.
    This sounds like chinese to me, but I will go to those limks and see where it goes.

    It seems that I can change the preset region of my dvd player a limited number of times. but i do not know if it means give up on the pre-set region or just add a new region?
    Anyone knows that?

    Thks
    Cheers,
    Romain
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  5. Member
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    Malheuresement, a drive only supports a single region at a time. So, if you switch regions, you truly switch, not add, regions. That is why the limited number of switches is significant.
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    The new rpc-2 dvd drives in Apple laptops are not hardware capable of reading an encrypted dvd outside of the region it was set for. The disc region must match the drive's region for it to get the key from the disc to read it.

    In the US, this type of crippleware is protected by law. Apple must go along with it or they will not be allowed to sell OS X with the AppleDVD Player, which contains proprietary code designed to enforce this.

    However, in Australia, the same practice is illegal, because it is a restraint on international trade.
    We live in a messed up world. Read up a lot before doing anything. Replacing the internal drive with an rpc-1 superdrive may also be an option, but Apple WILL NOT help you in any way with this, because they have too much to lose, financially.
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  7. To make your drive region-free, you will need to flash it with new region-free (also known as RPC-1) firmware. The place to get that firmware is here:
    http://www.rcp1.org

    The most active firmware development guys on that site seem to be "The Dangerous Brothers", so look for the link to their personal area to get the most RPC-1 firmware files. There is also a good Mac forum there.

    Once you have your drive region-free, you can use a nifty program called RegionX (available on the rpc1.org site) to switch the region of Mac OS X as needed without modifying the drive.

    Unfortunately, Apple has been putting in a lot of Matsushita drives in the newer machines. These drives generally cannot be made region-free for some technical reasons. If you have a machine with a Matsushita drive, you will have to replace it with another brand of drive for which region-free firmware is available.
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  8. oops, that was supposed to be:
    http://www.rpc1.org
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  9. Member
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    Thanks a lot guys.
    I do have a Matsushita...and have now all information required to make a decision!
    This "zoning" thing is really crap and definitely should be illegal!

    Have a grat year!
    Romain
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  10. I have the exact same problem. My Powerbook G4 which I bought around October 2005 has a Matshita UJ-846 "Superdrive" (no, that's not a typo. It's not Matsushita, though I believe I've heard somewhere that Matshita and Matsushita are actually the same company).

    Having a region-locked drive in a laptop makes absolutely no sense in my opinion, because the very reason people have laptops is because they can drag them around.... around the world in many cases, which means that people might very well encounter DVDs from different regions. Seems like Apple just hasn't understood this


    I've been asking and reading the usual threads about firmware updates, but the conclusion still stands that these drives can't be made into RPC-2 drives.

    So, what's kind of options are there to actually replace the existing drive in these laptops with something that can be made region-free? Maybe even a Blue-Ray drive (haven't they started to hit the market yet?).
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  11. Member
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    tgrr According to this site

    http://www.powerbook-fr.com/dossiers/dvd_region_free_en_article30.html

    (look down near the bottom), you can use VLC to play movies because even though your drive is locked, it is still capable of mounting a dvd as a udf and VLC can force read it. That also means MTR can rip to save for you if you wish. There are also instructions for replacing and flashing the internal drive if you wish.

    Visit the ripdifferent forums and register if you want to know how to stay current with MTR. Ripdifferent also has links for region free drive options.
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  12. Nope, didn't work. Actually I believe I tried it a while back when I asked around for region-free firmware updates and someone suggested the very same thing.

    But I tried it again. When I went to the "File" menu, then chose "Open disc" nothing happened afterwards.
    When I went to the "File" menu, chose "Quick open file", then double-clicked on any .VOB file on the CD I got a long list of repeated error messages:

    access_file:read failed (Input/output error)
    access_file:read failed (Input/output error)
    access_file:read failed (Input/output error)
    access_file:read failed (Input/output error)


    So is there another way to read DVDs with VLC that I may have missed?
    The website you mentioned doesn't explain this, so I assumed you would play DVDs the obvious way with it. Why the author of the site claims that the UJ-846 can be used with VLC without changing the region when it doesn't work here is beyond me.
    Right now, the region of my player is different to that of the DVD I inserted. I'm sure that's why VLC doesn't play it at all.
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  13. Member
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    dnix71, If you have a Matshita drive, you CAN NOT rip a DVD from a different region with MTR..


    Ripping Other Region DVDs w/ Matshita, HL-DT-ST DVD Drives at MTR at RipDifferent
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  14. Member
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    That stinks. Powerbooks are supposed to be top-line and aren't cheap. I replaced the combo drive in my eMac with a Pioneer 107 burner but that was easy. Taking a laptop apart and getting it all back together in one piece is a lot more trouble.

    An external would be the way to go, at least if there was Applecare involved.
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  15. Yes, an external drive would be much easier, but that sort of defeats the purpose of having a laptop....
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  16. Member
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    The Pioneer that will fit that Powerbook lists for about 130$ US

    http://www.meritline.com/pioneer-dvr-k04-atapi-slim-dvd-burner-laptop-drive.html

    It isn't region free, but VLC should be able to read an out of region disc with it.

