Regional codes

Alternatively referred to as country codes and zone locks, regional codes are a method of allowing motion picture studios to control the home viewing of movies in different countries to help prevent other countries from watching moves that may have been released in the U.S. earlier, but were not available in other countries and to prevent issues with distribution rights. Therefore, there are six regional codes that apply to DVD that are illustrated in the picture below. When purchasing DVD discs it is important that you only purchase discs that can be used within your regional code. The regional code will be located on the back bottom of the DVD case.

DVD regional codes map

1: Canada, U.S., U.S. Territories
2: Japan, Europe, South Africa, Middle East (including Egypt)
3: Southeast Asia, East Asia (including Hong Kong)
4: Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, Caribbean
5: Former Soviet Union, Indian Subcontinent, Africa (also North Korea, Mongolia)
6: China

If you were to play a DVD with an incorrect Regional Code you would receive an error similar to the below error.

Illegal Region Code !

Your system is not suitable
to play this DVD - Disc!

Matched hardware and content is required.

Also see: CD terms, DVD