Guide to Buying Blu-rays from Overseas
Here at TweakTown I often get questions about whether or not Blu-ray 'X' will work in an Australian or American Blu-ray player; so I thought it would be a good time to write a guide about Blu-ray importing. Let's begin!
Similar to DVD region coding, where the world is split up into six geographic regions, Blu-ray is split into three geographic regions. Fortunately, unlike DVD, the splitting of Blu-ray regions are far more sensible.
As can be seen from the image above, Australia now shares the same region with Europe.
As it stands now, all Blu-ray manufacturers adhere to region coding. In the early days of DVD, the same was true. However, after a few, namely lesser brand manufacturers chose to do away with region coding, many including big guns like Sony followed suit. I assume that at some stage, certainly as Blu-ray popularity increases, that the same will happen; a rogue brand will market a region free player and then the big manufacturers (fearing lowered sales) will follow.
It should be noted that there are a few online distributors whom are selling, for an overly inflated price, hardware region hacked Blu-ray players. Whilst I know nothing of the reputability of these places, or the quality and reliability of their hacks, it proves that there is at least an ability to hack players and more importantly, a market for this feature. However, because there is such a flux in the Blu-ray player market, with the necessity of firmware upgrades to merely play many discs and the lack of profile 2.0 Blu-ray players on the market, I would recommend staying away from these modifications for the time being.
So now, Blu-ray fans have two choices; stick to the (at times) limited choice of what is available in the local market, or seek out the world of Blu-ray importing.