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Do Windows based computers sold in USA supposed to play PAL DVDs?


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#1 Shoban Sen

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 07:27 PM

This question is more for my KNOWLEDGE than anything else. A friend sent me a homemade DVD in PAL format from Europe. It is not playing in my computer. I first tried to play it using Wndows Media Player. It played for about 10-15 seconds, then stopped. Then I tried to play it using Real Player. This time again it played for 10-15 seconds, then it stopped and showed me the dreaded Blue Screen which basically said a serious error has happened ("Stop Error") -- and to protect my computer from damage, Windows has been shut down. It asked me to restart the computer, which I did. Apparently, no damage has been done to my computer. I tested the video playing ability by putting in a regular store bought DVD and it played normally. (Thank God).

My Operating System is Wndows XP Media Center Edition (SP3). I receive all Windows updates AUTOMATICALLY. My feeling is since in USA the video format used is NTSC, and when I first started my new computer and Windows asked me to enter my country name (USA), it must have made some internal adjustments and for videos it automatically set itself for NTSC format. Could that be true? My European friend thinks computers are supposed to play videos of ALL formats. I probably need Windows latest updates or some codecs or latest version of a video player. (BTW, I have the latest version of Real Player too).

Again, I don't NEED to see a video in PAL format. I am not going to get anything new (codecs or whatever) to see PAL videos. I am happy with my system. This is just a question for my knowledge only. Incidentally, since it is a homemade video (DVD) that I tried, I first checked with Norton Internet Security for any possible virus that it might carry. Norton gave me the green signal.
~Shoban Sen~
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#2 garmanma

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 11:16 PM

This explains it but rather hard to read for my eyes
http://www.polishfilm.ca/skok/auxiliar/dvd...t/dvd_syst.html
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#3 Shoban Sen

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 12:31 PM

Thank you, garmanma. My eye-sight is real weak. But whatever I could read from your referenced site appears to deal with free standing DVD players where you watch the video on a TV set. My question was can you watch a PAL DVD on a Windows based COMPUTER in America, and if so how? I tried to find the answer from Microsoft's web site but couldn't locate it. Probably, I am not using the correct search words.
~Shoban Sen~
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#4 Shoban Sen

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 06:05 PM

Hi:

I have again found out the answer to my question myself.

Yes, in America your computer DVD players are set to play DVDs for Region 1 (American system i.e., NTSC format) only, but you can change it for a total of 5 times ONLY. Here is how:

I am quoting the answer below from Microsoft's Knowledge Center located at:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsme...e/0072.mspx#ESE

How do I change my DVD region?

DVD movies are encoded for different world regions, and your DVD-ROM drive must be configured for the appropriate region in order to play the DVD.

If you have DVD-decoder software installed on your computer, you can usually change the DVD region setting in the DVD decoder program. Follow the instructions in the program's Help file for changing the DVD region setting.

If you have a software or a hardware DVD decoder installed on your computer, you can use Device Manager to change the DVD region setting in your DVD-ROM configuration:

1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.

2. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.

3. In the list of devices, double-click DVD/CD-ROM drives, right-click the DVD drive for which you want to change region settings, and then click Properties.

4. On the DVD Region tab, make the desired changes.

You must be logged on as an administrator or be a member of the Administrators group in order to change the DVD region.

Note that the DVD region for most DVD-ROMs can only be changed up to five times, and the number of changes still available is located on the DVD Region tab. If the tab shows that you can only change the setting one more time (Changes remaining = 1), you won't be able to play DVDs that use a DVD region that is different from your last selection. If you run out of opportunities to change the setting (Changes remaining = 0), contact your DVD-ROM's manufacturer to reset this value.

I tried it, and I was successful. Somebody please thank me for doing the research and getting the answer from the horse's mouth i.e., Microsoft!!!
~Shoban Sen~
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#5 garmanma

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 09:16 PM

Glad you found your answer and for posting back with it
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