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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > MacMini / Region X

MacMini / Region X
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Mar 16, 2005, 06:37 PM
 
Hi There-

I am trying to watch mt DVD ccollection on my mac mini.

To do this on my DP G5, I installed Region X.

I tried this on my Mac mini, and it doesn't work...

I read something about RPC-2 DVD drives being region locked.

My Mac mini has the following drive info:

MATSHITA CD-RW CW-8123:

Manufacturer: MATSHITA
Model: MATSHITA CD-RW CW-8123
Revision: CAD4
Serial Number:
Drive Type: CD-RW/DVD-ROM
Disc Burning: Apple Supported/Shipped
Removable Media: Yes
Detachable Drive: No
Protocol: ATAPI
Unit Number: 1
Socket Type: Internal

Does this mean I have an RPC 1 or 2 drive? Am I doomed to a life of only watching 5 or my DVD's?
     
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Mar 16, 2005, 06:56 PM
 
Before you can Region X you need to patch the drives firmware. I haven't read about a patched firmware for that combodrive yet.

-t
     
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Mar 16, 2005, 07:08 PM
 
Thanks for the reply!

That sounds pretty complicated. Is there any other software I can use to play DVD's? is it easy to patch this software?

cheers-
     
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Mar 16, 2005, 08:42 PM
 
Use VLC. It'll play DVDs from any region.

tooki
     
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Mar 21, 2005, 09:31 PM
 
Thanks, Tooki!

VLC runs great.
     
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Mar 21, 2005, 09:40 PM
 
Hmmm- just wondering if there is a way to stop APPLE DVD PLAYER from opening every time I insert a disc...

VLC works great, but Apple DVD is incredibly annoying, and has to stay open in order to not eject the disc...

any ideas?
     
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Mar 21, 2005, 09:48 PM
 
Originally posted by SUPER_DEFORMED:
Hmmm- just wondering if there is a way to stop APPLE DVD PLAYER from opening every time I insert a disc...

VLC works great, but Apple DVD is incredibly annoying, and has to stay open in order to not eject the disc...

any ideas?
System Preferences->CDs & DVDs>When You Insert a video DVD->Ignore
     
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Sep 12, 2005, 04:21 PM
 
I have the Mini with Matshita CW-8124

Searched all over the net, can't find the firmware flash for this model, so region X cannot be used.

and VLC doesn't work on this drive either.

It sucks... cos i have more than 100 region 1 DVDs after living in Toronto for the past 5 years, but i'm living in Hong Kong right now, where all DVDs here are coded region 3.
"You don't lead by hitting people over the head... that's assault, not leadership."
     
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Sep 12, 2005, 06:27 PM
 
For everyone's information, RPC2 drives have been the ONLY ones available since about the end of 2001. As long as you aren't depending on the DRIVE to do anything but read data (as in using VLC or some other region-agnostic player app) that's fine. In some cases, the drive will read the region even if the player is asking for raw data; it kind of depends on what drive it is. I think Matsushita drives are "agressive" about this, which may be your problem, Alezone. Sorry.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Sep 28, 2005, 08:31 PM
 
Just my luck that the MATSHITA CD-RW CW-8124 is the default Combo drive on 12" iBook 1.33GHz.
     
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Sep 29, 2005, 03:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by Alezone
I have the Mini with Matshita CW-8124

Searched all over the net, can't find the firmware flash for this model, so region X cannot be used.

and VLC doesn't work on this drive either.

It sucks... cos i have more than 100 region 1 DVDs after living in Toronto for the past 5 years, but i'm living in Hong Kong right now, where all DVDs here are coded region 3.

Why doesn't VLC work?

I have similar config to you and VLC works fine.

"Open Disk..." in file menu (I think)
     
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Oct 2, 2005, 08:39 AM
 
A bit off topic:
What amazes me is that companies are allowed to create regional price fixing monopolies for things like music, DVDs and games. Surely this goes against the so called "free market" and maybe even breaks world trade laws.
     
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Feb 15, 2006, 02:31 PM
 
Another 4 months... still no word for a hack?
"You don't lead by hitting people over the head... that's assault, not leadership."
     
