Blu-ray Disc media have region codes, but unlike DVD players, the region codes for Blu-ray Disc media use letters instead of numbers to indicate a particular zone or region where the discs can be played.
Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs, on the other hand, are region-free and can be played back using a player that supports Ultra HD Blu-ray, regardless of the region where they were purchased.
The Blu-ray Disc region codes are as follows:
- Region A: North America, South America, U.S. Territories, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and other areas of Southeast Asia
- Region B: Europe, Africa, Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand.
- Region C: Asia (except for Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and other areas of Southeast Asia)
- Region FREE: This is not an official setting, but discs that have the region FREE symbol either have no flag set or have all region flags (A, B & C) set.
NOTE: The region codes for commercial Blu-ray Disc movies can be found on the back of the Blu-ray Disc case.
The Blu-ray Disc device or drive will support playback of Blu-ray Disc purchased in the same region unless otherwise specified in the player or computer documentation. In other words, computers and Blu-ray Disc players purchased in countries corresponding to region A can play back Blu-ray Discs for region A, but cannot play back Blu-ray Discs for region B or region C. (The exception is a disc, player or drive coded as Region FREE.) The same will be true for a computer or Blu-ray Disc player purchased in another region.
Important things to remember:
- The region code settings for a Blu-ray Disc player device cannot be changed.
- The region code settings for a computer Blu-ray Disc optical drive can only be changed within computers that have software capable of effecting that change, and can only be changed a total of five times. Refer to the Blu-ray Disc player software documentation for instructions on how to change the optical drive region code settings.
- For most Blu-ray Disc optical drives, whatever the region code the software is set to upon the fifth region code setting change will become the permanent setting. Once this occurs the region code setting cannot be changed again.
- If the region code of the Blu-ray Disc optical drive has been permanently set to an undesirable region, and you wish to use Blu-ray Discs with a different region code setting, the drive will need to be replaced (!)