Guide to Buying Blu-rays from Overseas - Continued
Because of the distribution of movie rights between different companies around the world; let's say, Disney distributes a movie and has not made it available on Blu-ray in Australia, this doesn't mean a different company whom hold the rights in a different country haven't done so. In fact, it happens frequently. Or, it may be available with better quality video or audio, or with more extra features. This is where things get exciting, expensive and at times, a gamble. But I will try to help out.
As we have established, Australia (where I write this - I know we have a large international readership) resides in 'Region B'; the same as Europe. So, Australians can import any European release with certainty.
A good starting point for importing European Blu-rays is Amazon.co.uk. Because of the exchange rate of the British pound, coupled with relatively high shipping can make this a slightly expensive proposition.
However, for American Blu-ray releases, this is where things can get slightly confusing. Whilst they are officially 'Region A', many distributors choose not to region code their discs...but sometimes they do.
Let's break it down by company:
Universal catalogue releases - No coding
Universal new releases - No coding
Disney catalogue releases - No coding
Disney new releases - Often coded
Twentieth Century Fox catalogue releases - Always coded
Twentieth Century Fox new releases - Always coded
Paramount catalogue releases - No coding
Paramount new releases - No coding
Sony Pictures catalogue releases - No coding
Sony Pictures new releases - Often coded
Warner catalogue releases - No coding
Warner new releases - No coding
Lionsgate catalogue releases - Often coded
Lionsgate new releases - Often coded
New Line catalogue releases - Often coded
New Line new releases - Often coded
MGM catalogue releases - Always coded
MGM new releases - Always coded
So, pretty much any release from Universal, Paramount and Warner are safe to be imported (as of publishing date anyway). Twentieth Century Fox titles can't be imported and the rest you will have to keep your eyes peeled to the following site, which check all releases quite promptly - Blu-ray Region Code Info. They are a great resource.