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Customer Discussions > Blu-ray forum

UK Blu-ray playing on US players?

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Showing 1-25 of 90 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 7, 2012, 3:22:50 PM PDT
Ken Rudolph says:
I was thinking of ordering a "region free" UK Blu-ray disk, but noted the following disclaimer on amazon's UK site: "Please note that this product will not play on US spec 60i Blu-ray players as the Blu-ray discs are authored to UK 50i specs." I know I can play British DVDs on my region free player with no problem (although the image is slightly cropped). But I have no idea about Blu-rays. I have a recent Sony Blu-ray player and also a Blu-ray disk drive in my computer. But I live in the US. Any info about this is appreciated!

Posted on Apr 7, 2012, 4:18:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 7, 2012, 4:19:14 PM PDT
JMM says:
I encountered this problem. I also have a Sony blu-ray player, and it does not play any of the new UK discs with 50i (recently, I tried both seasons of "Sherlock" and they did not work).

This link might be helpful - it's a list of US players known to either accept or reject 50Hz content:

Posted on Apr 7, 2012, 5:38:47 PM PDT
I have been buying UK releases (Superman, Planet of the Apes, Lethal Weapon, Alien, Ben Hur, which are all region free) and they play fine on my two year old Sony Blu-Ray player. I don't know if any of these movies are "50i".

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2012, 5:51:05 PM PDT
JMM says:
@ Dan
No, none of those titles are 50i.

Posted on Apr 8, 2012, 5:53:34 PM PDT
This thread made me realize that the "Planet Earth" Blu-Ray set that I ordered (which has already been shipped) from amazon.co.uk, is "50i". So I am screwed. I have two Sony Blu-Ray players, which are not supposed to be able to play 50i, let alone be able to convert it to 60hz. I will have to return it, or sell it on e-bay. Huge disappointment.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012, 9:24:53 PM PDT
Ken Rudolph says:
I was in the same boat, having ordered a Blu-ray from amazon.co.uk that was supposed to be "region free". Fortunately, something made me re-read the description and notice the 50i business (which I had never even heard of); and I was able to cancel the amazon.uk order before they sent it out. I'm still not clear as to whether or not the BD disk drive reader in my Windows-7 computer would be able to play the disk (I believe it is a LITEON iHES-106 combo; but I'm not able to find any word about how it would react to 50i) . But at least I don't have to pay the price plus exchange premium to find out.

Posted on Apr 9, 2012, 6:33:12 AM PDT
If I may be of help here. 50i refers to the 50Hz (50 times a second) signal of the European PAL television system. In the U.S. we use the 60Hz signal which originated with the NTSC (National Television System Committee) and continues in the ATSC (Advanced Television System Committee) system. As long as the disc is region free, generally it is indicated by the letters A,B.C, and the movie or TV show is encoded at 24p (24 frames per second) it will play on any blu-ray player. The 24p signal is understood by all blu-ray players regardless of region. However, the extras on the disc may not play if they were encoded at 50i (interlaced) format. I have learned the best way to determine whether a disc is compatible with U.S. players is go to blu-ray.com and look up the reviews. They will note if it is region locked or not.

Posted on Apr 9, 2012, 8:55:37 AM PDT
JML says:
I have the Sony 580 and just figured out the issue with the British blu rays such as Downton Abbey (UK version) and Midsomer Murders (also blu ray):
I went into the player's setup menu, went into the video output, clicked on HDMI, then scrolled to the bottom and clicked 1080i.
This solved the framerate issue. They look great now!

Posted on Apr 9, 2012, 11:22:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 9, 2012, 6:51:06 PM PDT
I think the 50i is 25fps, and is the same as 50hz. If you look at the link JMM provided above, it explains much of this, and shows the players that can play 50hz, and those that can convert 50hz to 60hz. If the player converts 50hz to 60hz, you don't need a special monitor that plays 50hz. This is not about the discs being region free. These discs are region free, but amazon.co.uk lists a special comment for the 50i discs, including Planet Earth, Life, Human Planet, etc. All seem to be documentaries. I have been able to play all of the movies I purchased from amazon.co.uk, but don't think I will be able to play Planet Earth. Instead of buying a new Blu-Ray player, I am going to send this set back to UK, and buy the USA version.

