"Disc is region free" ...means what?

Discussion in 'AnyDVD HD (Blu-ray issues)' started by markfilipak, Sep 13, 2018.

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  1. markfilipak

    markfilipak Well-Known Member

    Preface: I attempted to search for "Disc is region free" (as a phrase), but this forum seach function throws out the word "is" and breaks the string apart, so there's too many irrelevant results and I couldn't find an answer. So, I'm asking it here & now.

    For a new BD that I insert, AnyDVD reports
    ...Blu-ray Disc Region.....
    : (*) Disc is region free
    : ( ) Region A
    : ( ) Region B
    : ( ) Region C
    Does that mean that the disc is already region free?
    Or is AnyDVD asking whether I want the stream to be region free?

    The logic of my question is this: If the disc is already region free, then why am I being asked to select the region?

    Warm Regards,
  2. Ch3vr0n

    Ch3vr0n Translator NL

    You're being asked because you told it to remove the anydvd region. Anydvd can't possibly ask you if you want the stream to be region free because streaming requires some form of video encoding and anydvd can't do that. Automatic region detection isn't perfect (that includes detecting if it's region free).
  3. markfilipak

    markfilipak Well-Known Member

    Clarification: I wrote "Or is AnyDVD asking whether I want the stream to be region free?" because if I had written "Or is AnyDVD asking whether I want the disc to be region free?", someone would have replied that AnyDVD can't change a (non-writable) BD-ROM disc. I appologize if I did not make myself clear. I'm playing a BD-ROM (commercial movie), not streaming video over the Internet.

    Regarding the rest of your reply: I'm not sure what you mean by "remove the anydvd region"; and I don't know how "Automatic region detection isn't perfect (that includes detecting if it's region free)" is pertinent.

    If the disc is already region free, then why am I being asked to select the region?

    The reason I ask is that I compile BD info. The BDInfo application doesn't report Region Coding. Does AnyDVD report Region Coding? Is the dialog the method AnyDVD uses to report the Region Coding to me (or is it actually asking?).
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  4. markfilipak

    markfilipak Well-Known Member

    Ummm... When you wrote "Automatic region detection isn't perfect (that includes detecting if it's region free)" do you mean that AnyDVD can't always determine Region Code?
  5. mbarnstijn

    mbarnstijn Well-Known Member

    Yes, AnyDVD cannot always determine Region Code.

    For a disc that your copy of AnyDVD is seeing for the first time, it will show the radio button "region free" selected if AnyDVD cannot determine the region, OR if the disc really is region free.

    If AnyDVD is seeing a disc for the first time AND that prompt shows region A, B or C, then AnyDVD has detected a region code, and you should use the recommendation.

    My personal procedure with a new disc is to leave the AnyDVD region selection where it is, usually "region free", and then check the status window after AnyDVD is done scanning the disc. If the scan shows "disc is region free" then I'm done! However, if it shows "unable to determine region" then I eject the disc and re-insert it, and I then choose a region that corresponds to the markings on the rear of the Blu-ray disc case. After scanning the disc again, the AnyDVD status should show that it removed a region code. I think it uses the word "possible" or "potential". From now on, AnyDVD will pre-select the same region code whenever you re-insert the disc.

    Note that I have seen some Blu-rays show in the AnyDVD status display that they are region AB, or AC, or BC.

    I hope this helps a bit.

    cybrsage likes this.
  6. markfilipak

    markfilipak Well-Known Member

    Hi Michael,
    This may make me seem dense or feable-minded, but here goes: So, when the "AnyDVD HD" dialog says "Blu-ray disc is region free!" that means that the disc is actually Region A+B+C (not that AnyDVD is emulating region free). So, I take it that such a report ("Blu-ray disc is region free!") is definite and assertive whereas for the Blu-ray Disc Region dialog, "region free" is conditional and indeterminate (and how it is conditional is not disclosed) but "Region A" (or "B" or "C") are definite and assertive. Do I have that right? Assuming that I'm correct, I've prepared a table:

    Blu-ray Disc Region dialog .. "AnyDVD HD" status ........... The disc is...
    Region free ................. Blu-ray disc is region free! . Region free (A+B+C)
    Region free ................. unable to determine region ... unknown
    Region A .................... (whatever) ................... Region A
    Region B .................... (whatever) ................... Region B
    Region C .................... (whatever) ................... Region C

    My objective is to know what the region code actually is -- it's not always what the disc label shows -- not what I should use. I know to always use region free.

