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JCKL Computer Help: Playing DVDs

Playing PAL-format DVDs on a Windows computer

The first and easiest way to play PAL-format DVDs on a Windows computer is to use the open-source VLC Media Player. For many older DVDs, VLC Media Player is able to circumvent region-locking digital rights management. 

If VLC Media Player doesn't work, you will need to change your DVD-ROM's region settings. Steps to do this are below. However, note that on newer computers, digital rights management software in Windows only allows you to change your DVD region a limited number of times. Pay attention to make sure you do not make an irreversible change. JCKL and the University of Central Missouri assume no responsibility for any damage this may cause to your computer.

  1. Open the Start menu. Select Control Panel. Open the Device Manager.
  2. Find the entry labeled DVD/CD-ROM drives. Right-click the device listed there and select Properties. Click the tab labeled DVD Region
  3. Select a country from the list that corresponds to the country listed on the back of the DVD case. Pay attention to the number of region changes you have remaining. Click OK. 
  4. Open your DVD using Windows Media Player or VLC Media Player.

Playing PAL-format DVDs on a Mac computer

To play PAL-format DVDs on a Mac computer, simply insert the disc into your computer. You will be prompted to change your DVD player's region settings. Use this list to select the appropriate DVD region. Note that your Mac computer only allows you to change the DVD region a total of five times. Pay attention to make sure you do not make an irreversible change. JCKL and the University of Central Missouri assume no responsibility for any damage this may cause to your computer.

An alternative that may work in many cases is to use the open-source VLC Media Player. For many older DVDs, VLC Media Player is able to circumvent region-locking digital rights management. 

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