    I got the combo drive instead of the not-so Superdrive for my eMac knowing that I would throw it away once Apple Care was over. Powerbooks cost way too much to pay for crippled hardware like a Matsushita.

    This one is internally battery powered;

    http://meritline.stores.yahoo.net/pioneer-dvr-k06-with-self-powered-enclosure.html
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  17. Member
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    This one is available, a Pioneer DVR-K06. It can be flashed and will fit. Not cheap, though.

    http://www.case-mod.com/pioneer-dvrk06-slim-dvdrw-drive-slot-load-p-1624.html
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  18. Member
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    In case no one has suggested this previously, the cheapest way to play disks from any DVD region on your Mac would be to download (free) the VLC Media Player, which will play practically anything you throw at it. That way you won't have to make any changes to your Mac's region set-up.

    The VLC interface may not be as convenient as Apple's DVD player, but it works. You can download it at:

    http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html



    Good luck,

    Jacobo40








    quote="Romain"]Hi everyone,

    Not sure if this topic belongs here...
    I would like to dezone my Apple Power book's DVD player, in order to watch DVD from around the world?

    Does anyone know how to do it?
    If so, can I do it myself (I am only moderately IT literate)? Or is it very complicated?

    Thks for your help,
    Romain[/quote]
    Quote Quote  
  19. Jacobo40, if you have a Matsushita drive you cannot play region-mismatched discs even with a player such as VLC. The drive locks the data and will not allow it to be read out. You can only rip or play region-mismatched DVDs if you use a drive that is NOT made by Matsushita.

    Incidentally, the manufacturer of name of "Matshita" is actually the same company as Matsushita. The manufacturer name field in the firmware only allows 8 characters, I believe, so they drop the middle "su" to make the name fit. Note also that Matsushita is the same company that makes the brands Panasonic and National.

    For those interested in replacement drives for Powerbooks, I have tried the Pioneer K06 drive and it is indeed recognized as an Apple-supported drive (it is used on iMac 24" units). Unfortunately, there seems to be some conflict from the non-Apple firmware in reading CD-Rs, and the drive won't flash with the K06 region-free Apple firmware from the rpc1 site. If anyone knows how to solve this, I would love to hear the trick.
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  20. Member
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    Maetel99, according to this thread, you must use boot-camp and Win XP, because the Dangerous Bros. don't do macs.

    http://forum.rpc1.org/viewtopic.php?p=197340&sid=871e184b972ecee9e5055a4b27d5d268
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  21. dnix71, you are correct that the Dangerous Brothers don't do Macs. I use a Windows laptop running XP that I have to flash the drives. The K06 still refuses to complete flashing using the Apple region-free firmware from the Dangerous Brothers site. When I use the non-Apple firmware, I get problems in mounting CD-Rs.

    For most of the other Pioneer drives, there is a Mac native flash utility called "DVRFlash", but for some reason it won't work on the K06 and K16 laptop drives.
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  22. I know the last posting to this thread is about a year old, but I have some great news regarding my original question.

    The Matshita UJ-846 in my Powerbook G4 is now region-free!


    The same person who made region-free firmware for that drive has also made other Matshita models region free, so this might come as good news to some of you.

    Here's a short overview of what you need:

    1) The firmware itself (which comes with a firmware updater application).
    You can find some of it here, along with useful information about making Mac DVD drives region free. In case you don't find firmware for your particular Matshita drive take a look at this site.

    2) Make sure that you're not out of regions already. In other words, if your DVD drive is locked at the last region change you can't make it region free, or so they say.

    3) Perform the firmware update using the updater, and don't touch the computer until it's completed. It might look like the computer has crashed/frozen, but leave it alone. There's no progress bar or anything, but it'll tell you when it's done. The whole process takes about a minute, but don't quote me on this.
    I repeat: let the updater do its thing no matter what! If not you can end up with a useless drive

    4) Check if the drive has really been made into a region-free drive by using a tool called DVD-info X.
    It should tell you that the drive is an RPC-1 drive (region free).

    5) The next time you change to a different region DVD the software (Apple's DVD player) will still "count down" the region as before. In other words, you will get one less chance to change the drive's region.
    But there's one important difference: unless a region-locked (RPC-2) drive you can reset the region count with an RPC-1 drive. So even if Apple's DVD player won't let you play a DVD because it's "locked" at another region, just reset it and try again. Use a tool called Region-X for reseting the region-count whenever you need to.
    Download it from this page (the link is near the top under the "For PowerBook & iBook G4 and MacBooks" section).
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  23. Originally Posted by tigrr
    I know the last posting to this thread is about a year old, but I have some great news regarding my original question.

    2) Make sure that you're not out of regions already. In other words, if your DVD drive is locked at the last region change you can't make it region free, or so they say.
    Hello !

    I'm sorry, I don't understand what do you mean by "or so they say". Is there or not in this case any posibility to make it region free ?
    I'm speaking about a Pioneer DV-K06 in an iMac 24" C2D locked in zone 1

    Many thanks to tell me
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