General > Installation issues

DVD Region

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--- Quote from: dan evans on January 30, 2008, 03:11:11 pm ---From time to time this happens:
user complains that the DVD drive doesn't play any disk and/or the ripping also doesn't work. I've met this few times in the past - and in 95% of case it was the unset region ID plus region-protected DVDs, which are typical for US/Canada/Europe(?)

So, here is a short article now

--- End quote ---

I thought one of the points of the CSS library was that it bypassed region control as well (as decrypting)? Totallymaxed seems to be saying as much here,

Also, what the hell is Region 9? Its supposed to be 0-8....


--- Quote from: colinjones on February 04, 2008, 08:44:20 am ---Also, what the hell is Region 9? Its supposed to be 0-8....

--- End quote ---
When set to region 9 its Region Free.


You should not use the "change DVD drive region setting" approach on the Wiki unless you have access to firmware for your drive that can reset the region change counter inside your DVD drive.  Otherwise once the countdown counter reaches 0- usually after 5 changes- you will lock your drive into the last region forever. Well, until you reflash the firmware anyway ;-)

That might be OK if you are always going to use DVD media from that region, but for many people this is a pain, they want to be able to play DVDs from different regions

As per the info here section 4.3, RPC1 allows much easier and more reliable access to the data on the DVD.  If the DVD drive is new it will be an RPC-2 so it always first checks and if the DVD region does not match its own  it will not send the encryption key stored on the DVD to DECSS algorithm (e.g. in libdecss) would normally use to unencrypt it.  If your drive is RPC-2 then it won't send the key to your computer, and the software has to try really really hard and maybe it can decrypt the info on the DVD using "brute force" decryption methods.  This is my understanding anyway!

Best approach is to load firmware into your DVD drive that makes it RPC1.  This means it does not go through the "check disk is in my region" test.

I added some resources to the DVD page in the wiki.

Summary- do not change the region code on the drive, instead flash new firmware into your drive that makes it RPC1.  If there is no firmware to flash your drive, then buy one that has RPC-1 available.  I chose a Pioneer 216 series drive (most pioneers have firmware to change them to RPC1 and these drives are recommended by as being quiet and reliable. Well, quiet under windows anyway, where there is a utility to set them to quiet/slow mode for playing movies.  Hopefully I can do this using Linux too!

I was also looking at Samsung and Liteon drives (Samsung as top choice behind Pioneer 216, probably ahead of earlier pioneer models).  Again see the web site for more info (Links is on LH side of page, scroll down).

As I build up my new system, I will provide more details on flashing the DVD drive with RPC1.

I really, really dislike DRM (and 99% of my media is legally bought!).

scrappy but working! I can play Region 2 discs!  ::)

Download and initial run of DVRflash
download DVRflash from

--- Quote ---wget
--- End quote ---

extract Linux executable using unzip

run it to see what firmware you have

Download supported firmware and crossflash (change model) DVR-216 to a DVR-216L
Note: This step is no longer required, see post below, just download DVR-216 firmware
crossflash DVR-216 to 216L using firmware DVR-S16J
download firmware from
unzip it, files are
info is from from

--- Quote ---sudo ./DVRFlash -ff /dev/sg2 DVRS16J_106/S0415430.104 DVRS16J_106/S0415431.106
--- End quote ---
DVRflash shows drive starts as
Drive Information:
   Description : PIONEER DVD-RW  DVR-216
  Firmware Rev : 1.06
 Firmware Date : 08/06/19
  Manufacturer : PIONEER
Drive is in normal mode.

should end as
Updated Information:
   Description : PIONEER DVD-RW  DVR-216L
 Firmware Rev. : 1.06
 Firmware Date : 08/06/19
  Manufacturer : PIONEER

Now can load 1.09 firmware

download latest firmware, instructions and links at
you are looking for "S16J" model firmware files now

unzip the exe file

--- Quote ---unzip DVR-S16J_FW109EUJ2.EXE
--- End quote ---

should get file

Now flash this to your driver

--- Quote ---sudo ./DVRFlash -vf /dev/sg2 S0415431.109
--- End quote ---

now install wine

--- Quote ---sudo apt-get install wine
--- End quote ---

download MCSE from

--- Quote ---mv /home/linuxmce/Desktop/ .
wine MediaCodeSpeedEdit.exe
select S0415431.109
click RPC1 patch button

--- End quote ---


--- Quote ---sudo ./DVRFlash -vf /dev/sg2 S0415431_speedpatched.109
--- End quote ---

You now have an RPC1 DVD drive!


--- Quote from: indulis on December 07, 2008, 09:50:35 am ---scrappy but working! I can play Region 2 discs!  ::)

--- End quote ---

It's even easier now - no cross flashing required :)

* wine is still required for MediaCodeSpeedEdit (Zip/EXE, 178 KB) to modify the firmware

* DVRFlash is still needed to flash the firmware
Pioneer released a newer firmware (1.09) (Japanese site, in English).
Pick up the DVR-216 (Zip/EXE, 1.1 MB) firmware you need (DVR-216, DVR-216SV, DVR-216SV are the same drive/firmware).

There are other variations on this drive, and there are different firmwares for them.

Firmware 1.06 is available at their DVD Asia site

I checked the MediaCodeSpeedEdit help, and it knows about the DVR-216, DVR-216D and DVR-216L.
All I needed to do is use it to modify the downloaded firmware and use DVRFlash to flash it.

I then verified with DVRFlash that the drive was indeed RPC1 :)


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