Skip to main content

No Region Codes Foreseen for HD DVD

If HD DVD has it way and becomes the dominant (or only) new format for the HD era, apparently its proponents would like to do it without region codes similar to the ones that affect today's DVD discs. Some Asian publications (and Japanese blogs) at last week's DVD Forum Japan Conference expressed excitement about the announcement of "HD DVD-RR" (the likely HD DVD version of DVD-RAM).

But of more interest to many of those in attendance, and a bit of a surprise, were what seemed to be informal comments of Toshiba's Hisashi Yamada, who was quoted as telling attendees, "We've gotten a variety of opinions about region controls. Even in the Steering Committee, they are extremely unpopular; we decided to not put them in. HD DVD probably won't contain any region playback controls."

Admittedly, those remarks are still somewhat qualified, but the rather candid observation by Toshiba--the prime mover-and-shaker behind the new format--at least makes it clear how the company itself feels about incorporating different (intentionally incompatible) codes into DVD disc production for various regions of the globe.