I looked at amazon.co.uk, and Downton Abbey and Midsomer Murders do not have this special comment saying the discs are 50i.

Posted on Apr 9, 2012, 11:30:32 AM PDT
Ken Rudolph says:
My problem was with a British tv program called SHADOW LINE on Blu-ray. Amazon's site does state that it has the 50i problem for US viewers. I'm still wondering about my computer BD reader disk drive. But it's not worth the money to find out, even if there is no American version in sight.

Posted on Apr 9, 2012, 12:08:49 PM PDT
Damon J says:
I've ordered dozens of discs from Amazon.co.uk without problem, just go to http://www.blurayregioncodes.com/ tab to Region B, an see if it's region free, if it is, it can play in US players. Better yet, Blu-ray.com gives a lot of helpful info on 'region free' disc status. Or, you can always look in the reviews or customer discussion sections of the discs your looking for on UK site.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2012, 1:21:24 PM PDT
JMM says:

Thanks for the post but you misunderstand what the issue is here. As Dan pointed out a few posts above, the issue isn't whether or not a title is region free. The issue is that some blu-rays from the UK, although "region free", are 50i. Some US players cannot handle 50i content.

I suggest you look up "Sherlock" or "Shadow Line" on Amazon UK. Both are region free, but you will find this text on the Amazon product page: "Please note that this product will not play on US spec 60i Blu-ray players as the Blu-ray discs are authored to UK 50i specs."

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2012, 1:53:00 PM PDT
Damon J says:

Sorry misunderstood. Those are two titles that I have not purchased, but did buy one that said I'd be able to watch the movie, but not special features on my PS3, due to the fact the features were in 50i, but with so many Blu's, I cannot remember which one.

I have bought many though from the UK Site, like Battlestar Galactica S1,2, Lost S1,2, Mad Men S1,2, Gone With The Wind, Cleopatra, Wizard Of Oz, Alien Anthology, Soprano S1, Bourne Trilogy, etc.... I make sure after that experience all features are US compatible.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012, 8:54:25 PM PST
Greg says:
I have a PS3 bought in Canada and a Bravia 32 inch TV with a built in Blu-ray player also in Canada so I am wondering if I got the James Bond 50 year box set in the UK and I also see that a couple of discs are Region B and not Region free so will that matter. Here is a link down below for the item. http://www.amazon.co.uk/James-Bond-Film-Collection-Blu-ray/dp/B006PFCQR4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1356237944&sr=8-2

Posted on Dec 23, 2012, 6:48:05 AM PST
B. Ackerman says:
if you buy a cheap LG Blu-ray player it has no problems playing UK 50i since I have the Region Free version Of Sherlock Series 1 and two from Ebay that's from the UK. It's plays both sets with no issues.

Posted on Dec 25, 2012, 12:22:47 PM PST
movieman says:
this is wierd.. i live in the u.k and buy region free american disc,s and have never encountered a problem surely the problem should go both ways ??

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2012, 2:07:00 PM PST
Techie says:
Don't worry Movieman, B Ackerman is not really talking about region free discs, per se. The issue with the Bond Set is that two discs have Standard Definition extras, which are encoded in 50i. This probably is what limited the discs to being region B only. All HD content is 720p, 1080i or 1080p which are a worldwide standard and have nothing to do with regions. Studios decide whether or not to use regions on discs. There have been region free discs with PAL SD content for extras and vice versa, where people can watch the movie itself because it is 1080p but cannot watch the extras because they were SD and were PAL in an NTSC player or NTSC in a PAL player. Most of the time, the studios will region restrict a disc because of this to prevent confusion, which is what happened with the two discs in the bond set.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012, 9:13:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2012, 10:19:43 AM PST
Peter Tsang says:
I purchased BBC's London Olympics Games (region free blu-ray) which is coded 1080i50. This British product from BBC would not play on my Panasonic Blu-ray player. Audio was fine, but it had picture issues.

