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Understanding the Drive

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:09 am
by Dal1980
Hi guys

Sorry this is going to be a noob question.

I have bought a LG BlueRay player for the PC a couple of years ago. I got PowerDVD software with it which I sometimes use to matchup the episode numbers to my ripped files so I have the correct order.

I'm in Region 2 (UK) but sometimes I end up with Region 1 DVD/BlueRay's when I purchase them through sites like Amazon and eBay which isn't really a problem for anything but PowerDVD. I am requested to change my region to play a Region 1 disc and I can apparently only do this 5 times. I tried making a VirtualMachine so I could switch it over but it required a login which I presume registers the switch. I contacted them the other day as they were having a special sale (I'm just putting the feelers out and hadn't decided if I wanted to sink money into it yet.. oh and FYI I've bought a MakeMKV license last year just in case you think I'm not paying the right people first :wink: )

They came back with this answer:
With reference to your query, please be informed that the region code change limit of five times is associated with your BD/DVD drive, not by CyberLink PowerDVD.

BD/DVD drives sold in a specific geographical region are designed to play only discs authorized by the content provider for that region.

This is intended to permit content providers (motion picture studios, etc.) the ability to support product differences in content, price, release date, etc., by region.

CyberLink PowerDVD serves as an interface through which users can tell their BD/DVD device to change its region code. Once the change reaches BD/DVD’s allowed limitation, five times in this case, the BD/DVD device forbids end-users from changing the region code again.

If you reach the limit, you may contact your BD/DVD drive manufacturer to unlock it. We do not have the right to unlock or add the change limit for you.

The paid version has the same limitation.
I've used free players without limitation so actually paying for a product makes me fail to understand capitalism, how dare I try throw money at solving a problem when there's free versions available lol :D

Is there a way to unlock my LG Slim Portable Blu-ray / DVD player Model BP50NB40 so that PowerDVD no longer sees this as having a restriction between regions?
Or is there a USB BlueRay/DVD player out there that has already been unlocked for multi-region playback (and does well with MakeMKV obviously)?

Many thanks

Re: Understanding the Drive

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:33 pm
by st4evr
This begs the question(s):

Why are you trying to remove the Region Code from the hardware, instead of removing the Region Code from the media content altogether?

You mention that you own/use MakeMKV, which creates MKV container rips where Region Coding becomes a mute point. Also, as you discovered already, there are players out there that don't even bother with Region Codes, and most are far better than PowerDVD anyways.

Lastly, there are existing apps that can remove Regions from the media content and can then be universally played on most software players (including PowerDVD last I checked) without issues.

So ultimately, why attempt to pursue the most difficult route here? Is there a very specific/unique workflow you are aiming for?

Re: Understanding the Drive

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 12:27 am
by Dal1980
Hi st4evr

If you could recommend a nice (free or paid) alternative to PowerDVD for playing multi-regional DVD's and BluRay's I'd appreciate that.

I sometimes need playing software so I can view the disk's menu and go through the episodes in the correct order as they don't always match up to the rip order. Quite often MakeMKV doesn't manage to rip a disk (sometimes it errors after ripping and reports errors while attempting to rip the file, sometimes it just can't read the disk and other times I get no sound). This then forces me to play through a screen capture which is a pain as it's real time but at least I get the rip done so I can put it on my private Plex server.

Re: Understanding the Drive

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:18 am
by st4evr
For software player, look into JRiver. They also have their own very active support forum alongside their developers.

For a second ripping software option, AnyDVD. Could work as a backup option for ripping media content. As well as removing/manipulating Region Codes on media content. They also have their own active support forum.

Re: Understanding the Drive

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:57 pm
by Dal1980
Thanks st4evr,

Had a look and grabbed cloneBD which seems to offer a bit more of a visual journey over MakeMKV. It's successfully ripped Jason Bourne where MakeMKV had only managed to rip a movie with the commentary (couldn't get it to grab the main movie with the correct audio).

Between MakeMKV and cloneBD I should have everything I need now hopefully and I should (fingers crossed) never need to rip via screen capturing the movie in real time.

Thanks again for the help :D