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Mar 22, 2006, 10:37 AM
 
Hi all ~

I also have a Mac Mini, bought late last year in Hong Kong, running Tiger 10.4.something. I have a Matshita CW-8124 combo drive. My Apple DVD player has about two region changes left, then it's stuck.

I went to Version Tracker and updated my VLC, thinking the reason VLC wouldn't play DVDs is cos of its age. I went to CD and DVD preferences and changed the automatic setting to VLC for DVDs.
When I put in the DVD, VLC opens but does nothing (eg. spin the disk). I go to File and open Disk, it finds it no problem.

It spins the disk, thinks about it, then a black playing screen flashes up for less than a second. Then everything just stops as if I'd cancelled something.

The DVD is a R2, and at the moment my Apple DVD player is on R1. I don't want to change it cos the next time I change it back it'll be stuck.

I'm angry as h*ll ~ not at VLC or anyone in particular, but because I live in HK WHERE THERE IS NO REGION CODE ON DVDS. Why are drives even told to stop changing after 5 or 6 goes? Who decided that no-one should be able to live on the hub of two different region codes and be able to play both? China disks are R3 (cheaper than buying the same American movie on R1), but Japanese ones are R2. My collection is of these plus other R2s (for Europe) and R1 for Canada. HK is R0 (forward thinking or just not into segregating the customers of other countries?)

Sorry to get angry but I feel like smashing something. I just want to play my DVDs on my nice new 19 inch screen. I've been banging on about how amazing my new Mac is to everyone who has PCs around me (this is my first Mac) and now I'm caught up on this. Obviously I'm not the only one.

So, in a roundabout kinda way, does anyone know of anything that will make VLC or even DVD player work on my Mac Mini with a Matshita CW-8124 combo drive?

Thanks for all your posts above ~ nice to know I'm not alone here.
     
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Mar 23, 2006, 10:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by iJed
A bit off topic:
What amazes me is that companies are allowed to create regional price fixing monopolies for things like music, DVDs and games. Surely this goes against the so called "free market" and maybe even breaks world trade laws.
iJed -- an interesting observation. anyone around know anything about trade law? or care to take the matter up with the WTO?

that said, many multinational corporations sell the product in different places at different prices, e.g. drug companies. In fact even Apple does this, no? I've the impression that Macs are much more expensive in Europe than the USA.
     
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Aug 6, 2006, 01:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by lifeoflove
Hi all ~

I also have a Mac Mini, bought late last year in Hong Kong, running Tiger 10.4.something. I have a Matshita CW-8124 combo drive. My Apple DVD player has about two region changes left, then it's stuck.

I went to Version Tracker and updated my VLC, thinking the reason VLC wouldn't play DVDs is cos of its age. I went to CD and DVD preferences and changed the automatic setting to VLC for DVDs.
When I put in the DVD, VLC opens but does nothing (eg. spin the disk). I go to File and open Disk, it finds it no problem.

It spins the disk, thinks about it, then a black playing screen flashes up for less than a second. Then everything just stops as if I'd cancelled something.

The DVD is a R2, and at the moment my Apple DVD player is on R1. I don't want to change it cos the next time I change it back it'll be stuck.

I'm angry as h*ll ~ not at VLC or anyone in particular, but because I live in HK WHERE THERE IS NO REGION CODE ON DVDS. Why are drives even told to stop changing after 5 or 6 goes? Who decided that no-one should be able to live on the hub of two different region codes and be able to play both? China disks are R3 (cheaper than buying the same American movie on R1), but Japanese ones are R2. My collection is of these plus other R2s (for Europe) and R1 for Canada. HK is R0 (forward thinking or just not into segregating the customers of other countries?)

Sorry to get angry but I feel like smashing something. I just want to play my DVDs on my nice new 19 inch screen. I've been banging on about how amazing my new Mac is to everyone who has PCs around me (this is my first Mac) and now I'm caught up on this. Obviously I'm not the only one.

So, in a roundabout kinda way, does anyone know of anything that will make VLC or even DVD player work on my Mac Mini with a Matshita CW-8124 combo drive?

