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5. Copying Deterrents, Content Protection and User Management

5.1 What is Regional Playback Control?
5.2 Does Regional Playback Control apply to DVD-Video discs viewed on BD players?
5.3 What is HDCP?

5.1 What is Regional Playback Control?
In addition to incorporating technologies that manage legitimate or discourage unauthorized copying (AACS, BD+, ROM Mark), BD-ROM AV discs employ Regional Playback Control (RPC) to help commercial movie publishers regulate sales of their products throughout the world.

BD Regional Playback Control (RPC) groups countries into three geographic areas (see table). Consumer electronics (CE) players and BD-ROM AV (HDMV/BD-J) discs contain information that specify in which of these they are to be marketed. To prevent movies designated for one part of the world being distributed elsewhere, a BD-ROM AV disc contains a checking program that automatically compares its own RPC details to those encoded in the player and stops operation if both do not match. Discs can be authored to play in one (A, B, C), multiple (A/B, B/C, A/C) or all (A/B/C) regions (region-free) but CE players are region-specific.

Computers, on the other hand, function differently. Rather than the BD drive containing RPC information, the region code is managed in the playback software, is set manually by the user and, optionally, may be changed up to five times.

BD license agreements mandate that RPC can be applied to a movie in a specific region for up to 12 months, after which new production runs of the title must be manufactured region-free.

BD-ROM AV Region Codes
Region Code Geographic Region
A North America, Central America, South America, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia
B Europe (EU), Africa, Middle East, New Zealand, Australia
C China, India, Russia, Rest of the world
BD-ROM AV Region Codes
Region A Region B Region C
American Samoa Albania Afghanistan
Anguilla Algeria Armenia
Antigua and Barbuda Andorra Azerbaijan
Argentina Angola Bangladesh
Aruba Australia Belarus
Bahamas Austria Bhutan
Barbados Bahrain China
Belize Belgium Georgia
Bermuda Benin India
Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Jammu and Kashmir
Brazil Botswana Kazakhstan
British Virgin Islands British India Ocean Territory Kyrgyz
Brunei Darussalam (Brunei) Bulgaria Mongolia
Cambodia Burkina Faso Nepal
Canada Burundi Pakistan
Cayman Islands Cameroon Russia
Chile Cape Verde Sri Lanka
Christmas Islands Central African Republic Tajikistan
Cocos Islands Chad Turkmenistan
Columbia Channel Islands Ukraine
Cook Islands Comoros Uzbekistan
Costa Rica Congo  
Cuba Cote d’lvoire (Ivory Coast)  
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) Croatia  
Dominica Cyprus  
Dominican Republic Czech Republic  
Ecuador Democratic Republic of Congo  
El Salvador Denmark  
Falkland Islands Djibouti  
Fiji Egypt  
French Guiana Equatorial Guinea  
French Polynesia Eritrea  
Grenada Estonia  
Guadeloupe Martinique Ethiopia  
Guam Faeroe Islands  
Guatemala Finland  
Cooperative Republic of Guyana Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia  
Haiti France  
Honduras Gabon  
Hong Kong Gambia  
Indonesia Germany  
Jamaica Ghana  
Japan Gibraltar  
Johnston Island Great Britain and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)  
Kiribati Greece  
Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos) Greenland  
Macau Special Administrative Region (Macau) Guinea  
Malaysia Guinea Bissau  
Maldives Hungary  
Marshall Islands Iceland  
Martinique Iraq  
Mexico Ireland  
Micronesia Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran)  
Midway Islands Isle of Man  
Montserrat Israel  
Myanmar Italy  
Nauru Jordan  
Netherlands Antilles Kenya  
New Caledonia Kuwait  
Nicaragua Latvia  
Niue Lebanon  
Norfolk Island Lesotho  
Northern Mariana Islands Liberia  
Palau Libya  
Panama Liechtenstein  
Papua New Guinea Lithuania  
Paraguay Luxembourg  
Peru Madagascar  
Philippines Malawi  
Pitcairn (Pitcairn Islands) Mali  
Puerto Rico Malta  
Republic of Korea (South Korea) Mauritania  
Saint Kitts and Nevis Mauritius  
Saint Lucia Mayotte  
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Moldova  
Samoa Monaco  
Singapore Morocco  
Solomon Islands Mozambique  
St. Pierre et Miquelon Namibia  
Suriname New Zealand  
Taiwan R.O.C. Niger  
Thailand Nigeria  
Timor Norway  
Tokelau Oman  
Tonga Poland  
Trinidad and Tobago Portugal  
Turks and Caicos Islands Qatar  
Tuvalu Reunion  
United States of America (USA) Romania  
Uruguay Rwanda  
Vanuatu San Marino  
Venezuela Sao Tome and Principe  
Vietnam Saudi Arabia  
Virgin Islands Senegal  
Wake Island Serbia and Montenegro  
Wallis and Futuna Islands Seychelles  
  Sierra Leone  
  South Africa  
  St. Helena ex. dep.  
  The Netherlands (Holland)  
  Vatican City State  
  Western Sahara  


5.2 Does Regional Playback Control apply to DVD-Video discs viewed on BD players?
Existing DVD Regional Playback Control (RPC) restrictions (see table) still apply when viewing DVD-Video discs on BD players, drives and recorders.

DVD-Video Region Codes
Region Code Geographic Region
1 United States, Canada
2 Japan, Europe, Middle East, South Africa
3 South East Asia (including Hong Kong)
4 Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Central and South America
5 Northwest Asia, North Africa
6 China
7 Unassigned
8 Special purpose (aircraft, cruise ships, hotels)


5.3 What is HDCP?
High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is an encryption technology designed to protect audio and video signals from being copied when they are transmitted across High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), Digital Visual Interface (DVI), DisplayPort, Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), Universal Serial Bus (USB), HDBaseT and other connections.

Since its release, HDCP has been upgraded several times to support additional interfaces, strengthen encryption and address various deficiencies. Be aware that all components in the signal chain (BD player, TV, A/V receiver, etc.) must support HDCP v. 1.x to view Blu-ray Discs and HDCP v. 2.2 for Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.

Developed by Intel and Silicon Image in 1999, the HDCP specification is administered and licensed by Digital Content Protection, LLC.