Please read the following information carefully as it may impact your purchase decision.
Most DVDs are "region encoded". To enforce copyright restrictions or licensing agreements, the movie studios release DVDs for sale in certain parts of the world in a format that is only meant to be playable on DVD players sold/manufactured in the same region.
For example, discs designed for playback in one region will normally play only on DVD players meant to be sold in the same region. Therefore a disc marked "Region 1" (USA) is only meant to be viewable on Region 1 DVD players.
To achieve this, the manufacturers of DVD hardware and software have agreed to define regions and assign them to world territories as follows:
Region 1 - USA, Canada and US territories
Region 2 - UK, Western Europe, Japan, South Africa, Middle East, Egypt
Region 3 - Southeast Asia, East Asia, Hong Kong
Region 4 - Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Central and South America
Region 5 - Former Soviet Union, India, Africa, North Korea
Region 6 - China
Region 7 - (reserved)
Region 8 - Special international venues (airlines, cruise ships)
1. Not all discs are region encoded. Some DVDs are meant to be viewable on any player and are usually known as region-free (or "region 0").
2. Packaging may vary within a region though the pressing of the disc may be identical.
In some countries including the US you can easily, and very inexpensively, purchase DVD players that are designed to be "region free" and will play DVDs regardless of their regional encoding.
Video information on DVD is usually formatted for a specific television system: NTSC (used in the United States) or PAL (Europe).
These two standards are incompatible. Even if a disc is region free, you need to make sure your TV and DVD player can handle its video format.
Normally, an American (NTSC) television will not be able to display a disc in PAL format and vice versa. However, many European TV sets are multi-standard (and can display a NTSC signal).
Also, some DVD players include features to convert a video signal from one standard to another. If you plan to buy videos or DVDs from another country, you need to make sure that your player and TV hardware can properly handle the different video standard.