    And I'm a bit confused by your comment about "AB, or AC, or BC". The Blu-ray Disc Region dialog is using radio buttons. It's usually not possible to select two radio buttons (though, in this case, I've not tried).

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  7. testiles

    testiles Well-Known Member

    Hi Mark.

    Wow, this is all super-confusing.

    I understand that you are trying to determine Region for documentation-purposes using AnyDVD but seems like AnyDVD cannot reliably determine Region -- so maybe it's not the best source.

    Mark quick question....

    I've never run into any of these messages.

    In AnyDVD Settings --> "Video Blu Ray" --> "Blu Ray Disc Region", I have "Remove Blu-Ray Region Code" --> "Region A" set.

    What do you have set there?

    Wondering if a difference there could be why I have not seen these messages...

    EDIT: A search on "region-free" might get better results.

  8. mbarnstijn

    mbarnstijn Well-Known Member

    Yes, you have that table of "dialog, status, the disc is" correct. Some people might quibble about whether "region free" means the same as "A+B+C". Yes, a disc can be coded to be one, two even three regions at the same time, and I think that "region free" means it is NOT coded to ANY region at all. Yes, you cannot use the dialog to select more than one region.

    The purpose of that AnyDVD radio button dialog is for YOU to tell AnyDVD what the REAL region of the disc is, when AnyDVD cannot determine it automatically.

    You MUST have the correct region selected in this dialog for the decryption to work properly. The decrypted result (files, ISO file, playback directly from disc with AnyDVD running) is THEN region free automatically. If that dialog is set incorrectly, the ISO or a disc burned from the ISO, may play incorrectly or not at all.

  9. mbarnstijn

    mbarnstijn Well-Known Member

    @testiles, if you insert a region B disc and you've got that "remove Blu-ray Region Code" set to region A, I think you'll get a bad result. You should be telling AnyDVD that the disc is Region B, and it can then REMOVE the region code.

    @James, have I got this right?

  10. Ch3vr0n

    Ch3vr0n Translator NL

    You think right. You always specify the region where the disc is from, not your own region (if the inserted disc for example is an import). Specifying the wrong region WILL render the disc/rip unplayable.

    If the packaging doesn't specify a region or say region free, you can never go wrong with specifying the region matching the store you got it

    Verstuurd vanaf mijn Nexus 6P met Tapatalk
  11. testiles

    testiles Well-Known Member

    Oh ok.

    I'm in Region A and never had a Region B Blu-Ray but I certainly want to keep that option open.

    So, if I get a Region B, I need to change the setting mentioned to Region B for that Blu-Ray, then back to Region A for my usual discs?

    EDIT: Just saw Ch3vron's post. Got it now!

  12. James

    James Redfox Development Team Staff Member

    To really understand the settings, you must know how region lock works on Blu-ray discs.
    Every playback device must have a region. A, B or C.
    Code from the disc (either Java or HDMV or whatever it is called) executed by the player can read a value to determine the region of the playback device.
    The disc itself has no region marking. The player can not check or care about the discs region.
    It is up to the code disc, if the player region is read at all, and if it is, if anything is done.

    Even "region free" (aka ABC discs) can read the player region, and for example show an FBI warning only, if the player region is "A".
    Or discs can show a message "wrong region" only, if a player reports region "B". Such a disc would be region "AC" coded.

    As the disc has no "marking", AnyDVD has a hard time figuring out the region coding. If it reports a region (AB, free, whatever) it is usually right (minus one or two discs).
    AnyDVD "removes" the region check, by changing the code on the disc.
    Remember, AnyDVD does all this remastering magic on the fly, so you see the result immediately after AnyDVD has finished scanning.
    Important to know for playback on a PC. And I love the subtitle remastering functions...
    Back to topic...

    E.g. the disc code asks for the region of the player. AnyDVD changes this code to assign a fixed value. Like "B".
    So, instead getting the actual region of the player, the code on the disc will always read "B".
    If you select a region with the region dialog, you tell AnyDVD to exchange the playback device region with the region you tell it.
    "region free" in this dialog tells AnyDVD, that the disc will play ABC, and it doesn't need to do this complicated stuff. You could of course specify "A", if you like FBI warnings.

    To make a long story short: Set the region to the country, where you bought the disc.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  13. markfilipak

    markfilipak Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's not. That's what I'm attempting to determine. Part of that determination is figuring out what AnyDVD is trying to tell me.
    [X] Remove Blu-Ray Region Code
    (o) Automatic
  14. markfilipak

    markfilipak Well-Known Member

    Hi James!

