Article ID : 00152486 / Last Modified : 11/04/2018

What are the DVD region codes?

Applicable Products and Categories of This Article

Many commercially-produced DVD movies contain regional coding to prevent the playback of the disc in a geographical area other than the one in which it was released. DVD movies released in one region may only play on DVD players manufactured for that same region. This is done because many studios and home video companies want to control how and when DVD titles are exported to other countries. However, some DVD movies are not region coded and will play on any player in any region.

The error message ERROR: Playing Of This Disc Prohibited By Area Limits is displayed on the DVD player. will display when attempting to play a region-coded disc on a DVD player coded to play discs from a different region. For example, if you try to play a disc manufactured for release in China (region 6) on a Sony DVD player meant to play discs in the United States (region 1), you will receive this error message.

IMPORTANT:  Some devices, such as some computer DVD drives, can be modified (within limits) to play discs from regions other than for which they were originally designed. For information regarding if your DVD device can be modified, and if so, how to accomplish that modification, refer to the device specifications and users manual.

NOTE: If your player suddenly starts displaying a region code error when you try to play discs from the appropriate region, service may be required.

Selling multi-area discs is not a common practice. However, some DVD movies are not region coded and will play on any player, regardless of the region in which it was sold. These discs may be labeled Region 0 or All. Many discs created with home-video capture software are coded as Region 0 and should play in your DVD player.

Sony DVD players sold in the U.S.are coded to play Region 1 DVD discs. They also will play discs labeled Region 0 or All. There is no way to override the region code.

These are the DVD region codes:

  • Region 1 - Canada, the United States and U.S. territories.
  • Region 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, the Middle East (including Egypt) and Greenland.
  • Region 3 - Southeast Asia, and East Asia (including Hong Kong).
  • Region 4 - Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean.
  • Region 5 - Eastern Europe, Russia, the Indian Subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia.
  • Region 6 - China.
  • Region 7 - reserved for unspecified special use.
  • Region 8 - Special international venues for air and oceanic travel.

The region number of your disc or player can be determined by looking for a small, standardized globe icon with the region number superimposed on it. If a disc plays in more than one region, it will have more than one number on the globe. If a disc does not have any regional coding, it will say 0 or ALL for all regions.