Thanks for all your posts above ~ nice to know I'm not alone here.


Hi lifeoflove,

I have EXACTLY the same problem as yours. I've exhausted my 5 "allowed" region switches and am now stuck on region 2 - cannnot play my region 1 dvd's. I've spent the last 5 hours searching the net for a solution. I've downloaded VLC but, as for you, when I try to launch it the screen flashes before my eyes for half a second and disappears as if some mysterious entity inside the mac had shut it off. What's more, the mac DVD player will not allow me to leave the DVD inside the mac - all I can do is click on the "eject" button displayed on the comminatory pop-up. So I've looked for ways to reset the DVD player - to make it switch from RPC-2 to RPC-1. Prior to 2000, all DVD players were RPC-1, meaning that you could freely switch as many times as you liked. But this well-oiled, user-friendly state of affairs could not be allowed to continue, and the Powers That Be, appalled by the situation ("everything works well and people are happy, what next!?") gathered to do some powerful thinking, and they came up with the RPC-2 nonsense, i.e. 5 region switches allowed. And then finito. Can't play your DVD ? You can always use it as a mirror to powder your nose, ha ha. Or as a brownie slicer, wink wink.

As I plummeted deeper in the labyrinths of computer-geekdom, I discovered that there are ways to make your DVD player switch from RPC-2 to RPC-1, but most of these tools are for PC's only (DVDGhost, DVD Region Free and the like). I found "Region X", but when it didn't work I found out that you have to "patch your drive's firmware" first, whatever that means. Then you venture to the realm of hackers, who suggest that you "flash your drive to reset it". But all this is highly illegal AND by doing so you will lose the warranty AND for very advanced users only cause if you don't do it right you will damage your DVD player PERMANENTLY-SO-DO-IT-AT-YOUR-OWN-RISK, COZ THERE'S A FAT CHANCE THAT YOU WILL NEVER EVER EVER EVER BE ABLE TO PLAY A DVD AGAIN. Not very encouraging. Then you end up finding a website which offers you to download a program that will dezone your Mac OS X DVD player, but to access it you have to call a number that charges about 5 Euros a minute to get a code and when you finally reach the page you find out that the make of your DVD player, namely a Matshita CW-8124, is not listed, and nothing can be done.

So much for technology. The RPC-2 protocol is an unacceptable swindle, conceived by a bunch of greedy gangsters, and I'm shocked that no-one denounces it for what it is: a violation of the most elementary consumer rights, bordering on illegality, as it penalizes people unjustly - people who've actually BOUGHT their DVD's and should therefore be allowed to use them.
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 08:00 PM
 
Here's the resource y'all should be scouting - http://forum.rpc1.org/viewforum.php?f=30
     
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Oct 12, 2006, 10:58 AM
 
Hi ~

Has anyone here bought and used an external drive for their region-locked Mac? I'm looking at getting a Pioneer A11, mainly cos a nice blokey who does "updates" after you've bought it could basically "allow it play all regions", as he put it. (Obviously he's not going to come out with "don't worry love, I'll flash it for you", is he?)
I wanted to run this as a region 1 player, through USB or whatever comes with it to connect to me Apple Mac Mini (OSX 10.4.8 ~ Tiger, apparently). The plan is actually to use it to play all them region 1s I can't play on me Mini that's locked to a region 2 (it's a Matshita CW-8124 ~ please DO NOT tell me to get it flashed, there ain't one. And believe me, I've looked at ALL the links on these pages...).
However, if in the future I need it 'sorted' to play all regions, I'd like to know if anyone's had any experience with this drive ~ or in fact any other that they've used as an external one.

Cheers m'dears ~
Mardy Lass (for some reason, I was "lifeoflove" before. Don't know how, guess that were me asigned username or summat)
     
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Oct 12, 2006, 05:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by iJed
A bit off topic:
What amazes me is that companies are allowed to create regional price fixing monopolies for things like music, DVDs and games. Surely this goes against the so called "free market" and maybe even breaks world trade laws.
Not companies, an industry. The whole bunch of them wanted the region coding thing so that none would have an advantage over the other. It hurts the consumers, but not them, so they like it.

