playing DVDs on Ubuntu

Yesterday I was trying to watch a DVD on my brand new 24′ monitor with my brand new Ubuntu installation. Although Ubuntu is able to use my onboard UMTS-card and connects to Vodafone even without the need for the PIN, it is not able to just play a DVD (out of the box).


First I tried different DVDs, then I tried them on a Windows Laptop to doublecheck – it was always the same, on the Windows Laptop the movies started playing on my brand new Ubuntu installation it didn’t. So I started asking Google, which told me to go to which is one the most clean websites I’ve ever seen. There it is written down in the first sentence:

In order to play DVDs you must install some additional software. Unfortunately, DVD support cannot be provided by default in Ubuntu due to legal restrictions in some countries.

OK, legal restrictions are stealing my time…
…but after installing everything that is needed (by just clicking on the links on that help-website) the first DVD (a german movie called “Sonnenallee”) started playing instantly after inserting. But now I wanted to watch an episode of “Frasier” from one of D’s DVDs – It didn’t worked *grrrr*

After banging my head against our brand new 24′ TFT monitor I’ve decided to rethink the situation – Heureka! Once upon a time I’ve heard something about region settings in DVD players…
…so Google this time told me to go to which is not as clean as Ubuntus help website but did give me the answer to my question (How to change the regional setting of the dvd-drive in my brand new Ubuntu system?). So, after installing a little command line application, starting it and setting the DVD region to 1, I’ve started enjoying watching an episode of Frasier :)

In wikipedia you can read the following regarding the idea of DVD regions:

DVD region codes are a DRM technique designed to allow motion picture studios to control aspects of a release, including content, release date, and price, according to the region. DVD video discs may be encoded with a region code restricting the area of the world in which they can be played.


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10 Responses to “playing DVDs on Ubuntu”

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