    Now we're cookin'! A developer... Oh! Goodie!
    Or a player can be region free, no?
    Okay, I think you mean that a disc-based script (or pseudo-code) queries the player to determine the player's region. Right?
    Okay, so it's the disc's pseudo-code that determines whether the player is of the correct region. I assume this all happens inside the player, via disc-based pseudo-code executed by an interpreter running on the player's CPU, and that the transaction is hidden from the computer application at the computer-end of the interface. Gosh, that seems unbreakable.
    Okay, correct me if I'm wrong: A disc's pseudo-code doesn't accept a player's region code because it's acceptable, but, instead, a disc's pseudo-code rejects a player's region code if it's unacceptable and then refuses to yield up stream data. Is that the gist of it?
    So, that's why I've not found a metadata field that can be confirmed to be region code.
    Oh, wait, I must be misinterpreting what you write. How can AnyDVD change "the code on the disc"? Those discs are read-only (i.e., BD-ROM), aren't they?
    Okay. Here's the BIG QUESTION: How does AnyDVD get "into" the player's CPU and replace how the player answers the pseudo-code's query? (Did you guys find a back door?)
    Well, I get those no matter what.
    I have it set to "Automatic".

    By the way, I'm a retired electronic hardware/chip/system designer.

    PS: I hope you respond, James, because I have a follow-up question/idea that might help both of us.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  15. markfilipak

    markfilipak Well-Known Member

    I just ran 6 tests and got some interesting results.
    Player is PowerDVD12 set to Region A.
    I reconfigured AnyDVD to query my desired Region Code every time it encounters a disc.

    Test #1: Disc is Region A+B+C ("BLADE RUNNER, WORKPRINT") with AnyDVD set to Region A. The disc played fine -- I then ejected the disc.
    Test #2: Disc is Region A+B+C ("BLADE RUNNER, WORKPRINT") with AnyDVD set to Region B. The disc played fine -- I then ejected the disc.
    Test #3: Disc is Region A+B+C ("BLADE RUNNER, WORKPRINT") with AnyDVD set to Region C. The disc played fine -- I then ejected the disc.
    Test #4: Disc is Region A ("THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH") with AnyDVD set to Region A. The disc played fine -- I then ejected the disc.
    Test #5: Disc is Region A ("THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH") with AnyDVD set to Region B. PowerDVD refused to play the disc -- I then ejected the disc.
    Test #6: Disc is Region A ("THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH") with AnyDVD set to Region C. PowerDVD refused to play the disc.

    I conclude:
    Case #1: For a disc that actually is Region A+B+C, it doesn't matter whether the drive (or AnyDVD) reports Region A, or Region B, or Region C. PowerDVD doesn't seem to care.
    Case #2: For a disc that's locked to Region A, PowerDVD does care and will play the disc only when AnyDVD is set to Region A.

    PowerDVD12 seems to be getting more information than AnyDVD supplies. PowerDVD seems to be getting information (in Tests #1 through 3) regarding the disc's actual Region Code (All regions), no matter how AnyDVD is set. To state it another way: If PowerDVD relied only on what AnyDVD reported, then Tests #2 & 3 should have failed to play.

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  16. testiles

    testiles Well-Known Member

    Excellent explanation, James.

    I better understand Region processing now and plan on bookmarking this thread for future reference.

  17. testiles

    testiles Well-Known Member

    The way I understand it, setting the AnyDVD Region is telling AnyDVD what to tell the disc code the Region of the player is.

    If that's the case, it explains why 5 and 6 fail. The disc knows it's A but thinks the player is B and C for tests 5 and 6, so play fails.

  18. markfilipak

    markfilipak Well-Known Member

    Indeed. There's no question why Tests #5 & 6 fail. But why don't Tests #2 & 3 also fail?

    How is it that in Test #2 for example, though AnyDVD says "Region B", PowerDVD says "Naw, I know the disc's actually region free, so I'm going to play it."?
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  19. Ch3vr0n

    Ch3vr0n Translator NL

    You understand wrong. You're telling anydvd what the region of the DISC is, it's the player that then checks the discs region to give out of it's allowed to play it

    Sent from my Nexus 7 with Tapatalk
  20. testiles

    testiles Well-Known Member

    Well, I don't think it's PowerDVD per se.

    I think it's the disc code that's running.

    The disc knows what Region it is. In tests 2 and 3 the disc code asks what's the player, AnyDVD tells it Region B and C respectively and the disc code says "Ok, I can accept that" because I'm Region A, B, and C.

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