Fedora only able to play non-encrypted DVDs

Q My work takes me to many locations worldwide and when I have some free time, like many other people, I enjoy watching DVD movies. I am running Fedora 7 on my T60 Thinkpad and installed VLC and all other plugins from the Livna repository but I am only able to watch non-encrypted DVDs. I do have libdvdcss installed but am still unable to watch the majority of films that come my way, I have heard that the Matshita DVD drive will not play encrypted disks. Is this true? If not, is there a software fix that could cure this problem?

A Your drive is locked to a specific region and will only play encrypted discs from that region. The DVD Consortium divided the world into six regions and a drive can only play discs of the region it is set to. The regions are numbered in the following way:

1 North America (USA and Canada)
2 Europe, Middle East, South Africa and Japan
3 Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Korea
4 Latin America, Australia, New Zealand
5 Former Soviet Union (Russia, Ukraine, etc), rest of Africa, India
6 China

It is possible to change the region of most drives, by using something like regionset (http://linvdr.org/projects/regionset) but there is a catch. Most drives only allow you to change the region setting four or five times, then it stays locked to the last set region, which isn't much use if you are travelling from region to region and buying DVDs on your travels. With a laptop, you don't even have the option of swapping the drive for a region free one. Some drives can have their firmware updated to either allow unlimited region changes or even work with all regions.

However, this is not true for all Matshita drives, so you may be out of luck. There is information on many different drives at www.rpc1.org. If it is not possible to update the firmware on your drive (some drives use encrypted firmware) you are left with the option of ripping your DVDs to another format on another computer, one with a region-free DVD drive. This would work well, and saves you taking the DVDs on your travels as you can store the ripped files on your hard drive, but it only works with DVDs you have before you travel, you still cannot play DVDs you buy abroad. dvd::rip (www.exit1.org/dvdrip) is a good choice for this.

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