Skip to main content

Hardware Firmware

By May 5, 2008One Comment

DMR-EH67The lovely people at Panasonic have lent all the City Managers for the ‘V’ 48 Hour Furious Filmmaking Competition (of which I am one) a Hard Drive DVD Recorder so we can cap­ture every­one’s entries and then play them back at the highest pos­sible res­ol­u­tion – without hav­ing to worry about hun­dreds of tapes going miss­ing in the Paramount pro­jec­tion box.

It’s a very attract­ive shade of black and has a deeply impress­ive, heavy, manu­al which is all in English. It used to be manu­als for video record­ers were pad­ded out with all sorts of European lan­guages but now they need all those pages to explain the fiendishly com­plic­ated pro­cess of record­ing telly to a hard drive and then trans­fer­ring the video to a DVD so you can lend it to your mates.

One thing that struck me just now as I opened up the box was a notice read­ing “THE REGION NUMBER FOR THIS DVD RECORDER IS REGION NO. 4” and it occurred to me (at the same time as I real­ised that my Caps Lock but­ton does­n’t appear to be work­ing) that as this machine has come straight from Panasonic it won’t have been de-zoned. And then it fur­ther occurred to me that I did­n’t even know wheth­er the Sony DVD Recorder I bought last month was region-free or not. I just assumed it was and nev­er thought to check. What’s more I don’t know if I even have a Region 1 disc here to test it.

Does this mean that that Region-Rebellion we were all so wor­ried about is over? Is the selec­tion in New Zealand now good enough that we don’t need to worry about buy­ing from Amazon to get our fix of fine home entertainment?

Not entirely. I recently ordered two films from which are not avail­able on DVD for rent or pur­chase here: Patrick Keiller’s won­der­ful, lit­er­ate, films about Britain from 1994 and 1997, London and Robinson in Space. Which, I now dis­cov­er are All Region encoded any­way so I don’t know exactly what that proves.

One Comment