Make Your DVD Player Region-Free in Seconds

By Paul Michael on 14 April 2007 (Updated 8 June 2011) 247 comments

As a Brit, I often want DVDs that I just can't find in the U.S. It's usually U.K. comedy shows, most of which don't take off over here for some reason. And DVD regions used to be a problem for me. But not anymore. (See also: Watch All the Documentary Movies You Can Handle, Free Online)

As I'm sure you know, DVDs are coded to a region of the world. Here's how it breaks down:

REGION 1 — USA, Canada
REGION 2 — Japan, Europe, South Africa, Middle East, Greenland
REGION 3 — S.Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Parts of South East Asia
REGION 4 — Australia, New Zealand, Latin America (including Mexico)
REGION 5 — Eastern Europe, Russia, India, Africa
REGION 6 — China
REGION 7 — Reserved for Unspecified Special Use
REGION 8 — Reserved for Cruise Ships, Airlines, etc...
REGION 0, 9, or REGION ALL — Discs are uncoded and can be played worldwide

So, here in the U.S., we're Region 1. In the U.K., discs are Region 2. Region 1 discs won't play in region 2 players, and vice versa. Or so I was told when I first moved here 6 years ago. But that's not true. Region coding can, in most cases, be removed from your DVD player using a simple remote-control code that unlocks the player.

Why do we have region codes?

I'm no expert on this, but I turn to a man who knows more than I do. Robert Silva from About.com had this to say about the subject.

"Movies are released in theaters in different parts of the world at different times throughout the year. That Summer blockbuster in the U.S. may end up being the Christmas blockbuster overseas. If that occurs, the DVD version of the movie may be out in the U.S. while it is still showing in theaters overseas.

In order to preserve the financial integrity of the theatrical distribution of a particular film, it is not possible (under normal conditions) to have a friend in the U.S. send a DVD copy of the film to the country where it is in theatrical release and be able to play the DVD on a player there."

So, in a word, money. However, since the massive surge of the Internet, file sharing and release dates in countries around the world coming closer and closer together, it's fairly ridiculous to have region coding. In fact, many players are now code free. But, if yours isn't (and most aren't) you may be able to unlock it in a matter of seconds...right now.

Enough background...how do I unlock my player?

The site I have used for the last few years is called VideoHelp.com, and they have a section of the site dedicated to DVD hacks. It's a simple search engine. Just take down the name and model number of your DVD player, and if a hack exists (there are thousands out there) then just print out the instructions, take your remote control and program your DVD player. And there you have it. You can now play disks from Japan, England, Australia, anywhere you want!

Here's the best part.

You don't need an expensive player. In fact, the easiest players to unlock are at the cheaper end. I bought a Phillips DVD player (DVP642) for $40 from BestBuy a few years ago, unlocked it in 10 seconds and watched a bunch of British comedy the same day. Yesterday, I upgraded that player to a DVD player with HD capability for the impending HDTV we'll need to buy. I checked out VideoHelp for players on the BestBuy website that had a remote hack available and found this one: a Samsung Progressive-Scan DVD Player with HD Upconversion, Model: DVD-HD860 . It was $89.99 (on sale from $99.99) and then I used the following region hack:

  1. Power on.
  2. Open tray.
  3. Push the info on remote once (with supplied remote). You will see numbers.
  4. Press 9 for multi-region. Keep trying until you see the number 9 appear in upper left corner.
  5. Power off.
  6. Power on.

That was it. A nice new upconvert DVD player that plays any DVD, and it got a great rating on CNET, too. All for less than $100 including tax. So, if you do have a DVD player that you'd like to convert, you can try it. The site does WARN that any action you take may invalidate the warranty, so try it at your own risk. All I can say is that I've never had a problem. Best of luck.

Tagged: DIY, dvd players, DVDs
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Guest

Thank you for this incredibly useful website. Cheers

Guest's picture
Guest

How do i unlock my Sony DVP-SR500H , there are no hacks available on the website above. any idea how i can do that?

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Guest

I have a symphonic WF104.Please help me make it region-free

Guest's picture
Michael Williams

Hi, can you please help me to make my dvd player region free,I own a Pioneer DV-383 and have not been able to make the switch.
I will greatly appreciate your help.
Mike.

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Guest

I bought a RCA DVR8052N DVD recorder from Value City before they went belly up. Would anyone have the instructions to make DVD's region free on it?

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Guest

i have a dvd soniq recorder and i don't how to change it to dvd free region so it can play all regions can anybody help me please

thanks Eva

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Guest

How can I hack my insignia nd-ldvd26q ?

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Guest

I have a memorex2016blk 'a' that I want to make region free. does anyone have detailed instructions please? everything online talks about a 'clear' button on the remote which isn't there. I'd really appreciate some help!

Guest's picture
Christos Georgis

Hi everyboby

I am looking for the multiregion hack for my European HR550 (blue-ray HHD).
It is supposed to be similar model with HR570/HR558/HR559.

Thanks in advance
Christos

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ildren miranda

does anyone have region free hack for panasonic dmp-bd65 player

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ggnin

Hi Paul, but there's no info on my remote, what do I do?

