It really sucks if you’ve got into a TV series on BluRay here and there are further series available in the US, but they’re not released in NZ yet, and it may never get released at all, because you were one of the few in NZ who bought series one. So series two would be uneconomic. Or if you’re visiting the States or Japan and you want to bring home something over there that is never going to make it to NZ screens. If you do this and get it home, you’ll pop it into your bluRay player and be told that its in the wrong region and it won’t play.
This kind of geolocking is a super pain in the arse, and it is to keep corporate Hollywood happy, but it is at the expense of the consumer and is a huge scam that should not be tolerated. In some places like the EU or Australia earlier government decisions ruling in favour of the hapless consumer mean that region-free DVD players nowadays are pretty easy to score. But BluRay Players are so far much less common.
There is one really expensive hi-fi enthusiast model which would break the bank, but there are two cheap Toshiba models, the BDX1200KY and the 3D-enabled BDX3200KY, that can be made multi-region for both DVD and BluRay. The BDX1200KY was selling before Xmas last year for $99 at JB Hifi in NZ. It went up in price hugely just after Xmas.
For the BDX1200KY you need to find an earlier version of the firmware then what it will come with. Mine came with version 18 of the Australian firmware which has lost the multi-region feature. You need version 16 of the firmware. It is findable with a google search and a little bit of effort. For me it wasn’t that hard to install the firmware and I can report success.
Then after the firmware is installed power on the machine and press the Setup button. Enter 8520 on the remote and a new menu will appear. Set the DVD region code to zero for multi-region. Set the bluRay disc region code. Press 1 for region A. 2 for Region B and 4 for Region C. Press Setup to exit the menu.
I set mine to region A, which means I can play anything brought back from the States, plus all the locally bought bluRays I have seem to be regionless rather than region B, so I have found there is nothing I’ve had to change it back for.
Now I can watch any bluRay disc from anywhere in the world without getting screwed by some stupid corporate decision on who is allowed to buy a disc in which country, and that is the way it should be.