[insert “flashing” innuendo here]

How many of you have, at one time or another, made some attempt to watch a DVD on yer computer? I’m guessing quite a few. How many of you have been told you have to change yer region code on yer drive to be able to run the DVD you’ve got in right now? And how many of you have done this five times already and now live wi a computer that is now locked on one region (usually the one most useless to you)?

I know this is a huge ~ hyowj ~ problem, all over’t world. What makes me mad enough to want to throw things is that in HK we have no region code on locally-made DVDs. I know I’ve stressed this point before, so I won’t flog it now. Basically, I can walk into HMV or any other DVD store in town and buy a DVD from any country, of any region, without breaking any laws or upsetting anyone. (Well, maybe some American film studios, but that’s cos they’re uptight bastards who can’t accept that there’s nothing they can legally do about it, and who can’t seem to share nicely like other five-year-olds with shiny things.)

This has come up cos I’m looking into changing me DVD drive. I’m using me Apple Mac Mini (the first generation one wi the G4 processor, not one of them new Intel ones) and my DVD drive – the hateful, evil, pestilential MATSHITA CD-RW CW-8124. This is one drive that cannot be firmwared or flashed. It’s fixed. And when I say fixed, I mean exactly that.

No! Stop it! Don’t start! Don’t go “but there’s a flash fer every machine”, cos there int one fer this bastard, believe me I’ve looked. Fer those of you not sure what I’m on about, apparently (and I’m knew to all this malarkey meself), you can “flash” a drive to make it lose its marbles and forget helpful things like, ooh, region codes, or you can get a reset key, which simply makes it forget that it’s already used up it requisite number of changes. Or summat like that. To be brutally honest, I couldn’t give a fuck. What I’m more interested in is WHY anyone would limit the number of changes yer allowed int first place.

Excuse me, could some bugger explain why this is? In pretty much every single fucking DVD player / burner, PC and Mac? Why? Who decided I should be stopped – nay, constrained – to playing only one region? The fact that the REGION-FREE DVDs made in Hong Kong (for locally-made films) play anyway, whatever yer drive’s set to – COS THEY’RE REGION-FREE DISCS INT FIRST PLACE, is an amoeba-sized consolation. What about the other 60% of my collection? I bought all of ‘em LEGALLY in HMV, for fuck’s sake. They’re all real, not copies. There’s no ban or restriction on buying or playing ‘em in this country, even though they’re from all over’t shop. So what the fuck’s going on? What gives some pencil-necked fucking biscuit-arsed cunt in some pathetic excuse fer a development team the right to stop ME from playing MY discs? There must be some kind of law against this, surely?

Perhaps there is, but don’t call me Shirley. I’m looking into it. I’m sure other people have done it before. I’m sure someone’s tried and failed to sue some fucker over this. But I’m angry enough to call Apple int morning and ask ‘em why my Mac, bought in HK, made fert Asian market and used in HK, whose warranty is only valid in HK, can’t play back DVDs bought from HK. Answer me that one, Smart Fucker. And while yer at it, tell me which is the best DVD burner to buy as can be cracked so it changes region codes indefinitely. Then put me down fer two of them bastards ~ me mate needs one an all, for his new MacBook.

And no, it dunt stop piracy, it only serves to encourage it. If you look around Tinternet you’ll find as millions of Mac and PC users go round downloading software as rips the data from’t DVD, and then downloading new software to make their own, REGION-FREE DVDs. Why? To sell? To swap wi mates? To upload to Tinternet? Our survey says: NO. So they can be played back on any machine. Ta-da! Blatant case o’ short-sightedness by DVD burner manufacturers resulting in piracy and illegal solutions to legal fuck-ups.

I’m right fucked off now. And upset cos there’s no more Sharpe to be had.

Bugger, balls and bollocks, eh.

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7 'aye's:

* (asterisk) said...

This a huge pain in the bollocks to us Mac users. I believe PC users are not in the same boat, although I may be wrong about that. It's especially dumb because almost any standalone DVD player can be hacked in some way, but not the ones inside our beloved Macs. Cunts. I can't for the life of me see what possible good this serves to anyone. Grr.

* (asterisk) said...

I did some looking into this after reading your post. videolan.org seems to have a solution. The problem is really the DVD Player software, apparently, rather than the drive itself. Or Mac The Ripper is good for ripping discs if that's what you want. Apparently. I'm just saying what I found and take no responsibility for damage caused by any actions you may undertake as a result of this information.
:-)

FOUR DINNERS said...

I'm not sure I should associate with Mac users. Not unless you're fully clothed underneath anyroad..

Soupdragon said...

I don't flash me Mac less I have to, LOL

I have Mac the Ripper ~ but my MatSHITa drive dunt let me play back the copies cos when it reads the info and sends it to 'the Ripper, it states the region code.

Fucking drive has me by the nads. If I had any, LOL

SD

* (asterisk) said...

I'm guessing you must use your Mac for playing DVDs often, or this wouldn't be a major issue. Presumably your standalone DVD player is multiregion?

Soupdragon said...

The DVD monster int front room is multi-region, but if I'm going to get a flatmate in, I'd like to be able to play me DVDs on my computer, just so as they can use the front room too, if you see what I mean.
Can't believe it's region-locked int first place. Bastards.

ssudio said...

I guess I should be thankful that my dvd drive on my pc doesn't work anymore. LOL I never even used up all of my 5 region switches either. I feel cheated. :P But AFAIK, pc's work the same way and once they are locked, they are locked. I know that doesn't make it better, but at least you're not alone. I'm ticked at apple as well cos they screwed me on my u2 ipod. I pay extra money for the u2 version and they won't even cough up the friggin $50 coupon to d/l the complete catalog. Those bastards! When you call 'em, give 'em hell for me too.