To solve the issue, I purchased a Samsung blu-ray player which does an excellent job playing the London Olympics blu-ray.

I found out all this information from a comment (dated December 4, 2012 under a review dated November 14, 2012 from the London Olympics) from a reviewer named Burketop. I found his information especially informative. Below, here are some of his comments regarding British issued blu-rays that are i50.

"Burketop says:
While the BBC version is region free (a.k.a. ALL REGION CODED) it is encoded in 1080i50 so you will need a player that converts 1080i50 > 1080i60 on the fly. All Samsung players sold in North America do this, most LG players do too. For high end players the Oppo universal disc players also do this.

No Sony or Panasonic players do this and the vast majority of Toshiba, Sharp, Pioneer, Denon, etc., players also do not convert..."

Posted on Dec 28, 2012, 6:35:51 PM PST
maddawg says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jan 7, 2013, 11:55:14 PM PST
I just bought the UK Series Come Fly with Me which said it was Region Free but it does not play in my US Player doe to this issue so I am returning them (I have a PS3)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 2:04:00 AM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jan 8, 2013, 9:58:07 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2013, 9:58:54 AM PST
sound_notes says:
I have a region free player purchased from bombay electronics. It works well but like most of their internal chip modified units, it must be manually coded (via the remote) before playing a disc from one region to another.

The only problems I've had is that with a few UK discs, the picture is blown up, as if the player thinks it's an amphormic widescreen disc when in fact its just a 1:33 old movie. Can't find away around this no matter my screen settings (both TV and blu-ray player). -Any help anyone?

Posted on Jan 16, 2013, 1:12:15 PM PST
Update on the 50i "Planet Earth" Blu-Ray set I purchased: Since all I had were Sony Blu-Ray players, I didn't even bother opening this set. I chose to sell it on ebay, instead of sending it back to amazon.uk - big mistake! I put "50hz" in the title, and said about 3 times in the description that this set would not play on most USA players. I even included a link to the list of players that are supposed to be able to play the discs. I cautioned potential buyers to be sure their player could play 50hz Blu-Rays, before bidding. The ebay ad was listed less than an hour before someone bid on it. I hoped the buyer read the description, but feared otherwise. Yes, after mailing the set to the buyer, he sent me an email saying the discs were defective. I asked if he bothered to read my description and cautions. The next day he sent me another email saying he had 3 Samsung Blu-Ray players, and none of them could play them. He said he took it to Best Buy, and none of their players could play them either. He wanted his money back. I knew he was lying and told him "No". The set was now opened, and not worth as much. He left me negative feedback, which was a pain getting ebay to remove.

Posted on Jan 20, 2013, 6:03:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 20, 2013, 6:06:54 AM PST
I live in Bolivia and bought a couple of Blu-Rays from the UK at Christmas (Ryder Cup 2012 and the BBC's London 2012 box set) with the intention of buying a player in due course. However, I hadn't taken region or 50i/60i into account. Worried (not least after reading the reviews from customers who had bought these discs and found them not to work on their US players), I read this and several other pages on the internet to try to find a solution. Thanks to all, by the way, for their input.

Anyway, thought you'd be interested to know that I bought a PHILIPS BDP5500 -- said to be extremely flexible with both Blu-Rays and DVDs -- and, sure enough, having taken delivery of both Blu-Rays yesterday, it plays them both with ease. Hope this is of use to people.

London 2012 Olympic Games BBC [Blu-ray]
Ryder Cup 2012 Diary and Official Film (39th) [Blu-ray]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2014, 5:51:52 PM PST
I know all my regular UK releases I have purchased have played on my Sony Blu-Ray player. However, I just received Series one and two Blue-Rayof Sherlock as a Christmas gift and it will not play on my player.
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Discussion in:  Blu-ray forum
Participants:  50
Total posts:  90
Initial post:  Apr 7, 2012
Latest post:  Mar 16, 2017

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