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Hooking a DVD player up to a laptop to watch films

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (Not Computer-Related)' started by aperi, Feb 6, 2009.

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  1. aperi

    aperi Thread Starter

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    Hi
    Don't know if I've put this in the right place, so please move it if it's not.
    I recently moved back to the UK after living in the US for five years, which means that roughly half my DVDs are region 1 and half are region 2. I just moved into university accommodation with very limited space and so was planning on using my laptop as my DVD player/TV. Trouble is, the laptop has Vista, and I'm running out of region changes. Is it possible to hook a multi-region DVD player up to the laptop so that the picture from the DVD player appears on the laptop screen?
    The computer is a 2 year old Gateway with Vista Basic.
    Thanks for any help or suggestions you can provide, I'm getting really sick of not being able to watch half my movies!
     
  2. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Chuck Trusted Advisor

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    Hi aperi, and welcome to TSG.

    If the multi-region DVD player you are talking about is a stand alone unit made to play through a regular TV set, the answer is probably going to be "no. Most typical laptop computers do not have a video input jack.

    If you have an open USB 2 port on the laptop, you may wish to look into using an external USB connected DVD drive. You could have the laptop's drive to play your USA Region 1 discs and the external one set to play your UK discs through the laptop.
     
  3. aperi

    aperi Thread Starter

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    Hi cwwozniak,
    Thanks for the welcome and advice. Yes, I do have open USB2 ports, so the external DVD drive sounds good. Is there anything I need to know about USB DVD drives before I rush out and buy one? (Are they compatible with all laptops, any major and expensive pitfalls, that kind of stuff) Also, will Vista restrict the external drive to one region only or will it be able to play different regions? Only reason I'm asking is because I'll almost certainly end up living abroad again at some point soon, and I don't want to have to have a DVD drive for every region!
    Sorry for all the questions - like I said, I don't have much experience with this kind of thing.
    Thanks again for helping
     
  4. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Chuck Trusted Advisor

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    It has been a while since I looked into it but I believe that the region code restrictions are part of the DVD drive's firmware. The operating system can read back the current setting and also read back how many more changes are permitted. If changes are still permitted for the given drive, the operating system will let you change it. I have no idea how Windows behaves when using a region free drive. When relocating to a country with a different DVD region code, you would need to decide if you wanted to buy a new external drive for the that region or just continue to view the discs you have.
     
  5. Zygmo

    Zygmo

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    Feb 21, 2009
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    Go online to one of the freeware sites (Seems like one is called freewarefiles, or freeware.com....something like that)and look through the Video section. I have seen some software at those sites that should solve your problem.
     
  6. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy

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    Yeah there is a ton of software that removes region restrictions. Which I think is one of the most bogus practices of DVD creation. If your buying a DVD product why does the manufacturer really care WHERE you play it. I do understand the whole PAL/NTSC thing and that part doesn't flame me 1/2 as much as this lame practice.

    From Wiki -
    I wish more places were like Austrailia and relize how bogus region encoding is.

    Do a Google search on DVD region killers
     
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