How to Produce a Flawless DVD – Region Codes and Copy Protection

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Disc Maker's Presents How to Produce a Flawless DVDExcerpted from our new guide, How to Produce a Flawless DVD… and stay on budget: Everything You Need to Know About Authoring, Post-Production, and More.

Region Codes
When DVDs were introduced, studios wanted the ability to combat piracy and control release dates throughout the world. As a result, region codes were developed to restrict where (what region of the world) a DVD can be viewed. Each area of the globe is assigned its own specific number, or region code: 1. North America; 2. Europe, South Africa, Japan; 3. Far East; 4. Latin America, Australia; 5. Africa, India, Russia; 6. China; 8. In Flight Entertainment.

DVD players have chips that restrict playback of DVDs not encoded for that region. So a DVD player sold in the US will only play DVDs encoded for region 1, players in region 2 can only play DVDs encoded for region 2. (There are some multi-region players that can play DVDs from any region, but these are the exception to the rule.) If you want to author a DVD that can play in all regions, it must be encoded for or all regions – or region 0.

Region 0 is somewhat misleading: technically there is no region 0, but this has become an accepted term that means that all regions have been selected. Keep in mind that region coding is a separate issue from Video Standards (PAL, NTSC, SECAM). Video created in different areas of the world may not play correctly or at all even if you have selected the correct region code.

Copy Protection
The lead-in on a recordable DVD is defaulted to all regions and has no copy protection. Since the lead-in is pre-written when the disc is manufactured, when you burn a master, the layer break, copy protection, and region code information is not recorded. For this reason, in most cases, DLTs are your only option. There are exceptions: if you author using DVD Studio Pro or Adobe Encore, you can create a master on a DVD±R and include all the aforementioned information.

Make sure CSS (no copy permitted, format for CSS) and/or Macrovision (type 2) is enabled (if desired). Make sure a layer break (AKA break point – for DVD-9s only) is selected in the inspector, or choose “automatic,” and DVDSP will select the layer break. The layer break will always be at a marker position, whether it’s a Dual-Layer Break Point marker or a chapter marker.

Build your DVD as usual. Test in the Apple DVD Player to make sure it is working properly. We also recommend you build a DVD and test it in a DVD player.

Once you are happy with the functionality of the DVD, go back into DVDSP. At the top of DVDSP, select “Build/Format.” Under the “Disc/Volume” tab, confirm the Dual-Layer Break Point. In the “Region/Copyright” tab, confirm your copy protection settings. Then select the “General” tab (make sure this is the last step). Under “Destination – Output Device” select “Hard Drive.” Under “Output Format” choose “DDP 2.0.”

If you are building a DVD-5, you will have a Layer 0 folder. If you are building a DVD-9, you will also have a Layer 1 folder. Each folder should go on it’s own DVD-R and should be burned to disc as Data (DVD-ROM UDF). Make sure the three files are at the root level of the disc and not in a folder. Mark the disc Layer 1 or Layer 0 and put DDP 2.0 in big RED letters.

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