But with the proper software, you can play any disc anywhere on almost any hardware, so it's just an annoyance anyway.

Back to topic...
( Last edited by ghporter; Nov 6, 2006 at 09:10 PM. Reason: typo...)

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Oct 14, 2006, 07:22 AM
 
Just browsing this forum as I visit the US next week and am looking to buy a Mac mini. Although I am in Belgium/France the region of the drive does not worry me as I use a useful little app which I have not seen mentioned yet: Erroneous which reacts each time you load a DVD to pop up a window asking you what you want to do with it, offering alternatives like DVD player, VLC (my favourite), Mplayer, Handbrake, MacTheRipper, etc.

Now, can anyone tell me whether buying 2GB of RAM in the Mac mini is overkill?
     
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Oct 16, 2006, 09:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Geordiekeith
Now, can anyone tell me whether buying 2GB of RAM in the Mac mini is overkill?
Depends on what you're doing - but it's highly likely that Apple's prices will be overkill for it! If you can get it elsewhere for a heap less and don't mind putting it in yourself then I'd do that.
     
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Oct 20, 2006, 04:41 PM
 
Thaks for the feedback. Just back in Europe with my new Mac mini, bought at the Apple store in Short Hills Mall, New Jersey. I wanted 2GB RAM and a larger hard drive - they offered to install the RAM but could not alter the 80GB HD option. However, the price was about $1600....

When I asked for justification they said they had to charge me for the RAM and there was no credit for the RAM already in the machine, which obviously would have to taken out. I left the store with the 1GB RAM, 80 HD option at $870 if and if I do feel the need later on I'll invest in a putty knife and add independently sourced RAM and a hard drive myself.
     
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Oct 23, 2006, 04:14 PM
 
Just a thought for the brave/desperate...

Since it's the firmware that needs updating... for people with a PC partition wouldn't it be possible to upgrade the firmware from the PC side instead of the Mac side? When you restart in OS X wouldn't the drive then be usable as a region-free one?

$200+ for a copy of XP as well as whatever flashing app you'll be using would be pretty steep for a region-free drive (considering that you could buy a second external drive for the same amount or less anad just set it permanently to region-free), but it just might work.

The other problem I could see if if you needed to be able to boot into some special mode (a la Safe Mode) to run the firmware update and this wasn't possible on Apple machines because they use the newer BIOS system (won't pretend to understand it).

HTH,

jon
     
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Nov 6, 2006, 06:08 AM
 
You can use Mac The Ripper to rip a DVD image using the option to make it a regionless DVD image, as long as you disable Apple DVD Player in the System Prefs. Then use Handbrake or ffmpegX to encode the movie to mp4 or some other format with the MATSHITA CD-RW CW-8124 drive you can then burn the movie to CD/VCD then at least you would have a copy you can watch on your Mac Mini. Ive just been through this making a copy of Night On Earth, the Jim Jarmusch movie. Oddly enough the film was never released on DVD in the states even though its an American movie. The DVD Im copying is a German release of the film, region 9. Hope this is some help.

D
     
nJm
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Nov 6, 2006, 08:48 AM
 
Europe is region 2, as far as I know there isn't a region 9, just 0-8.
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Nov 6, 2006, 07:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by voxnihil418 View Post
You can use Mac The Ripper to rip a DVD image using the option to make it a regionless DVD image, as long as you disable Apple DVD Player in the System Prefs. Then use Handbrake or ffmpegX to encode the movie to mp4 or some other format with the MATSHITA CD-RW CW-8124 drive you can then burn the movie to CD/VCD then at least you would have a copy you can watch on your Mac Mini. Ive just been through this making a copy of Night On Earth, the Jim Jarmusch movie. Oddly enough the film was never released on DVD in the states even though its an American movie. The DVD Im copying is a German release of the film, region 9. Hope this is some help.

D
I don't think this works with every movie. I think Mac The Ripper also has problems ripping movies with a region code different from your drive's region setting.
     
   
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