Monday, February 13, 2012

Oh no!

I was an early adopter of DVD, and actually still have (and use) my original DVD player. It was a very high quality model... back in 1999. And, of course, I had it modified to play discs from all regions.

With our recent TV upgrade, and with the acquisition of the Playstation 3, that DVD player is now obselete. Playback through the PS3 is much better quality, due to the upscaling. And, actually, playback from the DVD player just doesn't look great on the bigger screen. Plus, there aren't any spare connectors on the TV or the surround sound amplifier, which means that even using the DVD player is a bit of a pain.

Unfortunately, the PS3 won't play region 1 DVDs.

I had thought that that would be fine. Over the years, the studios gradually developed some good sense, and synchronised release dates across regions 1 and 2. Meanwhile, the BBFC gave up all pretense of actually doing their job, and started just aping the US ratings/cuts. This meant that there ceased to be any particular incentive to buy region 1 DVDs, and so relatively few of my DVDs are region 1. So, I could gradually let the DVD player slide into obscurity, and it wouldn't be an issue.


Yesterday I decided that I would quite like to watch "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" again, only to discover that it is a region 1 disc. As is "Aliens". And "Terminator 2" (the "Ultimate Edition", no less... although there's been at least one more since), and "Highlander". The "South Park" movie is region 1, being the very first DVD I bought. So too, actually, are most of my "Transformers" DVDs.

Even worse than this, there are even a few DVDs that were either simply not ever released in region 2 (although, actually, I think "The Gamers" may be region-free), or have since been deleted and so cannot be replaced (the "Babylon 5" movie collection).

It turns out that although I have relatively few region 1 DVDs as a percentage of the whole, I do have a disproportionate number of good films on region 1 DVD. Individually, none of them really warrants being re-bought on blu-ray (or region 2 DVD)... but collectively, they represent quite a nasty loss.

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