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DVD, VHS  & TV format


DVD format

  • DVDs are usually released well after movies has hit the screens and made enough money. However, because movies are not released at the same time all over the world (movies usually hit the screens in Europe when DVDs are released in Asia), the movie industry created different regions where DVDs cannot be exchanged in order to prevent people from getting DVDs abroad before the movie has even hit the screen in their own country. This DVD and DVD player encoding also guaranties market exclusivity to film distributors.  Therefore, a Zone 1 DVD can only be played on a Zone 1 DVD player, and if you live in Zone 2, you would only be able to purchase a Zone 2 DVD Player.

  • There are 8 zones or regions which are the following:






US & territories,


American Samoa, Canada, Guam, Palau, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Puerto Rico, Micronesia, United States, U.S. Virgin Islands



South Africa,

Middle East.

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vatican City, Yemen, Yugoslavia

Southeast Asia,

East Asia.

Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Phillipines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam


New Zealand,

Central America,

South America.

Antigua, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, New Guinea, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad, Tobago, Uruguay

Former Soviet Union, Indian sub-continent, Africa,

North Korea,

Mongolia .

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, St. Helena, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe



Reserved for future use


International Territories (ships, planes etc)



  • To view DVDs from abroad, the following can be done:

    • Purchase a Multivision or Zonefree DVD player and TV.

    • Zonefree or Unlock your DVD player yourself easily and legally here.

VHS tape, VCR and television format.

  • Countries use different broadcasting standards therefore television sets, VHS tapes and VCR all have to be compatible to play a VHS tape properly. Those standards where only created for political reasons to protect specific markets from being invaded by foreign products.

  • There are 3 major standards which are NTSC, PAL and SECAM:







North America,



USA, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Burma, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Greenland, Guam, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Kitts, Saipan, Samoa, Surinam, Taiwan, Tobago, Trinidad, Venezuela, Virgin Islands.






Parts of the

Middle East


Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina (PAL-N), Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Cameroon, Canary Islands, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece (also Secam), Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, North Korea, Kuwait, Liberia, Luxembourg (also Secam), Madeira, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay (PAL-N), Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia (also Secam), Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay (PAL-N), Yemen (the former Yemen Arab Republic was PAL, and the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen was NTSC, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe



France &

its territories


Albania, Benin, Bulgaria, Congo, former Czechoslovakia, Djibouti, Egypt, France, French Guiana, Gabon, Greece (also PAL), Guadeloupe, Haiti, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg (also PAL), Madagascar, Martinique, Mauritius, Monaco (also PAL), Mongolia, Morocco, New Caledonia, Niger, Poland, Reunion, Romania, Saudi Arabia (also PAL), Senegal, Syria, Tahiti, Togo, Tunisia, the former USSR, Viet Nam, & Zaire



  • Those 3 systems all have different technical specs which affect image & colour quality and which prevent VHS tapes from one standard to be played correctly in an equipment of an other standard.
  • It is however possible to view a PAL VHS tape in an SECAM VCR and vice versa but the picture will remain black and white.




National Television System Committee

Phase Alternating Line

Sequential Couleur Avec Memoire

525 lines, 60 frames / second

625 lines, 50 frames / second

625 lines, 50 frames / second


  • To view VHS tapes from abroad, the following can be done:

    • Purchase a Multisystem VCR and TV.

    • Purchase a Digital Video Standards Converter,

    • Convert your VHS tape from one standard to another. This can be done by some companies who charge for this service.