How to Buy Used Region Free DVD Recorders

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How to Buy Used Region Free DVD Recorders

A region free DVD recorder gives the user the freedom to view DVDs from around the world, as well as record home videos and TV programmes to DVD. Because region free DVD recorders can play DVDs from anywhere in the world, one can watch videos purchased from the US or Australia without having to buy any additional equipment such as a video converter. Any video can also be recorded in the PAL or NTSC format for future viewing.

When shopping for a used region free DVD recorder, the best venues to search for this device are online markets such as eBay. When shopping for a used DVD recorder it is important to understand how a DVD recorder works, the differences between a DVD player and recorder, and what a region free DVD recorder actually is. It also helps for the shopper to familiarise themselves with recording formats such as PAL and NTSC. A shopper will find hundreds of current listings for used region free DVD recorder on eBay..

What Is a DVD Recorder?

Although at first glance DVD players and recorders may seem identical, they are not the same. Both can play DVDs, but the DVD recorder is capable of recording content to disc. A DVD recorder costs more than a regular DVD player but this extra functionality makes it worth the extra expense. A DVD recorder works by first writing video, or recording it, onto a hard drive inside the device. The length of the video is determined by the size of the hard drive. After the video is written to the internal hard drive it is transferred to a recordable disc. Some DVD recorders can connect to a home network, which allows the content to be transferred to a computer to be stored on that computer’s hard drive. The recorded discs can be used on any compatible DVD player, recorder, or computer.

In 1999, DVD recorders made their first appearance on the Japanese market, and these original DVD recorders were quite expensive. By 2007, however, the cost had dropped dramatically. The original DVD recorder supported DVD-RAM and DVD-R. However, today they are capable of recording to DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-R, too. DVD recorders have many advantages over VCRs. They offer superior video and audio quality, as well as serial access to video chapters without the need to rewind the video. With DVD recorders there is high-quality digital copying, with little or no loss of quality with subsequent copying. One cannot accidentally record over content and there is no risk of running out of recording space. Some models come with extra hard drive space, allowing for additional recording capacity.

What Does Region Free or Multi-Region Mean?

Different countries are grouped together and assigned a region code, and within the parameters of that code specific formats are used for programming DVD recorders, players, and TVs, as well as CDs and DVDs. A region free or multi-region DVD recorder can decode various region codes, allowing discs manufactured for other markets to be played on players manufactured for the UK market. For instance, a DVD bought in Canada will not play on a DVD recorder manufactured for use in the UK, unless the device is a region free DVD recorder or multi-region recorder. New multi-region or region free DVD recorders can be quite pricey, making the purchase of a used region free DVD recorder a viable alternative.

Canada and the US are located in DVD ‘Region 1’, while the UK is in ‘Region 2’. DVDs are divided into regions because movies are released in different regions at different times of the year. By coding the discs for specific regions, distributors can control how films are released across various markets. Certain countries have guidelines that restrict the distribution of content that may offend cultural and political sensitivities. Therefore, different region codes are used to limit content to certain jurisdictions. The different region codes are listed below.

Region Code



Commonly referred to as ‘Region Free’


United States, Canada, Bermuda, and US territories


Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, and the French Overseas departments and territories


Southeast Asia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau


Mexico, South America, Central America, Caribbean, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and much of Oceania


Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka,Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Pakistan, Africa, Central and South Asia, Mongolia, and North Korea


China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau)


MPAA-related DVDs and ‘media copies’ of pre-releases in Asia


For use on international flights and cruise ships


Have all eight flags set, allowing them to be played on any player

If a buyer owns a large number of DVDs coded for other regions, or if one plans to buy DVDs from overseas, the buyer should consider investing in a DVD recorder that can play DVDs from any region. With a region free DVD recorder, all switches are effectively on. This allows the device to play DVD movies from any region of the world.

PAL and NTSC Formats

Most DVD player or recorders are locked to specific regions, while others, such as multi-region or region free DVD recorders can play discs encoded for other regions as well as copy content over to another format. For instance, a region free DVD recorder is capable of recording movies in both the PAL and NTSC formats, enabling a DVD player in Canada to play the NTSC-formatted movie created on a region free DVD recorder in the UK, which is a PAL country. If a you are wanting to send relatives in Canada a family Christmas video, you will need to send them the movie in NTSC format, or they won’t be able to play it using their NTSC DVD player and TV.

PAL format is used in most of Western Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and most of Asia. While NTSC is used in most of North America, parts of South America, Myanmar, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines, as well as some Pacific island nations and territories. The SECAM format is used in France and any of its former colonies, the Middle East, and in most of the Eastern Europe and Russia. SECAM is a format that is not as widely used as PAL or NTSC, and many countries who currently use this format are migrating to the PAL format because of the difficulties associated with editing SECAM-formatted media. Currently, one cannot convert from SECAM to PAL or NTSC.

How to Buy a Used Region Free DVD Recorder on eBay

To begin your search for a region free DVD recorder, simply enter descriptive keywords into the search bar at the top of any page on eBay. For instance, if you enter ‘used region free DVD recorder&’, the local search engine will generate a results page with all the current listings for that device.

Once you have chosen the used region free DVD recorder you want to buy, be sure to read through the listing carefully to determine shipping costs, as well as the seller’s refund or exchange policy. If you cannot find that information, simply click on the seller’s username and navigate to their member profile. From there you can ask any questions you may have by clicking on the contact link.

When buying a region free DVD recorder, it is important to ask if the DVD player was originally sold in the UK or European market. If the DVD recorder originated in the US or Canada, there is the very real risk of frying the DVD player the moment you plug it into a UK power outlet. This is because the voltage in the UK is higher than it is in North America. If you do purchase a DVD player from abroad, make sure to buy a power adaptor, too.


Buying a used multi-region or region free DVD recorder can be an investment well worth the cost for many reasons. For instance, if you have friends or family in countries that use the alternate NTSC format, and they send their home videos on disc to you in the UK, you can watch the NTSC-formatted disc on your region free DVD recorder. If you would like to send them home videos of your own, you can record your movies to disc in NTSC format using your region free DVD recorder. With a region free DVD recorder one can enjoy movies from PAL as well as NTSC regions, and record in either format. When shopping for a region free DVD recorder, it is important for the buyer to research all information regarding the device they are looking for. For instance, one should research the types of DVD recorders available and their features, the region codes that are applicable to the recorder and what DVDs can be played on DVD recorder. A buyer should be sure to browse through the used region free DVD recorder listings on eBay as the cost for these devices is significantly lower than that of new DVD recorders.

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