Ask Max: Can I use two DVD drives for two different DVD Region codes?
I have a 12" PowerBook G4 and a Mac mini. I'd like to play Region 1 as well as Region 2 DVDs on them, but the Macs allow only 5 region code changes before locking the code. I'm, therefore thinking of buying an external DVD drive for Region 2 DVDs. Do you know if I'd be able to set the region code on the following external DVD drive to 2 while keeping that as 1 on the internal drives?
Region codes are the legacy of an archaic distribution model. Its sole purpose is to allow movie studios to charge different prices and release movies on different dates in other countries. That Apple was forced to abide by the Region code scheme is a disappointment, but it was necessary in order to license DVD video playback. The better solution, as opposed to buying a new DVD drive, would be to use another DVD-playing application. VLC is one of the best multi media players I have seen for cross-file video playback and is a good alternative to Apple's DVD Player.
First you will need to get a copy of VLC. It is downloaded for free from here: www.videolan.org/vlc/. You will need to set it as your default DVD video player. In the System Preferences select "CDs & DVDs." In the CDs & DVDs window, change the "When you insert video DVD:" pulldown menu to Open another application. Select VLC and click on the Choose button. You should be all set from here on out. VLC in most cases will play DVD VOB files without setting a region code. Some Intel Mac laptops have had trouble using VLC for DVD video playback, but you should be fine.