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Old 11-27-2020, 01:51 PM   #1
NLScavenger NLScavenger is offline
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Thumbs down Region locked UHDs


Regarding Death Wish (2018) and Greenland (2020): applies to Nordic releases (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland)

Update May 27 2021: Added The Outpost (2020) USA release (discovered by tonyt)

Update March 21 2022: Added Les Aventures d'Antoine Doinel FR release (tested by cirik), Weathering With You standard edition USA release (tested by RBBrittain) and The Spine of Night USA release (tested by emobadger, French Manu, Andi-999)

------------------------------------------------------

Original post
[Show spoiler]It appears that Shout Factory / GKIDS have region locked their UHD release of Weathering With You (November 17 2020). I guess all good things come to an end.

It is not known yet if the French UHD from earlier this month and the upcoming UK UHD are locked to region B. These use disc authoring assets from Shout Factory.

November 21 2020
Quote:
Originally Posted by emailking1 View Post
This disc appears to be region locked (yes the 4K UHD). I'm aware UHDs are all region free and that, confusingly, the Blu-ray is black and the UHD is blue, but I don't know what other conclusion to reach.

I had my Oppo on Region B because I can play Region A Blu-Ray discs on my PS3. I put in the UHD, this message came up "This disc's region code is not compatible with your player." I figured I put in the wrong disc but nope it was the UHD. The Blu-ray displays the same message. Region Coding messages like that are video encoded on the disc so it's not just my player messing up or something.

As a sanity check, I put in known region locked title Friday the 13th Part 3 3D, "INVALID REGION" was displayed (expected).

I switched the player to Region A. Friday the 13th Part 3 3D loads and plays. Weathering With You Blu-ray loads and plays. Weathering With You UHD loads and plays and my TV detects Dolby Vision, which means it wasn't somehow really a blu-ray that was labelled a UHD. Watched the movie, picture appears to be 4K especially in the rain and snow scenes, and the HDR is incredible. No special features on disc, it's the definitely the UHD.

Switched region back to Region B. Friday the 13th Part 3 3D says "INVALID REGION". Weathering With You UHD displays "This disc's region code is not compatible with your player." Weathering With You Blu-ray displays "This disc's region code is not compatible with your player."

Am I missing something? Can anyone confirm this behavior?
November 22 2020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam_One View Post
Yep, same thing happened to me. Put the UHD disc in my Region B player and got the "wrong region" message. Then put it in my Region A player and it played without a problem. And it was definitely the 4k UHD disc with Dolby Vision and all. No idea what they did there but it's a disappointing precedent.
November 26 2020
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentric View Post
I have a region free Oppo203, can confirm SF/GKIDS done effed up the UHD with region locking. The UHD plays fine when the player is set to region A, but when it is set to B & C the incompatible region message pops up -



I guess they didn't get the memo UHD's are supposed to be region free, or they were aware and went ahead and locked it anyway. Something about a bunch of inept monkeys comes to mind.

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November 27 2020
Quote:
Originally Posted by winnie77 View Post
I've just received my copy from Amazon and I'm in France. I was surprised that the 4k disc is region locked. So sad. It doesn't play on my xbox one S.
The 350 copies of the 4k in France are sold out. I was so happy to hear that the American one has French dub and subs but it doesn't work. A pity ��
EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by trainspodder View Post
I noticed the exact same thing a few years back when I bought the nordic 4K release of Death Wish (https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Death.../#RegionCoding)

I thought I was going crazy, but I confirmed it multiple times switching between the regions on my Oppo 203. Both the BD and UHD discs were indeed locked to region B.

Nordic distributors are absolute trash so for them to mess up a UHD release wasn't surprising. What surprised me more was that region locking UHD discs was even possible to begin with.

Last edited by NLScavenger; 03-21-2022 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:59 PM   #2
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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2020 just keeps on giving, doesn't it? The Apocalypse is truly upon us
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Old 11-27-2020, 02:24 PM   #3
slimdude slimdude is online now
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Well this is strange because 4K UHD Blu-rays are supposed to be region free, unless your region free mod is malfunctioning. This is why I've never install a region free mod on my Oppo 203 because, I had an instinct that it will eventually create playability problems with the player. Whenever you modify anything from its original productivity, it's subjected to cause problems because it's a foreign object. If a disc is not region free or region A, I just won't buy it.
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Old 11-27-2020, 02:41 PM   #4
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If studios do start doing this, couldn't the UHD association tell them to stop since the format is supposed to be region-free and it would be bad business for those selling region-free discs.
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Old 11-27-2020, 02:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimdude View Post
Well this is strange because 4K UHD Blu-rays are supposed to be region free, unless your region free mod is malfunctioning. This is why I've never install a region free mod on my Oppo 203 because, I had an instinct that it will eventually create playability problems with the player. Whenever you modify anything from its original productivity, it's subjected to cause problems because it's a foreign object. If a disc is not region free or region A, I just won't buy it.
What a ridiculous take.
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Old 11-27-2020, 02:54 PM   #6
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Okay now I wish Shout hadn’t gone 4K
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:10 PM   #7
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Perhaps when all the studios signed up to UHD being region free they didn't expect small boutique labels around the world to start releasing UHD titles?

Although, in terms of the technology, I thought it wasn't possible for UHD to be region locked(?), so maybe it's just a glitch.