Paul Michael's picture

Hey GGNIN,
Well, it's a toughie. If the device isn't listed, it may not have a remote hack. I would search on the internet as a whole for a hack for your machine. You may find one hiding in a Google Groups forum for instance. Be prepared to do some digging. You may also need to update firmware on your device.
Hope that helps!

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Guestgodymuffy

HI DO ANY BODY KNOW HOW I CAN MAKE MY SONY DAVDZ330 TO MULTI REGION

Guest's picture
draw

Does anyone have the code for MAGNAVOX MDV3000/F7? Any help is GREATLY appreciated!

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Leco

I have a Scott car DVD player DRX 950. Do you have the code to make it all regions? Thanks. Leco

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Felipe

I have a LG Home theater HT356SD can anyone help me with the code to make it region free

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Guest

Anyone have the code for a Samsung P241? Going from Region 1 to region-less.. Thank you!

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Guest

Hello:

Does anyone know how to unlock Sony DVP-NS77H?

Many thanks!

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Ryker Wilson

Thanks so much...now I can watch my Merlin series three discs!!

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Guest

Hi I just bought a LG HB906TAW 3d blue ray player I was wondering if there is a reigon free hack for this player

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guest

Can somebody tell me, how to make Sony DVP-NS915V region free?

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Ben

Hi,
I recently bought the friday the 13th 8 disc dvd boxset (noty bluray). They are all region 2 (Pal) dics. I have a Samsung bd-d5300 bluray player, which is region 4. Now wierdly enough part 1+2 worked perfectly fine without any problems, but i have tried to play parts 3-8 and none of them will work. I have tried the region change techniques listed for my player but i don't seem to get any response and i have no idea why? It would be very much appreciated if there is any extra advice someone could give me or different code change technique i could try as i really want to try and avoid selling this boxset!?!?

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Catherine

Thanks SO much. I had bought some Amazon UK dvds which I realised after wouldn't work here in Australia and your site, which looked like the best google option,
yielded success first time! Catherine

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Guest

Hi...... This top sequence did not work for my LG combo but i read on and discovered the one where you turn on machine open cd draw and pers 0000. this got me to the desired screen on t.v and the just had to change the region from 4 to 0

Thanks guys

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Guest

How do you change a SONY DVP-SR200P into an all-region player? Tried the suggestions below, but none work; does not show which Region it is set to (Region1) and so, cannot change it. HELP!

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Guest

I'm looking for a hack for the Sony DVP-SR200P. None of the codes I found work :(

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Sam

DVD practiciners;

I just bough a Dodge Durango with A VES DVD and can't play any of my DVDs on it -- Any tips on how to unlock a vehicle built-in DVD players?

Thanks a million,
Sam

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Guest

I have a TV with an integrated DVD player, is it still possible to hack it??

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Guest

hi, do you know how i can decode a futuristix dvd player? many thanks mat
?
?

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Guest

I tried it with my DVD player and now it is region free. Thanks for the info! :-)

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Guest

Thank you!

I couldn't find my Canadian Toshiba DVD player in the list, but then noticed that the model number contains a "C" (possibly for "Canada"). So I checked for the model number without the "C" and found something fairly close... and the hack worked! :-)

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Alex Kuhn

I changed my Tosiba DVD to a universal setting by myself and I feel like a genius!! Thank you Paul Michael!

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anna

I went to the site to check my portable DVD player ( Philips PET741B/37), followed the instructions but it didn't work. The instructions indicated that i should
go to settings, then preference, then click next, next , next till i find the region and click zero.. there is no region under the preference.. it's just audio, subtitle, disc menu , parental and default..

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Ken H.

Does this method also free up British-made VHS cassettes as well as DVDs?
Thank you.

Guest's picture
Guest

Thank you, thank, thank you!! Living in Israel now (region 2), but I have a disc set from the US. Just bought a new DVD player here, tried to watch the DVDs, and got the infamous "check regional settings". Thanks to your post, I am now watching the DVDs

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Guest

Thanks! now i dont need to buy another dvd player.. just hacked my own!

PEACE!

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Fergal

I moved to Europe from the US - this has a problem that got up my nose like you wouldn't believe. I'm still trying to get one of my machines region free - its a real pain having to keep two units (one region free and one region 2).

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Lyn

Hi I'm having trouble finding a code for my Panasonic DMR-EZ28EB, I've been on a few sites but so far no searches have given an answer. Can anyone help please

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Lesley

Thanks for the tip! I will try this tonight I have a new sony dvd player and I have the same problem as you did but the other way around! I want to watch some US shows region 1 dvd so i will try your tip. Thanks a lot

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Kim

Please help I have an LG BD650 here in England and I want to unlock it as there is a DVD that is only for American how do I unlock

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Guest

hello my name is javier iam from mexico and i have a sony DAV-TZ140 but is region 4 and i want region free thank you

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vibe

Please and pretty please. i need help with LG DT733 model regional code hack. Just bought one and can't play region 1 dvd from the US.

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margaret

Thanks for sharing this info. It works and really only takes a few seconds.

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Fike

I play most DVDs on my windows 7 computer and it plays without regard to region.

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Guest

I have a Samsung BD B5100 Blue Ray player, With power on, tray open , pressing info nothing happens other than source top left of screen.
HDM12/DV1. can you help

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Bryan

Would this trick work with region 4 dvds? I'd love to get some dvds of kiddie shows from latin america?