DVD Regional Coding Map
and Other Information

How To Figure Out Which DVD Titles
Will Play In Your Player


What Are Regional Codes

DVD discs contain Regional Codes which can be used to prevent the playback of certain discs depending upon the geographical area it is played in. The various studios and home video companies lobbied to make sure this coding system was a required part of the current DVD standards, because they wish to control how their DVD titles are exported to other countries. (For example, while a recent film may already have played theatrically in the United States and been released to the home video market, that same film may not yet have opened in some European or Asian countries.) In most instances, discs manufactured in one region will usually only play on players that were manufactured in that same region - this means that discs bought or imported from Japan will not play on U.S. players, and vice versa. However, the regional coding system is entirely optional, and discs without Regional Codes will play on any player in any country.


DVD Region Breakdown

  • Region 1 - The U.S., U.S. territories and Canada
  • Region 2 - Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Egypt, South Africa, Greenland
  • Region 3 - Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong
  • Region 4 - Mexico, South America, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Caribbean
  • Region 5 - Russia (okay, former Russia), Eastern Europe, India, most of Africa, North Korea, Mongolia
  • Region 6 - China


How To Tell How A Disc Is Coded

The Region Code is usually specified on the back of the individual DVD packages, either with a Regional Coding logo of a globe with the region number superimposed over it, or specifically spelled out. For example, while currently-released New Line and Warner DVD titles use the globe logo & number scheme, MGM/UA titles state: "This disc has been encoded for Region 1: The United States, U.S. Territories and Canada." In the cast of Lumivision's discs, they are labelled "Available worldwide," which means that the discs contain no regional coding and will play on any player in any country.

Originally Created: 04/25/97
Last Updated: 09/05/97