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I would like to watch DVDs from two different regions on a Mac mini. Can I do this by connecting an external DVD drive and using the internal drive for one region and the external for the other?

Are there additional restrictions in the DVD playing software? If so, how can they be circumvented?

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You should be able to do exactly as you stated. If you set one drive for one specific region and the other drive for the other region you need then that should work just fine. If you eject that drive though I'm not sure how it will react (I don't know if it will remember it).

Depending on the drive, you can also try flashing it with region free firmware. The Firmware Page is a good place to start to find that kind of firmware. You'll need access to a Windows box though as most firmware is in a Windows format executable.

You can also use VLC - it ignores the region coding. Insert DVD, quick DVD Player, and then startup VLC. This was true for versions before 1.0 at least so it may not still work as expected in the newer official releases.

Another option is to use a program called FairMount which will also bypass the region coding.

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Seconding VLC Generally speaking, any open source media player will ignore regions for DVDs. – fizzding Oct 5 '09 at 21:27
VLC ignores region codes, but on newer Macs it isn't DVD Player that's enforcing them anyway: it's done in the drive's firmware. On my Macbook, even VLC can't play different-regioned DVDs. – Ken Dec 26 '09 at 3:07
Thanks Ken. I wasn't aware of that change as I have a bit older Mac. Glad you pointed it out for me as I have may foreign travelling contacts that ask about playing DVDs bought in other countries regularly. – Insomnic Jan 6 '10 at 17:35

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