Until another (different) disc comes along with the same issue, I think it's too early to be getting upset about it.
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:10 PM   #8
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Can the BD association take then to task for this? While it might indeed p*ss us off, ze end consumer. I'm not exactly a fan of laying to much 3rd party authority over a deal between two different companies.
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:25 PM   #9
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I wonder if anime distributors are once again trying to get around BDA rules by accessing resources to impose geographical restrictions not sanctioned by BDA. I know that some anime publishers used country coding on BDs to prevent North American anime BDs from being played in Japan (and vice versa) even though they're both Region A. Perhaps they're now using resources to access regular BD region coding that isn't supposed to be used with UHDBD.
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:30 PM   #10
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Could it be just another Shout Factory mistake?
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLScavenger View Post
It appears that Shout Factory / GKIDS have region locked their UHD release of Weathering With You (November 17 2020). I guess all good things come to an end.

It is not known yet if the French UHD from earlier this month and the upcoming UK UHD are locked to region B. These use disc authoring assets from Shout Factory.

November 21 2020


November 22 2020


November 26 2020


November 27 2020
“All good things must come to an end.”
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottishguy View Post
Can the BD association take then to task for this? While it might indeed p*ss us off, ze end consumer. I'm not exactly a fan of laying to much 3rd party authority over a deal between two different companies.
The association is not a third party. Using the format means you play by their rules.
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:09 PM   #13
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How is this even physically possible ? I mean, if this UHD is region locking, since I can't recall having read any UHD specs detailing this and any region having been defined : what is actually its region code ? How is it setup and which countries is it compatible with ?
Again, if there is no region defined, how can a UHD be region locked ?
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:20 PM   #14
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Hope this list stays very small. Like one disc long.
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpaul2 View Post
How is this even physically possible ? I mean, if this UHD is region locking, since I can't recall having read any UHD specs detailing this and any region having been defined : what is actually its region code ? How is it setup and which countries is it compatible with ?
Again, if there is no region defined, how can a UHD be region locked ?
Blu-Ray uses two geographical locking code methods. The first is Region coding, which is carried over from the DVD days, though the numbering and coverage is different. This is because different studios/distributors have rights in different parts of the world and it protects the home video market profits by preventing reverse importation or reselling of "better releases" outside of their intended market. The second is country code and it's thankfully quite rare in it's employment. This means that the disc will only play in players installed (or with firmware designating the country) in countries whose codes are on the disc. So you might get a 1, 3, 5, and 8 disc that won't play in 2, 4, 6, and 7, even if those countries are all in the same region. For UHD-BD, the BDA decided they were not going to make geo-code lockout mandatory, though it is completely optional. As long as each video disc released employs the mandatory BDA-approved CP methods, a release with geo-code using either of the above is still considered acceptable by the BDA, until they decide otherwise.
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:29 PM   #16
danman227460 danman227460 is online now
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They would go by regions set in the DVD era and blu-ray era.

It was actually surprising to see UHD be region free when DVD/Blu-rays were all locked.

Hopefully this isn't a precedent but I can see boutique labels potentially adopting this. Especially Arrow who has UK and USA/CA region only discs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpaul2 View Post
How is this even physically possible ? I mean, if this UHD is region locking, since I can't recall having read any UHD specs detailing this and any region having been defined : what is actually its region code ? How is it setup and which countries is it compatible with ?
Again, if there is no region defined, how can a UHD be region locked ?
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:40 PM   #17
NLScavenger NLScavenger is offline
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Fwiw, here's the "startup.properties" file in the JAR folder from the Lionsgate UHD of Ghost in the Shell (1995).

Code:
disc.regions=a,b,c
disc.regions.rental=a,b,c
disc.episode.count=-1
disc.episode.commentary=-1
disc.parental=-1
disc.is_uhd=true
disc.title.region_error=11
disc.title.feature=5
disc.title.vam=6
disc.title.top_menu_disabled=7
disc.title.top_menu_enabled=8
Maybe a BD region code check can be enforced in UHD via BD-J, but someone with knowledge about BD-J would have to chime in.
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danman227460 View Post
They would go by regions set in the DVD era and blu-ray era.

It was actually surprising to see UHD be region free when DVD/Blu-rays were all locked.

Hopefully this isn't a precedent but I can see boutique labels potentially adopting this. Especially Arrow who has UK and USA/CA region only discs.
Physical media is currently lying at death’s door, but even the simplification of the region coding from the DVD to Blu-ray era was huge. That being said, most of the major studios never region-locked their Blu-ray releases (as the releases were primarily the same across the globe). Region coding was left to the boutique and independent labels due to contractual agreements.

Having UHD being region-free unlocks the ability for distributors to maximize sales due to the possibility of imports.

Seeing the news that a UHD is locked from a Shout Factory release that’s licensed from Toho is not surprising, but very disappointing based upon what was set by the BDA.
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:51 PM   #19
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Old 11-27-2020, 05:19 PM   #20
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I noticed the exact same thing a few years back when I bought the nordic 4K release of Death Wish (https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Death.../#RegionCoding)

I thought I was going crazy, but I confirmed it multiple times switching between the regions on my Oppo 203. Both the BD and UHD discs were indeed locked to region B.

Nordic distributors are absolute trash so for them to mess up a UHD release wasn't surprising. What surprised me more was that region locking UHD discs was even possible to begin with.
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